Hallie's Whimsical Yet Sophisticated South Loop Loft

House Tour Greatest Hits

Name: Hallie Glennie
Location: South Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 2 years; Owned

From the rustic wood ceilings crisscrossed by painted red duct work to the castle-sized windows surrounded by floor-to-ceiling exposed brick, her loft is the real deal — that sleek, urban look that suburbanites (like myself) often try to emulate with faux brick panels and prepackaged beadboard, but can never quite capture for lack of authenticity.

Hallie knew a gem when she found one — she made an offer on the space, and carefully stowed away treasures, making plans for the day it would be hers. She's implemented a lot of clever solutions for making the most of the space, including taking advantage of the ultra high ceilings by constructing a sleeper loft above the bedroom closet, and salvaging pieces from thrift stores and even her grandmother's kitchen to pull together a fun, modern look that still manages to feel warm and inviting. Funky light fixtures and fun splashes of color combine effortlessly with clean-lined, "grown up" furniture. The result? Whimsical sophistication, and a style all her own.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic /Modern/ Midcentury modern.

Inspiration: My friends and my family. As a kid, the first time I saw a Barcelona chair or sat in an Eames lounge chair was at my aunt and uncle's gold coast home. Later in life a close friend re-introduced me. I liked what she was collecting and how she was incorporating vintage/midcentury pieces into her home.

I enjoy looking at design sites like Houzz, Apartment Therapy and IKEA Hackers. I like seeing what other people are putting together.

Favorite Element: Adding the loft bed over the bedroom walk-in closet. My kids love it — it's like an indoor treehouse for them, but it is comfortable enough to use as a guest bed for a visiting adult.

Biggest Challenge: Budget. It was very tight. I had only $2,500 to spend on furnishings (excluding art), so everything is secondhand or vintage. I spent a lot of time online. Items were collected and stored in my garage over a period of months while I waited to close on the loft.

What Friends Say: I really enjoy sharing the space, and I get a lot of positive feedback. One guest who stayed said it was “like living in a design blog.” I liked that!

Proudest DIY: The horse print over the sofa. It is an photo I took of my horse using Instagram. I had it enlarged and put on canvas. I love it.

Biggest Indulgence: The horse sculpture by Malen Pierson — “Out to Pasture.”

Best Advice: I have a friend who paints and does design. I would sometimes bounce furniture finds and ideas off her. She told me to “avoid the everything room.” I.e., have a cohesive design. Avoid jumbling too many different styles and/or elements.

Dream Sources: I love finding good vintage pieces, but I believe good design is good design. There is nothing wrong with IKEA or West Elm.

Resources of Note:


  • Cleo table lamp Crate & Barrel
  • Eames rocking chair by DWR
  • Rug by Dwell
  • Lounge chairs (wine color) - vintage by Monarch found at Retro-a-GoGo
  • Slat bench coffee table - vintage no makers mark also found at Retro-a-GoGo
  • Console - vintage - no makers mark
  • Hairpin side table (used for TV stand) - vintage no makers mark
  • Magazine rack - vintage no makers mark


  • Glass table, Le Corbusier LC6 from Cassina
  • 40/4 stackable midcentury plywood chairs by David Rowland
  • Ceiling light fixture - IKEA


  • Blue vintage dish set & tea set - Volo Market, Volo, IL
  • Blue wine glasses - vintage - my grandmother


  • Min bed by DWR
  • Dresser and TV stand - baby blue enamel vintage dental cabinets
  • Acrylic desk Peekaboo from CB2
  • Acrylic leg chair - Fiore
  • Ceiling light fixture - IKEA


  • Rode prints - vintage flea market finds. Printed in Chicago 1950. Kane Co Flea Market
  • Lennon poster - vintage market find
  • Jackie O - Warhol print
  • Large peacock needlepoint - done by my aunt
  • Horse print - iphone to canvas
  • Street Images - Crate & Barrel
  • Metal Horse Sculpture - Malen Pierson

Thanks, Hallie!

(Images: Katie Gard)

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