This Chicago House Built in the 1800s Is Drenched in Modern Color

published Jul 31, 2023
Color Month

This Chicago House Built in the 1800s Is Drenched in Modern Color

published Jul 31, 2023
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“My partner and I had been on search with a great local realtor for about six months before we met our blue abode. Prior to it, we could not find something within our budget that we fully loved,” begins Courtney Pentimalli, a wholesale fashion industry executive who also does freelance styling and vintage sourcing.

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Credit: Layne Dixon

“Built in the late 1800s, it has over a century of Chicago history. And something that was probably a deal-breaker to others, hooked us: its bright blue color,” admits Pentimalli, who purchased this home with her partner, Colin Hofer, a sommelier and wine director. “We both thought on first viewing that we could see ourselves living in the space … we lived for three years next to a bustling four-way stop and, in contrast, the front yard was a pollinator habitat and the backyard had three gardening beds. We both enjoyed being outside and were really wanting peace and quiet.”

Credit: Layne Dixon

Pentimalli says the previous owners kept the original floors, but that the kitchens and bathrooms were newly renovated. When the couple moved in, they did more updating, including adding lots and lots of color to create what she describes as her “artistic, balanced, whimsical, relaxed” design style. “I’m drawn to playful textures, bright colors, clean lines, and historic charm. My spouse leans more modern and minimal, so when our styles collide it has a complementary effect on our living space. Where chaos meets comfort.”  

Credit: Layne Dixon

Along with the couple’s bright and modern color palette, they also mix in a stylish vintage vibe to the space. “Nearly all of our furniture, aside from our bed, is either vintage, sourced by us, or secondhand,” she explains. “We worked hard to find furniture from different eras that complemented each other. We also searched sample sales around Chicago, and Facebook Marketplace regularly. Our budget was small for furnishing, so we were grateful to see most things from our previous apartment fit in our new home.”  

Credit: Layne Dixon


Credit: Layne Dixon


  • Front room — Benjamin Moore “Boca Raton Blue”
  • Kitchen and dining room — Benjamin Moore “Badlands”
  • Primary bedroom — Benjamin Moore “Turmeric”
  • Music room — Benjamin Moore  “Spice Market” 
Credit: Layne Dixon


  • Vintage De Sade 1970s leather couch — Dial M for Modern
  • Floor ottoman — CB2
  • Vintage Zanotta bean bag chair (1970s) — Carefully Picked
  • ELDTORN room darkening curtains — IKEA
  • 1980s tubular floor lamp — The Stoop Store
  • Italian marble chrome floor lamp — Dial M for Modern
  • Pillows — Etsy
  • 1980s Tibetan wool carpet — Steph Schofield
  • Antique quilt (fiber glass frame) — Dial M for Modern 
Credit: Layne Dixon


  • Vintage marble table — Doma
  • About a Chair 22 — Hay Design
  • Vintage striped pillow — Able
  • 1960s space age German pendant light — Etsy 
  • Flat weave wool rug — E Carpet Gallery
  • 1980s HARVEY shirt vase — Chairish
  • Fiber art pieces — Dial M for Modern 
Credit: Layne Dixon


Credit: Layne Dixon


  • Drommen acacia wood bed — CB2
  • Ete duvet — Hay Design
  • Washed linen curtains in ochre — Parachute
  • 1970s panther table lamp — The Stoop Store 
Credit: Layne Dixon


Thanks, Courtney!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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