Name: Chris Sewell and Kenny Osehan, proprietors of the Presidio Motel and on-site shop, the Supply Room
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Size: 900 square feet — 1 bed + 1 bath
Years lived in: 2½
I met Chris and Kenny while in Santa Barbara photographing their friend's home, Jesse & Leia's Inspired Americana Bungalow. I have a theory — people with beautiful homes have friends with stylish pads (which proved to be the case with Jesse and Leia). When I stepped foot into Chris and Kenny's living room, I felt the presence of Palm Springs inspiration. The Mid-Century Modern furniture and the vintage organ adds a real playful element to their home.
Kenny's love for prints is featured in almost every room. Vibrant textiles are used for wall art, throw blankets, and a padding for the dining room nook. Even though the home may seem minimal to some, the accessories and accent pieces intrigue guests to study the smaller details. Each furnishing was carefully chosen for its beauty and overall fit within the existing style. I wish I could have stayed longer visiting Chris and Kenny and really absorb their textured home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: We’re both eclectic. Chris has a very Mid-Century minimal style and mine is more ethnic and colorful. Throughout the years of living together, we have influenced each other’s aesthetics, from how we dress to how we live. I guess it is a natural process when you spend so much time with another person. It’s interesting to see how they blend naturally. We like the idea of mixing different styles together and having pieces bounce off each other in a playful way.
Inspiration: Creating a peaceful getaway from our business, our community of friends, our travels, while incorporating textures, colors, shapes, zigzags, and space. We have both been pretty obsessed with textiles: Navajo, Peruvian, Tunisian, Mexican, etc. They have such bright, fun prints and colors. They make my eyes say “wow!” I kind of want to swim in them sometimes.
Favorite Element: The original kitchen. From the stove, to the flooring, to the built-in breakfast nook, these elements give the apartment much of it’s personality. We also have a lot of natural light that comes in and a nice little water fountain outside our window.
Biggest Challenge: Not ripping out the carpet our landlord insisted on keeping.
What Friends Say: For the most part they say, “Do we really have to take off our shoes?” Chris blames it on me and says, Yes, Asian house rules, but it’s really because of the dumb carpet and his OCD. They also say nice things like it feels good in here.
Biggest Embarrassment: The carpet!
Proudest DIY: Our secret gate that allows us to pass between the motel and our home in five steps. We live right next door to our business, so we decided to make our commute even easier by sawing a gate in the fence that separates the motel from our apartment.
Biggest Indulgence: Having a housekeeper clean our home. It keeps the peace between us.
Best advice: Don’t buy anything you don’t absolutely love and can’t live without. Less is more.
Dream source: As a reminder of our trip, we always try to pick up something special on our travels. As small business owners, we like to support other small businesses and independent artists as often as possible. We always make a point to find cool little boutiques wherever we go. Also, we love scouring antique shops, thrift stores, and flea markets.
Resources of Note:
- Kagan Sofa and Shag Poufs: Our friends at PoMo in Portland
- Alma Allen Coffee Table: Alma Allen
- Eames LCW: Design Within Reach
- Bertoia Side Chair: PoMo
- Bertoia Diamond Chair: Knoll
- Vers iPod Dock: A+R
- Blankets: Mexico
- Handmade Pink and Purple Quilt: a gift from our friend Rebekah Miles
- Knit Pillows: a gift from our friend Camilla Bourbon
RUGS & CARPET
- Fitzia Sculptor: Sadly, we can’t remember the name of the little shop in Mexico City where we found this piece
- Ceramic Pots and Candle Lantern by Rebecca Morris
Thanks Kenny & Chris!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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