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Westhaven’s Mixed-Use & Diversity Creates a Simpler Life for Professional Artist

When you step into Shari Lacey’s art studio, you’ll immediately notice a certain ease – a comfort that washes through the space, cool and refreshing like the mottled greys, teals, and creamy whites that she expertly cuts into her canvases with a well-used palette knife.

Her paintings are slightly abstract, like a dream, nostalgic in the way that they invoke the rich textures of a community life little remembered in today’s urban society. A painting of an old white timber-clad country church hangs on one wall. On the opposite side of the large, light-filled studio window, you’ll see a washed-out teardrop camper, the door hanging open as an invitation. Paintings of hymns and rural landscapes are scattered throughout the space, bringing serenity to the organized chaos of a working studio: crates, clamps, and dozens of half-empty paint cans.

“I’m a lifelong artist,” says Shari. “It was my major in college, but life took me a different direction. In the past couple of years I’ve made it my career. It’s been a real treat to walk up my stairs into my artist studio and feel like I’m going to work.”

For thirteen years, Shari has called Westhaven home. Westhaven’s mixed-use design, which integrates apartments and single-family homes with dining and retail, has allowed Shari to have a workspace just a few steps away from her living space.

“Having a home studio has been a joy,” she says. “To not have to get in a car and go to a studio and schlep my paintings all over the place is great! I just walk up my stairs, turn on some music, grab a cup of coffee and get to work. Living in Westhaven has enhanced my life and truly simplified it.

Of course, the unique mixed-use setting isn’t the only perk to living in a community like Westhaven. With a variety of housing types and sizes, Westhaven attracts a diversity of people from all ages and income levels. Community events like Westhaven Porchfest and music concerts throughout the summer bring together residents from all corners of the community… not that there are many “corners” in a highly connected community like Westhaven, where paths and walkable streets form an easy-access network for all.

“I have always loved the music series that we have on the great lawn,” says Shari. “Instead of just coming and plopping down a chair, you’ll have people that bring tables and tablecloths and their food and wine… they make an event of it, ten feet from their house. People make life beautiful here.”

To learn more about how Westhaven residents like Shari enjoy a more simple, beautiful life, visit #LifeSimplified

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