A 650-Square-Foot Chicago Rental Has Cute Cat Decor and the Perfect Pale Pink Accent Wall

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Name: Nick Anderson, and my husband, and two cats
Location: Ravenswood — Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This apartment represents a fresh start for my husband and me. We moved to Chicago a year ago so that I could start graduate school and my husband could pursue his art and drag career. We thrive in bright spaces and we knew that we could make a small apartment feel much bigger if it had excellent natural light. We fell in love with this apartment because of its older design and closed concept.

When we were styling and decorating, we didn’t really have a vision in mind. The main goal was to be extremely intentional with the space and to make sure everything (and everyone) had a comfortable place to exist. Our cats, Victor and Violet, were a major consideration. They were losing their favorite aspect of our old home—the staircase. So we knew that we wanted to create a home for them with their own spaces for play and relaxation.

My husband is a professional photographer and we have many friends who also create. Almost everything framed on the walls was created by one of us, one of our friends, or local artists from Chicago or Indianapolis. These pieces remind of us of our friends and family who we don’t see often. It really makes the apartment feel like an extension of us. When we pick items or furniture, we gravitate towards what makes us feel happy. As we’ve accumulated pieces that we love over the years, the concept just organically came together.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Natural light with cats and art.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the living room. It’s a space where I can sit without a device or distraction and just reflect and find peace. Life during the pandemic has been increasingly stressful, but having a bright space where I am surrounded by pieces that I love helps to keep me grounded. I can sit for some time and look around the room and be reminded of a past trip or a close friend who created something unique for us.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last item I purchased was the jute pouf. I felt like we needed another surface that we could use as a foot stool or extra seating that we could easily move around (and that was inexpensive).

Any advice for creating a home you love? Create a collection of items and pieces that you love and that have meaning to you. We have many items that we absolutely love, but don’t have out right now. This allows us to freshen up our space often and to look forward to a future home where we can create something completely different but that’s still very true to who we are.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.