Bridgette & Britton’s Masculine/Feminine Vision
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Name: Bridgette Buckley (BB1), furniture designer, Britton Bertran (BB2), art professional, and Mickey the dog.
Location: Logan Square, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1200 square feet, 2 bedroom in a 20-unit courtyard building; circa early 1900’s.
Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented
Apartment Therapy readers first met Bridgette Buckley in our 2010 Summer Style Survey where we learned that she spends her summers hanging out with Britton Bertran, drinking Tom Collinses, draped in gold and dreaming of Scandinavia. Needless to say, I’ve been mildly pestering Bridgette and Britton to share their lovely, light-filled Logan Square apartment with us ever since.
The obvious lesson learned is that pestering totally pays off! Walking into Britton and Bridgette’s home, you hope they invite you to stay, because you’re visually delighted and too comfortable to leave. From years of working the gallery, museum and non-profit arts world, Briton has amassed a serious collection of artwork– and possesses a decisive curatorial eye that translates beautifully to the home environment.
His pieces are bolstered by Bridgette’s own artwork and furniture (much of it by her own hand) that provide a quiet strength based in her Scandinavian spirit. Their pieces blend together in a cohesive way that many couples struggle to achieve when both partners have strong tastes. Bridgette and Britton’s personal styles prove to be the masculine and feminine sides of the same coin– a consistent ambiance throughout, yet both personalities decidedly shine through.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: From one of our favorite songs: “…make it up as we go along…” (Talking Heads, This Must Be the Place)
When we first met, we were each living in modest one-bedroom apartments that proudly displayed our respective collections: furniture and art. They were not dissimilar–a feminine and masculine version–and when we moved in we were thrilled at how seamlessly it all came together. Since then we’ve continued to weave our collections and styles, selectively adding new pieces.
One thing we’re most proud of is that we use our every room in our apartment. It’s big, but every space gets utilized on a regular basis. We don’t believe any space or furniture piece should be too precious to use and we want our guests to feel as at-home as we do. Our style is casual and comfortable, with moments of modernist refinement and visual indulgence.
Inspiration: BB1: A lot of what inspires me comes from simply living. I can turn just about any household activity into a kind of ritual (painstaking but loving execution and giving it greater purpose), and enjoy the process of a constantly evolving home. I pay close attention to how we use our space, and try to make adjustments accordingly; making it more comfortable and livable with each step. I take strong cues from Scandinavian design and culture; placing value on subtle lighting and a color palette of mostly natural tones, with pops of color. Also, I pretty much love everything I see on Remodelista.
BB2: Well being an “art professional” I want to experiment with living with art. Not only what goes where, but also how what goes where and why. Then the breakdown of what art – and the living with it – comes into play: form, function and aesthetics.
Favorite Element: BB1: The layout, abundant natural light (lots of windows), hardwood floors, radiant heat and the vintage bathroom fixtures and tiles.
BB2: That the front hallway is slightly crooked (the building settling with age) and the amazing 3/4 panoramic view.
Biggest Challenge: Though also a great asset: the windows. We get a lot of heat-gain in the summer and it creates less wall space to hang art. Also, there is no immediate outdoor space which we both really miss.
What Friends Say: “This place is huge!”
Biggest Embarrassment: The rental kitchen cabinets and ceiling fans.
Proudest DIY: BB1: I am very proud of affectionately enticing Britton to upgrade his bachelor sofa by adding new pillows, a cover for the cushion and replacing the feet which had been long lost (!).
BB2: Repainting the dormant fireplace a perfect institutional gray color to go with the different shades of wood and realizing the speaker fits perfectly there.
Biggest Indulgence: BB1: For me it’s about determination. I never spend excessive money on items for our place (outside of my own prototypes), but the biggest effort I made was bringing my bedroom dresser from Copenhagen to Chicago, which through the help of key individuals didn’t cost much either.
BB2: Leaving some walls free of art.
Best Advice: BB1: Always see your home as a work in progress.
BB2: Use each room as living and looking space.
Dream Sources: BB1: Wright, Andrew Hollingsworth, Artek
BB2: Alex Zachary Gallery (NY), Mondoblogo.
Resources of Note:
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (El Cielo Entry Table)
• Danish thrift store (mirror)
• Ikea (lamp)
• Selected artwork by (L to R): Lucia Fabio, Josh Mannis, Ryan Duggan, Soul Jazz Records, Ray Noland, Jay Ryan, Bridgette Buckley (fur chair)
• Room and Board (big sofa)
• The Ark Thrift store (small sofa)
• CB2 (coffee table)
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (Crab Table, 24 Hour Lightbox)
• Holly Hunt Design Studio (lounge chair and drink table)
• West Elm via friend on Facebook (rug)
• Broadway Antique Mart (Hans Wegner Rolling Cart)
• Design Within Reach (media stand)
• Ikea (lamps, record bins)
• John Melone, Bridgette’s grandfather, (footstool)
• Family heirloom (toy chest/bench)
• Peter Hoffman (plant painting)
• Lisa Boumstein-Smalley (plexiglass painting above sofa)
• An Orange Moon (leather moose on mantel)
• Joe Hardesty (paper bag skull on mantel)
• Mike Genovese (graff/text painting titled: “Recapitulation”, 2006 on mantel)
• Design Within Reach (Japanese wood puzzle on mantel)
• Haeger (ceramic vase on mantel)
• Hand-me-down from friend (dining table)
• Various thrift stores and yard sales (plant table, chairs, globe fixture)
• Ikea (BB2’s desk, bookshelves, rug)
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (Collins Dining Arm Chair)
• Former Dr.’s office chair (BB2’s desk chair)
• Selected artwork: William J. O’Brien, Antonio Casanova Y Estorach, O’ Brien, Jamison Ogg, Dave McKenzie, Dan Gunn, Banksy, Haeger, Philip von Zweck, Ryan Scheidt, Wendell Castle, Chris Silva, Design Museum. Helsinki, Brion Nuda Rosch, Joe Hardesty.
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (Twosome Counter Table, One Seater stools, Morning Light Pendant)
• Ikea (pot rack, spice shelf, stove lamp, paper towel holder, clock)
• Container Store (baker’s rack)
• Artwork in Butler’s Pantry by Maggie Bogdanich
• Copenhagen Thrift store (dresser, lamp)
• Bridgette Buckley (bench)
• CB2 (nightstand)
• Ikea (nightstand)
• Holly Hunt (lampshade)
• Chicago Alley find (chair, reupholstered)
• Selected artwork by: Mary Melone, Bridgette’s grandmother (still-life), unknown (astrological chart), unknown (“Indian miniature painting”), Phoebe Fisher (painting of Mariah Carey, 2003)
• Thriftstore (chair)
• Ikea (lockers, small table)
BB1’s Office (Sunroom)
• Ikea (desk, book shelves, credenza, sewing table)
• Village thrift (fabric storage cart)
• Various surplus and thrift stores (chairs)
• My father’s former architecture office (desk lamp)
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (El Cielo Table holding printer & scanner)
• Ikea (sofa bed)
• CB2 (night stand)
• Bridgette Buckley Studio (4-Square table)
• Wendy Cooper Gallery (painting rack)
• Design Within Reach (chair)
• Selected artwork by: Howard Fonda, Tyler Britt, Sarah Ann Lobb, Erik Wenzel, Ryan Fenchel, Denise Kupferschmidt, Jamison Ogg, Josh Mannis, Dan Gunn, Aline Cautis, Reverend Seymour Perkins; various posters, ephemera and found art.
Thanks, Bridgette and Britton!
Images: Smith Schwartz
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