Lisa Ostapinski, a painter, and musician Arnie Plowe stand at the foot of a treehouse and squint up at their five-year-old son, Aidan, his outline nearly in shadow as the sun blazes behind him. Not only is the little one basking in summer’s glow, but in the glow of his latest find as well: a big juicy caterpillar. No matter the season, such a scene isn’t uncommon in the backyard of Lisa and Arnie’s 1880s-era Oakland, CA home. The trio loves to explore it as they’re toasted by the California rays of sun. Step inside the house, though, and a different type of exploration is at-the-ready, one full of painting and guitars — of color and joyful noise.
The treehouse was just one of the many additions Lisa and Arnie had to make in order to craft the space they’d always hoped for. For the past 12 years, the couple has gone about replacing the entire kitchen, slowly collecting vintage doors and knobs to adorn each of the room’s entries, and getting the nearly 140-year-old house into working order. “The most challenging part is that it’s never done. We always have more to do and nothing is ever finished,” the couple tells us. While that may be true, it sure does look nice to us. And it’s all thanks to the colorful and fun decorations that enliven each of the home’s nooks and crannies.
With so much creativity under one roof, it’s not surprising that most of the space is covered in all manner of artwork. Oil paintings, acrylic works and Lisa’s signature beeswax-and-gold-foil pieces are just a few of the many eye-catching accessories that spice up the family’s walls. As Lisa and Aidan paint, they’re accompanied by the crooning bellow of music coming from Arnie and his guitar. At times like these, the family is truly at its best — three people enjoying one another and the life they’ve built together in a house “full of love, creativity and music.” Click through to take a peek and enjoy! —Garrett