A Crafty Designer’s Vibrant DIYed Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Crafty Designer’s Vibrant DIYed Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Teri Clar and Patrick Choquette, plus their dog, Nami
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 925 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years, Rented (1 of them including Patrick!)

Ombre bedroom accent walls in Crushed Velvet and a moody, modern den in Hale Navy? Check and check. Welcome to the home of interior designer and business owner Teri Clar. Teri resides in in Arlington, Virginia with her fiancé, Patrick and their dog, Nami. Her design sense, paintings and crafty DIY projects can be seen throughout the space. From upgraded $4 Goodwill side tables to custom shelves built from copper piping and reclaimed wood, she has a talent for finding and repurposing unique, budget-friendly pieces into cohesive design concepts.

Teri and Patrick both volunteered with the Peace Corps in different countries (Teri in Tanzania and Patrick in Ghana), and met each other at a Peace Corps event back in the United States. Elements from both of their adventures populate the home, as do elements from both of their families. Including Nami, who came back from Tanzania with Teri!

Teri lived in the apartment for two-and-a-half years before Patrick moved in, which took some adjusting. To prepare their first home together, the two speedily defined their vision in under a month, spending each day working on new projects. The modern black and white color palette led the way. The result was a space that is bold, playful, uncluttered, and joyous to live in.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Energetic, Colorful, Eclectic, Fun!

Inspiration: Our style blend. Patrick is much more modern and minimalist than me. I like a lot of color and pattern. We had to find our similarities and roll with that!

Favorite Element: The den. I love the dark walls, and the use of reclaimed wood and copper pipe. I love all of our personal touches everywhere too. I like looking around and seeing both of our families’ things scattered around our home. The fireplace isn’t so bad either!

Biggest Challenge: My dining room table was the hardest DIY project I have ever done. I had to sand and scrape down a thick layer of white paint off of the table and legs when I bought it off Craigslist. I sanded too far, which inspired painting it in black and white… (a happy accident!)

What Friends Say: Everyone LOVES the den bookshelves. People love the color on the walls. And people always tell me how it still looks very “me” even though it’s so different than how it used to be, and that Patrick’s style is so central to the design.

Biggest Embarrassment: We had quite a few re-do’s! The living room started out a dark army green color actually! When my sister was getting rid of her navy sofa (which was my FAVORITE), I couldn’t let it go — so to Patrick’s dismay, we repainted, and redesigned the living room to work around the sofa.

Proudest DIY: The open shelf pantry off of the kitchen. It was so awful before with its dusty glass shelves! Painting the interior black and making new wood shelves with a homemade salvaged stain gave it such an edge.

Biggest Indulgence: I would’ve said the rug in my bedroom. I loved this rug SO much that I was willing to spend five times what I ended up getting it for! I waited it out though, called the store, and got it on super-discount! I’m too crafty to say I indulged very much.

Best Advice: What saved us was speed. We knew we were moving in together a couple months before it happened, so I had plenty of time to plan! If it were up to Patrick, he would’ve gone much slower, and bought pieces as they came to us. But then you end up with a hodge-podge and you’re in limbo in your own home for months. Instead, we pulled our home together in under a month and worked on projects every day with the end goal in mind. Then we got to enjoy our first home together that much sooner! The way to plan? Find your North Star, and then do everything with that in mind. For us it was the modern black and white color palette and clearing out the clutter!

Dream Sources: Check out Calypso St Barth. Their home collection is just dreamy.


Benjamin Moore — Hale Navy, Decorators White, Crushed Velvet

blue sofa — hand me down from sister, originally Crate & Barrel
White Sofa — IKEA (Landlord’s!)
Area rug — Can’t remember? Wayfair?
Toy box — Craigslist and painted black
Black Coffee table — Craigslist and painted black
End table — Surya
Gray ottoman cubes — Target
Light fixture — Wayfair
furry chair — Z Gallerie
black desk — hand me down from sister, knobs from Anthropologie
blue pillow — west elm
black and white pillow and throw —IKEA
curtains — Target
black and white map painting above sofa — I painted
Tryptic — Des Moines illustrations (where Patrick is from) from Raygun

table — Craigslist and painted black and white
chairs — IKEA and painted gray
area rug — amazon
4 pieces of art — from Rochester Contemporary Art Center (where I used to volunteer) 6×6 collection

Headboard — Craigslist
Area Rug — Calypso St Barth
Pillow — Calypso St Barth
Duvet Cover — CB2
Dresser — hand-me-down from brother in law
Nightstand — Goodwill and painted black and white
Swag light — Etsy
Lamp — hand-me-down from Teris Parents
Bench — Target

Salvaged wood/Copper pipe Shelf — DIY
Wood desk — DIY
Copper Curtain Rod — DIY
Curtains — Target
Round coffee table — Wayfair
Area Rug — IKEA
Black and white Pottery Pitcher — from a local potter
Macrame Plant hanger — Amazon
End Table $4 Goodwill and painted
Pull out sofa — IKEA
Bar height desk: (top) — IKEA (legs)- Etsy
pillow — CB2
Lamp — Target
Art — Teri photographed & Patrick modeled, printed by
Copper chairs — Wayfair
Stools — Amazon

Thanks, Teri and Patrick!

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