Sarah & Chad’s Long Distance School of Style

updated Dec 19, 2019
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Name: Sarah & Chad
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Size: 1350 square feet
Lived in: 6 months

Sarah and Chad (who you might remember from their House Call) make me feel lazy. I have a long list of decorating to-dos and the only thing holding me back is me! Living in a big city, my access to supplies is widespread, shopping for furniture both new and used is a no-brainer, prices are competitive and shipping costs for home improvement goods just isn’t usually a factor. Not so for these two! They live in Iqaluit, in the northernmost part of Canada where there are only two stores, prices are inflated and simply getting things shipped in is a major consideration…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Sarah fills us in: I live in the Canadian arctic in the newest and northernmost territory. There are no roads to connect us to the rest of Canada and everything must be flown in or brought in once a year by boat. You can imagine how difficult and expensive that is. My boyfriend and I bought a condo here six months ago and have been slowly changing the beige box into a colorful home that brightens even the 24 hours of darkness in the winter. We love the people, landscape and culture here and now we love our home too. It’s also pretty fun to snowmobile to work.

Sarah and Chad don’t let any of the considerable logistics and availability issues created by their location stop them from creating the home they want. This lovingly designed place came together quickly – working hard, on a budget, thanking the internet gods for Etsy and eBay and going DIY whenever possible, they have slowly but surely turned a basic interior into a one of kind, distinctively designed home.

Looking at the photos of their place is like a taking a quick course in good DIY design: lessons included are how to embrace incorporate pattern and color fearlessly and well, how to add personality by embracing family memories and secondhand finds and how to make easily available materials feel unique through imaginative use. Take a peek at the slideshow to see what I mean – school is in session!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern and graphic

Inspiration: travel, design blogs, magazines and online magazines

Favorite Element: The amount of space we have now. We moved to Nunavut with 2-bedroom apartment’s worth of furniture and lived in a tiny one-bedroom place for almost three years. The sofa blocked the entrance to the bedroom and the bathroom was practically in the middle of the living room- not great for having guests over.

Biggest Challenge: Working with what we have and figuring out what we can get shipped here on a budget.

What Friends Say: ‘Are we still in Iqaluit?’

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen and bathroom counters. They are the next things we plan on changing.

Proudest DIY: Installing (and carrying up the 40 stairs to our door) all new flooring. The original vinyl floor was what we coined ‘vomit camouflage’

Biggest Indulgence: Paint- it was so expensive here. We started with the intention of painting the bathroom and ending up painting the entire place in a few weekends. The hardware store employees kept saying ‘you’re back again?’

Best Advice: If you’re on a budget or don’t have access to things it is possible to make what you have work-try ordering a slipcover, repaint something old, check out garage sales or if you’re lucky to have it-Craigslist. Rummage sales are very popular here since there is very little reasonably priced furniture to buy. It is an Iqaluit weekend tradition in the summer to go ‘rummage sale-ing’. There is also a great online sell/swap site for Iqaluit- everyone here really makes use of everything.

Dream Sources: Being able to shop for vintage items in person- or go to a flea market or antique store- it’s just not always the same buying things online. Design Within Reach, Paris flea markets or Marrakech would also be nice.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:

• Downstairs Hallway and Kitchen: Pittsburgh Paints-Hearty Hosta 208-5
• Entry-Way, staircase, upstairs hallway, and bedroom: Pittsburgh Paints-Flagstone-518-4
• Downstairs bathroom and laundry area: Pittsburgh Paints-Knight’s Armor 518-6
• Upstairs bathroom, bedroom side table and tabletop: Pittsburgh Paints-Golden Cricket-210-5
• Living Room: Pittsburgh Paints-Thin Ice 518-3

• Wallpaper-Walmart
• Photograph-frame Ikea, portrait of Sarah’s grandfather enlarged
•metal storage bins-Pottery Barn Teen
• floating console-CB2
• Mirrors- ebay
• Wall-mounted Letterpress tray and letters-etsy

• Wallpaper- Walmart
-Bookcase, Sofa, coffee table, tv stand-Ikea
• sofa slipcovers-Bemz
•table and all chairs-vintage
• sputnik light-etsy
-arc lamp-gift
-flokati rug-ebay
-kilm pillow covers-ebay
-black and white pillows-walmart
-artwork- posters from Cuba and Berlin-Ikea and custom frame
– staircase artwork-frame ikea, vintage photo enlarged
-vintage bus destination blind sign-etsy
-bar chart-etsy

• mosaic tile-ebay
•faucet-home depot
•dishtowels and yellow pot-etsy

• bed-Ikea
•orange lamps-ebay
•Hanging textile-Otomi purchased in Mexico
-Pillows-Ikea and vintage
-pottery-mexico and vintage
-print-purchased in China, umbra frame

• Vintage drycleaning poster-etsy, ikea frame
•laundry hampers-umbra
•telephone table and telephone-gift and ebay
•Print-Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts &
•Outdoor lighting
-metal numbers and birds-vintage
-resin deer heads-ebay

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Sarah & Chad!

Images: Sarah & Chad

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