A Tour of Two Trendy Lofts in Olneyville

These design enthusiasts bring their own aesthetic touches to similar living spaces.

Photography by Howard Chu.

Style Evolution

Just down the hall from Webster and Aguiar, Kara Evans’s loft is equally light-filled and open despite its slightly different layout. Like the couple, Evans’s decision to move here was an easy one thanks to the oversized windows, high ceilings and exposed brick. In fact, the Ello Pretty hairstylist, who moved to Providence from Massachusetts in the fall, wasn’t even looking for a place when she came to check out the apartment and decided to sign a lease on the spot. 

Describing herself as “aesthetically driven,” Evans wasted no time putting her own spin on the space. 


While the large mirror was a HomeGoods find, Evans prefers to acquire most of her furniture from vintage and thrift stores. Photography by Howard Chu.

“I like things to look a little different. I want people to walk in and get the sense they are at a lounge or restaurant, but still feel like a home at the same time. It’s an extra feeling I’m going for,” Evans says. 

Though Evans has always loved bohemian pieces, she says she’s now finding herself more drawn to a minimalist style.

It’s a unique dichotomy that is reflected throughout the loft, most notably in the main living area, where a large Ikea sofa anchors the room and serves as a neutral counterpart to Evans’s many vintage and thrift store finds, which are scattered throughout. 

Make It Work

To ensure every piece of furniture and decor fits her aesthetic, Evans often takes matters into her own hands. The kelly green 1950s console was a thrift store find; she added textured panels, then painted its vibrant hue. And many of the large pieces of art were high-resolution Google images that she had printed and then framed to the wall. She’s currently working on a geometric mural in her bedroom, sketching out and hand-painting each peach and pink square. When that’s completed, Evans plans to turn her attention to the wall behind the couch where she wants to add floor-to-ceiling shelves for a dramatic library-like effect. 


The large wall art and bedroom mural are the results of Evans’s DIY decorating style. Below, her cat Capone finds the perfect spot atop the kitchen cabinets. Photography by Howard Chu.

Even when she’s not DIYing, Evans will go the extra mile to get that perfect piece. Take, for example, the cow skull propped behind the couch. She spent several months waiting until the price on it went down, visiting the store where she found it every few weeks to make sure it was still there. 

For Evans, “aesthetics over all” is a mantra she lives by. 


Photography by Howard Chu.

Every few weeks, she drags out a ladder to water the plants perched in the loft space above her bed. It’s an inconvenience most would shy away from, but for Evans, as long as it looks good, a little discomfort is fine. 

“I don’t live efficiently. If I could have all white floors, I would.”

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