Genevieve & Ashley’s Lush Shared Sanctuary

published Feb 15, 2016
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Name: Genevieve Bandrowski and Ashley Campbell
Location: Cleveland Heights — Oakland, California
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rented

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When Genevieve moved back to Oakland nearly two years ago, she wanted her now-roommate Ashley to see the creative spirit that Oakland has to offer. Since then, they have created a lush sanctuary inspired by the many Bay Area makers they admire. It’s a place where they can sip their coffee in the morning before work and where they can display their collected heirlooms that bring them joy.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Genevieve and Ashley met at Maryland Institute College of Art while studying archaeology. Though they loved Baltimore, Genevieve wanted to come back to where she grew up to be closer to her family, and Ashley was up for a new adventure. “We loved Baltimore, but the East Coast always felt sort of foreign and it has a different vibe,” Genevieve said.

They both find inspiration in Scandinavian and mid-century decor, but they also strive to incorporate beautiful elements that inspire them on a daily basis: lush greenery from their favorite local shops, organic textiles with bold prints and handmade ceramics from local artists. Slowly, they’ve filled their home with objects they love that inspire them every day.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We have similarly eclectic styles. We’re very attracted to both Scandinavian and Mid-century styles. Although we’ve been feeling a sort of California desert occultist vibe.

Inspiration: We find inspiration everywhere, like California’s landscape and the artists and makers in the Bay Area; there’s an emphasis on the natural and the handmade that we’re really excited about. With access to endless content and creativity, especially with social media, we are constantly feeling inspired.

Favorite Element:

Genevieve: I love to spend my mornings in our living room. I’m very into ritual, so I make my coffee and listen to NPR or a podcast and watch the light. I wake up an hour early most mornings so I can have time to myself.

Ashley: My favorite elements in the house are the heirlooms I’ve inherited from my family. I place a lot of importance on the natural objects I’ve collected on all my adventures.

Biggest Challenge: With any rental the biggest challenge is accepting that you can’t make changes to the more permanent fixtures. If we’re here long enough we might anyway…

What Friends Say: They’re complimentary. Mostly they ask where all the plants come from—we’re not-so-subtly trying to turn our home into a jungle.

Biggest Embarrassment: We both really dislike the bathroom cabinetry and lighting.

Proudest DIY: We haven’t tackled any DIYs yet; this summer we would like to give the backyard some attention. It hasn’t been touched because of the drought, but we have some ideas.

Biggest Indulgence: Every time we need or want to replace something in the house, we spend time looking for that object in a form that we find to be really beautiful. Slowly we’ve acquired a number of pieces we love. We try not to buy anything unless we’re really crushing on it, no matter how small or mundane the object may be. This has led to a few indulgent purchases, the biggest being our cowhide rug—his name is Hotch.

Best Advice: Our advice is to be mindful and slow with your collecting. We also both find the practice of purging to be quite significant. Going through your home and making choices about the usefulness or need for your belongings is really restoring.


(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Landlord’s choice
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Hanging planters:­ Kati Von Lehman
  • Couch: Craigslist
  • Coffee table:­ Craigslist
  • World War II cot: antique
  • Letterpress drawer:­ antique
  • Woven chair: Forma Living
  • Rocking chair: heirloom from Ashley’s family
  • Chest: heirloom
  • Mirror: Anthropologie
  • Copper print hanger:­ Yield Design Co.
  • Prints:­ Tamara Lichtenstein, Debbie Carlos, Laure Joliet
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Chairs:­ family heirlooms
  • Mirror: Anthropologie
  • Rug: antique
  • Seasonal print: Young American Creative
  • Print: Fine Day Co.
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Rug:­ JoineryNYC
  • Coffee grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
  • Copper kettle: Alameda Flea Market
  • Copper pot: Alameda Flea Market
  • Buckeye burl vase: Melanie Abrantes Designs
  • Kendrick Lamar print: Western Editions
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Blanket: JoineryNYC
  • Rug:­ Baltimore Flea Market
  • Desk: antique
  • Chair: antique
  • Chest:­ antique
  • Stool: IKEA
  • Smudge stick dish:­ MQuan Studio
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Boob pillow: Gravel & Gold
  • Boob planter: Group Partner
  • Avocado planter: Chen Chen and Kai Williams
  • White planter: Judy Jackson
  • Hanging planter: Kati Von Lehman
  • Dresser:­ antique
  • Chairs: antiques
  • Necklace: Tanya Aguiniga
  • Windows print: ­Debbie Carlos
  • Things Will Work Out print: People I’ve Loved
  • Art print: Fine Day Co.
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Mirror:­ antique
  • Air plant dish:­ Judy Jackson
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Genevieve and Ashley moved to Oakland a year and a half ago, after spending a few years in Baltimore. Genevieve grew up in the Bay Area and wanted to be closer to family, and Ashley was up for an adventure in a new city. (Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

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Thanks, Genevieve & Ashley!