CHI House Tour: Kimberly & Josh's Loft in Transition

CHI House Tour: Kimberly & Josh's Loft in Transition

Heather Blaha
Jul 18, 2008

(We are republishing our new House Tour from yesterday, as the new beta slideshow was still giving us a few last minute issues which have since been resolved - enjoy!)

Name: Kimberly and Josh
Location: Chicago, River North
Size: 2300 sq. ft loft duplex, owned
Type: Factory built in 1916, converted in 1999 to condominium building
Years lived in: owned 2 years, lived in 1 year (they were working in London the first year)


After missing out on the first year of their loft ownership when jobs took the couple overseas, Kimberly and Josh returned with excitement and a designer's eye [Kimberly is an Interior Decorator (owner of Urban Dwelling Décor) and interior design student]. They are now half-way through renovating the upstairs (living/media room) of their River North loft duplex, and they thought now was THE time to get up the nerve to share their home with AT readers.


The first half of the reno included tearing out a built-in entertainment wall unit, rebuilding a new wall and customizing wiring. They also updated the hardwood floor and paint. Part 2 will be in August when they have a new sleek wall unit put in and new audio/video. We'll be anxious to see the final outcome later this fall and share it here. Other items on the agenda: updating the loft's original burgandy paint color on the main floor.

AT Survey:

My/Our Style: A mix of inspiring modern classics with Asian influences and a touch of humor. Comfort is important.

Inspiration: Functionality combined with free flowing spaces, simplicity, whimsy and urban zen. Favorite design magazines are Objekt, Wallpaper, Dwell, Luxe and CS Interiors.

Favorite Element(s): Our artwork (The very best is whenever we have people over, it is fascinating that each individual seems to have a unique favorite painting for their own unique reasons); a close second is our roof deck for entertaining.

Biggest Challenge: Fitting two people comfortably and efficiently in a small home office with a curved wall.

What Friends Say: "Is your home always this clean?" "Will you help me out with my mine?" "Where did you get that .... ?"

Biggest Embarrassment: Impatience led me to hang our dining room curtains with paper clips and packaging tape to see how they would look - while battling with a store who kept sending me the wrong drapery hardware over and over and over. Sadly, this took many weeks and the packaging tape held up surprisingly well. Also – don't look in the closet!

Proudest DIY: Moving. I draw floor plans in advance and finish a whole move, all the unpacking, full set up and box removal as 48-hour marathons. Then we sleep for a long time. Then we have people over for drinks who are confused because we moved in two days before and it looks like we have lived somewhere for a couple years. All this was honed with lots of practice moving over and over. Scary.

Biggest Indulgence: Our art collection, which we started during visits (and many drinks) in New Orleans for annual jazz festival visits. Now we have branched out to include artists and photographers that inspire us from Chicago, LA, Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, Russia and France.

Best Advice: "Dare to dream"

Dream Source: We should keep our minds open to sources and inspiration from everywhere and everything with the only unfortunate limitations being time, money, imagination and creativity.



Art & Photography:
Bill Oistad (Chicago), George Rodrique (New Orleans), Norberto Martini (Italy), Michael Gorbon (Russia) Duaiv (France), Leah Dova (CA), Steve Penley (GA), Alexandra Nechita (CA), Clifford Bailey (CA), Mark Kostabi (Manhattan), Jack Leigh (Savannah, GA), Michael Bryant (GA), Kimbery Sutton (my own)

West Elm: Console tables, desks, many filing cabinets used for both filing and additional storage, rustic side block tables, storage cubes in office, bookshelf and storage benches. Rugs. Nesting side table re-configured as display tower near kitchen island. Cube display blocks in dining room and bedroom. Branch/candle display in bedroom.

Pier 1: Armoire in office, entry sisal rug.

Old World Imports: Buddha in entry foyer, candles on dining room table.

DWR: Custom Edelman leather palisader Eames Chairs, white Payton chair in office and Sapien bookshelves, Ingo Maurer light in dining room, Noguchi freeform floor light, roof deck furniture & green puppies in kitchen

Roche Bobois: Sofas, dining set, lounge chair and bed.

Ligne Roset: All office lighting, nightstands in bedroom, sconce light in stairwell, kitchen accessories.

Room & Board: Noguchi coffee table, Nelson bubble lights in lounge, bedroom overhead and nightstand lamps, dressers, balcony bisto set.

Pottery Barn: chocolate sisal rugs, accessories.

Crate & Barrel/CB2: hallway mirror , accessories, orange puppies on roofdeck.

Apple and Bang and Olufsen: All our fun stuff.

Delta SkyMall catalog: asian wall hanging

Illy: Espresso maker and happy espresso everyday

Dean & Deluca: test tube spice rack in kitchen

EBay: David Byrne "Alien" espresso cups.

Restoration Hardware: Bedding set, hanging light in living area, outdoor pillows, accessories

ZGallerie: water fountain in entry

(Thanks, Kimberly & Josh!)


Photos by Heather Blaha

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