A Colourful Calgary Home

By Kellie Davenport
Homeowners Lori Andrews and Ken Corner. Photo: Lori Andrews
Homeowners Lori Andrews and Ken Corner. Photo: Lori Andrews

WHO? Lori Andrews, photographer/interior designer, and Ken Corner, portfolio manager: AMA Members since 2005
WHAT? 1,100-square-foot, 2 bed/2 bath house
WHEN? Owned 10 years
WHERE? Sunalta, Calgary

Size doesn’t matter. It’s a mantra that designer Lori Andrews and her partner Ken Corner live, eat and breathe in their Calgary home. The minimal maison may be compact, but it’s bursting with impact.

Lori describes her home as “modern, bright and cheerful minimalist, with pops of colour.” Considering it’s also more than a century old, Lori and Ken have worked hard to add that modern flavour, undertaking an extensive reno upon moving in. “Now, the place really reflects our style,” says Lori. “And we’ve curated art collections and furniture that we intend to keep for our lifetimes.”

The home has a distinct mid-century modern vibe, with low-profile sofas, clean-lined lamps, Eames chairs and retro-inspired credenzas and tables. CanCon is also key for the pair, as the home is sprinkled with pieces from Hudson’s Bay, Canadian furniture makers and local galleries.

Materials matter as well for the eco-conscious couple: “We gravitate toward modern styles that are socially and environmentally responsible.” That consciousness extends to their DIY game. Among their most loved pieces are high school gym-inspired lockers, carefully repurposed by Ken and transformed into the master bedroom wardrobe. “We’ve owned them for a very long time,” Lori explains, “Ken is the magician responsible for stripping off years of school paint and giving them a vivid red gloss.”

Basement bath. Photo: Lori Andrews
Basement bath. Photo: Lori Andrews

As a backdrop to such colourful pieces, the pair sticks to neutral wall colours throughout most of the home. The master features a cozy shade of grey, and Lori used her all-time favourite white throughout the main floor and basement.

The couple’s personality truly shines in the playful touches scattered throughout the home. Sock monkeys pop up in unexpected places like headboards and windowsills (many of them handmade by Lori herself). Toy trucks from Ken’s childhood make an appearance on a mantle. And a map of their Sunalta neighbourhood is emblazoned on the walls of the downstairs bathroom.

The result is a mix of streamlined design, cheeky nods to the pair’s playful side, and just the right amount of downtown Calgary cool.

In white or neutral rooms, add a few of pops of colour as focal points. Lori and Ken opted for a poppy-red Pierre Paulin lounge chair and colourful artwork. For visual contrast and a multi-layered look, Lori added a vintage chandelier over the sleek dining table. The combination of modern and traditional adds an eclectic and unexpected twist.

Living room. Photo: Lori Andrews
Living room. Photo: Lori Andrews

“I love vintage items, but I chose to purchase new sofas and chairs,” says Lori, noting that reupholstering older pieces can often cost more than buying new.

The quickest way to personalize your home? Art! “We’ve been collecting mid-career Canadian art for over a decade,” she says.

The home’s white palette extends to some furniture too. “We love our custom marble dining table,” says Lori. Ken’s dad welded the base nearly 20 years ago, and the couple added a snow-white marble top when they moved in. To inject pops of colour in the kitchen, Lori and Ken opted for a pixel-like back- splash. To makeover your backsplash, visit a Tile Town location in Edmonton: AMA members save 10 percent on tile and other products.

Master suite. Photo: Lori Andrews
Master suite. Photo: Lori Andrews

By far, the couple’s favourite DIY project is the red-locker wardrobe in their master bedroom. Ken sanded off layers of old paint to restore the salvaged gym lockers to their sporty glory.

Subtle doses of Canadiana cozy up modern design. “I’d wanted a Hudson’s Bay blanket since I was a teenager,” says Lori. “I finally made the investment last year and I love it! We curl up with it to watch movies.”