Liz & Will's Vivid Vintage Greystone

House Tour

Name: Liz Wolf and Will Henry
Location: Andersonville, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1300 square feet
Years Lived In: Rented, 5 months

What happens when a nature-loving Texan meets and marries an artist from Illinois? Why, they move into a beautiful greystone in Chicago and fill it with vintage family treasures, handmade artwork, sea life curiosities, and cowboy boots, and I hear they even throw a pretty mean Wes Anderson-themed Halloween party. Lucky for me, they also live in my neighborhood!

Liz, an artist, museum professional and half of the Wolf & Wren letterpress team, and her husband Will, a marine science educator at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (not pictured, as he was working the day of the tour), have created a home that exudes warmth, charm, and a sense of adventure.

Alongside their vibrant artwork and bold colors, I found so many intriguing vignettes in their space; lovingly displayed items that were rich in personal stories and filled with unique meaning. Handmade pieces from friends, framed postcards, a few tips-of-the-hat to Texas, and cherished family heirlooms work together to give their apartment a depth of character that I found intriguing. It's certainly the type of home you could poke around in for hours, and Liz is such a gracious hostess, I'm sure she would let you, and offer you a glass of wine to boot.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I would describe our place as vintage, artistic, and DIY.

Inspiration: We have really cool friends, so that always provides inspiration for us. Also, we live in an area of Chicago that has excellent antique and vintage shops, such as Scout, Brimfield, Brownstone, and Woolly Mammoth. Our neighborhood shops constantly provide inspiration for projects.

Favorite Element: The blanket on our bed is one of our favorites. Will's mom knit it when his sister was in the hospital as a baby. We are lucky enough to have this labor of love, as we are the only northerners in the Henry clan.

Biggest Challenge: It is always a welcomed challenge to design on a budget. I am most satisfied when I find a sweet deal at a garage sale, thrift store, or estate sale. If I see something in an ad or expensive storefront, I am always thinking, 'how can I make my own unique version of this?'

What Friends Say: Our friends definitely say that our apartment represents our personalities.

Biggest Embarrassment: I guess the amount of stuff we have. My dream is to have a barn where I can have storage and studio space, a place where we could leave a lot of projects that are in progress, or pieces that we want to eventually work on. In our current small space, we have to be very creative and strategic with storage.

Proudest DIY: Our dining room table set is one of our favorite DIYs. Will found the base, which is a Mission Oak Partners desk end. He made the table top, and I painted the surface with constellations from one of my 1950's field guide books. The dining chairs are from my family's dining room when I was a kid. We painted them a bright color to update them, and reupholstered the seats, which by the way was like opening a time capsule — so many layers of fabric!

Biggest Indulgence: Our couch was our first adult purchase. After we got married we bought it from Macy's. They delivered it by rolling out a red carpet. I thought, 'Is this really what happens when you buy new furniture?' Amazing!

Best Advice: Our apartment is filled with a lot of items from our families and artwork from our friends. I think it makes for a really joyful and comfortable living space. My advice would be to make your space a place you want to be in, and a space that represents who you are.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, the Mad Men set, Architectural Artifacts.

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • Big Map and Flying book, heart-cut out book: Colleen Walsh
    • Dinosaur with air plant, desk end table, natural wood pencil holder: Heather Klausa
    • Prints: Joseph Lappie
    • Photographs: RVL
    • Print: Jill Lanza
    • Prints: Karinna Gomez
    • Animal plates, "Adventurers" print and collages: Liz Wolf
    • Photograph: Jason, friend
    • Couch: Macy's
    • Collection of fishing lures: Will's collection since he was a child, added to by presents from family
    • Blue TV stand: Woolly Mammoth

DINING ROOM

    • Pottery: Hodgson and Hodgson
    • Pottery: Diana Kearsey
    • Dining table: homemade DIY project. Dining chairs: Vintage from Liz's family
    • China hutch: Estate sale in Rockford, Illinois
    • Cuckoo clocks: Both were gifts from Liz's brother.
    • Painting: Done by Will's great grandmother, Florence Coleman

KITCHEN

    • Curtains: Thrift store, re-sized for windows.
    • Day of the Dead skeletons: Mexican Market, San Antonio, TX

BEDROOM

    • Letterpress prints above bed:
    Top left clockwise: Erin Cramer, Liz Wolf, Heijin Oh, Karol Shewmaker, Erin Cramer, Liz Wolf, Loni Deip, Heijin Oh, and Liz Wolf
    • Vintage blue armoire: Refinished by Colleen Walsh
    • Trophy on Will's dresser: Haymaker, Chicago, IL
    • Art above trophy: Handmade (by Liz) save-the-date and wedding invitations

Thanks, Liz and Will!

(Images: Julia Brenner)

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Julia is a writer and editor living in Chicago. She's also a big fan of old construction, new design, and people who can pull off a wink. She is not one of those people.