House Tour: Molly & Raúl's Green Muse

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Name: Molly & Raúl
Location: Ravenswood, Chicago
Owned/Rented: The bank owns our place, we just pretend to.
Size: approx. 950 square feet
Type: 2-bedroom condo
Years lived in: 5

Walking into Molly and Raúl's 2-bedroom condo, the first thing that commands attention is the view. The expansive living room window of their English Garden unit opens right up onto, well, the garden. And being a poet, Raúl (whose work is available through March Abrazo Press) knows inspiration when he sees it.

Their clean, botanical style is reiterated throughout the home; from the various shades of green on the walls to the uncomplicated lines of their mid-century furniture. Molly and Raúl have obviously listened to their muse, edited down, and the result is design poetry.

1. Our Style... Minimalist. Clean, spare lines allowing light to travel & envelop as much as possible. Organic forms, materials & colors.

2. The Inspiration for our home... Design - Danish/mid-century modern. Color - sunlight filtered through a canopy of leaves, spring shoots, Dylan Thomas' "green fuse."

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3. Favorite element... Being surrounded by mementos of our friends, family & travels. View of lush gardens. Continuity of space (u-shaped floor plan), sunny & airy throughout. Raúl's desk with lots of cubbyholes & drawers. Art deco coat rack - super handy since there's no entryway closet. Our skiff-like coffee table. Hugely expandable dining table.

4. Biggest Challenge in designing our home... Painting the place.

5. What friends Say about our home... Airy, bright, cozy, cheerful & pretty. Love woods & greens - Feels like we've brought the outside in.

6. Biggest Embarrassment in our home... Having waited a long time to replace some of our blinds. Still have a few artworks from friends that we haven't yet framed.

7. Proudest DIY... [see #4.]

8. Biggest Indulgence with respect to our home... A trip we made a few years ago to Danish Teak Classics in Middleton, Wisconsin (which, sadly, is now out of business).

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9. Best Advice given or received... Buy only what you'll actually use. Less = more!

10. Dream Source for stuff... Scout, Architectural Artifacts, Design Within Reach.


CB2, Fast Frame in Andersonville, Manuel Zapata - Carpenter/Remodeler extraordinaire (773-509-9829)

• Coat Rack: Architectural Artifacts
• Raúl's Desk: Danish Teak Classics
• Raúl's Desk Chair: Scout
• Eames Bentwood Chairs: Home Office Solutions
• Living Room Chair: Danish Modern antique store find
• George Nelson Table: annual Winnetka Community House Modernism Show
• Lamp on Nelson Table: Danish Teak Classics
• Eames Stereo Table: Home Office Solutions
• Molly's Desk: Passed from Grandma to Mom to Molly, purchased in Iowa in the '50s
• Molly's Desk Chair: Danish Teak Classics
• Set of 3 Nesting Tables: Danish Teak Classics
• Couch: the Fairlane Sofa from Dania
• Coffee Table: Danish Teak Classics
• Replica Yanagi Butterfly Stool: Estate sale
• Custom-made Shelves in Second Bedroom: Manuel Zapata
• Hutch: Passed down from Molly's mom, purchased at Sears in the '80s

• Vase on Raúl's Desk: Uber Modern (now closed)
• White Porcelain Vase/Bowl on Raúl's Desk: Scout
• Rubber Stamps: Paper Source (and gifts from friends)
• Olympia Typewriter: Independence Business Machines
• Stereo: Panasonic
• Throw Pillows: Crate & Barrel
• Quilt in Bedroom: Made by Molly's great great grandmother
• Salt & Pepper Shakers in Kitchen: Uber Modern
• Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree: Gethsemane Garden Center

• Lamp on Raúl's Desk: Danish Teak Classics
• Lamp on Nelson Table: Danish Teak Classics
• Floor Lamp: Danish Teak Classics
• Lamps in Bedroom: Danish Teak Classics

• Entry: Sears Easy Living "Yellow Earth"
• Living Room & Hallway: Sears Easy Living "Kiwi Lime"
• Master Bedroom: Sears Easy Living "Twisted Lime"
• 2nd Bedroom: Sears Easy Living "Two-Tone Lime"
• Bathroom: Sears Easy Living "Springtime"
• Kitchen & Dining Area: Martha Stewart Everyday Colors "Honeydew"

• "Be Kind or Leave" Postcard: Amos Kennedy of Kennedy Prints
• Skeleton with Typewriter figure: Gift from Mexico
• "Cyrk Cyrk" Elephant Poster: Gift from Molly's mother (to replace the one that was lost from Molly's childhood).
• Black and White Photography: Molly
• "Gretchen" (above fireplace): Karl Erickson
• Lifeguard Video Still (above couch): Karl Erickson
• "Wings of Desire" Poster: One of both Molly & Raúl's favorite movies
• "Con Solidavidad" Woodcut: Carlos Cortez
• Poster in Dining Area: International Theatre Festival of Chicago, 1992