Photographer Jamie Street lives (and works) in a bright, bohemian San Diego home with her husband and two young sons. “It was a very lucky find,” Jamie says. “We found out we had to move, and a friend of a friend randomly posted this rental on Facebook. We loved it immediately.” Here’s a peek inside…
On creating a relaxed vibe: Our bedroom is definitely our most minimal space. To keep things serene, we kept the walls and bedding white, and let the art and rugs add color.
On making a bedroom feel special: I like to keep my treasures in the bedroom. We have wedding photos and a Cholla stick, which we collected in Joshua Tree.
One nighttime rituals: For a long time, Henry, our oldest, would only stay asleep if he was next to a warm body. So we’d take turns going to bed with him while the other parent would stay up. My husband would strum on his guitar and watch music documentaries with a good IPA on his nights up, while I would watch reruns while editing photos late into the night with a glass of wine. It isn’t glamorous, but the last four years have flown by and I know there will come a time when we will yearn for Henry’s affection! Ben and I both agree we would not have done it any other way.
On morning rituals: With a four-year-old and a baby, mornings are pretty chaotic. My husband is already at work when they wake up (he gets up at four!). The kids and I try to wake up slowly; sometimes we’ll have a snack and read a book in bed. Before we leave the room, I have to make the bed. We’ll do it informally — pull the comforter back, and pick up anything on the floor. Then the bedroom is a neat oasis I can go back into during the day, to get a break from the rest of the messy, messy house.
On keeping plants: I keep plants all over the house, especially in the bedroom. Here’s my tip for keeping plants: I used to beat myself up if they died, but then I decided to think of plants as long-term flowers. They will die, and it’s okay to buy new ones!
On family music time: For Christmas, Henry asked for “real drums,” and now spends a lot of time drumming. He also expressed an extreme interest in piano, so I found one for free on Craigslist and paid to have it moved. (You can find always pianos on Craigslist because people don’t want to deal with moving them.) Of course, since we’ve gotten it he hasn’t wanted to play it, but maybe someday.
On the magic of Legos: Henry is very physical and has a hard time with things involving fine motor skills. But we have a neighbor who rubbed off on him, and he just got his first set of Legos. It’s amazing how he’ll just sit and play with them. He’s also really into collecting dried cicada shells. He has a bowl of about a hundred!
On the best go-to meal: We’re vegetarians, and probably our most frequent meal is quinoa, black beans, corn, cilantro and maybe a side of avocado, and we eat it with chips. It’s so easy, and the four-year-old eats it. I’m also really into the cookbook Jerusalem.
On the play area: When we looked at the house, I knew right away I would make part of the kitchen a little play area for Henry. It’s great for him to have his own place to sit and do things while I’m making meals.
On favorite music: My husband plays guitar and sings, so he and Henry have a lot of music time. Recently we’ve been listening to a lot of Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young and Paul Simon, which Henry loves.
On top places to shop: Most of our home goods are either from thrifting, estate sales or lucky Craigslist finds. We’ve always needed to be creative with finding things. I like my friend’s store Modernhaus and I’ve gotten a bunch of great things from Magpie & Rye, like my MQuan ceramics. I also love General Store when I’m in L.A.
Couch: “a million years old,” covered with homemade shibori drop cloth. Chair: Bertoia, from flea market. Pillows on chair: estate sale. Wall hanging: vintage. Rug: eBay.
On the challenges of working from home: Right now, the main difficulty is that everyone knows I’m here. My four-year-old has a hard time knowing that I’m here and he’s not getting any solid attention. We haven’t been able to establish a time where I’m just working. I think if I worked outside of the house, that would be different. I would just go and the kids would stay here with their dad or a babysitter.
Also, if there’s a sink full of dishes or dog hair all over the living room, it can be hard for me to ignore it. I’ve had to learn to say, “This is work time.” That being said, working from home is also amazing! I mean, I just nursed my baby while I was talking to you.
On traveling for work: I travel a lot to photograph weddings, which can be hard, so I look at it as a trade-off with not having a daily commute time. Instead of commuting during the week, I commute on the weekends.
On work imitating life: There’s a similar aesthetic between my work and my home. My family photography tries to celebrate the imperfections in everyday life, and my house does the same. It’s definitely not perfect!
Thank you so much, Jamie!