Friday, December 7, 2012

Everyday Lives, Everyday Homes - Noel's Studio Apartment

Noel is a good friend of mine and I was excited when he opened his home to me so I could photograph it for my "Everyday Lives, Everyday Homes" series. 

  • Everyday Person: Noel Pasamonte
  • Everyday Home: Studio Apartment
  • Heart of Home: Living room

Noel works for a large furniture retail store as their home store visual merchandiser. He also has a wonderful blog AmoebaZygote where he talks about his journeys, thoughts, and latest visual displays from work. In addition, you can take a look at his portfolio of all his unique fashion designs for both men and women.

Noel lives in a 308-square foot studio apartment. The room is one of the twenty units of the St. Francis Apartments complex in the San Diego neighborhood of Linda Vista. The two-building structures were built in the early 1970s as studio apartments for the students attending the University of San Diego nearby. At the time there were only a few places for student housing available on campus. Later on the University built two newer buildings that went up behind the two original structures with much bigger two-floor apartments. Noel's studio unit is composed of a main room for living and sleeping, a bathroom and a kitchen.

In addition, Noel was kind enough to provide his own personal narrative of his everyday home. Welcome to Noel Pasamonte's studio home!

Noel relaxing in the heart of his home.

"Throughout my older adult life I had acquired pieces of furniture from places where I used to work. My hardworking sofa sleeper came from Bo Concept when I worked for Hold It Contemporary Home. I won it as a prize for a staff raffle game. I actually won an Arne Jacobsen lounge chair but it was too big for my space when I was living in [the San Diego neighborhood of] Bankers Hill. Instead my co-worker Linda traded her micro-fiber Zen sleeper with my egg chair and it all worked out because I needed a new sleeper. I had also acquired a set of Pablo lamps from Hold It".

His Bo Concept sofa sleeper with handmade sofa pillows.

Noel's postcard collection by japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara above his sofa sleeper.

Under the living room window is an array of family photographs and other personal items.

"My darkwood CD display case is my 'piece de resistance'. It was built by my dad when he was still around. It actually came from an old church office cabinet which he deconstructed to a new form. It reminded me of my demitasse cabinet drawing that I designed when I was in design school. My dad was a pioneer in reclaiming old furniture. The history of the old cabinet itself was preserved when he left all the old Kroy labels intact on the shelves' edges. Upon closer look one will notice the embossed numbering system that was used during it previous life. 

The most amazing thing about it was he built it without measuring the size of a CD case. So I was blown away when I placed a CD in one of the shelves and it perfectly fit like a glove. That was the time when I amassed hundred of CDs. But in this age of iPods, my display case is slowing evolving to showcase my collection of commercial grade ceramic mugs and they fit perfectly as well. It all goes back to the demitasse cabinet I mentioned earlier. This cabinet has a lot of sentimental value for me so it goes with me wherever I go.

People who live in a such a small space become inventive with their daily life especially when it comes to organizing. How do I organize? I use a lot of KASSETT boxes from IKEA. They are so good at hiding all the clutter especially in a small apartment.  And cleaning up becomes easier when someone is coming over. Growing up as a child, I learned from my mom to always tidy up when a visitor is coming as a gesture of courtesy".

View of Noel's very organized entertainment console comprised of his CD display case between two BILLY bookcases from IKEA; at the left is the front door with a simple bench next to it. 

Noel's 'piece de resistance' darkwood CD Display case built by his dad; it feels like Christmas with his lovely white pine tree forest light and simple gold stars hanging above.

His entry bench with books and other decor on top; above the bench is Noel's collection of paper dolls from my Etsy shop.

Next to the bookcase is a tall wall mounted mirror with storage behind it, personal art pieces, and one of two studded Chanel trunks (a recent find at a great deal).

Framed art: Shirt & Tie paper origami art by Noel and photograph ( by our friend, Lori Lipsman.

"From own experience, I learned not to just throw things around especially when living in small space. I find it more and more difficult if I came looking for it later. I used valet trays for my car keys and coins. Speaking of trays, I also use it to organize my collection of vintage timepieces because I love looking at watches. The one that is most nostalgically valuable to me is the Perestroika cosmonaut watch from Russia. When I was a design assistant at Lloyd's Furniture my good friend Gloria loved to travel with her English husband. I was lucky enough to be given a watch when they returned from their trip to the eastern block and that was recently the time in history after the Berlin wall came down".

Rolling glass top coffee table from IKEA with a menagerie of neatly displayed decor.

Close-up of part of Noel's watch collection; the watch on the right is his Perestroika cosmonaut watch from Russia.

"What do I love about living at home is not being at home to eat. I usually walk a few steps down the street to pick up my favorite Vietnamese, Thai, or Chinese food from a selection of eateries nearby. And that is what I love about living at home, it's centrally located and it's close proximity to retail shops like Fashion Valley and Mission Valley. I can walk out the door to the grocery store and back if I need something in the kitchen.

And speaking of kitchen, I love my Thomas O'Brien-inspired kitchen but I hardly ever cook. It's usually the heart of the home but mine is the living room. This is where I relax, watch entertainment, read and blog. Of course, there are certain parts of the apartment that I always look at - the pin wall where I had my paper dolls by Jessica, pinned on the wall for inspiration. Also, I have the pattern wall in my kitchen when I look for inspiration for my fashion sketches - my other passion"!

A peek into Noel's light-filled kitchen with his folding bike below the window.

Noel's Thomas O'Brien kitchen decor collection above the sink with a neat toy train perched on top the kitchen cabinet.

Across from the kitchen sink lies Noel's small space sized gas stove and open storage shelving units.

A view of Noel's fashion inspiration wall.

Inspiration wall of patterns in the kitchen.

What I love most about Noel's everyday home were all his personal and sentimental items he has displayed throughout his place. Even with only 300 square feet of living space, he makes his home feel so open, comfortable, and happily lived in. And that is what home should feel like.

Thank you Noel for sharing your wonderful home! 

{If anyone is interested in sharing their everyday home, please leave a comment or send me a message!}


  1. i love all the fun wall art-especially the collection over his sofa.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kendra! I love Nara's art too!

  2. Noel has the same Bo Concept sofa we had that we had to give away because Milo, as a baby, kept throwing up on it! Love Noel's cute lil space - definitely have to be a bit more organized when you have a small space.

  3. thanks jess. It was a fun photo shoot with you and always a pleasure to have you around. Let's do our Christmas get-together soon! I miss you already. xoxo

    1. I'm glad you had a fun time! We are due for another get-together! Let's try to figure a date and time soon! Miss ya. XOXO

  4. What a great post. I love seeing how other people decorate...especially their wall space. I have way too much blank space on my walls. Hopefully this will inspire me!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Your Blogging Buddy =)