Name: Craig and Emily Berman
Location: Logan Square, Chicago
Size: 1000 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year in September
You may remember Craig Berman's pinch salt cellar and pepper shaker set from its honorable mention recognition at this year's MDF: Chicago Furniture Now exhibition. We were excited that the local designer opened up his home, with wife, Emily, to reveal a modern rehab with plenty of vintage charm...
1. Our Style… Shabby chic meets modern sleek meets budget conscious new homeowner meets avid crafter meets product designer. We used to have two drastically different decorating tastes, Emily as a shabby chic antique lover and Craig as a black and white modernist, but we’ve both come towards a good middle-ground, incorporating vintage with contemporary and infusing warm modernism with antique intricacy.
2. The Inspiration for our home…
The inspiration for our home comes from intelligent originality, balanced proportions, classic detailing, modern simplicity, art deco, mid century modernism, graphic patterns, lived-in spaces, nature motifs, minimalist forms, food culture, creative culture, handmade touches, and the texture and contrasts of Logan Square!
Photos by Evan Thomas
3. Favorite element… 1930’s compactum, a men’s armoire. Emily’s mother gave it to us as a wedding gift. It has been used for a tv cabinet, linen closet, china cabinet, general storage, and currently proudly houses our wine, liquor and glassware, so we use it nearly every day.
4. Biggest Challenge in designing our home… turning a gut rehab condo into something unique and staying budget conscious without settling. For our first home we didn’t want a generic white box rehabbed condo, so we chose a turn-of-the-century building in the heart of Logan Square that has external character (rounded turrets in the dining area and guest room), but it’s always a challenge to find ways to give character to the brand new dry-walled interior. Another challenge is finding a furniture middle-ground—it’s easy to lust over slightly (or not so slightly) out-of-reach design elements or to settle for a “temporary” fix that may end up being more permanent than planned.
5. What friends Say about our home… Our friends always compliment our style, and ability to mix DIY with store bought and antique pieces. We also get comments on our organization…Emily is a compulsive organizer/tidier.
6. Biggest Embarrassment in our home… the closets! They are jam packed with books, cds, heirloom china, and of course junk that we can’t bear to throw away but can’t really find a home for.
7. Proudest DIY… Craig designed two pieces, a salt and pepper set called ‘Pinch’ and a side table called ‘Perforated’ (in collaboration with friend, George Aye) that were exhibited at the Design Within Reach ‘Chicago Furniture Now’ competition this past winter. Pinch won an honorable mention and has a proud place in Emily’s salt and pepper set collection. Emily has been creating collaged paintings using vintage Audubon prints and will hopefully begin producing and selling some soon, when she finds some free time!
8. biggest Indulgence with respect to my home… kitchen items. It seems we are always holding off on buying that rug or that decorative accent piece, but don’t hesitate to spend money on cookware or good knives. Emily loves to cook and we entertain often, so we make good use out of them.
9. Best Advice given or received… We always tell people to not be afraid of decorating. A wall with lots of art or a diy mural project looks worlds better than an empty naked space. Nail holes can always be patched and paint can always be covered up.
10. Dream Source for stuff… 90 minute free-for-all shopping spree at Luminaire, discovering an amazing antique shop in an unexpected place, stumbling across an estate sale of vintage modern design lovers, buying from independent designers/crafters/artists, designing it ourselves and then flying to Milan and selling the design to Cappellini.
• Everything in the kitchen is Frigidaire, stainless steel de rigeur.
• Kitchen and bathroom cabinet handles are Ikea
• Sofa: Room and Board
• Coffee Table: CB2
• Dining Table: Crate and Barrel
• Dining Chairs: Jacobsen knock-offs (Sorry Arne, someday we’ll be legit)
• Living Room Chair: Danish Modern antique store find
• Mirror: Thrift Store find
• Bar Stools: Aldi! (Yes the gocery store) Painted white by Craig
• Bookcases: Both Ikea
• Bedroom Dresser/Buffet: Thrift Store, $40
• Bedroom Bedside Tables: Emily’s great grandmother’s
• Bedroom Desk/Chair: Telephone table/chair combo-- yard sale find, $10
• Office Desk: Craig DIY – a hollow core door painted white and IKEA legs
• Office chairs: Magis Easy Chairs from DWR
• Office Side Table: Original Aye&Berman design
• Liquor cabinet: 1930’s Compactum from Emily’s mother
• Antique Salt and Pepper collection: various antique/thrift stores, with a few modern pieces mixed in, including Craig’s ‘Pinch’ set
• Eva Zeisel pottery collection: ebay
• Various prints: yard sale finds, Christopher Silas Neal print, Etsy.com purchases, tinyshowcase.com prints, etc.
• Pink planters in kitchen from Sprout home.
• Various ceramics, some made by Emily in college, others as gifts, thrift stores, ebay, hand me downs., etc.
• Red Pendant Lamp above dining table: CB2. Placeholder for a Nelson pendant lamp that we’ll break down and purchase someday.
• Main space: Sherwin Williams “Agreeable Grey”
• Master Bedroom: Sherwin Williams “Take Five”
Tiles and Stone
• Puebla travertine marble on bathroom floors, black absolute granite on kitchen counter.
• 3 day blinds! One of the first purchases for our new home, as we’re on the garden level and our privacy was our #1 priority.
• Vintage tin ceiling tile on mantle: architectural artifacts store
• Letter ‘G’ on mantle: ebay
• Silverware print on mantle: a craft fair years ago
• Photo on top of compactum: yard sale find
• Trailer home print in hallway: by Alika Cooper
• Head and house print in hallway: by Christopher Silas Neal
• Blue Bird print in hallway: etsy.com find
• NYC Bench print on bookcase: gift from Emily’s mother
• Brick photograph in bedroom: Craig Berman
• Green bird collage in guest bathroom: Emily Berman