This Eclectic, Vintage Apartment Is Located in an Actual Commune

published Nov 28, 2023

This Eclectic, Vintage Apartment Is Located in an Actual Commune

published Nov 28, 2023
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Bedrooms
Square feet
750
Sq ft
750

Craig dos Santos is a negotiation consultant and coach, posting negotiation tips on his Instagram, @negotiationguy, and on YouTube. He also writes a weekly newsletter called “You Deserve More.” And he says that when he first heard about Radish, the intentional community in North Oakland, he wasn’t immediately sold on the idea.

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“I knew Kristen and Phil [co-founders of Radish] from our time in San Francisco and Kristen asked me if I’d be interested in living there when they first bought the property,” dos Santos begins. “At the time, the thought of giving up SF life and moving to Oakland to live in a big group seemed crazy to me.” 

After living alone for 10 years, it was the pandemic — and how tough it was to live alone and isolated during the early days of the pandemic — that made dos Santos take a chance on communal living. “I moved into an open room at Radish for a month, which turned into three months, including one month living in a van on the property when there were no rooms open,” he explains. “I returned after the pandemic in 2022 for what was supposed to be another temporary summer stay, but then I never left.”

“Initially, just having people around during the pandemic was the draw. But I quickly realized that life was SO much richer when I lived close to others,” he writes. “I thought it was the specific group of people, but since that first stay in 2020, 90% of the people at Radish have turned over and I still feel the same about it.” 

Dos Santos has been living in this 750-square-foot apartment, located on an upper floor of the commune, for two years now and currently shares it with his partner, Stefani Herr, the co-founder of SortJoy, a company that makes elevated storage bins and other home goods.

“The things I was afraid of (not having privacy, not having enough space, not liking the people enough to want to see them every day) really haven’t panned out at all. I like that these people see me in all phases of my life. They know me in a way that lots of my other friends aren’t able to know me. It’s also really interesting to live in close proximity and see who I really am and how that’s reflected in how my friends see me,” dos Santos explains.

“I’m convinced living in community is the best thing I’ve done for my day-to-day happiness as an adult,” dos Santos writes. “There are practical considerations around space for kids and schools etc. as we move to different phases, but I could see myself living with some of these people in a different location if that works out. Otherwise, Radish is constantly changing so it’s hard to say what it will feel like in a year, and I will definitely stay around long enough to find out.” 

See a tour of the community spaces at Radish, and also see inside the home of another Radish resident, Danielle Bezalel, MPH.

Resources

LIVING ROOM

OFFICE

KITCHEN

  • Artwork from local artist Avocado Bear — Fnnch
  • Tray duo — Sort Joy

BEDROOM

  • Dresser — Article
  • Artwork from local artist Lips — FNNCH
  • Jamie bins 10” — Sort Joy

BATHROOM

Thanks, Craig and Stefani!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

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