This Quirky Dwelling Renovation Has Its Possess DJ Station

There’s a 100-furthermore-yr-outdated Chickering & Sons upright piano in the residing room of Mike and Robin Clark’s dwelling. It belonged to Robin’s grandmother, and she uncovered to engage in it herself. Sitting on prime of it is a Liz Phair album. The CD protect is signed, in reference to Robin, “To Mike, Continue to keep Her Pleased —Liz Phair.”

Robin, a designer, surprised Mike with equally the piano and the signed album when he returned from tour in 2003—he’s the longtime keyboardist and guitarist for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, as well as an accountant. Whilst he’d been absent, Robin experienced met Phair when she opened for the Flaming Lips on the band’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots tour at the Crystal Ballroom. That’s also where Mike and Robin ended up married in 2002, virtually a decade immediately after they the two graduated from Reed College.

Yes, Mike and Robin are significant about music.

The piano is now, with out a doubt, the oldest-on the lookout matter in their 1899 North Portland bungalow, in which they’ve lived for virtually 20 decades. Their residence is an amalgam of tinted plexiglass, shiny black tile, some metallic paint, and a nutritious dose of glam-rock-to-pop design characteristics that conjure up some of the coolest boutique motels on the planet. Present day artwork and style infuse every single very last depth.

&#13
&#13
&#13

It wasn’t often this way. In the 1980s, the house underwent a funky transform that resulted in matters like an awkwardly developed bathroom and a decommissioned wooden stove chimney and hearth chimney, encased ground-to-ceiling in a six-foot square of brick, smack-dab in the middle of the first floor. The latter made every little thing come to feel compartmentalized and cramped. And so, they labored all-around these and other design and style flaws—assembling affordable Ikea and Fred Meyer shelving that overstayed its welcome, throwing on a further layer of paint—and considered, “One day, we’ll make it right.”

In 2007, Robin was diagnosed with ovarian most cancers. For numerous months, when going through intense rounds of chemotherapy, she invested a great amount of money of time at dwelling in a medical center mattress. By 2009, she had beaten the most cancers, and attained a specified clarity about her residence and life style: “I really experienced time to seem around and believe, ‘Who lives listed here? What am I undertaking right here? This could be so substantially superior.’”

&#13
&#13
&#13

That in close proximity to-loss of life expertise propelled the eventual remodel, which completely acquired underway in 2015 when they lastly experienced the cash to do it. At that point, the property also had more than enough major maintenance difficulties that they resolved they required to possibly offer it and shift or majorly renovate. They selected the latter, and they are so glad they did.

Around the system of 4 decades, Robin designed, Steve Ewoldt of Artifekt Architecture drew up, and contractor Todd Larios completely gutted and rebuilt everything—adding an upstairs toilet and to start with-floor addition of about 250 sq. toes to the home. As significantly as the overall structure notion, “I arrived up with ‘dark glam bananas.’ It’s the environment I was going for, as opposed to French Nation or Swedish Minimalism,” Robin clarifies. “Dark glam bananas is form of blingy, but it’s also fun and funny, long term existing, and moody and developed.”

Where Robin’s clinic bed as soon as sat is now the comprehensive-of-glow kitchen area with luxe black penny-tile and sparkly gold grout, and a customized “soul love” mosaic Robin dreamed up and established. Past that is a huge-open up area, entire of contrasting colour, spliced with a zigzagging carpet custom-cut by Flor and placed by Robin.

&#13
&#13
&#13

The beating heart of the dwelling is the mobile DJ station with vibration-proof casters. Mike wanted Beck’s “two turntables and a microphone,” so Robin designed it for him. Modular wall-mounted history cubbies line the partitions (for their practically 3,000 documents), displaying off some of their favorite album artwork. Two other hanging structure features involve a sculptural, house age-looking, tweed grey Tufty Time sofa by designer Patricia Urquiola, and a more substantial-than-everyday living wall mural of David Bowie posing in that legendary, vertical-stripe Freddie Burretti match. And that’s just the to start with floor. Upstairs is their super chill, seafoam palette, skylit, chrome-beaded-curtained bedroom and what they refer to as their “disco powder room” with its mirrored-tile ceiling.

While pre-2020 Robin and Mike lived for dwell displays and audio in amazing golf equipment in Portland and all around the environment, they didn’t go out each and every night time. Robin was decided, “Let’s make our household the place we want to go to.” And so they did, with unthinkable foresight. Through the past calendar year-additionally, though quite a few of us have felt the quite authentic boundaries of our households, stretched to capability as we perform from property, school from residence, do just about everything at home—Mike and Robin have experienced an even deeper appreciation of their North Homosexual Avenue digs.

In accordance to Mike, “Since we just cannot go anywhere, it’s like, ‘Let’s get an espresso at the Gay Avenue Coffee House. Let’s see a film at the Gay Avenue Cinemas.’” Just one of their favourite at-property venues has been the Homosexual Avenue Dance Club. Mike routinely grabs a pair dozen documents from their assortment and spins dance songs right up until the wee hours. The sound program is each analog and electronic thanks to a Sonos + Ikea collaboration referred to as Symfonisk.

&#13
&#13
&#13

They’ve also been on a regular basis streaming DJs from about the planet and pumping that seem during the house’s 10-moreover speakers. Music actually follows you upstairs as it usually does in inns. They’ve tapped into some of their favourite dwell sets for the duration of the pandemic by way of United We Stream, which launched as a COVID-times fundraising marketing campaign for Berlin golf equipment and is now a world platform. They’ve also really savored viewing and listening to Beck’s 2019 Hyperspace album paired with NASA visuals.

These times the Clarks can faux they’re examining out the DJ from a music fest catering tent or an Airbnb in Europe. “We’ll be like, ‘Maybe we really should get one more evening at this position? Can we get a late examine-out?’” claims Robin. “We seriously chat like that. It is a seriously good suspension of reality.”

Like a lot of of us, Mike and Robin have been functioning from home in the course of the pandemic. They usually stream Seattle’s indie, listener-supported station KEXP during the 7 days. When a particularly excellent music comes by way of, like “Music Makes Me High” by the Avalanches or “Free” by Sault, they’ll stop when a single of them states, “Meet you on the dance ground!” And then they do just that—take a speedy dance break.

&#13
&#13
&#13

It is testament to the toughness of their romance that Mike and Robin lived in the home throughout the whole transform, a venture they experienced to press pause on a number of occasions because of to insufficient cash. They’ll be the very first to tell you that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, and that chaos fatigue is genuine when it arrives to a significant remodel. Yrs invested living life inside zipper walls, with all types of random holes in the handful of walls however standing, frequent dust raining down, gear strewn about everywhere you go, and dwelling out of those five containers not in storage is taxing, to place it flippantly.

One early-on design and style boon that softened some of those sanity-degrading edges was their entire disregard for resale worth. “People would say, ‘You want to set a railing in this article,’ and I would say, ‘No, I really do not,’” suggests Robin. “There are no canine, no little ones. Why should not we have an complete space which is only for audio, that has no furnishings, that’s just for dancing?”

When questioned if both has any regrets just after their painstakingly prolonged a few-12 months dwelling renovation, the solution is a resounding no. “It is demanding to are living in the second when you’ve blown up your property for a long term oasis that just about no person can see,” states Robin. “But deserving issues consider time, patience, and relentless Scorpio-increasing electricity which I have. Beyond that, it’s all about embracing modify.”

Discover extra specifics at hellorobinclark.com, exactly where Robin blogged the entire home renovation process from begin to complete.

&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13
&#13