Christoph Kaiser was our landlord back in 2010 when Zack and I first moved to downtown Phoenix. The three houses he owns on Pierce Street opened doors to over ten rental spaces in the small, artist-friendly Garfield District. There's the space we lived in: a craftsman bungalow-turned-duplex with an apartment in the attic space above and down the street, another renovated bungalow where he rented rooms and a similar attic space apartment. In my backyard, Christoph took an old silo and turned it into a living space (the finished product was featured in Dwell) and in the backyard of the other home was an Airstream trailer converted into a living space as well.
But the photos you see here aren't from either of those spaces. These photos are from his personal home - the "Big House" as we called it - where he now lives with his wife Shauna and her father Allen. To give you a little back story: before we moved into the duplex, I met Christoph at the Big House where a friend of mine was living at the time. I've always had a knack for home design and what not, but this, this was the first space I walked in to where it truly clicked for me. At this time, my experience with well-designed homes was that they were not meant for enjoyment; they were meant to be kept immaculate and featured in design magazines. But as I walked into Christoph's home, I felt uniquely at ease and comfortable. You could drink a can of PBR on his pristine vintage couch without fear of spilling or creating a ring on his table. It was the first time that good design and true hospitality went hand-in-hand for me.
Despite being incredibly happy in Brooklyn, I'm fairly positive that if Zack and I were told this home was available we would pack our bags and move in a heartbeat. What's so special about the properties Christoph owns is that they are their own little community, we called it "Christoph-town". We gathered at his home for family dinners, set up our own block parties on our street, watched special events in his living room and as tenants moved in and out: we developed relationships, found jobs through one another and created a unique sense of home. We were in our early twenties and Zack was finishing up his degree at ASU at the time, and while we were adults, we still enjoyed the extended home that is and was "Christoph-town".
All photos provided by Christoph Kaiser.