Name: Sam Rosen and Linsey Burritt
Location: Noble Square — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Rented
Linsey and Sam met in 2008. In 2009, Linsey realized her new friend Sam was the best friend she ever made so she asked him to dinner on graph paper. At the end of 2014, Sam asked Linsey, on an index card (her favorite) if she would marry him. This June they wed at the Garfield Park Conservatory (they love plants). Their space is infused with poetic sparseness. It's calm, modern, and minimal, yet brought to life with plants and loving touches.
The couple share what they call a "love wall" in the office nook, in which they post thoughtful messages, photos, and keepsakes. Small reminders of appreciation are scattered affectionately throughout the home. A repetition of circles subtly brings cohesion and calm. Their strong sense of design and dedication to minimalism brings a type of elegance that only comes through the continuous process of refinement.
Sam has started a number of businesses including The Post Family, Desktime, One Design Company. He loves to take photos, take Eli (the dog) on walks and to explore new places. Linsey is the co-founder of INDO. She loves to cook, make art and has a secret power of finding hidden gems at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and dumpsters.
This is Linsey and Sam’s first place together and they are plotting next steps in building a home together. I left their beautiful home feeling motivated to refine my own space in a way that inspires me on a deeper level.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, minimal, sentimental, thoughtful.
Inspiration: We are inspired by quality craftsmanship and minimalism.
Most of our pieces have been found at flea markets, thrift stores, craigslist, heck even a few from the dumpster and many of them are far from perfect. You could say we are inspired by this process. It’s slow and unexpected. There is an element of discovery and we love that.
Favorite Element: Our love wall. Sam has the habit of creating these in spaces where he works. He had one in his co-working space that his web company ran and when they expanded to the 5th floor, he started an entirely new one. One day I mentioned we should start one together and now (unintentionally) it is starting to form a heart. It is something that is constantly evolving and sometimes Sam will rearrange a few things to leave a hidden message. It’s unrefined, light-hearted and sentimental. It really just plays at all my heart strings.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was utilizing all the space in a way that didn’t make it feel bare, but also so it didn’t feel chaotic. It was a struggle finding a way to divide the living room from the dining room. Originally the wall unit was for that divide and it was way too heavy visually. So we pushed it to the bedroom planning to sell it until we realized that was where it needed to be. Sometimes you have to live in a space for a while to know what works.
What Friends Say: If you ever move…
Biggest Embarrassment: Our space isn’t perfect, nor are the pieces in it and there is a beauty in that, however, there has been an on-going battle with replacing the light fixtures. That is the caveat with how we source everything. We are at the mercy of the hunt and that hunt can be loooong. The lights in the guest bedroom and both bathrooms are the last to go. Let me just say there was purple glitter involved in the dining and living room.
Also, the pain with renting a space is having to hold back the desire to make large renovations. The kitchen cabinets and island don’t match and I’ve held back the urge to rehab the whole thing. I’ve thought about simply painting, replacing the doors with something more modern and all the knobs, but it just isn’t worth the investment!
Proudest DIY: The plant shelf. Have we told you how much we love plants? There was a period though where I felt like were maxed out and then Sam said to me “So, I’d really like to get more plants.” It made me laugh. I added “We are running out of places to put them!” So I built him a plant shelf. It also acts as a room divider. The biggest challenge with this big open space is making it feel divided but not shut off. The plant shelf was the perfect balance for dividing the room but allowing it to still feel airy and open.
The wood we used for the shelves was salvaged from a building in Logan Square that had a fire so that is why the there are varying degrees of burnt edges. Together, we planed all of it to the point of saw dust coming out of our noses. I think our relationship reached a new level with that project.
Biggest Indulgence: The fireplace (when we use it).
Best Advice: Things change. Don’t rush the process. Our space has been slowly evolving for years and it is in that flexibility where we make some great discoveries (as well as some bad ones).
Dream Sources: The Wright Auction House is right across the street, if only we could afford to shop there.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
Mythic Classic White
The black is chalkboard paint, the gray we aren’t sure on the brand
Rug : Humboldt House
Black / White Mid Century Circle Art : The Dumpster 10 years ago
Stephanie Bassos Photography Print
Alex Fuller Record Print
Chad Kouri Paper Painting
Unison Home Gold Pillow
Danish floor lamp : Flea Market
Credenza : Thrift Store
Little white lamp on fireplace : Thrifted
White coffee table : Salvage One 10+ years ago
Barn wood console table made by our buddy Brian Guido
Grey gus sofa : Stitch in Bucktown
Mask from Belize : gift from Linsey’s sister
THE LOVE WALL / OFFICE NOOK
Built-in book shelf + desk : Sam built!
Copper Lamp : thrift store find of a lifetime
‘How things work in your house and what to do when they don’t’ : antique mall
Bramble Workshop Diamonds
Chad Kouri - various prints
Alex Fuller - heart
‘I don’t know how you put up with me’ and ‘I life you’- Matthew Hoffman
Love Print : a project Linsey worked on with her company INDO
Danish dining table : Craigslist
4 clam-style chairs : Craigslist
2 mid century side chairs : Post 27. We reupholstered in white leather remnant
Turn of the Century rug : flea market
BAR NOOK (Eli’s favorite nap spot):
Nancy Rosen Painting
Dried hydrangeas from Linsey’s mothers garden in a bottle of Cointreau she found in her parents bar that was at least 40 years old.
It’s Ok - Matthew Hoffman
Mid Century mixing kit : Gift from Linsey’s sister
Vintage seltzer bottle : flea market
Broyhill brasilia bar : Thrifted
Black tufted black sofa (Eli’s bed) : Form of payment from a client of Sams
Cocktail recipe box : a collection of recipes to Sam I orchestrated for his birthday a few years ago
White Mid Century pendant above island: craigslist
White pendant above dining table : bought from friend
Yellow copco stool : thrifted
Mid century turner wall art piece : craigslist
Vintage tea kettle + yellow pot : flea market
Large white pot : trade for a window display
White Le Creuset dutch oven : a gift from Sam
‘Do the dishes tomorrow” print : Letterform
Hanging fruit basket : thrifted
Dried Crispedia Art Installation by Linsey
Circle of rocks : Linsey found on the beach in her hometown Stevensville, MI
Light Fixture : Linsey made out of salvaged string
All bedding from Unison Home
Turn of the century frame : Salvage One : April 7’s made it into a mirror
White enamel desk : craigslist
Platform bed : craigslist
Vintage round mirror : Linsey’s mom found at a flea market
African woven hamper : estate sale
Danish wall unit : estate sale
Green ashtray bean bag : Linsey’s grandmothers
White wood blocks : Aaron
Raw wood puzzle : a local market in Thailand
Print by Linsey’s Aunt Anne from the 70’s. She inspired Linsey to get into Art.
Vintage rug : Post 27
Painting above bed : Our friend SimpleScott
Bed frame : Inherited from a friend, originally from Crate + Barrel
All bedding from Unison Home
Green vintage desk + grey knoll chair: Taking care of for our friend Charles
Cedar chest : hand me down from the Burritt farm in NY
Black vintage desk lamp : flea market
Dried flower crown our friend Foxglove Studio taught Linsey to make
Vintage rug : Flea Market
Prayer Rug : Estate Sale
Thanks, Sam and Linsey!
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Re-edited from a tour originally published April 2015 -- AB
(Image credits: Brittany Purlee)