Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

A Cartoonist and Illustrator’s Easygoing Rental

by Garrett Fleming

There are so many design styles, artists and vintage pieces to love, I sometimes worry if I’m packing too much into my home. I don’t live in a giant space, and learning how to edit is something I’m constantly working on. Part of the challenge is how easy it is to find new treasures! With the click of a button, you can upgrade – and potentially overstuff – your space.

Keiko Brodeur and cartoonist Malachi Ward are no strangers to the challenge of fitting your big life into a small apartment. The two creatives used to live and work out of this 550-square-foot apartment in Pasadena, CA. Their growing collection of vintage finds and work supplies, however, quickly left them feeling boxed in by their space. “We literally had narrow walking paths between stacks of boxes,” Keiko explains. A year ago, the stress finally proved too much for the couple, and they decided that separating work and play was mandatory.

The couple immediately felt liberated once all of their tools were out of the picture and neatly stowed in the new studio. Eager to finally furnish the home of their dreams, they dove headfirst into decking out their one-bedroom apartment. Just like for me, an edited aesthetic didn’t come naturally to the couple. Their penchant for plants and irresistible accessories could have easily left their home feeling cramped, but they simply kept telling themselves to stick to the plan. What was that plan? To find the right balance between functionality and coziness – a warm space where they could relax. Their well-thought-out design decisions are so organic that they become invisible. All we see is a nest that’s so effortless and easy it’s hard to imagine the space looking any other way. I adore their home’s laid-back attitude, and I hope you do as well. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Hollin Brodeur

A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
1/18
Keiko collected the shells and driftwood for this hanging piece above the couple's bed. The master bedroom was designed to be a calming and zen retreat for unwinding after a long day. The bed frame was inherited, and the white reading lamp and bed linens are from IKEA. A Fab kantha quilt keeps the couple warm each night and is paired with throw pillows from Galen Unique and Ethanollie.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
2/18
The master bedroom's nightstand is from Urban Outfitters.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
3/18
A recent Long Beach Antique Market find, the vintage dresser sits in front of one of Keiko's oldest belongings – a tapestry from one of Seattle's Asian import stores. She was finally able to put it on display once she and Malachi moved into this larger home.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
4/18
One of Keiko's favorite parts of owning a craft-related company is being able to meet inspiring artists from around the country. Many of their works decorate the couple's bedroom dresser. The cactus print is from a vintage botanical book, and the wooden pot is by Alibi Interiors. Artist Heidi B. Anderson crafted the faces totem, and the embroidered doll is by Hillery Sproatt.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
5/18
"Our bathroom was a little tricky to figure out. To the right of the sink is our closet, which is kind of an odd feature, but overall I like having access like that." The brass bird decoration was a gift from a friend, and the other objects decorating the space are vintage. Benjamin Moore "Amsterdam" with an eggshell finish covers the walls.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
6/18
Keiko has had this side table for nearly her entire life. It holds some invaluable, personal treasures including her mother's jewelry box. The mirror is from Anthropologie, and the enamel cup is by Falcon Enamelware.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
7/18
Keiko's favorite thing about her tapestry is the jolt of color it adds to the living room. After moving their studio, the couple was finally able to display it properly. Most nights Keiko and Malachi catch up over dinner in here as opposed to the kitchen. The throw pillows are from xNasozi, Divan Cushy and Galen Unique. The coffee table is vintage.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
8/18
The couple's cat "The Cat" can frequently be found in this cozy spot on the sofa. She embodies so many cat-isms that her name was the only obvious choice. The La-Z-Boy is so heavy that isn't going anywhere, and Malachi's father had to do some tricky maneuvers to get it up to his son's second-story apartment.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
9/18
The family dog Bea gives her best "Are we going to the park yet?" face in front of a Reform School blanket. "The chair was inherited from a family member," and is one of the home's best reading spots. The macrame pot holder is from Maven Collective, and Keiko made the curtains herself with fabric from San Francisco's Britex Fabrics.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
10/18
Keiko, Malachi and Bea.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
11/18
Malachi and Keiko are music lovers and use this living room piece to hold some of their cherished musical accessories. The white lamp is vintage, and the bud vases are from Magszilla, Eri Sugimoto and Thailand.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
12/18
"The instrument on the wall is a Japanese glockenspiel I got at an estate sale. I used the thumb piano a lot when Malachi and I were in a band in college." The speaker is from Tivoli Audio, and the screen print is by Jen Tong.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
13/18
Being avid readers keeps the couple's living-room bookshelf in a constant rotation. The organization of the shelves is "intuitive," Keiko describes with a wink.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
14/18
It's sometimes hard for the couple to find time to cook, so they created a cozy kitchen in hopes it would entice them into using it more. The small, wooden shelf is made by IKEA, and the pot holders are from Broome St. General Store and Fog Linen Work. The rug and artwork are vintage.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
15/18
The twosome's coffee and tea station is decked out in some of their favorite collected ceramics. A client and paleontologist was so happy with the illustrations that Keiko did for her business that she gave Keiko the snail fossil that's perched on the wooden tray. The vintage bird prints were framed by Summer Camp Shop, and the corked coffee pot is by Humble Ceramics. The black, Japanese teapot is from Koromiko.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
16/18
One of Keiko's favorite spots in her home is the kitchen's dining nook, which she dressed with homemade curtains. The pair often draw and read here to unwind. "The framed giraffe embroidery is something Malachi has had since he was a little kid." The basket, chairs and other artwork are vintage, and the table is from IKEA.
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
17/18
A Cartoonist and Illustrator's Strategically Easygoing Rental, Design*Sponge
18/18
Keiko painted her home's floorplan for us!

Suggested For You

Comments

  • Ok, I’m a little obsessed with that gorgeous dresser…I’d date it as maybe 1930s or 1940s? Then again, when dating pieces, furniture is a bit of a weak spot for me. And is that grill cloth over the doors? Reminds me of a 1940s tube radio I have, with this wonderful, buttery gold grill cloth. I would love to find something similar to this dresser and would appreciate any extra tidbits about it.

  • So lovely to see Keiko’s space here! Every bit and corner of it speaks to her thoughtful nature, her calm and warm spirit. xo

  • Such a lovely home (and couple!!) The tapestry in the living room is absolutely incredible. I remember seeing it a while back on Keiko’s instagram and thinking it was amazing. So fun to see how it ties the room together. Just love their style!!

  • Keiko and Malachi have the most lovely home! Love all the details — they’ve filled their home with meaningful, personal pieces, which is part of why if feels so relaxed. Their pets are adorable, too! :)

  • whoa…absolutely love this! my style to a T. especially in love with that tapestry! amazing. and I actually have a piece of driftwood hanging but the shells hanging from it- DUH!

  • Another lovely home! I’m curious where the ceramics on slide 11 are from (the two footed ones with geometric shapes….I’m guessing they are from the same maker?).

  • Easily one of my favorite home tours (especially because it’s a rental and so wonderfully creative). Also, I’m completely smitten with the houseplants!

  • Hi! First of all I’m a huge fan of this blog. Second off I love this article/spread! But most importantly- I NEED to know what kind of dog Bea is! My dog Phoebe is adopted and is literally the SAME dog… help!

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x