Michael & Anna's Rustic Modern Loft

Michael & Anna's Rustic Modern Loft

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Janel Laban
Dec 7, 2009
Name: Michael & Anna Location: Chicago Size: 1750 square feet Years lived in: 2 years 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: Our style: 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. Inspiration: 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. Favorite Element: 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. Biggest Challenge: 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. Biggest Embarrassment: Kitchen cabinets? Proudest DIY: Hanging a labyrinth of conduit for the repurposed light fixtures Biggest Indulgence: Kitchen knives Best advice: 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. Dream source: Architectural Artifacts, Chicago, IL (architecturalartifacts.com), Get Back Inc, Oakville, CT (getbackinc.com), Scout, Chicago, IL (scoutchicago.com) Resources: 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 Kitchen Explosion-proof coal mine light fixtures – Crouse Hinds Vapor Master – Ebay Toledo Stools – Ebay Knife Magnets – Northwestern Cutlery Master Bedroom 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 Guest Bedroom 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 Hallway 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
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