Mosaics, Stained Glass, and More: This Rental Apartment Is Enviably One-of-a-Kind

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Name: Courtney J Shoudis and partner
Location: Chicago
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My partner and I live in the beautiful Carl Street Studios by Edgar Miller. It’s an old Victorian mansion that was reconstructed into individual live/work artist studios.

I am a painter and keep a small secondary art studio in our place, while my partner is an attorney and music producer. We have it filled with art, records, music equipment, and way too many books. It has stained glass windows, recycled tiles and materials throughout the building, a hidden courtyard, and unique carved doors.

We decorated our place with what we love and this building is the perfect match for that. The history and stories of this building can be felt as soon as you walk in and we feel lucky every day that we come home to it.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Warm, Eclectic, and Art Inspired

What is your favorite room and why? The main floor is our favorite. We end up hanging out here most of the time. It is where my partner’s synthesizers and drum machines, my little home art studio, and our collection of art books are. We are constantly inspired in this room and also by the outside surroundings of our building. We have these really amazing windows that look out into the courtyard and another window that opens into this amazing wood-carved stairwell that has a mosaic art piece.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would give anything for closet space. I had to create a small dressing area in our bedroom to deal with the lack of closet space here. I worked in fashion for a long time and have collected many pieces over the years so finding a way to house and store that is the biggest challenge of living here. Our coat closet is only six inches deep, so when winter comes it makes it a fun challenge on how to store coats.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I feel like I’m buying things all the time. We did recently just get our couch. Our new glass planter, which I love. And I love finding little gems at H&M’s home store.

Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice is to buy all the things you love and inspire you and when you do they all end up working and fitting together. I think our homes are reflections of who we really are and that should be felt as soon as the door opens.

This submission’s responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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