4 Cats Graciously Let 2 Humans Share Their Stylish Home

4 Cats Graciously Let 2 Humans Share Their Stylish Home

(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

Name: Anne Hodder, husband, 4 cats, and a ton of plants!
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Our home is a sanctuary hidden behind a tall wooden gate and invisible from the street. Even though it's a duplex, the only shared wall is behind our fridge so we NEVER hear our neighbor. It feels like a separate little house.

What is your favorite room and why? I really love the upstairs because it's essentially one giant room with two distinct vibes. I love the way we used color, having the lavender walls become a neutral backdrop on which bigger, bolder colors (like yellow, forest green, and blue) can "pop" without being garish. We managed to incorporate so many of the same colors in so many objects in a way that complements without being super-busy, and it just "goes" in a way that feels refreshingly unconventional.

The couch area lets us loaf around (the couch is super-deep and comfortable) while the sunny area with the barrel chairs is great for reading and watching the birds titter around. There are some important pieces of artwork above the couch (as well as some cat shelves) that feel like they're presented with the visibility they deserve, and the sunny area has plants and some special vintage furniture that go together nicely.

Our galley-ish kitchen is super-bright and has just enough storage space. We installed pot hangers above the huge windows so we could easily access our cooking tools while looking out onto our bright, plant-filled patio.
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

We found this place during a frantic 30-day search for a new home after we were illegally evicted from our previous place. (The L.A. housing market is cutthroat and we were collateral damage, but we were super lucky to have the time and resources to fight back and recoup most of the moving costs we incurred. And SO lucky to have found this special place.)

There's clearly unconventional history with this house, though we don't know much about it. It's a two-floor duplex with a private patio and TONS of windows, and though we're in a condensed area, we have just enough privacy so we're not looking directly into our other neighbors' windows.

Our duplex is split-level, so the kitchen/dining area is downstairs and flooded with light from an all-glass door and windows. That big black circle in the background is a running wheel for our indoor cats (though only one begrudgingly uses it). It's like a giant hamster wheel, but for kitties.
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

My husband Nathaniel is a professional healer who uses breathwork, tarot, and dreamwork to help people heal from trauma and manage depression and anxiety, and he uses the downstairs bedroom for his office and healing room.

I run Hodder Media, a small PR and marketing firm that specializes in pleasure products (like sex toys, lingerie and lubricants) and I also work as a certified sexuality educator. When I'm not working with directly with clients, I use the shoebox-shaped upstairs "1/2-room" for my office.

Stairs lead up to the second floor, where most of our living and working happens. We lined the wall with photos of our families and doodles drawn when we were kids; my husband and I live far from family so this is a really nice way to feel connected with everyone.
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

Nathaniel and I are colorful and creative people with a LOT of art, and I have a knack for nesting, so we had a lot of fun making use of the bright and open two-floor space to display our vintage furniture, heirlooms, artwork and knick-knacks in full glory.

This is our view from the couch and, as you can see, the cats love sprawling on the vintage barrel chairs and catching some sunbeams (and trying to catch the hummingbirds that zoom past the giant window).
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

We also live with four cats who take up a lot of space and also very much enjoy the bright and open duplex, though they've never thanked us for it. Our home has always been "cat-ified" with stairs and shelving installed for them to climb on and lots of high-up places for them to perch.

This is where we (and our cats) sleep and spend bright Sunday mornings. The room is positioned perfectly to look over our neighbors' houses, so we see gorgeous sunrises over our neighbors' rooftops. We can even see fireworks in the distance during holidays.
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

We originally moved in with three cats (Harriet and Burt were my cats prior to the relationship and Lucy was Nathaniel's). Then a few months ago, I came across a raggedy street cat with a broken tail during one of L.A.'s heat waves and ended up taking him home and naming him George. (I'm a sucker). So now we're surrounded by cats all day erryday but in a good way, most of the time. We are unabashed cat people.

This is where I run Hodder Media, my sex-positive PR and education firm. (I'm a marketing consultant for the pleasure product industry, as well as a certified sexuality educator who works with teens and adults.) When I'm not with clients, I'm working away behind the massive computer screen...usually with at least one cat sprawled on the desk. I've pretty much covered the walls with feminist-centric art.
(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

Any advice for creating a home you love? Be fearless and go with your gut, not what you think your home "should" look like. Don't be afraid to use color and pattern; if it brings you genuine joy, then use it. Also, you'll find some of the most interesting and well-made furniture at local flea markets, so be a weekend warrior and get there right when they open.

(Image credit: Anne Hodder-Shipp)

Thanks, Anne Hodder!

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