Location: Wicker Park — Chicago, IL
Size: 1400 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 — Owned
Jaime, an esthetician at the much-lauded Maxine Salon, is the enviable type of person who's innately stylish and who seems to get along with just about everyone. Her casually glamorous, jewel-hued Wicker Park home reflects both these aspects of her personality. It's chic without being overdone and also incredibly welcoming, from the sleek dining alcove to the pillow-lined, sunny deck. It's the kind of home that friends inevitably end up staying at for hours, chatting and hanging out with its friendly, well-traveled owner.
The rich paint colors that run through the condo provide a gorgeous, cozy backdrop for Jaime's eclectic mix of design classics, dramatic light fixtures, travel finds, family heirlooms, and chain-store pieces. Wooden masks from her trips to Mexico are paired with quietly textured wallpaper, while sleek design books lie piled beneath a vintage French poster. The paint colors are a stark contrast to the developer-chosen neutrals Jaime painted over after buying the condo three and a half years ago. Inspired by Kelly Wearstler's glam style, Jaime had the formerly blonde-colored wood floors stained mahogany and decorated with a palette of navy, cream, gray and chocolate.
She initially struggled with the open floor plan of the kitchen / living room area because of the marble fireplace that lies off center in an alcove. Her initial instinct was to make the alcove a sitting area for reading and hanging out, but doing so would have created a fragmented living area and left the dining table to sit in a random corner. Her decision to place the dining table in the alcove instead paid off — the room now flows easily from one area to the next.
Although everything looks custom-chosen for this house, Jaime's knack for choosing chic pieces over the years has meant that she has kept many things — including light fixtures — through several moves. She lists a dresser she bought years ago at Dania for "almost nothing" among her favorite pieces and has had her IKEA coffee table "forever." Keeping some pieces for years instead of constantly changing things allowed Jaime to eventually splurge on a Knoll Saarinen Tulip set and a Womb chair, both of which she had long wanted. Family and friends have also played a role in decorating her home — one friend helped paint, while another helped her lug home and reupholster vintage stools, and yet another made the wooden sushi platter that sits on her counter. The bench on the deck was built by her longtime, trusty handyman, who also re-purposed pine from a leftover project into shelves in her dining area. It's just the sort of mix that could have gone terribly awry, but instead turned into something both meaningful and beautiful.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, modern, hip, world-traveled with a splash of glamour.
Inspiration: Kelly Wearstler
Favorite Element: Five-foot high Buddha from Thailand
Biggest Challenge: Deciding the floor plans and where to put the dining area.
What Friends Say: My place feels like Jaime: comfortable, effortless, soothing and chic.
Biggest Embarrassment: The wall over the TV - it still has no artwork.
Proudest DIY: That I took my time and decorated everything myself.
Biggest Indulgence: The Saarinen table and chairs and the Womb chair.
Best Advice: Don't be afraid to mix it up — things don't need to have huge price tags to be amazing.
Dream Sources: Any midcentury store, Elle Decor, Kelly Wearstler, Dwell Magazine, Jayson Home and Garden.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS