Names // Travis, Nikou, and Wi-Fi (#wifithedog on Instagram)
Location // Houston Fourth Ward
Size // 1500ish sqft
Years lived in // 8 months
Travis and Nikou designed and built their home this past year. Their project (#ruthvenplace on Instagram) consists of two mirrored duplexes that repeat the forms of the neighborhood architecture to maintain the feel of the historic Fourth Ward. They live in one unit and they rent out the others. The four unit complex provides an alternative rental option from the neighboring 500+ unit apartment complexes, providing tenants with modern amenities but in an intimate setting.
Style // Minimalist. We like small living spaces because we don’t end up accumulating things we just don’t need. We like to make do with less. This may not be the case once our child arrives, but until then, everything in our home is here because of a carefully considered decision.
Where do you gather Inspiration // Traveling. We’ve been all over the world and we want to continue traveling often. When we travel, we get constantly inspired from new cities, architecture, nature, diverse culture, fashion, and so forth. The more we travel, the more new things we are exposed to!
Biggest Challenge // We are very picky about what we bring into our home, but unfortunately, we are also so very cheap! Remember our under $5k wedding in Marfa (/www.muchomuchobuenobueno.com/chomuchobuenobueno.com/2013/05/hitched-marfa-wedding-fiesta.html -- We always believe that an item (furniture, wedding, clothing, etc) should look way more expensive than what we paid for. And that is often a challenge.
Favorite room in the house // We love our main room because it’s great for entertaining, whether it’s a dinner party or watching a movie on the projector. But we are also a big fan of our shower – it’s very roomy and therefore very relaxing. We probably take much longer showers than necessary.
Fav place to shop for the home // We would love to purchase everything from Design Within Reach, but since the price is not yet within our reach, we have to be creative and find items elsewhere! We will usually find the overpriced item we want and then search for a comparable product. For example, we found a knockoff of the Kayu Teak Dining Table (http://www.dwr.com/product/kayu-dining-table.do?sortby=ourPicks) that we lusted after at Macy's with a matching bench for under $1000. And found a credenza for our bar at a jewelry store closing sale for only $150. We LOVE a good deal!
Biggest splurge // Our Garza Furniture Saddle Leather Oval Chair (http://garzamarfa.com/product/saddle-leather-ottoman/) was our latest and biggest splurge. Jamie and Constance Garza designed the house in Marfa that we held our wedding at. It’s our first custom piece of furniture and we LOVE it so much! Wi-Fi, on the other hand, has not figured out how to jump off the chair, so she’s not yet a fan.
Tell us about your rental property // We purchased the lot over two years ago in foreclosure when the neighborhood was a still a little rough. In the past year while under construction, the neighborhood underwent gentrification when many new townhomes and mid-rise apartment complexes were built. It was important to us that the exterior match the historic fabric of the neighborhood and that the interior be modern. We figured if we designed a space that we would enjoy for our unit, that we would definitely be able to find tenants who enjoyed it, too. We had a very low budget, like a VERY LOW budget. Several people told us it was impossible to build what we wanted for our price but we didn’t let it stop us – it only encouraged us to find creative solutions! The construction process was definitely much more work – we traveled all over town to find quality finishes at discount rates, bargained with every vendor for the best deal, spent hours at Ikea figuring out their kitchen cabinet system, scanned the internet for best deals on finishes, etc. We spent countless hours on site solving problems, making sure workers were constructing the way we wanted, telling homeless gentlemen to not lock themselves in the temporary bathroom (we even had one who claimed the homes were his and tagged materials with Notorious Bum – he’s apparently a youtube rapper http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=notorious%20bum&sm=1). At the end, the project was completed within budget, we leased all units during construction, and we designed our perfect home! It was definitely worth the challenge.
I mean everything they do is awesome and well thought out, do you remember his proposal? Yeah freaking A+++++++ for effort right?