Nick, Mikale and Colin's Magical Forest

House Tour

Name: Nick, Mikale, Colin and Snake Lady the cat
Location: On the edge of Humboldt Park and Garfield Park, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, rented
Profession: Musicians, Nick and Mikale are in Lazer Crystal

As this tour show us, a home does not necessarily have to be Martha Stewart-tidy to be interesting or even inspiring. Nick and his roommates Mikale and Colin have mastered what they playfully refer to as "dirtbag chic", making their home useful and artful on the smallest of budgets.

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When the trio of roommates moved into the space 2 years ago, it was not much more than a gutted former convenient store. They quickly built out 3 small bedroom spaces, leaving ample room for the storage of their large collections of instruments and records. Since they don't face noise restrictions in their building, they also use the space to practice and write music. It is important to them that their home serve them as more than just a place to live, but also an inspiring place to create.

This home won't be gracing the pages of Dwell anytime soon, but the residents have certainly made the most of what they've got. By separating rooms with a neatly arranged closet, lining the walls with a rainforest mural, and surrounding themselves with hundreds of vintage instruments, Nick, Mikale and Colin have assembled a playful and thoughtful home that is functional, full of personality and organized to suit their needs.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

(Survey answered by Nick)

My/Our style: A music studio with a place to sleep, dirtbag chic

Inspiration: Cheap living. We keep costs low to buy more tools to create music.

Favorite Element: Lack of hipsters in the neighborhood and the weapon wall.

What Friends Say: They are typically afraid to come over.

Biggest Embarrassment: It's tough living in the neighborhood because people won't come over. The shop next door sells ribs through bulletproof glass.

Biggest Indulgence: Synthesizers.

Best advice: Don't live with 20 year-old art students.

Dream source: I'd spend more on vintage instruments than furniture.

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Resources: Home Depot lumber department, used music stores, Craigslist

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(Thanks, Nick, Mikale, Colin and Snake Lady!)

Images: Smith Schwartz

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