Two Artists’ Santa Barbara Carriage House

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Design Sponge/ The hanging sculptures are from an installation Nathan did called “go innocent into the forest my children.”  When the door is open their tales move in the breeze.  The plant is a split leaf philodendron, our favorite modernist plant, though we wouldn’t say that in front of the fiddle leaf fig. Together they make a great vertical motion that helps give the room an almost jungle like atmosphere.
Hannah Vainstein and Nathan Hayden are both artists with their own separate practices who occasionally collaborate. Hannah runs an artist salon and boutique called The Lower Lodge, which is an outlet of seasonal making with the emphasis in an integrated sustainable lifestyle. Nathan makes drawings, sculptures and installations, and currently teaches drawing and design at the University of California Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College. The couple lives in the “Carriage House” (former servants quarters and garage) for two large mansions on the hill. Their home and studio are nestled between the Old Mission and Natural History Museum in Santa Barbara, CA, surrounded by old stone walls covered in wisteria. One of the oldest stone arch bridges in California is nearby and a creek runs past their house, down the canyon. The couple lives with two housemates, so while they often take the aesthetic lead, there are also moments of collaboration in the space.  The kitchen reflects an agrarian lifestyle, while their living room is inspired by Bedouin hospitality, with their teapot sitting on their coffee table, ready at any moment. They want their friends to come in, have a cup of tea and go an a journey, relaxing, chatting and dancing. Many thanks to photographer Leela Cyd for the tip on this great home and for the beautiful photos! Anne

Image above: The hanging sculptures are from an installation Nathan did called “go innocent into the forest my children.”  When the door is open their tales move in the breeze.  The plant is a split leaf philodendron, our favorite modernist plant, though we wouldn’t say that in front of the fiddle leaf fig. Together they make a great vertical motion that helps give the room an almost jungle-like atmosphere. The room also draws from 1960s psychedelia/tropicalia, modernism, and incorporates precious nature bits that we collect on our walks. 

Design Sponge/ This beautiful Grundig is a vintage record player and tape recorder and now it’s a nature alter.  I like to burn sage or incense when I clean the house .  I love Nathan’s felt piece on the wall.  He made the paints using different pigments, including clay from the cotswolds in England and red bridal pigment from India.
Image above: This beautiful Grundig is a vintage record player and tape recorder and now it’s a nature altar.  I like to burn sage or incense when I clean the house.  I love Nathan’s felt piece on the wall.  He made the paints using different pigments, including clay from the Cotswolds in England and red bridal pigment from India.

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Image above: Our favorite thing to do at home…

Click for more inside Hannah and Nathan’s home and studio after the jump!

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Design Sponge/ Most of furniture comes from diligent thrifting and Craigslist.
Image above: Most of our furniture comes from diligent thrifting and Craigslist. 

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Design Sponge/ Our record player and small but growing record collection sits below a Berber Rug from Morocco on loan from our friend Gilda Hariri.  The centennial plant completes the color scheme and was a gift from our farmer friend Mike Sullivan.
Image above: Our record player and small – but growing – record collection sits below a Berber Rug from Morocco on loan from our friend Gilda Hariri.  The centennial plant completes the color scheme and was a gift from our farmer friend Mike Sullivan. 

Image above: A bounty!  Gleaning fruits from forgotten trees, a bottle of wine given to us by our winemaker friend Johny Parker, dried herbs from our garden and my own hand dipped beeswax candles.
Image above: A bounty!  Gleaning fruits from forgotten trees, a bottle of wine given to us by our winemaker friend Johny Parker, dried herbs from our garden and my own hand-dipped beeswax candles.

Design Sponge/ 3.	Because of house’s old California roots, we were enchanted by the California gold rush, both in terms of it’s historical reference and as a metaphor for the bounty of California.  Santa Barbara’s temperate climate allows us to grow fruits and vegetables all year round, we have a beautiful vegetable garden and we have planted avocado trees. Our kitchen reflects this agrarian lifestyle, English countryside in a Mediterranean climate.
Image above: Because of the house’s old California roots, we were enchanted by the California gold rush, both in terms of its historical reference and as a metaphor for the bounty of California.  Santa Barbara’s temperate climate allows us to grow fruits and vegetables all year round, we have a beautiful vegetable garden and we have planted avocado trees. Our kitchen reflects this agrarian lifestyle, English countryside in a Mediterranean climate.   

Design Sponge/ One of my favorite details in the kitchen, these gloves were installed by a past roommate.
Image above: One of my favorite details in the kitchen, these gloves were installed by a past roommate.

Design Sponge/ We like to collect seeds and pods.  I wash pumpkin seeds and roast them. The eucalyptus pods were given to me by a friend, the scent is medicinal it’s so strong.  The little calendar is from Otherwild in Los Angles.  Otherwild is great because they sell works by both designers and artists.
Image above: We like to collect seeds and pods.  I wash pumpkin seeds and roast them. The eucalyptus pods were given to me by a friend, the scent is medicinal, it’s so strong.  The little calendar is from Otherwild in Los Angles.  Otherwild is great because they sell works by both designers and artists.  

Design Sponge/ I have always loved throwing tea parties and when I was seventeen I spent some time with Bedouins in the Sinai desert, where tea is a very important part of their daily ritual. Since then serving tea has been part of my art practice.  To signify our engagement, Nathan gave me this beautiful hand thrown vintage the teapot.  It looks a little like magic lamp, if you rub it a genie just come out. He got it from one of our favorite shops, Gravel and Gold in San Francisco.
Image above: I have always loved throwing tea parties and when I was seventeen I spent some time with Bedouins in the Sinai desert, where tea is a very important part of their daily ritual. Since then serving tea has been part of my art practice.  To signify our engagement, Nathan gave me this beautiful hand thrown vintage teapot.  It looks a little like a magic lamp, if you rub it a genie just might come out. He got it from one of our favorite shops, Gravel and Gold in San Francisco. 

Design Sponge/ I found this beautiful desk on Craigslist. I believe it’s designed by Mummenthaler and Meier.  The desk folds pull out and then it folds back up into a cabinet.  It’s great for small spaces.  My sister, Sarah made the little wood stool when she was in high school for a green woodworking class. The painting is one of my recent watercolors.
Image above: I found this beautiful desk on Craigslist. I believe it’s designed by Mummenthaler and Meier.  The desk folds out and then it folds back up into a cabinet.  It’s great for small spaces.  My sister, Sarah, made the little wood stool when she was in high school for a green woodworking class. The painting is one of my recent watercolors.  

Design Sponge/ Nathan makes intricate images using ink on industrial felt.  This is one of his large pieces. The table and chairs belongs to our roommate, Josh Gold.
Image above: Nathan makes intricate images using ink on industrial felt.  This is one of his large pieces. The table and chairs belong to our roommate, Josh Gold. 

Design Sponge/ Nathan and I have a habit of collecting precious nature bits.  The curio cabinet was my grandmother’s, it houses many of the odd things we have found over the years.  The pampas grasses were my Valentine’s day bouquet.
Image above: Nathan and I have a habit of collecting precious nature bits.  The curio cabinet was my grandmother’s, it houses many of the odd things we have found over the years.  The pampas grasses were my Valentine’s Day bouquet.

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Design Sponge/ These beautiful paintings are made the artist Jane Callister.  I love how the forms in the paintings echo the forms of Nathan’s clay sculptures.
Image above: These beautiful paintings are made by artist Jane Callister.  I love how the forms in the paintings echo the forms of Nathan’s clay sculptures. 

Design Sponge/ Our porch is just delightful, we often drink tea out there and watch the sunset and during the rainy season we can still sit outside. Our porch overlooks our back yard and down Mission Canyon. We are lucky to have so much outdoor space including a hammock in the oak tree.  And then of course, there’s our beautiful studio, which is really what drew us to living here.
Image above: Our porch is just delightful, we often drink tea out there and watch the sunset and during the rainy season, we can still sit outside. Our porch overlooks our backyard and down Mission Canyon. We are lucky to have so much outdoor space including a hammock in the oak tree.  And then, of course, there’s our beautiful studio, which is really what drew us to living here. 

Design Sponge/ Our studio space, the actual carriage house is very special.  Build in the 1920s to house the cars, the walls and ceiling are lined with douglas fur and large windows easily go up and face the creek.  We put rugs on the concrete floor to create a warm space.  In the winter we can here the peepers croaking from the studio.  We even have an owl that sits out there and hoots in the late night hours.
Image above: Our studio space, the actual carriage house, is very special.  Built in the 1920s to house the cars, the walls and ceiling are lined with Douglas fir and large windows easily go up and face the creek.  We put rugs on the concrete floor to create a warm space.  In the winter we can hear the peepers croaking from the studio.  We even have an owl that sits out there and hoots in the late night hours.

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Design Sponge/ Some of Nathan’s ceramic pieces.
Image above: Some of Nathan’s ceramic pieces

Design Sponge/ Featuring carefully curated vintage wears and handmade items The Lower Lodge Boutique is open by appointment and online.
Image above: Featuring carefully curated vintage wears and handmade items, The Lower Lodge Boutique is open by appointment and online. In the autumn and winter I make beeswax candles and hold workshops.  In the spring, I focus on textiles, sewing, and fiber arts such as carding wool, spinning, felting and weaving. In the summer, ceramics and painting.  I also sell a curated collection of vintage clothes and accessories, as well as items for the home.

  1. Alexander says:

    My my, is that macramé? Lush!

    I gotta get into the macramé racket if that could be the end result.

  2. LeeLee says:

    Wow, great space. Love the decor.

  3. cissy ross says:

    great to see such creativity…the warmth of these artists shows in both their home environment and each of their separate works. i want some of hannah’s candles!

  4. Jill says:

    I love this space. You have gorgeous light!

  5. Daivd says:

    this house looks so fun , what a delightful portrait of these two creatives. love everything, wonderful style.

  6. emily says:

    beautiful home. i love all the textiles they’ve hung on the walls. and, that cupboard desk is amazing!

  7. Cate says:

    Love it, the lilies and hat stand are fab!

  8. Ayda says:

    I love this and you! Beautiful

  9. Ayda says:

    Beautiful! Love love love

  10. Caroline says:

    Enchanting… Inside and out! It feels well balanced … Between living and working…

  11. Beautiful home! Loving it!

  12. Anastasia says:

    Awsome home! So worm, cozy and artistic

  13. adrienne erlick says:

    i love the space that the two of you have created, but knowing you as i do, i would not expect anything less…you are both so talented, each in your own way, and i watch very closely as you go on your journeys, i know that your space will grow,and blossom just as you two have, i look forward to stopping by for a cup of tea with ziggy, so that we can see you, and share some time together….much love, adrienne

  14. amy says:

    great glove idea

  15. Christina says:

    Really love the pops of green throughout

  16. Style Dezert says:

    All I can think when I see this decor is Nashville!
    Absolutely love it. What an amazing space!
    SD

  17. Rachel says:

    Hannah and Nathan look fantastic in their green chairs! And I love the art deco vase by the curio cabinet!

  18. tiff says:

    Hey, I noticed it says “carting” instead of “carding” wool in that last paragraph.

    Sweet neon rug above the bed. The studio is dreamy.

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