Jori Cheville and her boyfriend, Evan Ashby, are all about recycling when it comes to decorating their Crossroads Arts District loft.
“Everything in here was a hand-me-down, free, or under $100,” Cheville says. So nothing really matches, and almost every piece of furniture has scratches, tears or chipping paint.
But when you put all of those imperfect pieces together, the result is a beautiful, cozy kind of perfection.
The artistic couple (Cheville is a painter and sculptor, and Ashby is a photographer and musician in the band Everyday/Everynight) have warmed up their raw, L-shaped space with worn furniture finds from the River Market Antique Mall, Thistle Vintage Studio and an auction at the Kansas City Arts Incubator, which closed last year.
One of the most unique “rooms” in the loft is the kitchen. Cheville and Ashby found the metal cabinets abandoned in a hallway. They bought a tool bench from the antique mall to use as an island, and Ashby mounted a worn wooden tabletop from the Arts Incubator auction on the wall as a bulletin board. Then he made a dramatic light fixture by threading bare lightbulbs through an old, rusty set of box springs.
“He’s quite the homemaker,” Cheville jokes.
The not-too-precious furniture allows what is truly valuable to this couple, art, to stand out in a big way. The couple’s collection includes work by local artists Wilbur Niewald, Daniel Avazpour, Davey Gant and Courtney Wasson. Cheville and Ashby, who each have a studio in the 1,700-square-foot space, also display some of their own work.
The loft often becomes the go-to hangout for friends after Crossroads galleries close on First Fridays. It’s times like those that the couple realize how much they love their neighborhood and the nest they’ve built there.
“It’s a really exciting time to be down here,” Ashby says. “We have something really special.”