If you follow Abi Q on Instagram you know that not only is she hilarious, but her candor and honesty about the joys, and occasionally less-than-glamourous, moments of parenting are not only endearing- but incredibly relatable. She is a talented wedding and portrait photographer with an eye for candid moments and capturing light in the shadows. Abi’s more serious side is a deep-rooted passion for activism, educating children (and adults) on race, and making sure that her kids always have art, toys, and people around them that make them feel represented.
Abi and Ryan’s house is for one, clean- which she assures me is not always the case. Minimal in a storied way, where each trinket and detail comes from a trip or sentimental moment. The house itself is a beautiful 1920′s Spanish Style home with pristine parquet floors (the better to scooter around on and play-out epic Star Wars battles on) and little architectural details to make your heart skip. Hello, over the fireplace nook!
It’s obvious that kids live (and play) in this house, but there’s no question that it’s still a space for adults to enjoy themselves with furniture pieces that are stylish and beautiful, while still being able to have the tiny little kid finger marks easily wiped off of them. After living in an apartment for six years, and towards the end having three small children running around, Abi and Ryan knew it was time to look for a bigger space. Their advice for finding the perfect place in such a competitive rental market? Search right before the holidays because, “No one wants to move then!”
Now they have a home with a back yard to draw chalk people to their hearts content, a basement that has the perfect light for snuggling up and watching “Master Yoda” (as the kids refer to him), and a view of the Bay which rivals that which you would see landing at the Oakland Airport.
Photography by Abi Q
Ryan works for VSCO
and Abi is a photographer, so you can imagine that they have no shortage of amazing photos of them and their family. Their fridge not only makes use of an oft-overlooked space, but it acts as a gallery to all of their adventures and memories. And doughnuts.
“One of my unexpected favorite spots of our little bungalow is this counter. My boys sit here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days and the conversations we have around it make my heart happy. I created a hashtag for it #theqcounter and it’s some of my favorite photos of the boys to date. I love watching them grow up here.”
“I realized when we were decorating that I keep everything very gender neutral and in a house full of boys, I needed a bit of a girl in all the madness, so I chose a pink rug to compliment my table. I’d been searching for this table literally for years. Before this house we didn’t even have a spot for it, but I was so obsessed that I would randomly search for “vintage tulip” whenever it came to mind. And then one day, there she was-and she had to come home with me. She is one of my most prized possessions, but I still let my boys have dance parties on her in the afternoons.”
“Representation matters and I know as a transracial adoption mom, I know it matters even more for my sons. I have actively searched for art that represents my sons, and this portrait is maybe my favorite thing I own. I found her at a little junk store in Oakland, and paid $25 for her, but I would of paid $200. We named her Mabel. She’s perfectly at home right next to the record player, and in case you didn’t know, Justin Beiber’s “Sorry” becomes classic rock when played on vinyl.”
“The second I walked into this house I fell in love with the old parquet floors and the light that overtakes every inch of this space. I knew I wanted rugs to cozy it up a bit, but I wanted to show off the floors as much as possible at the same time. The accent of the curved door frames kill me. I love to just stare down the hall and admire our home’s bones. I also tend to hang precious pieces way above little fingers’ reach, so they stay that way.”
“I know the old rings of paint around the chandelier are technically something I should want covered but I love how the rings are different colors and from different times in this home’s history.”
“I’m minimal, or I always joke, maybe a hoarder who’s a minimalist at heart. And with toys I’m as minimal as they come. People ask me what my kids do without millions of toys and I tell them they play, they use their imaginations, they woodwork with dad, learn to skateboard, and they read. They helped their Dad and Uncle build their bed. It is a treehouse fort, has a rock wall, a plank and a wooden ladder, a rope ladder and a roof that’s perfect for poking your head out in search of bad guy pirates.”
“I had my eye on Chasing Paper’s
wallpaper for at least a year, and the second we moved in I ordered it. It’s so classy to me, but still kid. Our boys’ art pieces are made up of a variety of concerts we’ve been to, favorite books, a mask we picked up in Belize, and we hang Finn’s ukulele here so it doesn’t get stepped on! We brought back the ballon for the boys when we were in Iceland”
“This little nook is yet another favorite architectural detail from our home, but more importantly, it holds a lava rock from a trip to Iceland with my love, a painting of one of my favorite canals in St. Pettersburg, Russia (that I bought from a local artist while walking the canal), a rock from a day of adventuring to a private cove in Nicaragua, and driftwood from our family trip up the coast of CA last fall. It’s these little reminders that make my heart full from all the adventures we’ve had and make me excited for all the ones we have yet to take.”
Dining table- vintage Tulip found at Klassik Living is Berkeley, CA
Dining room chairs- vintage from the Alameda flea market, a few from Craigslist, and a few from Klassisk Living
Rugs- living room and dining room and boys’ room- Rugs USA, master bedroom rug vintage from Turkey (via Etsy)
Master bedroom bed- Klassik Living in Berkeley, CA
Mudcloth from Ghana-Alameda flea
Bedside lamps- CB2
Master bedroom chandelier- Mignonne Decor in Berkeley
Living room couch- Vintage. Frame from the the 60′s and recovered in WWII army uniform fabric by Klassik Living
Velvet living room curtains- Anthropologie
Mid-century sideboard- Craigslist
Boys’ room wallpaper- Chasing Paper