The Wurm Storefront Kitchen & Studio

House Tour

Name: James Wurm
Location: Pilsen — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 860 square feet
Years lived in: 1+ — rented

In just over a year, James has transformed this storefront space into a livable, exciting stomping ground for cooking, socializing, and sharing. Starting with the kitchen and dining area, the priorities for the apartment are clear: without a functioning work space for creating edible masterpieces, a sizable area for this production artist to produce and archive, and a dining space for the dozens of folks he feeds, this apartment would lack its purpose. With bedrooms sort of at a "to be determined" stage, and every additional inch of the place still seeking attention and care, James is now ready to move beyond this all-original kitchen in hopes of avoiding any one-trick-pony status for this storefront rehab.

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With a massive number of ceiling tin plates to strip and paint, a loft bedroom to build out, and windows to replace (he already removed plywood that was covering the windows), James has a clear vision of what type of home this place can be, especially now that there's natural light. Click through the images for details about what went down before renovation started, and what the plans are for the remaining "rough industrial" spots.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

MY Style: Rough Industrial (takes the pressure off of being sleek and modern)

Inspiration: Bars with kitchens

Favorite Element: Spice rack/bulk racks

Biggest Challenge: Re-routing the 220v for the oven, and the gas line for the stove

What Friends Say: They love the size and usability from both sides of the main counter. And the ambiance. It's not an alert kitchen, I think it's pretty relaxing.

Biggest Embarrassment: Falling Paint Chips from the ceiling.

Proudest DIY: Modding the Ikea IVAR shelves to reach the top of the 13.5 ft ceilings.

Biggest Indulgence: Slowly shifting pots and pans to All-Clad

Best Advice: Flesh out the idea, and care enough to get it right the first time, or it will just add to a compounding list of projects that can't reasonably be revisited in time before the next dinner party.

Dream Source: Commercial Kitchen supplier

Resources of Note: Craigslist, Menards

Thanks, James!

Images: Heather Blaha and Moises Aragon (images 3, 5, 6 from slideshow)

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