Name: Luke and Claire Staszak
Location: Logan Square; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 2 bedroom + office
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
Luke and Claire are two incredibly warm and inspiring individuals. Spending time with them in their beautiful greystone included stories of their experiences living in New Zealand together, details on their impressive DIY projects, discussions about the music playing on their record player, and lots of laughter. If home is where the heart is, Luke and Claire's home has heart for days.
One of the most inspiring aspects of Luke and Claire's home is that it is filled with so much handmade beauty, from a gorgeous dining table built by Luke to a stark back porch that Claire has transformed into a sunny living area using mostly reclaimed pieces (she's a pro at spotting diamonds in the rough and turning them into something else altogether). Claire's passion for design and decor recently led her to leave a career in the event marketing world and launch her own interior design business, Centered by Design. Claire's approach to interior design has been deeply impacted by her work as a yoga instructor, as practicing yoga has deepened her understanding of the connection between body, mind, and personal space. Claire's focus is connecting these three elements by working to help clients turn their homes into beautiful sanctuaries rather than beautiful showrooms. I love that philosophy and I loved seeing her philosophy in practice in her own home.
Follow Claire on Instagram for daily decor inspiration.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: We love mid-century and Scandinavian modern design aesthetics, but also have a penchant for a more bohemian style and enjoy global textiles. We've melded these elements for quite the eclectic look.
Inspiration:We are inspired by our travels, our love for vintage and handmade, and the desire to create things ourselves. Luke is a woodworker and created our dining table and my office desk. I am learning to sew and made several of the curtains and pillows in the apartment.
Favorite Element: The built-in fireplace and mantle are really lovely. The teal tiling and woodwork around the fireplace influenced several design choices, and we were looking for and thrilled to find a rental with a working fireplace!
Biggest Challenge: I would say having landlords who are strict about remodeling has been our biggest challenge. We have not been able to make some of the updates or changes we'd like to because we want to respect our landlord's wishes.
What Friends Say: We love your style! It looks so clean.
Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen. We love that our kitchen has updated appliances, but everything else about it is kind of a nightmare. It was poorly designed from the start, so the layout is awkward and there's not much natural light. We do love vintage, but the kitchen is bad vintage. Our first project in a house someday will be the perfect new kitchen!
Proudest DIY: For Luke it would be the dining table, which was the first piece of furniture he made (aside from our cat tower!) For me, it would be the patchwork denim chair in my office. I found the chair at a garage sale for $15; it was my first reupholstery project and I used pairs of Luke's old jeans to create the fabric and pattern. It was a lot of work, but I love the results.
Biggest Indulgence: The chandelier over the dining table. I looked at a lot of fixtures that would blend the more mid-century look of the living room with the more traditional look of the dining area.
Best Advice: Create a pinterest board or physical mood board to solidify the style you are trying to achieve. Make sure your roommate or partner and you agree on the look you are going for! I can't tell you the number of friends and clients I work with who want to redecorate, but they don't know what they actually like. Some of my favorite sites for imagery are Apartment Therapy, Remodelista, Houzz, Pinterest, Domino, and Rue Magazine.
Dream Sources: School House Electric, Heath Ceramics, Jayson Home & Garden, Loloi Rugs, An Orange Moon, and Sojourn.
- Living Room: Martha Stewart Eggshell
- Over Fireplace: Martha Stewart Arrowroot
- Couch: Roy's Furniture
- Black vintage chair: Vintage Garage Chicago
- Side tables: vintage finds
- Coffee table: CB2
- Record storage: Container Store
- TV cabinet: Nadeau
- Rug: FLOR
- Pillows: CB2 and Territory Designs
- Lantern holding orchid: Nadeau
- Plants and hanging lanterns: Alapash
- Buddha head: Nadeau
- Bar cabinet: Bed Bath & Beyond
- Dining table: handmade by Luke Staszak (my husband!) for Centered by Design
- Chairs: Restoration Hardware
- Curtains: Crate and Barrel
- Chandelier: West Elm
- Retro clock: vintage DIY by Centered by Design
- Bedding: Calvin Klein (2 season ago) from Macy's
- Bed/dresser: from when I was in high school!
- Kantha quilt and basket: Alapash
- Window artwork: handmade by my mom
- Glass bottles: vintage finds
- Lamps and curtains: Target
- White leather bench and mirror: vintage finds
- Bed: vintage frame (from when I was 2)
- Glass-front cabinet: family piece repurposed by Centered by Design
- Painting: Veronica Bruce
- Curtain: West Elm
- White candleholders: Etsy seller Convivial Production
- Pillows: Territory Design and Anthropologie
- Tapestry and quilt: bought in Thailand
- Pillows: World Market
- Ball jar light: handmade by Centered by Design
- Curtains: handmade by me
- Art print in frame: Jenny Sweeney Design
- Everything else: vintage and roadside finds
- Desk: Ikea top, handcrafted bottom created by my husband for Centered by Design
- Chevron chair: vintage find reupholstered by me for Centered by Design
- Shelving above desk: IKEA
- Mint green outlet: Conway Goods
- Desk lamp: Target
- Various art prints and frames: Neighborly
- Magazine rack: IKEA
- Closet curtain: handmade by me for Centered by Design
- Side table: Target
- Easel: garage sale find
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