Monday, August 25, 2008

House Voyeur: Midcentury Cool in Oakland

Today’s House Voyeur takes us to the Oakland, California home of bookseller and graphic designer Dave Cuzner. I first became acquainted with Dave via his blog, grain edit, which focuses on the best in midcentury modern art and graphic design and features great interviews with the likes of artist Matte Stephens and illustrator and designer Bo Lundberg. I had a sneaking suspicion that Dave’s home would be equally retro-cool -- and I wasn’t disappointed.

Here, Dave takes us on a virtual tour:

"I share my home with my wife, Liz, and our 2-year-old cat, Twig. We live in a townhouse in Oakland that was designed by Ron Kappe, son of L.A.-based modern architect and SCI-Arc founder Raymond Kappe. The architecture draws from a mix of East Bay craftsman and California modern styles.

I work from home, so it was important to have a place that I could be excited about living and working in. I’m in the house most of the day, so having a pleasant environment to work in makes it more bearable.

I’m very much attracted to the midcentury modern aesthetic, and our home reflects that. The design of that period often has the perfect balance of function and form. I like minimal, clean design, and tend to stay away from things that are overly ornamental.

My favorite things about our home are the giant window walls and the cathedral ceiling. Since our place is relatively small (about 1,250 square feet), the open floor plan, high ceilings, and large windows help create the illusion that it’s much more spacious than it really is. I also really like our deck. It’s great for lounging after a long day and enjoying a few drinks.

I found most of our furniture on craigslist. The Bubble Lamp suspended from our living room ceiling was designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Directly below sits a Case Study daybed. My favorite find was our orange Eames rocker, which I bought for $45. We have several Eames chairs, but that one is my favorite.

My one piece of advice to others looking to decorate their homes is to buy quality furniture. It might cost more up front, but it will be worth it in the long run. Furniture that is built well will often retain its value and last a long time. Some of our Eames chairs, for instance, are over 40 years old and still look great. On the other hand, we’re lucky if we can get two to three years out of some of the things we’ve bought from IKEA.

eBay is another great source for quality vintage items. One of my favorite eBay finds was this blue ceramic bird. It has a slot on the top and a cork on the bottom so you can use it as a ‘birdy bank.’ I don’t know much about it other than that it was made in Italy and is 1 of 300.

This small, graphic tray is from Japan, and was most likely made in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I also really like this El Producto cigar album. It was designed by Paul Rand. Now, I just need to fill it with some cigars!

In the hallway we have a buck 65 poster designed by the Small Studio in France and a Julia Rothman print.

I love to be surrounded by books and art while I work, so I made sure the walls were decorated with posters and that shelves with books were within reaching distance. In my office, I have a posters by Templin Brink Design, the Small Stakes, Hersk, and Olivetti. The rare design books and vintage children's books in my library often end up on my blog, grain edit."

Thanks so much for sharing your great place with us, Dave!

P.S. Want to see more? Click here for a peek inside other readers' homes.

28 comments:

matte stephens said...

What a nice home! Great post! Dave is great!

dave said...

Thanks again Leah for having me on your blog!

sixfive said...

Great place, really nice collection of pieces.

VisuaLingual said...

Oh, wow, such a gorgeous home! I love the architecture and furniture, but especially the accessories, like the patterned tray, colorful ceramics, records, and, oh yeah, that awesome cat! Thanks for sharing!

neryl said...

Nice mid century pieces and the cutest cat ever!

Jane Flanagan said...

Beautiful furniture. I love the advice to save and wait. Sometimes I feel like a snob for not wanting to compromise... but I never regret it after I get my hands on the object of my desire.

Grace @ Poetic Home said...

Wow! What a lovely tour! I especially enjoyed the beautiful light that came through those huge windows -- and those bookshelves against the window were fantastic!

Marianthi said...

That's a great house, so inspiring! And it feels properly lived in as well which is always great.

Interior Design Software said...

God you have to love those windows totally amazing, what a lovely house I am sure you are proud of it.

edyta szyszlo photography said...

great home! Twig should meet our Desher - also an Abby!

Jo @ Allegro Photography said...

Fabulous- I love this place. We used to live next door and the windows and style of the site really were amazing. But Dave and Liz's style definitely made their place even more special.

tara said...

Your house is beautiful. I've seen it from afar (I'm in the Bay Area) and always wondered what it was like inside... and now I know. You two have done a great job. :)

msmaris said...

Ooooohhhhh, my husband and I used to live in the big, gray box of an apartment building (on the right in the bookshelf pictures.) We admired this building often and discussed how amazing the interiors must be--you did not dissappoint! My favorite part--the birdie.

modmom said...

fabulous! can't wait for the slumber party :)

dave said...

Hey everyone,
Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

litherland said...

Can you give us details on the bookcases that are especially visible in the second-to-last picture?

Thanks! Great environment.

Leah said...

Litherland -- those are the Expedit bookcases from IKEA.

T8 said...

Fantastic home tour. I also run home tours on Strange Closets (every Thursday), but Chicago is very flat (and often gray), and we don't have many amazing homes with vistas like this. Very nice job.

T8
http://www.strangeclosets.com

Jennifer Ramos said...

I saw this place on AP i think....its so stunning!!! So much light.

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More'
www.madebygirl.com
madebygirl.blogspot.com

CurlyfrySC's Collage said...

Swoon is the only word for this home.

Audelaine said...

wow. that is a really fantastic space. thanks to you and to Dave for sharing it!!

Anonymous said...

your home is stunning!!! love the couch - where could i find it?

dani said...

hi!!
I see this pictures on unplggd and I love it!!
one question...what kind of cat is this????
is awesome!!!

bossart said...

lovely cat

Lars said...

I really want to know, how these ceramics are called? The long vases??

best,

lars

Linda said...

What a beautiful and lovely house. This is such a great example of some great works of the architects and painters.

Melissa / Ideas To Steal said...

What a fantastic house! Love it

Stanley said...

amazing house..........

 

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