House Tour: Matt (man) and Otto (dog) in Rogers Park

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Name: Matt and Otto
Location: Chicago, IL (Rogers Park)
Size: 800 sq. ft.

Matt and Otto moved into their Rogers Park rehab last December. When looking to buy his first place, Matt really wanted as open a floorplan as possible. What he found was a two-bedroom condo with kitchen, dining, and living areas that all flow into one another without a lot of walls getting in the way. This seems to be a rarity in Chicago, where many apartments have living/dining rooms at one end of a long hallway with the kitchen all the way at the other. Not great for hosting dinner parties.

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After only four months calling this place home, it (like all homes) is a work in progress, and one of Matt’s main goals is to make it feel less “antiseptic.” When Matt moved in, he automatically got wood window frames, an exposed brick wall, and rooms drenched in sunlight, so he’s off to a great start.

Onto the stuff: For the affordable, extra-long dining table, Matt used two IKEA tabletops, attached them to legs that he already had, then pushed the two pieces together. He found the four folding chairs at one of his favorite antique shops on Lincoln Avenue and reupholstered them himself with rich, red fabric. The painted fabric wallhanging was passed down from Matt’s mom, where he gets many of his antiques, along with his grandmother, who used to be an oriental antiques dealer.

Out of everything in his house, the red two-piece couch from Roy’s Furniture was the biggest investment. One section is designed like a chaise (see Otto lounging), making the piece comfortable and large enough for two. The visitor registration desk works as a great conversation piece and rotating display for books, records, and magazines, (plus the antique dealer told Matt it was used in The Untouchables movie). We have no choice but to believe him.

For wall art, Matt’s still looking and open to ideas. So far he’s framed images that are simply pages torn from secondhand coffeetable books. The stunning black-and-white photographs were taken by Matt’s dad in Hawaii, the family’s home state.

This home gave Matt his first opportunity to separate “bedroom” from “office,” and he made sure his bedroom had no unnecessary stuff. He kept things simple, with good sound (he installed speakers on each side of bed) and calm, serene colors in whites and greens. We think Otto approves.