Rebecca & Eric's Global Territory

Rebecca & Eric's Global Territory

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Carolyn Purnell
Jan 20, 2016
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Name: Rebecca Crall & Eric Neagu (and Bailey)
Location: Ravenswood; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; rented

Warmth. It's the word that best describes the feeling you get the moment you step inside Rebecca and Eric's Chicago apartment. You might think that with forever-tall ceilings, large-scale windows, and white walls, that wouldn't be my gut reaction on the blustery day that I came to visit, but their home is truly suffused with a calm, radiant, cordial feeling that made even the coldest day inviting.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

In large part, this feeling comes from the fact that many of the materials, colors, and textures in Rebecca and Eric's home are natural, with warm highlights or undertones. It also helps that Rebecca has a masterful eye for texture. A unified palette of beige and brown is broken up by the mixture of smooth wood, nubby linen, thick-weave wicker, and lumpy jute. The couple's neutral furniture provides a peaceful backdrop to the rotating cast of vivid textiles in Rebecca and Eric's home. A scarlet Thai pillow brightens one end of the sofa, while, on the other, a handwoven Hmong pillow hangs out with a pillow covered in a vivid Mexican Otomi cloth. An Indonesian batik wall hanging adds a splash of bold blue to the living room, a red and white Otomi cloth brightens up the dining room, and an earthy batik hanging adds a graphic punch to the sun room. In addition to these intricate textiles, woven baskets, carved bowls, books, and plants enliven the home.

It seems that Rebecca inherited her travel bug from other members of her family, who have passed down adventures, stories, and a number of beautiful mementos. The rug in Rebecca and Eric's kitchen comes from Rebecca's parents' travels in Afghanistan in the 1970s, while many of the other items in Rebecca and Eric's home come courtesy of their grandparents and other family members. Because of her enduring desire to explore, a deep respect for other cultures, and a love of one-of-a-kind goods, Rebecca has founded Territory, a craft collective and textile company that "brings artisan work from around the world to an online marketplace that celebrates and supports unique, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces" while also supporting artisans, communities, and traditional artisanal methods.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Many of Rebecca and Eric's furnishings were purchased secondhand, and as they have collected, budget has been a central concern. But this has not stopped them from taking their time and selecting pieces that matter or that fit their organic modern aesthetic. It's clear that they prefer quality items over quantity, investing in key pieces like the dining table, and smaller, more affordable accessories that are handcrafted and unique. Each object in their home has a story, and many of the pieces have been collected over time and across the globe. Rebecca and Eric's love of quality exists, not in the service of luxury, but that of mindfulness, relaxation, and growth. Whether sunny, like their dining room, or shadowed, like their cozy bedroom, every room in their home is the essence of inviting.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Minimal Bohemian. Simple and comfortable are key with an emphasis on natural fibers and textiles paired with treasures from our travels and our family.

Inspiration: The natural world, outdoors, travel and foreign places.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and the afternoon sunlight in the dining room.

Biggest Challenge: Our flat is over 100 years old and we rent, so needless to say we have some challenges. But we do our best and take advantage of the relatively large space for a Chicago flat.

What Friends Say: It's so big.

Biggest Embarrassment: Probably the outside of the flat. It’s pretty run down and could definitely use some TLC.

Proudest DIY: Shelving around the house and the bench in the living room which is imperfect but my first piece of handmade furniture.

Biggest Indulgence: We don’t have too many indulgences—we shop mostly secondhand—but we did have our dining room table custom made, and it is worth every penny. Just looking at the wood’s incredible grain makes me happy. WE LOVE IT!

Best Advice: You can make a rental feel like your own with some simple quality additions. For us, this means simple wooden furniture and kitchen wares, natural textiles and not overcrowding the space.

Dream Sources: Architectural Artifacts in Chicago, Jayson Home, General Store in California, Matteo Home in LA, Humboldt House Chicago, Antique stores all over the city and up and down the Western Michigan coast (oops, secret or not-so-secret is out).

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Resources of Note:

KITCHEN

  • Hand towels, linens, and wood: Territory Shop
  • Rug: Vintage from my parents' travels in Afghanistan during the 70s (loved and worn)

LIVING ROOM

  • Wicker chairs: Craigslist
  • Cream sofa: Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams
  • Side Tables: IKEA
  • Side lamps: Laurel Lamps from my grandparents
  • Sisal Rug: IKEA
  • Coffee table: Lane, secondhand
  • Batik: Territory Shop
  • Baskets: Territory Shop
  • Credenza: Secondhand, Chicago

DINING ROOM

  • Dining room table: Rustic Elements
  • Chairs: Thonet vintage from eBay
  • Shelves: IKEA
  • Lamp: Vintage from Etsy
  • Rug: Vintage from Morocco (similar ones coming soon to Territory Shop)

SUN ROOM

  • Batik: Indonesian vintage
  • Table: 57th Street Bookcase in Chicago
  • Chairs: Vintage

BEDROOM

  • Dresser mirror: From my parents' salvaging around Cleveland, OH in the 1970s
  • Side Tables: 57th Street Bookcase in Chicago
  • Rug:Territory Shop
  • Baskets: Territory Shop
  • Paint color: Benjamin Moore, Navajo White

BATHROOM

  • Rug: Vintage from Afghanistan
  • Shelf: Rustic Elements
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Thanks, Rebecca & Eric!

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