CHI House Tour: Jessica & Alex's Simple Modern On a Budget

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Name: Jessica, a graphic designer and Alex, a packaging engineer
Location: Evanston
Size: 1920's 3 Bedroom Condo - (Don't know the square footage; too lazy to measure)
Years lived in: 2

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Though we have yet to meet in person, we feel like we know Jessica a bit - we "discovered" her colorful Chicago home through her blog and sent her an email asking if she'd be up for sharing it with the Apartment Therapy community, and happily she agreed. She and Alex both work in visual fields, so it comes as no surprise that their home is vibrant, attractive and full of nicely composed areas. Their workspace is one of the most cheerful and well organized we've seen...

2008-04-03-jessicaalexthu.jpg

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...making it easier to understand how Jessica manages to keep up her blog as well as her busy graphic and fabric design businesses.

Taking a look at Jessica and Alex's resource list, we see that they meant it when they said their style was "simple and modern on a budget" - the stores listed are known for their wallet-friendly pricepoints. Combining these store bought pieces with lots of original artwork and diy projects makes Jessica and Alex's place feel far from cookie cutter. The lesson here is that the budget is not the most important factor in designing a great looking, comfortable and happy home, creativity is.

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AT Survey:

My/Our style: Simple and modern on a budget

Inspiration: Cheerful colors and clean lines. Hmm, that’s vague, isn’t it?

Favorite Element: Big windows that let in lots of light

What Friends Say: “Did you paint that?”

Biggest Embarrassment: It’s a toss-up between the mold in the shower or the splintered floorboard in the hallway that we keep covered with a “Don’t Step Here” sign. One of these days we might get around to fixing it.

Proudest DIY: The little chair in our bedroom. We bought it at the local Salvation Army; then I painted it and recovered the seat with fabric I designed myself.

Biggest Indulgence: Books. Lots of them.

Best advice: Don’t be afraid of color, people!

Dream source: Scandinavian Design (locations in Evanston, Skokie, and Chicago)

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Resources:

All paintings on canvas: by Jessica
Couch and matching chairs: Dania
Wicker chairs: Pier 1
Coffee table: Target
Living room carpet tiles: Flor
Living room roller shades: Smith and Noble, Bamboo Shoots/Golden 3138
Dining table and sideboard: Ikea
Dining room curtains: Pier 1
Chandelier and sconces: Home Depot
White cabinets: Lowes
Office curtains: Target, painted on by Jessica
Office rug: Target
Bedroom wall decals: Blik
Bedding: Target
Living room paint: Behr Expedition Khaki 340F-4
Office paint: Behr Bavarian Cream 340E-3
Guestroom paint: Behr Japanese Maple 120F-6 and French Taupe 120E-2
Bedroom paint: Glidden Sassafras Tea 90YY 77/201

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(Thanks, Jessica and Alex!)

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Photos by Evan Thomas

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.