Name: Joshua and Bethany
Location: Hyde Park — Chicago, Illinois
When my husband and I bought our condo in 2004, we were instantly smitten with the place thanks to its sweeping views of Lake Michigan and local landmark Promontory Point. Unfortunately, the view of the inside was not quite as appealing.
The apartment was an exercise in austerity since the previous owner, a Catholic Archdiocese, had used it to house seminary students. The interior had been virtually untouched since the building, once a historic hotel, went condo in the early seventies. Pink tiled bathrooms (2 of them!), faux-brick linoleum, and faded oak cabinets were just a few of the challenges we were up against.
Budget conscious, our first order of business was to refinish the tile and the cabinets, and install a floating wood floor over the linoleum. Instead of installing pricy new tile floors in the bathroom, we cut IKEA sisal carpets to fit. They are feel great underfoot and look great with a fluffy bathmat on top. Our most recent improvements include the installation of a glass tile backsplash in the kitchen and—my dream come true—wallpaper around the dining room!
Over time we've gradually up-graded our hand-me-downs and IKEA furniture to investment pieces like a vintage Lucite chair and a pair of walnut nightstands we snagged on eBay. We rescued the mid-century lounge chair in the office from a moldy basement and had it reupholstered and we scored the marble, Saarinen-style dining table on Craigslist.
Today our home is colorful, modern, and fun and reflects both our love of mid-century design and the beautiful view outside our windows.