Two Artists Share a “West by Southwest” Oakland Apartment

updated Oct 31, 2019

Two Artists Share a “West by Southwest” Oakland Apartment

updated Oct 31, 2019
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Name: James Sterling Pitt & Lauren Douglas
Location: Piedmont Avenue — Oakland, California
Size: 1,200 square feet (+ an additional 1,200 square foot basement workspace)
Years lived in: 3 years, rented

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When friends walk into James and Lauren’s Oakland apartment, they’re transported to a quiet, soothing and calm space. The unit itself is tucked behind a larger building located off of Piedmont Avenue’s commercial strip. There are big, green bushes and trees surrounding their apartment, so it has a rural vibe yet is just steps from amenities you’d find in an urban neighborhood. “We moved into the one-bedroom apartment in front and then transitioned into the back house three years ago when our neighbors moved,” Lauren says. She and James say it was a dream to move into a space that is immersed in nature, quiet, and filled with light.

Lauren and James are both artists, so having personal work spaces is an added bonus to living in this apartment. They’re able to connect domesticity and creative life, yet the space is big enough to keep the two separate. It’s a perfect space for work and play, but also provides plenty of opportunities to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in the bright sunlight. “We pride ourselves that our home is a place for rest and play, a space to grow and dream and rest after a long day in the classroom or studio,” the couple says.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: West by Southwest

Inspiration: Desert, seas, and stars.

Favorite Element: All the streaming sunlight, having our studios at home and being able to connect domesticity and creative life.

Biggest Challenge: The lack of closet space.

What Friends Say: “I can’t believe we’re still in a city!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Our cat Hunter ripped up the sides of our couch. He is worth it though. We are in the market for a couch without arms now. Lesson Learned.

Proudest DIY: Our Rose Oak Floyd Shelves

Biggest Indulgence: Our custom Reflection Bench by Anzfer Farms.

Best Advice: Live with items based on personal connections rather than trends; you get to create your own world that way! Consider the long haul! Also, no matter how much that cat wants the cat tree, don’t do it.

Dream Sources: Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM, JB Blunk House, Inverness, Ca, Apartmento Magazine, Los Poblanos, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM, The Estate of Alexander Girard, Ken Price’s home/studio, Taos, NM, Agnes Martin’s home/studio, Taos, NM, The furniture of Donald Judd, Jens Risom’s Family Vacation Home, Valentine Schlegel’s home, Mr Kitly, South Willard, Geometry, Geology, Outer Space, Minimalism


Ristra — From Santa Fe, NM
Bistro chairs — Fermob

Eames rocker — Design Within Reach
KARLSTAD sofa — IKEA (repaired with The Hill-Side patches)
Vintage coffee table — Salvation Army
Vintage Jens Risom-style chair — Salvation Army
Vintage credenza — Craigslist
Southwestern pillows — Vintage
MAKR flat plate hook — MAKR
Lamp — Anglepoise
Alexander Girard doll — Design Within Reach
Animal fetishes — From New Mexico
Eames wire base low table — Design Within Reach
Record shelving and cat perch — DIY
Woven basket — From Senegal
Blankets — Pendleton, Heritage Blankets New Mexico, and vintage
Woven pillows — Vintage
Incense — Incienso de Santa Fe Pinon, Norden Ojai, Sage and Palo Santo
Photograph — Richard T. Walker
Painting — Teresa Baker
Painting — Joseph Ferriso

Vintage Dining Table – Craigslist
Ceramic Colander – Natan Moss (Purchased at Oak Common)
Case Study fiberglass chairs in indigo and terra cotta — Modernica
Reflection Bench — Anzfer Farms
Mesa Bench designed by James Sterling Pitt & fabricated by Mellonworks
Runner — Dash and Albert
Heath Ceramics collection — eBay, Heath Ceramics store
Drawing — Claire Colette
Painting and ceramicsDaren Wilson

Plant rings — MAKR
Shelves — Floyd
Studio Blocks in Terra Cotta — Designed by James Sterling Pitt
Home of the Brave Canyons mat — Need Supply Co.
BEKVAM kitchen cart — IKEA
Drawing — Paul Wackers
Painting — Chris Duncan
On the Fridge: Cookbook Collection, Snoopy Magnet, Addison Zink Drawing, Joseph Ferriso Drawing, Weston Allyn Smith Drawing of Snoopy, Poem for Lauren and James by David Mutschlecner, Postcard by Nathaniel Russell

Modernica Case Study bed — Hive Modern
Pillow — Dash & Albert
Duvet coverMatteo
Throw — Imogene and Willie
Rug — Dash & Albert
Woven basket — Senegal
Eames storage unit — Smart Furniture
Folded Shelf — MAKR
Ceramic — Daren Wilson
Painting — Joseph Ferriso
Ceramic — Shino Takeda
Pueblo Nation wedding vase — Gift
Painting — Jonathan Anzalone
Colorful footed lamp — Anzer Farms
Classic travel alarm clock — Braun
Buddha Machine — FM3

Woven Stool — Anzfer Farms
Rocking Bird — Palo Samko
Vase — Norden
Vintage ceramic sculpture — Salvation Army
Artwork — Lauren Douglas

Thanks, James and Lauren!

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