Name: Levi Dugat and Evette Richards
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 864 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, but they've owned it for almost 8 years (Levi and Evette moved down to the coast for 3 years and came back).
An artist and craftsman, Levi has not only drawn, painted and built most of this home's decorative elements, but he's also found a way to make it all blend into a cohesive and unique showcase for works from several artists in the community. Come stroll through this beautiful gallery of local talent and practical DIYs, before Evette and Levi say farewell to their labor of love and hello to a new home and life with their first child.
Evette and Levi's home is filled with great art and fantastic ideas. Pay attention to details high and low and you'll notice the color-blocked legs to the chairs, hand-crafted shelving and bed frames, and pastel colored doors that guide your eye through the space. The home's approachable and comfortable feel can be attributed to the use of Evette and Levi's childhood furniture throughout the space. Although these dressers and nightstands have been freshened up with bright color and modern hardware, they still maintain their classic form, giving you a peek into their childhood homes, while perhaps reminding you of your own.
Step out back and you'll notice that even their yard is open and inviting, featuring a large dining table made from an old door and benches crafted from reclaimed materials. Evette and Levi make sensible design look easy. You want to have a seat next to the fire pit with them and hear what stories and advice they have to share as the glow of the flames flickers across rows of glass Topo Chico bottles that line the flower beds.
Levi's style and influence aren't just bounded by the confines of this home, but reach out to the Paloma Beauty salon he opened with his wife, who is the head esthetician. There you'll not only notice the handmade touch Levi lends but also the sense of community and service the expectant couple is all about — they hold local art show events in the space. Levi might call his style obsessive and intense, but I think that's the plight of a gifted designer — always looking to make his impression on the world around him. It's hard to hold back when you know you can cause an effect in so many ways. Perhaps the biggest impacts are yet to come however, as this couple prepares to move into a new home with a fresh beginning — starting a family under this same vision. I'm sure even greater things lie ahead, and I can't wait to see.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I try to keep my style sincere, if nothing else. My aesthetic influences are really scattered, so I have to work really carefully and edit my spaces to keep the overall style cohesive and deliberate. That said, I lean towards rustic, classic, natural, clean, and weird. I'm big on overdoing it with patterns, textures and wood. Much love for pine, brass, whites, grays, copper, neon, and cotton.
Inspiration: Honestly, budget probably informs my aesthetic style before anything else, particularly in our home. Accessibility is always in the back of my mind during any design project. I guess that could be limiting creatively, but I appreciate the challenge it presents. We didn't have much money growing up and my Mama taught me how to design beautiful spaces that felt amazing to spend time in with hardly any money. So my initial influence/inspiration is the style and approach I've inherited from her. My sister Amy is a solid source of inspiration and critique that I probably couldn't function without.
The designers and artists I know are a HUGE source of inspiration for me. I'm constantly floored by the work of Gregory Tenenbown of Nonogon Design, Michelle Marchesseault of Red Start Design Studios, Jesse Hartman of Shift Build, and Christian Klein of Drophouse Design. Artist friends of mine - Jonah Groeneboer, Lisa Choinacky, Silka Sanchez, Sailor Holladay, Callen Thompson, Aimee Jones, Christy Curcuru, Karen Longshore, Teresa Robinson, Katherine Wolff, Sarah Murphy (too many to name!) — their work has a profound influence on my design style, even when it doesn't feel directly relevant. I realize sometimes that I'm sort of unconsciously designing an entire room or house around the spine of a book or a necklace I was really taken with, so I end up being inspired pretty heavily by random details in my environment.
Favorite Element: Good energy. It's most important to me that spaces I spend time in or design feel good, rather than just look good. I'm never really satisfied with how my home looks, aesthetically, because my style is constantly evolving. One element that I'm always able to keep consistent is the way my spaces feel to me: clean, welcoming, and inspiring.
Biggest Challenge: My tendency of overdoing it is a little intense. I tend to take on too many projects at once or get revved on some new project and have a hard time relaxing in my space until the process of changing it is complete. We've done a LOT of remodeling together in both the houses we've owned, and it's exhausting. I finally realized I was using our home as my design laboratory, where I did all my experimenting. It's been crucial to my development as an artist and designer but it's stressful to live inside of while that's going on. I feel like I finally found what I was looking for this year though, so hopefully I'm done deconstructing our home for a while.
What Friends Say: "Woah, y'all painted AGAIN!"
Biggest Embarrassment: Probably how often I repainted all the rooms in our house since we moved in. The guest room just got painted for the sixth time since we've lived here and I repainted the bathroom three times this year alone. Crazy!
Proudest DIY: We did almost all the remodel work that's gone into our home ourselves and taught ourselves the skills we needed to do it over the years. I'm really proud of all of it.
Biggest Indulgence: The appliances. We went a little nuts on those but it feels totally worth it.
Best Advice: I feel that the most essential purpose of interior design/decoration is to make the people spending time within a space feel present. Make decisions with that goal in mind. Your home isn't meant to be a design museum, it's meant to be lived in.
Dream Sources: Oh, Lacoli & McAllister, hands down. And probably anything from the designers listed above.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Olympic: Ash Mist eggshell (this color is throughout the house
• Olympic: Witch Hazel eggshell (in the master bedroom)
• Behr Ultra: Firecracker semi-gloss (hallway doors)
• Behr Ultra: Beacon Blue eggshell (vanity in bedroom)
• Sofa: Ikea
• Side tables: thrift store finds that I painted/refinished with Briwax
• Coffee table: I made this from an old piece of lumber a friend gave me
• White shelves: Ikea
• Hutch: antique from Mexico my Mama gave me after we left it out in the rain for a few months by accident, I spray painted the knobs neon pink.
• Table: antique made from old barn wood in Bellville, Texas before reclaimed furniture was fancy. (My Mama is ahead of her time!) This was my childhood dining table
• Bentwood chairs: antique, we got these on our honeymoon in Leadville, CO
• Light fixtures: Ikea
• For Like Ever poster: Super Rural
• Framed photos: by Silka Sanchez
• Painting above dining table: by artist couple Christy + Philip Curcuru
• Wooden diamond: I made this for Evette as a gift when she graduated from Evergreen
• Wood blinds: Ikea
• Mirror: vintage
• Lamps: vintage find from a little resale shop in Corpus Christi, Texas
• Red, ceramic rock sculpture: Caitlin Sweet.
• Wooden shelves: I made these
• Green cabinet: antique from Evette's dad that I repainted
• Concrete planter: Oh, Laszlo
• Vanity: family heirloom that I repainted, the bentwood stool is a vintage piece that I spray painted satin black
• Bed frame: made by my sister Amy and I
• Golden Oak dresser: antique, found in Houston and refinished with Briwax
• White dresser: Evette's childhood dresser, we repainted it and sprayed the knobs neon pink.
• Bentwood chair nightstands: my childhood dining chairs, refinished and sprayed neon yellow (hint: it doesn't really turn out neon)
• Earring rack: I made this for Evette with brass pipe, copper wiring and screws
• Framed photo: by Silka Sanchez
• Deer Head is wearing a Growing Jewelry necklace.
• Mirror: Ikea
• Ikat pillowcases: Kristy Cowart
• Laundry baskets: Target
• The necklaces are made by my sister Amy Dugat, that Evette gets to test drive before we sell them in our shop.
• Boat photo and woven art: vintage
• Pink metal stool: vintage piece my Mama gave me that I spray painted neon pink
• Wooden shelf: made them myself with brackets from Ikea
• Mirror: Vintage, came with the house
• Shelves: brackets from Ikea, wood from Home Depot
• Shower curtain: vintage
• White shelves: Ikea
• Bed frame: made by my sister Amy and I
• Dresser: family heirloom that I refinished
• Desk: legs from Ikea, I cut/finished the wood top
• Photo above bed: by Stacey Halper
• Light fixture: Ikea
• Mirror: vintage
• Vases: vintage wine decanters with the handles cut off
• Light fixture: West Elm
• Framed art: vintage from Round Top, Texas
• Tote Bag: Rock Paper Scissors
• Hooks: Ikea
Thanks, Levi and Evette!
(Images: Chris Perez)
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