interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: diva of linea carta

by anne

since living in paris, i have a whole new appreciation for what it means to live in small spaces. when i first saw the images from diva‘s berkeley bungalow, i had no idea that it was small at all until i looked at the floor plan (last image in the post). i think she does an amazing job using the space and takes advantage of the great natural light and tops it off with great furniture selection. it’s definitely an inspired space, and no wonder diva creates such wonderful designs in her stationery and linen line, linea carta. click here for many more images of diva’s bungalow, and here for all our sneak peeks! {thanks, diva!}anne

{majority of images by marc virata with contributions from bronwyn hughes.}

I use this flat file (also a flea market find) to store bigger stuff like paintings and art paper. On top is a Japanese ‘zacca’ or craft magazine – I’m so crazy about them. When I want to treat myself one of my favorite afternoons is to go to Japan Town in San Francisco, have lunch at the best ramen place ever, then to the bookstore and stationery store where I’ll buy a few pens (my fave is the pilot hi-tec-c) and a new magazine from Kinokuniya Bookstore. On the wall behind is one of my paintings: Polar Bears Kissing, Ice Crystals Forming (It reads “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH”). I like using the semi-transparent mylar (used for architectural plans) for paintings because it lets in the light from the wall and sort of becomes part of the wall like a fresco. You can also see a glimpse of the hallway in this picture – I have strings of tiny clothespins hanging that I use to dry screen-printing projects like my key chains and pencil bags.

At the entry I have 2 hooks that read H and N for Henry and Nico, my two cutest-dogs-ever. The chair pictured here is an Alameda antique market find by a friend – I just love the shape (it reads “Heritage Henredon” for anyone who knows about this stuff).

My bedding is from Erica Tanov, John Robshaw and yours truly (some Linea Carta throw pillows).. I used to work for Erica and developed a great appreciation for lovely bedding and beautiful textiles. I recently re-painted a fresh coat of bright white on all the walls and I love the clean and empty wall here above the bed.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Diva’s sneak peek after the jump!


The coolest thing about the bathroom are the tiny green and white checkered tiles on the floor. Also that there’s a bathtub (another favorite past-time of mine!).


A small kitchen. But with all of the essentials. I don’t know much about the chairs and table – got them from family (the chairs read “Thonet New York”). I put in the shelves (from Ikea) above the table when I moved in – they are that shiny foil finish and they really brighten up the space. Oh and the dish towels are part of my new collection of linens. The back door is usually open for the dogs to sunbathe and the pretty trees and plants are all thanks to my garden designer neighbor Elizabeth.



With a passion for design I love to collect cool stuff and though my desk is clear here I’m usually working on multiple projects and boy does it fill up fast! So with such a small space I try to have a place for most things. I put inspiration and samples I’m working on up on the 4’x3’ cork board above my desk. Cork boards are so great the way they neatly frame an ever changing chaos of pieces and scraps. Under and to the side of my desk is where I keep files organized (also flea market finds).

My absolute favorite organizing tool is also the most expensive: the Utensilo wall organizer. It’s a replica of a 1960s piece and even after 5 years I love it and use it every day. Ah, to always know where the scissors are – an artists dream!


I live in a pretty teeny tri-plex that I rent here in Berkeley, California. It is a 1920s bungalow that has long since been renovated into smaller units. There are 3 rooms (including kitchen and bathroom) separated by a hallway. There’s also a back yard that I share with my neighbors. Here is a floor plan.

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  • lovely, lovely use of space. Almost makes me want to get rid my of things and find a cozy efficiency… don’t know if my husband would like it, though.

  • this is one of my all time favorite sneak peeks. loved everything!

    I also have a swallow pillow from you that I adore!!

  • aw thanks rae – love ya ! [see rae’s gorgeous work at raedunn.com] and thanks everyone for your sweet comments.. also please feel free to contact me for custom artwork :)

  • Give me that wall organiser right now!

    I absolutely love every single detail in this great use of space :) Agree with previous comments, the floorplan is adorable!

  • We have those same dining room chairs and I have been dying to know who made them; can you find out if her’s have “Thonet” burned into them or if they are paper-tagged? I have another Thonet dining room chair with the burned imprint, but the ones I have that are *just* like hers do not. The table they came with is a sliding table by Herman-Miller from the early 50’s. I assumed they came with that. Ours do not have the original upholstery, but our Thonet chair has a pink version of that same material she has on hers in blue.

  • I am a big fan of Diva’s delicate drawings and her work, and now her apartment… love the sparse, bright, serene vibe and cute little pug on the bed!

  • how cool kristin — yes, ‘THONET New York’ is burned on the wood underside of the seats.. wish i could see your pink chair and matching table!

  • Everything is beautiful! And I really appreciate to have the floor plan, great idea!
    ps: could we have the adresses for the beddings, I looked on internet but didn’t find anything similar?

  • What a beautiful home. From these photos I wouldn’t have guessed that it was a tiny home – you’ve done a great job. That utensil holder makes me swoon!

  • oh that is such a lovely place! the wall craft organizer is great – it looks so nice with all your supplies in it!

  • I like this way to live clean, only with the essential things, clean and sunny.
    Funny detail, the front door is in the bedroom.

  • It just goes to show that small homes can be much better! You weed out all the “stuff” and make room for the important things in your life. Everywhere you look in these photos is something beautiful with a story. I love it!

  • I love the drawing of the floor plan. It is a great way to quickly see the relationships between rooms that is hard to capture in photographs.

  • The painting is phenomenal! I couldn’t figure out the polar bears, I thought they were hands. Lol! The floor plan is also marvelous.

  • omg it’s even smaller than my space! But it seems so light and spacy. Wow. And i love everything about it. Veeeery impressed!

  • I am an interior designer and i really love your little doodle of a plan!!! It’s cute and a fresh take form what i see everyday!

  • ooooweee, where did that bag come from that’s hanging in the entry way photo? i love that pattern!

  • lovely, airy, minimal, frugal, retro, light living. perfect. what a dream. i loved living like this when i was single. it feels so serene…. now i live with a wonderful horder-of-a-man…. aahh to go back to minimal…

  • Very minimal and simple, but beautifully done. Amazing vintage furniture and small items/accessories that add a little something to your place, it’s quite effective. I love the chandelier laying on the stool, it almost looks like an art installation. I wonder if it’s practical on an everyday basis, but if it is, I want the same thing in my place!

  • Wow.
    I can’t imagine living in a space so tiny and it not being piled to the ceiling with stuff…Alas, I am a pack rat.
    I love the calm feeling this home has.

  • My name is Nicolette (Nico is a nickname I’ve been given) and my husbands name is Henry. NICO and HENRY her dogs!!! Too cute!!!

  • sooo, the bag by the entrance is by Addison House (sorry, can’t find them online but i think they’re local to the area – got it at erica tanov store a couple years ago). the chandelier is completely functional :) and has a dimmer for lovely lighting at mealtime.. this ceiling was a bit low to hang it and so its placed as seen off to the side of the table. the bedding is from erica tanov (www.ericatanov.com/store/), john robshaw (www.johnrobshaw.com/shop.htm), kerry cassill (www.kerrycassill.com) and linea carta (www.linea-carta.com/linens.php). and i’d heard everyone has a twin out there somewhere — hi to the other nico & henry! xox diva

  • Love this so much….I am such a fan of Diva’s work and adore the giant piece next to the foyer. I would love to have that in my home….sigh. So many lovely and simple touches. Brilliant use of space and gorgeous outdoor space too. Thanks for sharing this!

  • bed is from ikea :} the little friends at my computer keep me smiling through hours of work.. the two wooden owls were brought back from a trip to japan, the flocked fox (made in germany) was found at castle in the air in berkeley.. the little ceramic mushrooms – i think its called a fevre – is a prize traditionally (in france) baked into cakes for one lucky guest to find and keep. and some mini stickers from a photo booth in japan town of me and my beau. the other photo shows a cube of my bookshelf with a vintage book from my time living in italy, some playing cards with horses i picked up at a thrift store in washington state, and my viles of gouache that i’ve custom mixed for calligraphy jobs of all sorts. i found the viles at the alameda antique market – perfect to dip a pen into – and my helpful dad made the wooden stand for them so i wouldn’t make a mess (though i still do). i also have a couple more photos not pictured here on my blog!

  • Diva has always been blessed with an eye for design … inspiring twists of beauty, light and peace.
    Everything she does, from her writing in journals, to cooking and serving meals, has this perfect aesthetic with beautful touches, music, poetry, Italian bus ticket, the perfect tea cup, mystical lighting … throughout.
    It’s fun for me to see others enjoy a glimpse into her world. (mom)

  • I think your house is beautiful, but I have 1 question… Where did you find your wall organizer from I have been hunting for one of ages!I tried Ebay but they don’t seem to have one any other places worth looking?

  • Diva, up to this point I have resisted being in front of a computer long enough to participate in a blog by writing a response to one, but being so far from home, I had the urge to look at this post once again from design sponge and can not resist adding to your embarrassment by seconding what mom said! Ever sense I can remember your love for design gave the most simple things you styled, made, and touched, soul. And you and mom have truly been my greatest inspirations and teachers. Love you sister!!