Editor's note: Indie Design Blogger Jeanne Connolly loves to see how creative people put their houses together. In this series, she'll be sharing some of her favorite homes, by taking us inside the unique private spaces of metro Denver and beyond.
"Anything and everything" could be object of artist Andi Todaro's creative canvas. From Runway Model to Graphic Designer, she has got the gamut of creativity covered ten-fold, and maximizes her 900-square-foot home and studio to get to work. Keep reading to see how her inspirational space in the Old South Pearl Neighborhood helps her with round-the-clock bursts of creativity.
Westword: What's in your artist toolbox?
Andi Todaro: I've never wanted to have a studio away from home since I often have fits of inspiration in the middle of the night. My studio is steps from my bedroom. The entire second room is full of materials that I have collected for about eight years, for just about anything I can think of making.
What's your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
I live very close to Old South Pearl Street. I have always wanted to live here. I love that it still feels like a small town even though it's close to the city. It's hard to be a freelancer or artist sometimes because you can go days without seeing anyone. Being near a bustling, but quaint thoroughfare has a built-in feeling of community.
There is a farmer's market every Sunday in the summer, a neighborhood Christmas party in the winter, the cutest library in all of Denver, a couple of beautiful parks and lots of wonderful shops and restaurants. Gracie's Boutique is my savior. I go there every time I have to find something reasonable, beautiful and current to wear. My favorite eateries are Izakaya for a fancy birthday, Kaos for a beer on a lazy afternoon and the new Session Kitchen. You have to try the Boulevardier. I can't forget Stella's Coffee Haus. I go there almost every day to either chat with regulars or get some work done on my computer.
Is there a hidden gem in your neighborhood?
It all sort of feels like one big hidden gem, but the feeling of the neighborhood is changing. They have been knocking down old buildings to build these clunky modern side-by-sides on every street. Most of the houses are over 100 years old and outrageously expensive. There used to be such an amazing view from Pearl Street (near 7-Eleven) of all the old buildings straight in a row. Now there is a monster apartment high-rise going in straight behind them. I don't know how much longer it will continue to feel like a quaint small town. It's definitely become a very desirable place to move.
Best local resource?
Do you rent or own your home?
I rent. I have been here for a year and a few months. I don't have any intention of leaving for a good long while.
Define your home's style?
I was smitten by this place when I was looking over a year ago. Mainly because of the exposed brick, tall ceilings and large windows. My home's style is sort of derived from the style of the architecture and it has been for most of the places I have lived. Here, I moved with a lot of objects that I amassed naturally, things that I like have close to me. I added a few pieces of important furniture for seating and entertaining and kept a pretty flexible color palette. I like the homemade-retro-future vibe.
What are you favorite artistic touches?
I've reclaimed some bookshelves and lined half of the walls in the art room like an old library. I love my dining table which started out bare brown and wicker. I transformed it with printed vinyl, spray paint, hand painting and re-upholstery. My tea collection is housed in a Barrister bookcase with original glass. My shoe rack is made of an old shallow bookshelf. I've created a jewelry hanger out of old window shutters in the bathroom. My favorite artist touches include almost anything that has a bright weird color coupled with softer more natural elements like wood, crystals and candles.
What inspires you about your home?
I love the view out onto the street from my living room when the leaves are turning or when it snows. The back patio normally has plant life and it's lovely to watch things grow. There is a family of bats nearby, this summer I counted 49. Wildlife and plants are really important in any space.
I began playing the piano a year ago. I have the piano and a few other instruments that are purely for guests to play which adds a certain flavor to the space. I have lots of gems, rocks and minerals organized by color. I have a few aspen tree branches from different trips that I carved while I was there. These things give my space an energetic feeling.
I have sayings, poems and quotes that I copied on a type writer and pasted to the wall above the piano as a constant reminder of inspiration. I have a lot of my own art on the wall, but I also collect pieces from Sam Turner, Gemma Bayly, Kristen Hatgi, Mario Zoots, Mark Sink, Debbie Clapper, Max Kaufman, Rachel Paton, Nigel Penhale, Pedgro Barrios, Ravi Zupa, Brian Robertson, Matt Scoeby and Jonathan Saiz.
Best design advice?
Decide on your color palate, but don't spend too much on anything. If you love it, buy it. Be creative about re-purposing and search for things in unexpected places. What's your favorite time to create?
Between 1 and 3 a.m.
Do you have any creative organization tips?
Keep everything organized, but in a way that makes sense for you. There is nothing worse than organizing based on some other standard, which just becomes a mega mess. I have one digital inspiration dumping ground, so it can't get out of hand. Have one place for everything.
Contact Andi Todaro directly for additional information on creativity requests. She is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Jeanne isn't doing House Tours, she is blogging on how to create bohemian style with both vintage and recycled materials.
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