Cozy Farmhouse Style, Evolved

Cozy Farmhouse Style, Evolved

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Name: Nick Fanelle and Spiro Georgi
Location: Edgewater— Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 2 years

You might remember Nick and Spiro's previous Apartment Therapy house tour where they showcased their fabulous farmhouse style, perfectly situated right in the city of Chicago. At the time they were transforming their Vermont-inspired style from one that was more traditional to a more contemporary version. Now, with their move to another Chicago pad, they found their style evolving even further; it has become even more authentic, while growing ever more uncluttered and sophisticated. The result is a calm, relaxed home that whisks you away to the country...all without leaving town.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Nick and Spiro's dream has always been to live in an authentic, rustic, New England farmhouse, in a place far from the city and under a starry night sky. But while they still live in Chicago, there's nothing stopping them from bringing that feeling to a second floor classic Chicago walk-up, on a tree-lined street in a quiet part of the Edgewater neighborhood.

Moving to a new home gave them the opportunity to relook at their style, and give it a slight update. Gone are the objects that only looked like they were old and rustic; in their place are authentic pieces, many of them from the 1800's and from actual farmhouses. The piece de resistance is the amazing mantel that grounds the dining room. By simply painting the wall behind the mantel black, they created the perfect illusion of a built-in fireplace!

Another interesting way that their farmhouse style has also evolved is by incorporating pieces other than those originating in New England. Specifically, Nick and Spiro found themselves inspired by French country colors and objects. Each room has its own subtle color palette, and while the front rooms showcase a neutral Sandstone Cliff paint color, the scheme gets more and more French as you approach the kitchen, culminating in a gorgeous and subtle Cucumber Crush pale green. The authentic French lavabo, the enamelware jugs and pitchers, and the blue and white plaid tones all work together to complete the Euro-American look.

As you tour their new space, you might find yourself recognizing a number of furniture pieces from their old place, but that they are somehow a little different. That's because practically every item that they decided to keep got a makeover! By adding a coat of paint, switching out hardware, using a piece in a new configuration, they breathed new life and made everything feel new and fresh. Nick and Spiro are also Masters of slight modifications to their rental units that pay big dividends. In the kitchen for example, the backsplash had been a hideous dark brown color with light brown swirls on each tile. But with a few quick coats of a white Restoleum, the tile and grout were perfectly sealed and the kitchen completely updated.

The final piece in the evolution came from thinning out their collection, and allowing more negative space between the objects. This was not an easy thing, since Nick and Spiro love chasing down amazing objects and go antique shopping on their many trips. But paring down actually started to make more and more sense to them as they acquired more stuff. For each piece to truly shine, it needed space around it, to make it pop and feel special.

With style evolutions, the process is never complete. The many objects and furniture that have become so dear will continue to be transformed and be re-purposed with each new home. What doesn't change, however, is the peace and serenity that Nick and Spiro imbue into their home. Until they find that Farmhouse, this is the next best place to be.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Farmhouse

Inspiration: State of Vermont

Favorite Element: Wood work, hard wood floors, and floor plan of the house.

Biggest Challenge: Changing the color of the kitchen backsplash and working around the brown Formica kitchen countertops.

What Friends Say: I feel like I'm in the mountains, or on a farm in the country.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Biggest Embarrassment: The lack of central air, which requires us to have ugly window units; also the brown Formica kitchen countertops.

Proudest DIY: Building a shelf in the bathroom to cover old ceramic towel hangers, and changing the tile color of the kitchen backsplash.

Biggest Indulgence: Spending a small fortune on a late 1800's antique fireplace mantel for the dinning room.

Best Advice: Design a living space that you would look forward to coming home to everyday.

Dream Sources: Olde Timers Antique Centre, Brimfield, The Country

Bumpkin Antiques, Roost, Randolph Street Market, Etsy, Praha, Restoration Hardware.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Thanks, Nick & Spiro!

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