Chris’s Cozy Chicago Hideaway

published Mar 18, 2015
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(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Name: Chris Tuttle
Location: Boystown; Chicago, Illinois
Size: Studio
Years lived in: 1 year; rented

From the moment I walked into Chris Tuttle’s space, I felt like I had escaped city life. Dark walls and rich décor set the warm mood. The snug studio is peppered with charming and colorful vintage finds. And when I say snug I mean snug – you can practically see the entire thing from the front door. Instead of abiding by traditional advice of using a light wall color to open up a small space, Chris boldly ran with dark green. The effect? A cozy retreat that invites one to carefully examine the curios, curl up with a good book, and truly hide out for awhile.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Chris is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on costume design. Most recently he’s been working as an apprentice to the design guru and stylist Liz Klafeta and her luxury vacation rental business, HOMETEL.

The DIY platform bed that defines the bedroom and living area is a smart addition. It provides much needed versatility in the layout. When flipped, the space underneath can function as either a seating area or additional storage.

Chris opportunely utilizes the walls to add interest and much-needed storage space. A chalkboard hallway separates the bedroom/living space from the bright coral kitchen. A bold pegboard wall is smart choice for the small cooking area.

Chris brings his unique personality into each nook, creating a relaxing haven that is truly his own.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Wayfarer chic

Inspiration: Travel, antique, plants, animals, people, geometry, turn of the century artist work studios.

I’d say my biggest inspiration is the divine spirit that is myself and the way I see the world. My space resides in the in-between; a fanciful blend of fantasy and reality, whimsy mets function. The underlying current to my design theme resides in my desire to travel, to explore the unknown, which is a lot for a boy who’s never been west of Missouri or stepped foot outside of the country.

Favorite Element: My four-poster platform bed

Biggest Challenge: Size of the space

What Friends Say: They love it!

Biggest Embarrassment: I put over 100 holes in my walls from moving things around and rearranging in just a year. I’ve probably rearranged at least 15 times. I’ve even flipped my loft bed upside down to make it more comfortable. I was sleeping about three feet from the ceiling for 11 months of my lease.

Proudest DIY: My bed

Biggest Indulgence: Chalkboard paint, good bedding, and house plants

Best Advice: Shop antique stores for furniture, pick paint colors that make you feel something, preferably something good, and do things yourself.

Dream Sources: Wright Auction Gallery, Broadway Antique Market, European thrift stores

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Resources of Note:


  • Benjamin Moore: Mediterranean Olive
  • Benjamin Moore: Coral Rock
  • Benjamin Moore: Chalkboard


  • Pegboard: Home Depot
  • Banquet: Top of a bench that I thrifted for $10
  • Pinboard paddle: Target


  • Bed: DIY (all supplies from Home Depot)
  • Desk: Green Element Thrift, painted with Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint
  • Mirror: Found
  • Desk Lamp: Garage Sale
  • Foldable Plant Stand: Green Element Thrift
  • Hide Rug: Ikea
  • Chairs: Olga’s House of Stuff, Decatur, IL


  • Painted Mirror: Olga’s House of Stuff, Decatur, IL
  • Shelves: Ikea
  • Artwork: Gifts from friends
(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Thanks, Chris!

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