When space is tight, the first things to go are usually the non-essentials and clunkers, oversized keepsakes that have sentimental but no practical value. Things like upright pianos.
At the 900-square-foot Eagle Rock home of Hrishikesh Hirway and Lindsey Lund Mortensen, making triages isn’t so easy. Their Kawai K200 piano, like the guitars, bass, mandolin, drum kit, xylophone, and Mini Moog synthesizer huddled around it in the corner of their studio, is an indispensable part of how they earn their livelihood. "It's hard to have to constantly consider if things are worth saving," says Hrishikesh, a songwriter and composer, "but it's also been rewarding to think so deliberately about what's in our home."
Hrishikesh is the host of Song Exploder, a biweekly podcast from Radiotopia by PRX in which he deconstructs tunes by artists from Grimes to U2, one at a time. Lindsey, a fashion designer with her own leather accessories line, Larsen & Lund, also requires room for work gear, including a sewing machine and drafting table.
Given their busy careers, one imagines their compact Eagle Rock property, which has virtually no built-in storage, might be a squeeze. But Hrishikesh and Lindsey know how to handle close quarters: Their previous residence, which contained nearly the same amount of gear, was a one-bedroom condo. "As our creative projects grew, they started overtaking our home," recalls Hrishikesh. "It felt like we were living in a workshop."
The new home is also cozy, with one crucial difference: A garage. Hrishikesh and Lindsey have split the outbuilding in half, providing them each with a sanctuary to create each day. While his studio more closely mirrors the intimate minimalism of the residence, in keeping with their essentials-only lifestyle, neither zone is elaborately furnished. "In both the house and the podcast," explains Hrishikesh, "I try and get rid of clutter as much as possible."