Ann & Bart’s Patiently Furnished Home

published Mar 1, 2011
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Name: Ann DeOtte & Bart Kaufman
Location: Capitol Hill — Seattle, Washington
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 1 — rent

Large windows with treetop views, high ceilings and gorgeous wooden floors; Ann and Bart certainly lucked out with their home in one of Seattle’s oldest buildings. But an open plan space has its own set of issues. The first is figuring out how to let the architecture shine while still creating a sense of coziness in Seattle’s damp and dismal days. Then there’s pulling this off on a tight budget. Both of these challenges require a good deal of patience.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
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Luckily, that’s something Ann and Bart have in spades. Mixed in among their IKEA staples are finds from Craigslist and local vintage stores that were acquired over many months. For instance, the dining room table took them over six months to find but only cost them $60. The second-hand chairs took almost a year to find but after nearly giving up, Ann found the complete set for only $50 on Craigslist. Hand-me-downs — like the bedroom quilt made by a family friend, the afghan made by Ann’s Great Grandmother or the bureau from her father’s childhood room — filled in the gaps.

Some people might feel that hiding things is the way to go in an open plan space. For Ann and Bart, keeping things out lets people know at a glance who they are and what they enjoy — like the art supplies they both use for work and fun. Ann’s the owner of Iva Jean, a bike and fashion lifestyle company as well as the marketing manager for Mithun, an architecture, planning and design firm. Bart is an artist and animator whose work can be seen in such games as Sly Cooper and InFamous.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, Grandma Chic meets Urban Artist.

Inspiration: comes from memories of my Great Grandma’s house and the coziness of the Sohn Farmhouse (a place I grew up staying the weekends) in Northern Michigan. I also love looking through The Selby — it seems like the most honest collection of living spaces out there.

Favorite Element: I love the windows and all the light they let in, as well as the view of the surrounding trees. I shouldn’t forget the newer wood floors — yumm.

Biggest Challenge: Finding ways to use the open common spaces for multiple uses.

What Friends Say: People often say that our house is welcoming and a great place to hang out.
There is nothing quite as flattering as that. I like the idea that people feel like they can grab a blanket and a glass of wine and stay a while.

Biggest Embarrassment: Oh, the blinds. I just can’t justify spending the money on window treatments for a rental.

Proudest DIY: Adding the half wall of bookshelves to separate a workspace for Bart was a critical move in defining our space. It seems that the first instinct is to put everything against a wall, but this allowed us to create pockets of use in an otherwise open room.

Biggest Indulgence: We are pretty frugal. The biggest splurge so far has been the living room rug and sofa — two of our few, new purchases. Most of our furniture is secondhand or vintage. I spent a chunk of change on my desk as well, but it came from Space Oddity in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Best Advice: To create a space that you can actually live in. We also wanted to make sure that it felt like both of our places — sometimes my aesthetic is more forward, but I tend to do more of the hunting. I always make sure to get Bart’s input — I love that he plays a part and cares about the aesthetic and function of our apartment.

Dream Sources: The House in Magnolia, Seattle; Great Stuff Vintage, and Susan Wheeler Home in Georgetown, Seattle; West Elm

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Resources of Note:


    • Couch and Loveseat: Macy’s
    • Rug: West Elm
    &bulll; Benches: Craiglist
    • Lamp: IKEA
    • Media Console: Craigslist
    &bull: Tall Console: Craiglist
    • Accent Tables: IKEA
    • Accent Chairs: Craigslist
    • Radios: Tivoli & Specktone


    • Dining Table: Craigslist
    • Dining Chairs: IKEA (off of Craigslist)
    • Lighting: IKEA
    • Rug: Pottery Barn


    • Accessories & Shelving: IKEA
    • Bird Wall Hanging: Valley Village, Seattle
    • Dishes: Fiesta
    • Glassware: Value Village


    • Dresser: Hand me down from my Dad’s childhood, painted with Behr’s Grenadine • Quilt: handmade by a family friend
    • Afghan: handmade by my Great Grandmother
    • Vintage suitcases: from a family friend
    • Lamp: IKEA
    • Accent Chair: Craiglist


    &bull: Ann’s Desk: Space Oddity, Seattle
    • Desk Lamp: Value Village, Seattle
    • Bookshelves: Craigslist
    • Bart’s workspace: IKEA
    • Bookcases: IKEA


    • Hallway & Dining Room Prints: James Jean
    • Screenprint above Ann’s desk: Snowblinded by Anthony Cozzi
    • Screenprint in LR Collage: Amose
    • Print at Entrance: Josh Cochrance
    • LR Painting: Replica of Chris Applehans “Fence” ( Froghat Studios – print available at Gallery Nucleus)
    • Ammo Box: Augie Pagan
    • Window Prisms: Bitters Co.
    • Stained Glass: Joby Shinomura

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Ann & Bart!

Images: Ann DeOtte

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