Christofer's Mid-Century Collection

Christofer's Mid-Century Collection

Jason Loper
Mar 19, 2010

Name: Christofer Zell
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: nearly nine years

Christofer's Edgewater apartment sits on a tree lined street across from a majestic old high school. His building is circa 1929 but the contents are decidedly mid-century.

Christofer has spent the past nine years in this oddly angled apartment - see the five sided bedroom and V-shaped hallway - collecting mid-century furniture and objects, with a little pop art thrown in. A frequent flea market and thrift store shopper, Chistofer has amassed quite a collection. It ranges from the beautiful - like the mint condition dining table and chairs - to the whimsical - as in the collection of vintage toys displayed atop the kitchen cabinets.

Christofer has scoured garage sales and flea markets, scoring most pieces on the cheap. In fact, a boutique owner followed Christofer out of a Salvation Army, jealous of the bargain he had just scooped up.

The apartment itself is classic Chicago. Built in the 1920s, it features large rooms with many original built-ins, including a beautiful mantel and shelving in the hallway. This all allows plenty of room for Christofer to showcase his passion for collecting.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Inspiration: Classic, iconic mid-century modern forms

Favorite Element: Being able to showcase the items that I collect: glass, pottery, and quasi-pop art. I have a playful personality and I think you can see that in my decorating style.

Biggest Challenge: Although there are four windows in the dining room, the room receives very little light, therefore making it difficult to keep any plants alive in that room. My bedroom actually has five walls, so it is a challenge to fit all of the furniture without the room feeling too claustrophobic. Also, there are two doors to my bedroom, so I have to arrangee the furniture so as to not block either door.

What Friends Say: They love the layout, the apartment's floor plan -it's a little playful. There are some strange angles in my apartment and not all rooms are perpendicular to each other. Friends love the spaciousness.

Biggest Embarrassment: The white walls in the hallway and dining room.

Proudest DIY: I love creating little vignettes of pottery, glass, and paintings to the point of creating a unified sculpture.

Biggest Indulgence: Adrian Pearsall Coffee Table

Best advice: Create a living space with design elements while making it comfortable for you and your guests. Often times, you see pictures in magazines of iconic MCM design, but the furniture looks like it would only work for a photo shoot and not for comfortable day-to-day living.

Dream source: The mid-century modern stores in Palm Springs, CA. Better yet, I would love to pilfer the furniture in one of the classic mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs.

Reality Source: Going to mid-century modern stores when I travel in the U.S. or Europe. I go thrifting on a regular basis in Chicago. I don't mind getting my hands dirty

Resources: Thrift stores, Broadway Antique Market, Tag Sales, vintage
stores in Europe

(Thanks, Christofer!)

Images: Jason Loper

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