Joel's Salvaged Eclectic

House Tour

Name: Joel Mangers
Location: Andersonville — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 10 years — owned

Joel lives in a building in the Andersonville neighborhood that I've been intrigued by since it was rehabbed about ten years ago. In fact, when I met Joel and found out where he lives I practically begged him to invite me over for a tour! Even better — he invited all of us.

I don't want to reveal the exact location of Joel's home so I will only say that it's a mid-century building that looks more like a motel than condos. About ten years ago, when I noticed that the building was being gut rehabbed, my curiosity was piqued. Since then, whenever I pass the building, I've been curious about what the individual units look like.

It turns out that Joel felt the same way about the building. He was already living in Andersonville a decade ago and every time he would pass the building he would remark about how he'd love to live there some day. The building's façade appealed to Joel's love of mid-century design. One day as he was passing the building he noticed that it was being rehabbed and converted to condos. Out of curiosity he took a tour. Not long after, he bought the largest third floor unit.

The units in the building were tastefully rehabbed by the developer. Hardwood floors and all the modern amenities make the interior of the unit feel homey and new. Joel has a keen scavenging eye so he has amassed a great collection of mid-century pieces that furnish his condo. I particularly enjoy Joel's re-use of the old science classroom table as his dining table — reuse at its best!

One of the best aspects of Joel's condo is the view from the back porch. It's from there that you can see the water tower that sits atop the Swedish American Museum, an Andersonville landmark.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Salvaged Eclectic

Inspiration: Classic designs and art.

Favorite Element: Vintage bar stools — my mother had to have them along with a 12-foot bar from an estate sale when I was 10. We hauled them home in an avocado green Ford station wagon. They became the key element in our 'basement rec-room' and I've held on to them ever since. The bar is still in my childhood home.

Biggest Challenge: Not changing everything every six months — I get bored.

What Friends Say: "Your place is so relaxing and homey."

Biggest Embarrassment: My tile job on the back splash. My first attempt and I did it in one weekend because I'm spastic that way.

Proudest DIY: Instead of paying $1,500 for a head board in my bedroom, I put fabric on the wall. It's like wallpaper, but softer.

Biggest Indulgence: Chocolate — oh, you mean design-wise?! My bed — I've pulled lots of stuff out of the alley, but I spent money on a good mattress and nice sheets.

Best Advice: Find favorite pieces and build around them — don't try to furnish a place all at once.

Had Forever: My parent's vintage butterfly chair — and my first teddy bear.

Dream Source: Architectural Artifacts

Resources of Note: Crate & Barrel Outlet, Brown Elephant, Brownstone Antiques, my parents, the alley and a very resourceful cousin.

Thanks, Joel!

Images: Jason Loper

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