Today’s House Voyeur takes us to the Oakland, California home of bookseller and graphic designer Dave Cuzner. I first became acquainted with Dave via his blog, grain edit, which focuses on the best in midcentury modern art and graphic design and features great interviews with the likes of artist Matte Stephens and illustrator and designer Bo Lundberg. I had a sneaking suspicion that Dave’s home would be equally retro-cool — and I wasn’t disappointed.
Here, Dave takes us on a virtual tour:
"I share my home with my wife, Liz, and our 2-year-old cat, Twig. We live in a townhouse in Oakland that was designed by Ron Kappe, son of L.A.-based modern architect and SCI-Arc founder Raymond Kappe. The architecture draws from a mix of East Bay craftsman and California modern styles.
I work from home, so it was important to have a place that I could be excited about living and working in. I’m in the house most of the day, so having a pleasant environment to work in makes it more bearable.
I’m very much attracted to the midcentury modern aesthetic, and our home reflects that. The design of that period often has the perfect balance of function and form. I like minimal, clean design, and tend to stay away from things that are overly ornamental.
My favorite things about our home are the giant window walls and the cathedral ceiling. Since our place is relatively small (about 1,250 square feet), the open floor plan, high ceilings, and large windows help create the illusion that it’s much more spacious than it really is. I also really like our deck. It’s great for lounging after a long day and enjoying a few drinks.
I found most of our furniture on craigslist. The Bubble Lamp suspended from our living room ceiling was designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Directly below sits a Case Study daybed. My favorite find was our orange Eames rocker, which I bought for $45. We have several Eames chairs, but that one is my favorite.
My one piece of advice to others looking to decorate their homes is to buy quality furniture. It might cost more up front, but it will be worth it in the long run. Furniture that is built well will often retain its value and last a long time. Some of our Eames chairs, for instance, are over 40 years old and still look great. On the other hand, we’re lucky if we can get two to three years out of some of the things we’ve bought from IKEA.
eBay is another great source for quality vintage items. One of my favorite eBay finds was this blue ceramic bird. It has a slot on the top and a cork on the bottom so you can use it as a ‘birdy bank.’ I don’t know much about it other than that it was made in Italy and is 1 of 300.
This small, graphic tray is from Japan, and was most likely made in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I also really like this El Producto cigar album. It was designed by Paul Rand. Now, I just need to fill it with some cigars!
In the hallway we have a buck 65 poster designed by the Small Studio in France and a Julia Rothman print.
I love to be surrounded by books and art while I work, so I made sure the walls were decorated with posters and that shelves with books were within reaching distance. In my office, I have a posters by Templin Brink Design,the Small Stakes, Hersk, and Olivetti. The rare design books and vintage children’s books in my library often end up on my blog, grain edit.”
Thanks so much for sharing your great place with us, Dave!
P.S. Want to see more? Click here for a peek inside other readers’ homes.