Recently, our Director of Marketing, Kelsey, transitioned from a larger home in the Bay Area suburbs to a charming cottage in the Rockridge neighborhood that sits on the border of Oakland and Berkeley.
We took some time to chat with her about any obstacles she may have faced during the downsizing process as well as her design process when styling her new home.
You recently downsized to a sweet home on the border of Berkeley and Oakland. How was the transition into a smaller space?
The transition was actually surprisingly easy! I now live in a 700 square foot cottage, so I had to be very intentional about what I brought along and what I left behind when I made the move. It was actually very freeing to break up with a lot of my stuff!
Did you face any design challenges while transitioning into your new home?
YES! Because my bedroom is so small, I really had to play Tetris with my furniture. It took a couple tries to come up with a layout for my furniture that made sense for the space. I also have a Peleton bike which isn't very sexy but needed to be worked into my design because it was a necessity that I simply couldn't part with!
Do you have a favorite space in your new home?
I spend a lot of time in my bedroom because it's my favorite place to read. I set a goal for myself to read 70 books this year, so any free time I have, I typically spend curled up in my bed with my nose in a book.
What has living in a smaller space taught you about consumption?
It has really shown me how much waste I create! I view myself as a pretty sustainably conscious gal - I don't use paper towels, compost all of my green waste, etc. But, I am still shocked by how quickly my garbage cans fill up! It's definitely eye opening and makes me want to continue to create better habits surrounding my daily consumption of goods.
What has living in a smaller space taught you about design?
Living in a tiny space forces you to be incredibly particular and intentional about the things you bring into your home. I really had to have a "come to Jesus" moment with myself and be very mindful about being intentional about every single piece I considered for my space. For every item I'm considering I ask myself, "Do I LOVE this piece and will I love it for many years to come?" If the answer is anything less than absolutely, I won't buy it.
Did you make any special purchases for your new space? Share your favorite design elements with us.
I found an incredible rattan bed frame on Craigslist and a vintage armoire that I also adore. I also bought a very chic and modern compost bucket for my kitchen from Food52. Aside from those pieces, everything else was part of my existing collection of furniture and decor. It was a really fun practice to edit down what I already owned and only hold on to the pieces I truly loved.
Share five recommendations(coffee shops, restaurants, bars, shops, parks, museums, etc) in your new neighborhood.
This is so hard to do because Rockridge is such a cool neighborhood that is filled with an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops.
Eat: The Ramen Shop - incredible food and probably one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area
Drink: Redfield Wine Bar - I love this spot. It's so fun to walk down to grab a glass of wine or cider for a cute little date night.
Play: Tilden Park - My son and I can be found somewhere in the park on most weekends. We especially love The Little Farm and the steam trains.
Coffee: Aint Normal Cafe is super cool and modern. On weekends, I walk down for an americano and read my book on their sunny patio.
Shop: College Ave has so many great little shops. One of my favorites to browse through is Atomic Garden. They always have the most beautifuly curated collections. I also adore the two book shops on College - East Bay Books and Pegasus.