Chris & Kenny’s New Santa Barbara Home

published Oct 20, 2011
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Name: Chris Sewell and Kenny Osehan, owners of the Presidio Motel
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months

Last time I visited Kenny and Chris they were living in a well decorated apartment in Santa Barbara. Well…they still live in Santa Barbara, but now live in a new house. Big congrats! They moved over a lot of their furnishings, but purchased some new items to match the style of their new home.

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Now that they are no longer renting and have the responsibilities of a house, they have to be even more budget conscious when remodeling and decorating. Like many couples, they can be on opposite sides of the field when discussing the process of updating the house. Kenny wants to ease into remodeling and is considering the pocketbook. Chris wants to proceed full force ahead and start the construction process. There will be many compromises along the way as they make their house a home. I can’t wait to see how their home transforms over the next few years! We will have to check in with Chris and Kenny in 6 months or so to see the reveal of their kitchen and bathroom. I hear Chris has big plans for those areas…

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Hippie modern

Inspiration: Wabi-sabi

Favorite Element: The lighting in the day and night. During the day, we get lots of great natural light from the glass panes and the skylight. At night, our lighting is very calming and relaxing. We were happy to find most of our lights were already on dimmers when we first moved in, so we just made sure every single one is on a dimmer switch. We can’t stand bright lights!

Biggest Challenge: Our home is indoor/outdoor living and we want to see our outdoor space reach its full potential. We have this area in the back that’s a dirt slope, so we’re not sure how to build anything back there without the dirt sliding on top of it in the rainy season.

What Friends Say: It fits both of us perfectly in every way…the style, size, and location.

Biggest Embarrassment: The mismatched tile and the kitchen. We’re saving up to make these changes, but it’s hard to justify financially right now.

Proudest DIY: Our outdoor dining table. Our friend Shaun Wallace is a very talented woodworker and we had him come over to help us design a table that would fit the space of our side patio perfectly. We wanted to make full use of the patio and have the table in a geometric shape that would compliment it. He built us a table that fit all of our requests and the space perfectly!

Biggest Indulgence: Our outdoor fire pit by John T. Unger. We are trying to not spend any money on our home yet, so this was kind of a splurge for us right now. We are trying to do what we can to make minimal updates to the home without spending too much. We figured the fire pit would add a lot to our outdoor living space without breaking the bank.

Best Advice: We were told we should live in our home for at least a year before making any changes to it, so we are one hundred percent sure it’s what we want. I completely agree and feel like it takes at least a year to get a good sense of the space and to really be sure of what you want. Chris would disagree…he wants to start renovating immediately. Keeping him from making any changes has been like trying to keep a hoard of children from entering a candy shop

Dream Source: Books, traveling, people, and everything and anything we find inspiring

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Resources of Note:



  • Fire pit by John T. Unger
  • Everything else is basically from eBay, thrift stores, antique shops, estate sales, travel finds, etc.
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Thanks Kenny & Chris!

Images: Nancy Neil

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