Desert Vibes in a Jewelry Designer's Oakland Apartment

Desert Vibes in a Jewelry Designer's Oakland Apartment

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Esteban Cortez
Mar 4, 2017

Name: Cheyenne Cannon
Location: West Oakland — Oakland, California
Size: ~250 square feet (part of a 2-story, 4-bedroom house)
Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented

Though Cheyenne doesn't get to claim an entire apartment to herself, her small workspace and bedroom provide the bright light, privacy and inspiration she needs. She lucked out when the private second floor bedroom opened up. It's the only one in the four-bedroom house that has a separate adjacent space—which she rightfully turned into a work room. As a jewelry maker, that workspace was important, providing her with a bigger spread to create, as well as for her adorable dog Kush to wander around.

The wall directly behind Cheyenne's desk is filled with treasures she picked up while studying in Guanajuato, Mexico at a silversmith school, and also features some of her beautiful jewelry designs. As a maker, she makes it a goal to support independent artists and creatives. The throw pillows on her bed are from local artist Alex Steele, and she proudly displays a Nathaniel Russel print just above her desk, showcasing the "witchy" aesthetic she finds inspiring. But really, she sprinkles spiritual elements into the entire space, like in the box shrines at the side of the bed. "I fill the boxes with different objects and pictures I'm using to manifest and draw certain things into my life," she says.

Just beneath the open bay windows is her plant collection, which consists mainly of gifts. In fact, most of the items in her home are gifts, whether from family, friends, or her boyfriend (and some from her exes). To Cheyenne, these are the items that make for great stories. "Spend less money on things and more time with people that know and love you," she says. Any time she looks at the dream catcher her grandmother gave her, she always thinks about her grandparents and memories of them she'll always cherish. "Spend so much time with them that they gift you the things that fill and complete your space, and make it a happy and comfortable place for you."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Jungle paradise desert wasteland workshop

Inspiration: Green houses and seances, southwestern and central Mexican homes

Favorite Element: The grittiness of the house. It's a work of art in itself. I also really love the giant old Victorian windows for the epic amounts of light they let in and how they are conveniently placed right above the roof of the front porch so I can climb out and have my own personal "veranda."

Biggest Challenge: A small closet (having a lot of clothes is kinda in my job description) and an outdated electrical system. Outlets are few and far between and blown fuses are a regular occurrence.

What Friends Say: "How the hell do you keep all these plants alive?!" The answer is I basically ignore them. With cacti, I've found that the less attention you pay them, the more they flourish and bloom. It's like they're trying to impress you...

Biggest Embarrassment: The roaming piles of dog hair. Our pups get lots of body rubs and belly scratches, which leads to lots of fur flying everywhere.

Proudest DIY: My wine box shrines. They've been salvaged from all over town and my best friend — who happens to be a gallery curator — helped me drill them straight into the wall.

Biggest Indulgence: Los Ojos Pendleton blanket

Best Advice: Don't be afraid to get rid of things that don't make sense anymore, and don't let anyone else tell you to get rid of things just because they are taking up space in a way that doesn't make sense to them.

Dream Sources: Overgrown and dilapidated, old Southern homes like Mrs. Dinsmoor's Paradiso Perduto in the 1998 film adaptation of Great Expectations and the sparse whiteness of desert landscapes.

Resources

BEDROOM
Chaos and Night print — Jen Lorang
Dog bed — Pet Club
Dreamcatcher — Made by my grandmother
Wooden shelf — Gift from owners of Oak Common
Sanskrit scarf turned shelf curtain — From a shop in Santa Cruz
Canvas curtains — Left by previous tenant
Sheep skin rugs — IKEA
Pendleton blanket — Oak Common
Pillows — Alex Steele via Oak Common
Wine box shelves — Salvaged around town
Himalayan salt lamps — Gift from my aunt; the other I found on Amazon
Painted cow skull and deer antlers — Gifts from a former lover
White, ribbed planter — Doug Dowers (commissioned by boyfriend)
Large blue planter — Home Depot
Mirror — Target
Brass cut out wall piece — Salvaged from a friend's workshop
Milagro candles — Produce Pro (grocery store) and Ancient Ways
Dog fur — Handmade and gifted by Kush (my dog)

STUDIO
Wooden work table — Left by previous tenant
Wooden and metal work table — East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
Bull skull — Birthday gift
Witches We Need You print — Nathaniel Russel, printed by Nat Swope
Coyote skull — Gift from the owners of Oak Common
Plant pots — Thrift stores, gifts, etc.
Plants — Gifts, Flowerland, Dry Garden, East Bay Nursery
White cube drawers — Urban Furniture
Vintage Japanese curtains — From a moving sale
Goat skins — Springfield Leather Company
Apron — Iron & Resin via Oak Common
Paper mache skeletons — From a Mexican street market during Dia de Los Muertos
Mexican blanket — Picacho Peak truck stop in Arizona
Bullshit pillow - Urban Ore

Thanks, Cheyenne!


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