Tess and Jesse's Basement Studio

Tess and Jesse's Basement Studio

Name: artist Tess, scientist Jesse, dachshund Pepper, & chinchilla Skitchman
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Size: ~500 sq. ft. basement
Years lived in: 4.5 months

Tess and Jesse's basement serves not only as their media and laundry room, it is also the home of Tess's studio where she creates art for her shop, Cozy Little Cave. The 500 square foot space blends the couple's needs along with the needs of their pets in a fun and functional way.

AT Survey:

My/Our Style: Let's call it "mid-pop." It's a mix of mid-century vintages with a heavy, playful influence of pop art (particularly heavy in this room!).

Inspiration: This was the only room the "bomb" could fit in, so we flew with it. It was an old soft-sculpture art project of Tess's and now serves as extra lounge seating and a spare guest bed. It's big, soft, colorful, and playful, so we 'exploded' those ideas throughout.

Favorite Element: The tv- it serves as the heart of the 'media' room portion, and Tess always runs old movies while she paints, so it's a big part of the room's use as a whole. We're also really happy with how sharp it looks in its little nook.

Biggest Challenge: Meeting both the needs of a media room and Tess's paint studio. Blending the two was a little difficult at first, but we're really happy with how they meshed in the end. I guess it's an extension of compromising the artist and scientist. We also had to make sure anything near the 'studio' was able to have paint splattered on it.

What Friend's Say: We want to visit! (we just moved ½ way across the country)

Biggest Embarrassment: The seating is sufficient for us at the moment, but as our family grows and we entertain more, we know that we'll need more seating for the tv. With family coming for the holidays, we're already rolling around ideas…

Proudest DIY: The yellow zig-zag paint job in the corner of the studio- Tess did it by hand! It took about a season's worth of Ghost Whisperer episodes to finish…

Biggest Indulgence: The Wright media console from CB2- we bought it while still in school and used a ton of gift cards. It was a big compromise finding one that would fit Tess's design criteria AND Jesse's computer needs!

Best Advice: Design and tech go best hand in hand- a tv shouldn't be overshadowed or hidden by giant furniture, but 2 million pixels aren't really helped by sitting on top of wooden crates either…

Dream Source: Newegg… or Jesse's table saw

Home Tech Resources:

  • 15" Macbook Pro
  • Cannon MegaZoom SDX10 IS
  • Intuos3 6x11 Wacom Tablet
  • Westinghouse 37" 1080p TV
  • Logitech Z-5500 speakers (tv)
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Verizon Fios DVR
  • Cannon PIXMA printer
  • Inspiron 6000 laptop
  • Home Theater PC (2.4GHz E4600 CPU, 2GB memory, Radeon HD 3400 video card, Athenatech Evo small form factor case)
  • Server (dual Zion processors, 1GB memory, 4TB storage in RAID 5 array, 140GB scratch space in RAID 0 array, Cooler Master stacker case)
  • Main Rig (Intel E6400 CPU over-clocked to 3.2GHz, 4GB memory, 8800GT video card, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card, brushed aluminum Lian Li case)


Photos by Tess Carter

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