That Key West real estate is precious and in high demand is no secret. Many residents manage to live in remarkably small spaces—which is easier when you’re able to spend a lot of time outdoors, but does discourage hoarding and frippery. Every item has to count and contribute and mean something. What a great lesson for us all.
Archeo staff member Allise Blackman and her husband, Willie, live in an apartment less than 400 square feet in size (these two: total lovebirds.) Yet, Allise may own more Gabbehs than any of us at the gallery, with six at home and a large one in storage for “someday.” The couple’s dwelling offers enough space for Willie’s guitar-playing, Allise’s cult-coffee-brewing, travel mementos from journeys (Ecuador, Morocco) and family keepsakes. If the apartment were a suitcase, it would be perfectly packed and yet effortless to carry. How did they do it?
With a degree in interior design, Allise possessed practical skills that enabled her to maximize a minimal amount of space. Willie, son of a builder, has built many a stage for The Waterfront Playhouse here in Key West, and was able to construct a loft bed over the sitting area of the home, as well as a “stair shelf” to the loft. No wonder these two get along.
Allise describes the décor as “inspired by the travel culture of Archeo,” with personal touches like a throw blanket made by her grandmother. We’re impressed that she manages to pack so much personal style into such a compact statement and delighted that–-from a tiny runner next to the bed, to an area rug defining the living space––Gabbehs are part of this success story.