Michael & Anna
1750 square feet
Years lived in:
Michael and Anna (who work in advertising and as a chef, respectively) live in a heavy timber loft in a former garment factory in Bucktown. Their design aesthetic fits right in with the architecture of this historical space, where the huge windows overlook long-overgrown abandoned railroad tracks. With influences of natural materials (plants, wood, leather) combined with a strong nod to the industrial (pressed tin patterns, pipe fittings and metal), its got a highly unique rustic modern vibe that really works.
There is a strong sense of history informing the design decisions here, but it's not heavy handed - the generous natural light, flourishing plants and quirky-beautiful bits of artwork throughout keep things modern, fresh and alive. This interior feels like a celebration of the design influences of the past, not a stodgy museum display. The more one investigates Michael and Anna's loft through the photos, the more intriguing it becomes - items as varied as 19th century bronze chandeliers from Uruguay to explosion-proof coal mine lights co-exist in this one-of-a-kind home. Happy exploring!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Polystylism. Though that term is usually used in the context of music, I believe it applies to my aesthetic & application. There are modern, rustic, industrial, vintage, natural, baroque & improvised elements throughout the space. The only cohesive aspect, then, is the incongruity.
Inasmuch as I like the fruit of my labor, just as important to me is the process of turning a piece of whatever into a finished item: I like to MacGyver. Just as a knitter might enjoy or find a certain satisfaction in the process of creating his or her work, I find great satisfaction (albeit via frustration, impossibility, trips to Home Depot, consulting Wiki-what-the-hell-am-I-doing) in achieving my mission. I have neither power tools (save my drill,) workspace, nor do I hunt for inspiration. If I’m trolling an alley and see something that compels me to sniff, I’ll drag it home and start to repurpose it.
Amidst the indoor forest, looking through a windowed wall on to the abandoned, overgrown, pastoral railroad tracks (future Bloomingdale Trail,) briefly forgetting that we’re in the heart of the city.
Refraining from over-personalizing the space.
What Friends Say:
: “Wow, this feels like an aquarium; where did you get all of the plants?” (I realize an aquarium is for fish – comment prompted by all of the windows that reach to the 14’ ceiling; the terrarium comment stems from the variety, scale, vigor & intimidating plants.
Hanging a labyrinth of conduit for the repurposed light fixtures
A corded drill is probably the only power tool you need; The person who made the rule that items look better when grouped in odd numbers probably watches too much QVC.
Architectural Artifacts, Chicago, IL (architecturalartifacts.com), Get Back Inc, Oakville, CT (getbackinc.com), Scout, Chicago, IL (scoutchicago.com)
Main Room (dining/ living)
Teak dining room table – Design Within Reach
Red dining room chairs – Salvation Army
19th century bronze Uruguay chandeliers (pair) - Architectural Artifacts
Drop (tin) ceiling - DIY – American Tin Ceiling Company
Leather sofa – Room & Board
Coffee table DIY– Salvage One industrial trolley; wood top [Goncalo alves] pieced together from Wood World.
Silver resin pheasants – Vintage Pine
Quartz votive holders – Jayson Home & Garden
Weathered teak patio chairs – found in alley
Milking stool – garage sale
Burnt wood cone-shaped statuesque? – found, burned on beach.
Green locker – salvaged from basement of old apt
Vintage Marx pressed steel airplanes – Ebay
Plants – Jayson Home & Garden; Gethsemane Garden – and a few from Jewel. I’ve had the poinsettia for 12 years. Let me know if you have questions about the plants!
Leather chair & ottoman – Crate & Barrel
Salvaged white windows – PACA, Champaign, IL
Teak buffet – Crate & Barrel
Bronze shoe sculpture – Anna Jones
Explosion-proof coal mine light fixtures – Crouse Hinds Vapor Master – Ebay
Toledo Stools – Ebay
Knife Magnets – Northwestern Cutlery
Bed – Design Within Reach
Headboard – DIY – tin ceiling – American Tin Ceiling Company
Curtains – DIY – green silk from Jo-Ann Fabric; rod is water pipe from Home Depot.
Green Locker – thrift store
Dresser – IKEA
Reading Lamp – Architectural Artifacts
Graphite Drawing – Anna Jones, after photo by A. Stieglitz
Teak rocking chair – thrift store
Bed & headboard – found in alley [new mattress☺]
Elk shed – thrift store, Arizona
Mirror – Crusaders (thrift store, now out of business,)
Book shelving – DIY – found lumber in alley
Globe – antique store, Gilman, IL
Sheepskin Rugs – Room & Board
Night stands – (antique sewing cabinets) passed down from grandparent
Reading lamps on night stands – antique store, Gilman, IL
Study (repurposed bedroom)
Sofa – Anthropology
Wool Blanket - Helsinki, Finland
Chandelier – bronze & crystal – French. Lamp Doctor, Brooklyn, NY
Coffee Table – DIY – Register grill from PACA, Champaign, IL; industrial castors – Ebay
Oak Armoire – Time Well, Chicago, now out of business
Vine on wall – found in alley
Desk – Goodwill, Champaign, IL
Sewing table – found in alley
Yellow cargo trunk – thrift store
G. Schirmer Vocal Scores (Clothbound) – Wagner Operas – Used book stores
Graphite drawing – Anna Jones; Picture frame – DIY – found lumber in alley.
Explosion Proof pendant fixtures – Killark Vapor Guard
Oak Dresser – garage sale, Chicago
12’ ladder – parents’ garage, Oak Park
Art Deco sconce – thrift store, Arizona
(Thanks, Mike & Anna!)
Images: Evan Thomas