Matthew and Deb's Collection of Small Finds

Matthew and Deb's Collection of Small Finds

Marcia Prentice
May 7, 2010

Name: Matthew Shallenberger and Deb Knox
Location: West Hollywood, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: Just Under 1 Year

After splitting their time between Matt's small East Hollywood one bedroom apartment and Deb's larger West Hollywood one bedroom apartment, they decided to see if they could consolidate their belongings into one space. They moved into Deb's light filled apartment and Matt brought along his dog Otto and two days after moving in they rescued another dog, Virginia.

Matt and Deb both enjoy the same type of furniture and art; therefore, they had to sort through and edit the extra furnishings. They talked about how they used the apartment discovering quickly that while they didn't need to sit down and eat at a dinner table, they did need to both work at a desk. The breakfast area became an office and the living room became a cohesive set of little niches. Breaking up the living room into separate niches allowed Matt, Deb, and the dogs to share the same space without feeling like they are right on top of each other.

Small pockets of task lighting went a long way toward helping one end of the same room feel like another room entirely. Both Deb and Matt acquire accessories often that they find useful, functional or fun, so over time they have been rotated, switched out, and moved around. A fair bit of their favorite furnishings lives temporarily in closets until they feel missed.

AT Survey:

Our style: I think we just pull together things we like and then figure it out later, but there is some fun overlap in things we are drawn to. We are drawn to industrial fixtures, especially technical or institutional, like old scientific, nautical, and school equipment and furniture. Also, we like Mid Century design, a lot of wood, but almost no painted wood, and photography equipment. I think if we had our way we would live in a converted one room school house.

Inspiration: We like to find something (usually some little thing) that we love and then work around it, so there are little bits of inspiration everywhere and a lot of problem solving.

Favorite Element: The wine bottle cabinet - turned - bead storage is really fun.

Biggest Challenge: The apartment is kinda small for two people and two dogs, so we try to make little nooks around the apartment feel like their own room without the apartment itself feeling like a museum exhibit or a flea market.

What Friends Say: "I'd get so much work done if I lived here." was a nice comment.

Biggest Embarrassment: Currently we can't find a hamper we like, so our biggest embarrassment is the laundry pile.

Proudest DIY: Our proudest DIY is the duvet cover. It wasn't that difficult and is a little silly, but we love it.

Biggest Indulgence: 104 bottles for the aforementioned bead cabinet, though we talked them into a bulk deal.

Best advice: Edit, or at least rotate. We like having a lot of stuff out, but we also put a lot away and are constantly moving it around. Obviously, two people and two dogs in a one bedroom has its own problems. A lot of small lighting rather than big overhead lighting helps us feel like we have our own separate spaces.

Dream source: Again, if we heard that some 19th Century New England technical school was getting rid of everything we might go crazy - drafting tables, lab cabinets, etc. Some stores we really dig are Empiric and Shine Gallery in Los Angeles and Komoda in Chicago.


All of the larger furniture and furnishings were attained from family, friends, Craigslist, and flea markets. The DIY projects included a lot of repurposing, reupholstering, and refurbishing. We pull a bunch of art from pilllpat's flickr site.

(Thanks, Matthew and Deb!)

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt