Alexandra's Petite First Place

Alexandra's Petite First Place

Smith Schwartz
Nov 29, 2010

Name: Alexandra
Profession: Assistant to the Curator of Design at The Art Institute of Chicago
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL
Size: 250 square feet, early 19th century studio apartment
Years lived in: 4 months, rented

Alexandra's first home of her own reflects her thoughtful, keen sense of style through the prism of a small studio apartment. She thoughtfully utilizes a limited color pallette of white and pink with dark wood and black accents to create a sophisticated look that feels surprisingly spacious and inviting despite the limited square footage.

Thanks to a sharp eye for vintage furniture, help from family and friends and a little bit of luck, Alexandra has been able to outfit her pad on a budget- never spending more than 50 dollars on any one item in her home! Not only do her furnishings work well with Alexandra's feminine and polished taste, every object has its place and is appropriately scaled for the size of the apartment, creating spaciousness and warmth in a small environment.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, with a bit of glamour.

Inspiration: The era (early 19th century) and architecture of the building.

Favorite Element: The Hinks & Sons converted oil lamp from the turn of the century that I had repaired and restored in Lathrup Village, Michigan at Michael's Lamp Shop. I love the way it looks on the 1930s desk my Dad refinished.

Biggest Challenge: There are no electrical outlets in the bathroom, walk-in closet and the whole wall by the Murphy Bed. I guess that's what you get in an old apartment. Finding a solution to having no kitchen counter was also something that was a challenge, but luckily my mom found a narrow vintage table with wood cutting boards that flip up and down on the sides. Shockingly, there is enough room to leave them up all the time.

What Friends Say: Nobody has seen it yet!

Biggest Embarrassment: Where to start? My air conditioner, TV and extension cord wires. Oh, and the AWFUL fan and ceiling lights.

Proudest DIY: The curtain tie-backs I made using antique door backplates and vintage door knobs.

Biggest Indulgence: I haven't spent over $50 on anything. Yet.

Best Advice: I think it is great when you work with the elements and era of the space you are in and let that be your guide. If I was living in a loft, I would probably have completely different décor!

Dream Sources: Sotheby's and Christie's auctions.

Resources of Note: Estate sales, Antique stores, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, my mom and sister!

Thanks, Alexandra!

Images: Smith Schwartz

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