Allison’s Super Chic Chicago Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Name: Allison Reijmer
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

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Within a few minutes of entering Allison’s apartment, I was struck by three fantastic elements: 1) Lofted ceiling! 2) Gorgeous fresh flowers! and 3) The outstanding Bloody Mary I was offered within 5 minutes of meeting her! That’s like the Triple Crown of House Tour welcomes and a great first impression that perfectly matched Allison’s warm and stylish home.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Allison’s apartment is on the top floor of a 19th-century worker’s cottage (also called a “brick cottage”), which became a popular style in Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The building has since been divided into four units, and Allison’s apartment is reached via a long, narrow stairway that belies the bright, airy living area that emerges once you reach the landing. An open layout with a lofted ceiling is rare in a Chicago apartment and Allison has done a great job of creating distinct living, dining, and office areas while still maintaining the natural flow of the space. Allison noted that friends say her apartment is “very her”, and after spending a fun and relaxed afternoon with her, I would agree: a warm and stylish person with cocktail skills begets a warm and stylish home with a pitcher of outstanding Bloody Marys at the ready. Amen.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, colorful, and feminine. Many pieces in my apartment are very representative of me, my family, my travels, my history as a dancer, and my current love of marathon-running. I’m proud of how my apartment came together as a result of repurposed furniture, affordable pieces, and vintage finds. Proof that even with a limited budget, you can still create a space that you love.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings, windows, and natural light are most appreciated after living in several dark courtyard apartments with only brick wall views.

Biggest Challenge: The tiny bedroom. Once I measured how tight my queen-size bed (which I was unwilling to part with) would be in the room, I had to get creative. The door had to be removed because there wasn’t enough clearance to open it- luckily I live alone! To solve the problem of the tiny closet, I got the idea for the rolling rack behind my bed from an old Ikea catalog. There is just enough space for me to walk back and forth behind my bed to browse through my clothes. The room is still tight, but it definitely works for just one person.

What Friends Say: “Your apartment is very you.” Hopefully that’s a good thing.

Biggest Embarrassment: True life: I am currently battling with animal control to remove a family of squirrels that live in the attic.

Proudest DIY: The gallery wall

Biggest Indulgence: My ever-growing bar and collection of vintage glassware

Best Advice: Display what YOU love in your space. Regardless if some would consider a piece as cliché, overused, or tacky, or scoff at the fact that it’s from Ikea- if you like it, use it!


(Image credit: Julia Brenner)


  • Mirror: Pier One
  • Table: DIY refinished table from Target
  • Wallpaper: Temporary wallpaper from Tempaper
  • Trunks: Vintage
  • Lamp: HomeGoods
  • Gold flowers: CB2
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)


  • Couch/ottoman: Roy’s Furniture
  • Wood tray: Target
  • Blue vase: Anthropologie
  • Brass urchin: ZGallerie
  • Candles: Lulu & Georgia
  • Pillows: CB2
  • Leather chair: Roy’s Furniture
  • Aqua slipper chair: Overstock
  • Bookshelf: Container Store
  • TV stand: West Elm
  • Gold wire end table: Target
  • Chest: family heirloom
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)


  • Dining chairs: Ikea
  • Centerpiece and candles: CB2
  • Bar/credenza: Overstock
  • Clear trays: West Elm
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)


  • Bed: Roy’s furniture
  • Bedspread: Crate and Barrel
  • Reading lamp: Land of Nod
  • Vanity mirror: HomeGoods
  • Stool: Pier1
  • Acrylic Jewelry and lipstick organizers: Container Store
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)


  • Desk: Roy’s Furniture
  • Desk lamp: Ikea


  • Runner medal racks: Allied Metal Displays
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    Thanks, Allison!

    *Re-edited from a tour previously published.