A $1150-per-Month Chicago Rental’s Sunroom Is Adorned with Plants & Rugs

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Turquoise living room with white fireplace with built in shelves

Mira Kessler, her partner, and their two cats have rented this Rogers Park apartment for two-and-a-half years: When I got accepted to an MFA acting program in Chicago in 2020, I was living in New York City and I spent the entire lockdown year before I moved dreaming about what I would do with my new space. I knew that my program would be rigorous and that I would want to come home to a space that I loved. The summer that I moved to Chicago, my partner and I spent so much time at flea markets and yard sales and thrift stores collecting things we loved. We love traveling and I felt really inspired by Justina Blakeney’s Jungalow, global maximalist style. Once we moved, we went bold with the paint colors and figured out how to make all of our pieces that we found thrifting or traveling work together. Now, there’s no place I’d rather be than my apartment!

Additionally, I got so many compliments on my apartment, and had so much fun putting it together, that after I graduated acting school, I decided to make interior styling my side hustle and I started my own small business! My dream of making a living out of my various artistic endeavors is coming true!

I love learning about the world and all the people who live here, and I think my home reflects that. There is so much beauty to be found and I want to bring it all into my apartment with lots of colors, textures, and different styles of art.

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: Thrifted, global-inspired, maximalism, color.

What is your favorite room and why? Tough question. My favorite room might be my sunroom. I feel like sunrooms are such a signature of Chicago apartments, but they are also often left plain and forgotten. We filled ours with plants and rugs and a table where we eat breakfast and drink coffee every morning. We found this chair with an incredible etched wooden frame at a flea market for $25. The cushions were disgusting and old and I covered it with this incredible handwoven fabric I got in Laos. I feel really proud of it!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? (Include links if you have them!) The public library near us was throwing out all of their old chairs. My partner found them in the alley and scooped them up. Now we have these incredible, sturdy, resilient chairs in our dining room!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Only buy things that you love. Even down to your salt shakers and oven mitts. If your home is filled with things you love, it will go together no matter what. This and spend time planning. Sometimes when you move there is a lot of pressure to throw something together to be functional. Allow yourself to find things that you care about!

Detail of art and plants in purple dining room

Thanks, Mira!

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