Terri and Evan's Blue Velvet Home

House Tour

Name: Terri and Evan (plus three cats: Skittles, Emma and Frida)
Location: Saskatoon, Saskachewan, Canada
Size: 740 sq ft (not including the veranda)
Years lived in: 1 ½ years - owned

I first e-met Terri and Evan when I discovered their kitchen transformation on the Apartment Therapy LA Flickr pool. A deft and playful sense of color and texture, the delicate balance between neutral and bold -- hmmm, surely these traits suggested that there was an artist at work behind the scenes. I was right. I wanted to see more. A few months later, after a little more work on the house, with Terri itching to use her new Nikon, my wish came true.

It's tempting to put off doing things that you won't be able to take with you when you're in a first home or a rental. That's the attitude that trips many of us up, leaving us feeling like squatters in our own homes. Better idea: make your home, however temporary, a place that's comfortable and reflective of you. And, that is exactly what Terri and Evan have done, starting with their kitchen renovation, now a wonderful place to cook and to entertain. The bold color choices that Terri makes in her work, large swatches of soft blues, greens and oranges, are apparent in their home. But, somehow, though bold, the colors are not overpowering. Connecting one end of the home to the other, they're offset by strong shapes and playful mixes of pattern. Will there be good memories when they eventually leave here? You betcha!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

MY/OUR Style: Modern eclectic - we like clean lines, but we're also into retro patterns and objects.

Inspiration: Terri's art practice is very colourful, and that frequently finds its way into our house. We also read a lot of magazines and blogs (such as AT).

Favorite Element: We both love the glassed in veranda - it doesn't see much use in winter, but we spend a lot of time out there from spring through fall. Our runner-up favourite element is the kitchen, which is truly huge for a house this size.

Biggest Challenge: No closets! With the exception of the pantry closet in the kitchen, all our storage takes the form of furniture, some of it very ugly.

What Friends Say: "It's so comfortable and YOU" and "I could never be that brave." We think most people are referring to the blue velvet sofa more than anything else

Biggest Embarrassment: The basement (hence, no pictures). It's unfinished, and is strictly used for storage. It also houses a very messy workbench. The runner-up embarrassment for Terri is the rickety Walmart wardrobe in the bedroom. It came with the house, the storage is necessary, and we haven't found a replacement for it yet.

Proudest DIY: Evan - Hiding all of the living room AV cables in the walls and ceiling (and floor). Terri - Recovering my Grandmother's dining room chairs. Joint effort - We revamped our inefficiently remodeled kitchen on a very limited budget. And we're almost done! There's only one more wall to tile.

Biggest Indulgence: We had a little debate over this question: sofa, kitchen faucet or countertops? In the end, we chose the countertops. Spending money to buy a quality product that will last is always worth it. Spending money on pretty quartz countertops when there are a number of less expensive and equally durable options? That's an indulgence. We love our countertops, and they were worth every penny, but they put a lot of pressure on our kitchen reno budget.

Best Advice: We were told by a number of people not to bother doing anything with the kitchen since we were only planning to be here for a few years. For a while, we seriously considered that advice. In the end... we reno'd anyway. Why? Because Evan loves to cook, and I love to entertain - we didn't want to suffer with a useless kitchen that would always be the first thing we associated with our first house. Our advice is to make the right decisions for YOU, since you're the one that'll have to live with them.

Dream Sources: Our relative's throw-aways, thrift stores, and the internet. In a perfect world, shipping would be free (and eco-friendly).

Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

    • Living room - Coventry Grey - Benjamin Moore; Iron Mountain' - Benjamin Moore
    • Dining Room - Peacock Tail - Behr Premium
    • Kitchen - Coventry Grey - Benjamin Moore; Pencil Point - Behr Ultra (lower cabinets); Hint of Violet - Behr Ultra (upper cabinets & stove wall); Caribe - Behr Ultra (inside upper cabinets)

LIVING ROOM

    • Jaymar 'Talbot' sofa with Robert Allen cotton velvet
    • Light Blue Felt Cushion from Pier One;
    • Carlton House 'Art Deco' chair with Robert Allen black & white damask
    • 26" Black and White Cushion from Ikea
    • Stylus 'Cube' Ottoman with custom fabric
    • Artwork: "Heartless/Spineless" watercolor box artwork by Rory Macdonald; "Sea Urchin" acrylic painting by Ljubica Todorovic; "Spring Snow" acrylic painting by Ian Rawlinson; Anatomical Glass Heart by Miyuki Shinkai

DINING ROOM

    • Inherited Dining Set
    • Light Fixture from Nuevo Lighting
    & bull; Curtains from Ikea
    • Artwork - "We Are Not Two We Are One" screenprint by Christopher Bettig

KITCHEN

    • Range Hood from Ikea
    • Stove and Fridge from Whirlpool and Frigidaire
    • White Apron Sink from Ikea
    • Pots from Royal Doulton
    • Stainless Steel 'Dacke' Island from Ikea
    • 60" Maple Floating Shelves from a local carpenter
    • Quartz countertop from Michelangelo Marble & Granite Co., Saskatoon SK
    • Artwork - "Untitled" ink and watercolour drawing by Natsuko Yoshino; "Taped Hammer" and "Miniature Chair" ceramics by Marc Courtemanche; "Grey & Hot Pink Cherry Blossom Collage" by Samantha Walrod; "Untitled Landscape" acrylic painting by Kathleen Brady

VERANDA

    • Artwork - "Untitled" oil painting by Kathleen Brady

RELATED LINK:
• Check out Terri & Evan's recent Room for Color entry

Thanks, Terri & Evan!

Images: Terri Lemire

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