|Creative class: DIY design|
|Written by Vivian McInerny|
|Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00|
Dozens of clear containers filled with colorful legumes, textured grains and shaped pastas form an intriguing display in the kitchen.
“It’s my bento-box mentality,” says Christopher Giovarelli.
His entire loft in Northwest Portland, like a traditional Japanese lunch box, is precisely arranged to present the everyday in extraordinary ways. Old book pages work as wallpaper. A battered door serves as a breakfast bar. A cluster of light bulbs hanging on wires forms a casual chandelier. Even his big-box purchases have been personalized in some way for a unique look.
Giovarelli, a marketing professional with a funeral-services insurance company, has an eye for decorating on a dime. He’s created a distinct sense of home in his Pearl District rental using an imaginative mix of budget contemporary furniture and reclaimed and reworked vintage pieces. Fearless when it comes to home improvement projects, he has tackled painting, paneling and papering but leaves wiring to trained electricians after an unfortunate first attempt.
“Sparks came out of the wall,” he says.
Built for commercial use, the ground-floor space is a windowless rectangle except for a storefront wall of glass facing a fairly busy street. (The panes are partially frosted for privacy.) The main floor serves as Giovarelli’s living room, dining room and kitchen. Open stairs lead up to a loft, where he’s carved out a bedroom and second small sitting area.