A Colorful Chicago Home Is an Eclectic Jungle Thanks to 90 Houseplants

updated May 13, 2020

A Colorful Chicago Home Is an Eclectic Jungle Thanks to 90 Houseplants

updated May 13, 2020
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Names: Darcie Tashey and Lucas Tashey, with 1 cat, 1 full-time dog, and 1 foster dog
Location: Cragin — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 2 years, owned

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This small Chicago bungalow is quite literally bursting with life. Owners Darcie and Lucas Tashey share the home with their three pets as well 90 green plants. Partnered with their cool interior design style—vintage finds and pops of color and pattern—it’s a verdant oasis that’s also an extremely comfortable home. Darcie works in marketing for Women Unite! (“spreadsheets and planning are my life”), but considering how healthy and happy her plant collection is, no one would fault you for confusing her with a horticulturist. She insists she’s just naturally good with taking care of plants, plus has learned a bunch over the years through experience, tips and lessons of which she is graciously sharing below and in this more detailed post: A Day in the Life of Someone With Over 90 Houseplants.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic Jungle

Inspiration: My interior, exterior, and garden design are all heavily inspired by my big sister’s style. She is an art teacher in a Chicago high school and I am very influenced by everything she creates and the way she decorates her home. And of course, my husband, who says yes to any new and impulsive design idea I have for the house!

Favorite Element: The basement bar, hands down. Our house came with a very large curved bar that was uncomfortable and just not our style. When we had some foundation work done, we decided to rip out the bar and install a new one that was much more us. This was such a fun area to decorate and tends to act as a catch-all for knick-knacks that don’t find their place upstairs (due to their spot being taken over by a plant!). I love the jungle wall opposite of the bar that allows us to have plants in the basement (shout out to my mama for installing it)! This spot is so perfect for entertaining; we use it for dining with more than will fit in our kitchen, game nights, and working from home. Most importantly, it is dedicated to the memory of my big brother, Cale, who is pictured in a frame overlooking the bar, our patron saint.

Biggest Challenge: Arranging the plants in a way that is best for them, the house, and the animals while still looking good. With 90+ plants, this isn’t the most simple task! Some plants need to be hanging from the ceiling or set on a top shelf because the cat has taken a particular interest in them (spider plants do not stand a chance in this house). Other plants have bugs and need to be isolated in another room or out of physical contact with another plant. Some plants are too pokey to put on the coffee table and will stick ya if you aren’t careful (I’ve definitely taken a cactus or two in the face when getting up off the couch too quickly). I spend around three hours or more per week to care for and inspect the plants, which can be time consuming some weeks, but I absolutely love everything about it…except when I discover some tiny bite marks in a leaf!

Proudest DIY: There are so many DIYs in this home. I love figuring out how to make something new. My proudest DIY is most certainly the plant wall in the front room. A big selling point on this house was the large south-facing windows offering an abundance of perfect light for my plants. I headed off to the hardware store with drawings and measurements. In total, I spent $110 for the wood (bought in large planks and cut down), stain (six coats), and metal standards and brackets (bought white, spray-painted gold). The day I built it is also the 95-degree day my air-conditioning conveniently broke down. Covered in sweat, I finished the entire project in about eight hours (not counting the 24 hours the paint and stain dried outside overnight). It is my favorite thing to look at, which happens pretty often since the sofa faces it!

Biggest Indulgence: Do I need to say it? Plants! Plants are my biggest indulgence. How many plants is too many plants? I counted 88 before the house tour, but Lucas insisted we grab two more to reach a nice round 90.

Best Advice: You can never have too many junk drawers! We have one in almost every room… whether it’s in the form of a tote bag hanging on the guest room door knob, a small tray table hidden under our coffee table, or an actual drawer. Every few weeks we go through and purge or organize as needed, and that helps keep the living space relatively clutter-free! It’s not a new concept or anything; we all have overflowing closets and drawers, but I stopped feeling bad about having several hidden spaces dedicated purely to my cleaning procrastination.



  • BEHR — Evening White
  • BEHR — Flamingo Feather
  • BEHR — Laser Lemon


  • Sofa — Robin Bruce “Joplin”
  • Plant Shelf — DIY
  • Gem Plant Stand — Have Known
  • Unicorn Lamp — Target
  • Floor Lamp — Target
  • Llama Lamp — World Market
  • Hallway Rug — Inherited from grandmother
  • Area Rug — World Market
  • Wooden Chair — Inherited from grandmother
  • Pink Chair — World Market
  • Piano — Kohler & Campbell (Craigslist)
  • Piano Stool — Wurlitzer (Wolff’s Flea Market)
  • Magazine Rack — Estate Sale
  • Record Cabinet — Gamber/Johnson (Inherited from Grandmother)
  • Coffee Table — Grandmother’s table modified (painted and hairpin legs)
  • Junk Drawer Tray Table under coffee table — Urban Outfitters (Product no longer
  • available)
  • Black Bull Planter — Swap Shop in Western PA
  • “A Home With No Dog” Poster — Ryan Duggan
  • “I don’t have time” Poster — Ryan Duggan
  • Heart Poster — Jad Fair
  • “Ben Franklin in Paris” Painting — Red Grooms
  • “Tom Stanley / The Blue Boys” Print — Gene Merrit
  • Wooden Plant Stand — Antique Ammo box modified (hairpin legs)
  • Blankets — Thrift store in Western PA
  • Plants — Plant Shop Chicago, Adams & Sons, Christy Webber, City Escape


  • Bar Cart — Urban Outfitters
  • Table — World Market (No longer available)
  • Chairs — Hay for IKEA
  • Bread Box — Wesco
  • French Press — Le Creuset
  • Red Shelf — Craigslist find
  • Large White Pitcher — Target, Hearth & Hand (No longer available)
  • Small White Pitcher — Le Creuset
  • White Plant Stand — Target (No longer available)
  • Candlesticks — World Market (No longer available)
  • Wire 3-Tier Hanger — Estate sale find
  • Shelf on Windowsill — Yamazaki Home
  • Magnetic Shelf on Fridge — Yamazaki Home
  • “Who is Creating Who?” Painting — Mark Hudson
  • Waste Bin — IKEA (Spray-painted red)


  • Curtains — World Market
  • Monster Drawing above bed — MAC Blackout
  • Commissioned Portrait above bed — Spencer Alexander
  • Bench — Found in a high school storage room
  • Wall plant-hanger — The Plant Corner, Belgium
  • Floor lamp — Inherited from grandmother
  • Dog crates (haha) — Wright Way Rescue


  • Face Mist — Joan Gray Skincare
  • Hair & Body Oil — Joan Gray Skincare
  • Jasmine Oil — Joan Gray Skincare
  • Shelves — DIY
  • Green Plant Stand — Coffee mug holder from thrift store
  • Mirror — Estate sale find
  • Fish Towel Holder — Inherited from grandmother
  • Ring Holder — Inherited from grandmother
  • Blue Planter — The Plant Corner, Belgium


  • Roman Bust Planter — London Walder
  • Coral Corner Cabinet — IKEA PS14 Collection (Product no longer available)
  • Wallpaper — “Parrot Jungle” from Wallpaper Direct
  • Dart Board Cabinet — Inherited from brother
  • Dart Board — Found in alley
  • Dart Board Backer — DIY (Reclaimed wood panels and hand-painted)
  • Sewing Desk — Thrift store
  • Sofa — IKEA (Hand-me-down from sister)
  • Checkered Chair — Antique Store (Hand-me-down from sister)
  • Bar stools — Local hair salon gave them away

Thanks Darcie and Lucas!