Artful Living in a Swedish Country Style Rhode Island Victorian

Artful Living in a Swedish Country Style Rhode Island Victorian

Adrienne Breaux
Mar 10, 2017

Name: Elizabeth Duvivier, dogs Daisy and Oliver
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

Elizabeth is a writer, painter and the founder of Squam Art Workshops. Her home reflects the work she does with this creative community, and is filled with treasures from around the world. The space is bright, comfortable, and full of books and art. She shares the home with her beloved dogs, Daisy and Oliver.

Elizabeth fell in love with Providence and, after renting for a number of years — we actually featured her rental apartment in 2012 — she took the plunge and purchased a 1900 Victorian house in November 2014. She spent three months renovating it before moving in. There is a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor that she rents out, and she and the dogs live on the top two floors, which are also home to her office and studio.

Her furniture is often re-purposed, repainted or reupholstered, as she believes deeply in the maxim, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Bookshelves and tabletops hold the collection of shells and stones she finds on the beach or in the woods while walking her dogs each morning. Textiles (19th century hand-woven linen, in particular) cozy up next to her own work and the artwork she has found over the years.

The third floor's 500 square foot studio space, with vaulted ceilings and white floors, is where she spends most of her time. However, one of her most favorite parts of the renovation was cutting a hole in the wall of the kitchen so it connected directly with the dining room, allowing for cozy, tapas-style entertaining. Her friends can sit at the bar on the other side of the wall and share stories while she cooks in the kitchen.

Elizabeth is a writer and yoga teacher who cherishes her early mornings. Soft, comfy spots throughout the house allow her to sink into a book or meditation. Not surprisingly, friends often ask to house-sit when Elizabeth travels —spending time in her home feels a bit like going on a spiritual retreat.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Artful living

Inspiration: Swedish country — white floors, simple lines.

Favorite Element: The third floor studio that is on the other side of my bedroom is something I always dreamed of.

Biggest Challenge: I took out the third floor bathroom when I renovated the studio so there is only one bath. It's fine normally, since it's just me — but when I have weekend guests I sometimes wish I had another one to offer.

What Friends Say: I don't want to leave.

Biggest Embarrassment: There really isn't anything that embarrasses me, but like any homeowner, I always have another project to work on. Next summer is the back porch.

Proudest DIY: I worked directly with the contractors on the entire remodel — there was no interior designer or general contractor, it was just me — so I was pretty proud of myself in how it came out for the budget I had.

Biggest Indulgence: I like repurposing things versus purchasing, but I would say good rugs tend to have a way with me.

Best Advice: My friend Asya Palatova was the one who had the idea of putting a hole in the wall between the kitchen and dining room and I am so glad she suggested it.

Dream Resources: Rustigan Rugs here in Providence is family owned and just incredibly great to work with.


Painting, Dominique Fortin
Sofa, Restoration Hardware
Rug, RustiganRugs
Cocktail table, Susy Pilgrim Waters
Hutch, vintage from Bucks County

Plates from my mom and grandmother
Wooden Spoons, Linen and Spoon
Sucre tin, vintage from a flea market in Paris
Dishtowel, Susy Pilgrim Waters

Duvet, YvesDelorme, Idylle
Queen bed, Bedworks
Green Hutch, vintage, NH second-hand store

Daybed, Bedworks
Rug, West Elm
Bureau, vintage second-hand shop NH
Textiles, gifts from friends, vintage African and Indian

Bed, West Elm
Duvet, Anthropologie
Rug, West Elm
Blue table, second hand store
Pillow, The Rise and Fall

Painting, Lucille Marcotte
Love, Colleen Attara
White Chair, inherited, reupholstered in 19th c linen
Chest of drawers, IKEA
Desk, Pottery Barn

Thanks, Elizabeth!

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