Homes, Sweet Homes: Darrell

9 Sep

Who was nice enough to let us feature their home: Our dear reader, Darrell.

What they told us about the home: “It is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a hair under 800 sq feet, on the third floor of a 5 floor building, with a north facing elevation. It is 1 of 3 buildings in the complex. The first floor is commercial space and the 3 – 5 floors are residential space.  The Alexan Apartments is located on the corner of Alhambra Street and  S Street.  Living here is really convenient. I’m across the street from the Sacrament Natural Food CoOp, there’s a yoga studio downstairs if I want to get my ‘downdog’ on, a deli, and a nail salon. I’m also probably an easy 10 – 15 minutes bike ride away from ‘proper’ Midtown.”

Where is the home located: Midtown, Sacramento, California

When was the home built and when they moved in: “The apartment complex is brand new, I think its under 5 years old. And I’m probably sure it’s the newest complex in the downtown/midtown area.  From what I understand the entire complex was built to be sold as condominiums but when the economy tanked in 2009 the developer decided to convert the project to apartments.  I moved here from San Francisco a little over 2 years old.”

Why they chose this home: “I lived in some pretty old Victorians apartments in San Francisco and knew I wanted new construction in Sacramento. Things I had on my checklist were: central air,  garage disposal, dishwasher, in unit W/D – things that I lived without during my tenure in San Francisco.  The fact that this apartment has a brand new swimming pool was diffidently a big plus given want I heard about the Sacramento summer.”

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What attracted you to MCM design?

When I moved to Sacramento, and except for my bed, I lived in an empty apartment for probably three months.  Whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, I had an empty canvas to work it.  Oversized country-looking furniture wasn’t my thing, nor did I have a desire to live in an Ikea catalog.  I hate clutter and was immediately drawn to MCM design due to the clean and simply design.  Certain MCM design pieces, such as the Eames Lounge Chair, are also timeless, so I knew that when I move from one chapter in my life to the next, I can move pieces around and wouldn’t have a home that was stuck in a time capsule.

Favorite designers and biggest influences for your style?

Charles and Ray Eames, Ludiwg Mies Van Der Rohe, George Nelson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Schultz, and Eero Saarinen are a few of my favorite industrial designers and architects from the modern period.  A theme throughout their work that I appreciate is the use of simple forms and clean lines but also something unexpected either in the use of materials or color.

How do you feel about reproductions?

If you have any ambition to be a curator and your budget can handle it – Go Big or Go Home. I think there’s really nothing like having an original Eames lounge chair in your own living room if you can afford it.  The weight of the furniture, the small nicks and scratches, how the color of the wood may be a little off due to age, I feel these are markers of authenticity that you can’t get with a new brand reproduction, licensed or not.  But of course I’m no Bill Gates so I think reproduction in moderation is perfectly fine.

Furniture wise, what do you think is something you should invest in?

After a long day at work I like to be able to relax in front of my stereo system and listen to some music or just veg out in front of the TV so a comfortable coach is critical for me.  It’s something I know I’ll have for a few years and that I will use every day so I’m willing to spend a little more on it.

Where are your favorite places to shop for home décor?

Craigslist, Scout Living, Room & Board, H.D. Buttercup, West Elm, Blu Dot.

What are some of your best finds? From where?

My dining room table is probably my favorite Craigslist find.  The seller was this woman who finds and restores midcentury furniture for a hobby.  I got a great price for it and we had a “moment” sharing our thoughts on midcentury design.

Greatest achievement in your home? Biggest challenge?

My apartment is a little under 800 square feet and it has a north elevation so I get absolutely no natural sunlight. So the biggest challenge for me was to make the place feel more spacious and lighter than it really is.

Future goals/ projects?

I’ve been at my current place for about 1.5 years now and already outgrown the place so I’m looking to move into a bigger rental or make a purchase.  Apartment living is nice but it would be great to have more private outdoor space for the dogs and to entertain.

Do you have any home inspiration recommendations for our readers?

I’m a big fan of for practical design ideas and Dwell magazine for inspiration and plain day dreaming.

Advice and last words?

“A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.” Sydney Smith

2 Responses to “Homes, Sweet Homes: Darrell”

  1. Dianna September 9, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Ah, I remember that dining set! One of my favorites! Beautiful home Darrell.

  2. Serene September 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    I had a great time doing this home tour, Darrell! A beautifully put together place, I love revisiting the experience in these photos :)

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