Imagine being a “modern day nomad artist with interior styling, organizing, and staging experience, in grad school and living with the ‘rents.” You don’t have much money, but you have a close-knit group of fellow artists with talent and creative energy to spare. And then one day you are asked if you’d like to live in a house that your cousin in Africa just bought, but won’t be moving into for another seven months. What do you do?
If you’re like Sarah Coffin, you start a pop-up gathering place for artists of all shapes and sizes — painters, ceramicists, writers, poets, musicians, actors — to create, learn and grow. This is how the Empty House Studio came to life.
Sarah’s cousin is completely supportive of the Empty House Studio project and actually was the one who read about DIY Del Ray all the way over in Africa and suggested Sarah contact us.
The house, one of those classic Del Ray Bungalows, has two bedrooms which Sarah uses as art studios: one for painting and drawing and another as a music room. She keeps the living and dining rooms sparsely decorated — just the basics on loan from friends — so there is plenty of space for art gatherings, or “happenings” as she calls them. So far the Empty House Studio has hosted several events and we look forward to future collaborations as well.
When Leslie and I toured the house, we instantly fell in love with the home’s charm and especially the fact that even with updates, it remains true to its 1920s roots. With a large workspace in the basement as well as a gardening shed out back, it’s the ideal DIYer’s home — plenty of space to experiment and make messes.
The house has its share of oddities as well — mismatched countertops in the kitchen, doorways closed off and converted to closets, a laundry shoot/hole big enough for an adult to slide down, awkward angles and crevices. All made sense to someone at some point.
Sarah’s cousin has plans to renovate down the road, possibly raising the roof in the finished attic for more living space for her growing family, but for now it’s the perfect haven for artists — offering a peaceful and welcoming environment to nourish the creative spirit.
So with that said, we invite you take a tour of the Empty House Studio.
If you are an artist living or working in Del Ray, Sarah would love to hear from you. Visit the Empty House Studio to follow along as Sarah chronicles her stay in the house and shares the inspiration and insight from the various events, workshops and happenings.