See Why This Makeup Artist Calls Her Glam Chicago Home a ‘Loftice’
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Name: Eileen McNulty
Location: West Town — Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Work/Live Loft or “Loftice”
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My West Town Chicago Loft building was converted from a warehouse, and as a result the units have large, open floor plans making it an ideal live/work loftice for any aspiring creative entrepreneur. In addition, the building has a 300-square-foot private roof deck with unobstructed views of the city skyline making it a breathtaking backdrop for professional photography, selfies, or for entertaining guests.
As an established professional model/makeup artist, I was looking to evolve my career beyond the digital photography studios, thus adding cosmetic custom blending, consulting, and educating non-industry women on all things makeup into the mix. I also saw a niche in the hospitality industry to create a venue that could serve as a large, professionally-equipped party space to host the growing number of bridal parties and intimate gatherings needing hair and makeup services in the downtown area. Coming from nearly 18 years in print and video production, I dreamed of merging the perfect “photo studio” setting with the elements of an elegant home that clients can relax, get ready, eat/drink, and take photos in.
The interior walls of the loft consist mainly of exposed brick, which provides a rich canvas for any sort of photography, fashion or bridal. Much of the furniture is on wheels or extremely lightweight, providing limitless configuration options depending on my own needs or the clients. I’ve hosted nearly 12 big wedding parties that included hair and makeup teams, photographers, and videographers all collaborating together without bumping heads and was amazed at the time-efficient end results!
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Right now, not having a real “storage” closet or junky back room to hide cleaning stuff, chairs, and paintings I’m not using at the moment (but might in the future) is rough. Before clients come, I find myself shoving things in my walk-in closet or behind drapes, which then makes it impossible for me to get to my personal belongings. I always am banging my knees or elbows temporarily moving crap somewhere clients won’t see.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I’ve spent 10 years curating my aesthetic and there are multitudes of finds I’m proud of!!! My most recent isn’t that exciting—but a total hole-in-one bedding that flows with the space but didn’t break the bank. And my mom found it!!! So comfortable: Duvet and sheets. My go-tos are HomeGoods, Craigslist, family heirlooms, markets, Target, Overstock, Amazon, H&M, Cb2, and West Elm. I also use a lot of Tempaper, Rustoleum, and chalk paint in my furniture tweaks.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Parisian chic meets bohemian glam!
Any advice for creating a home you love? It all starts with photos! For me, anyway. Start designing a mood board of everything you love. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a furniture or a room scape, just add it in and over time (for real ’cause it can take years to collect) you’ll start seeing a theme.
This submission has been edited for length and clarity.