0 Furniture + 4 Weeks + 5k Budget = Kevin's Condo

0 Furniture + 4 Weeks + 5k Budget = Kevin's Condo

Janel Laban
Apr 14, 2008

The equation for the Tribune reporter Kevin Tang was a pretty good one - he agreed to get rid of all his old furnishings when he moved into his new (first!) home, an Edgewater condo. In exchange he'd get the help of David Cieslak, Pret-a-Habiter designer, pro bono. A small budget and short deadline did not deter...


...the team of Tang and Cieslak - they stuck with it and wrapped the project on time and under budget.

The one bedroom condo is under 900 square feet and for step one of the project, David made up a floor plan. This ensured that all the shopping would be for items that would actually fit well in the space - the floorplan and a measuring tape were always on hand.

Step two was to figure out the "Kevin Look" - his homework was to identify and clip photos that showed off the style that represents him. In the article, David says, "A lot of people just have a hard time understanding what their options are in terms of style. Someone might think, for instance, that 'contemporary' means very stark, maybe just a single chair and lamp. But there are so many other ways to go." Kevin says, "You've got your Crate and Barrel and your CB2, right? I'd describe my style as CB1.5."

And then, of course, there was the the budget to consider - under 5,000 for the whole place. Some money saving strategies from the piece: Search Craigslist the last Monday of each month, as renters prepare to move, buy floor models vs. custom orders, carry home purchases to save on delivery fees, look for pieces in stores and then search for it with possible markdowns online, and repurpose collections and special belongings into displays instead of purchasing new artwork."

Check out the whole article here, along with related features on David Cieslak (who we just met when he attended our recent AT Design Meetup) and Pret a Habiter.

Images: Chicago Tribune

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