Danielle’s Charming and Classic Chicago Walk-Up

updated Feb 20, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Name: Danielle Moss (and Buddy)
Location: Lincoln Park; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: almost 1 year; rented

Danielle Moss leads a hectic life. As a co-founder of The Everygirl, a popular website dedicated to career-driven women, the owner of her own graphic design and photography business, and the writer behind the blog Breakfast at Toast, it’s a wonder that she has time to think about interior design at all. But in just a little under a year she has managed to convert a humdrum beige apartment into an inspirational, light, and glamorous haven.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The first thing you notice about Danielle’s apartment is her remarkable restraint in color choices. Despite its relatively small footprint, the apartment feels expansive thanks to the barely-there palette. With its wall of windows, soft gray paint, and white furnishings, the living room almost seems continuous with the sky outside, and with daylight streaming in, the space feels open, airy, and calm.

Because of the cohesive, neutral color palette, Danielle has been able to mix modern pieces like an an IKEA Malm dresser and a Parsons desk with more traditional furnishings like an English roll-arm chair and a white slipcovered sofa. Delicate molding adds architectural interest while keeping the overall aesthetic crisp, clean, and classic, and lustrous gold accents add to the vibrant, luminous feeling of the space. A jute rug, brick fireplace, and rustic wood elements add plenty of texture, making the open living and dining area feel rich and warm.

When Danielle does add color, she brings it in in small doses through flowers, a bountiful supply of plants, small accents, and art. Bespoke pieces like the Jen Ramos painting above the sofa seem right at home with more readily attainable objects from stores like West Elm and Crate and Barrel, and carefully edited gallery walls fill the space with personality and character.

Because she often works from home, Danielle needed a multifunctional space that could suit all her work needs while still allowing her to unwind after hours. Comfort and beauty find their perfect balance in Danielle’s desk area, replete with beautiful office supplies and an impressive array of tech gear. But when the day is done, those supplies can easily be returned to their trays, shelves, and drawers, and a gilded bar cart sits just across the room, at the ready for company. At the violet hour of twilight, when the glittering light fades away, the apartment’s muted colors fall softly around, inviting Danielle and her guests to refresh and relax.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would describe my style as modern, neutral, rustic, and a little glam. My first Chicago apartment was all white and grey, with a little bit of coral in the bedroom. This time around, I wanted to stay relatively neutral but add a little color. I achieved this with my Cocoa and Hearts painting, which definitely makes a statement in my otherwise neutral living room. I love clean lines, lacquer, touches of gold, and for major pieces, I prefer neutral colors.

Inspiration: There are so many sources of inspiration out there. Design magazines (Elle Decor and House Beautiful are two of my favorites), websites (like Apartment Therapy!), Pinterest, blogs, etc. A few favorites include my co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski, who inspired me to bring a little color into my home, Emily Henderson, Domino, Lonny, Rue… the list goes on!

Favorite Element: I think I’d have to say the molding on my walls. I love all those pretty, older details that give a space character.

Biggest Challenge: My apartment has five rooms: the bedroom, living room, kitchen, hallway, and bathroom. Due to space constraints, my office is in my living room. The biggest challenge was combining these two spaces without making my living space feel like an office. It took some creativity, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job bringing the two together.

What Friends Say: My friends usually tell me that my place is pretty and cozy. All they really care about is hanging out with a glass of wine and cuddling with Buddy.

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen and bathroom need new countertops. I would redo the kitchen and bathroom and change out all the lighting fixtures, but it’s a rental so that’s obviously not happening. I keep pretty cutting boards on the kitchen counter, and my favorite products are displayed in the bathroom.

Proudest DIY: I haven’t really done any DIY projects, but I did build my IKEA dresser and CB2 media console by myself. Instructions for both suggested that two adults put them together, but I live alone and wanted to get it done. Word to the wise: don’t try that one at home. I am also pretty proud of my bedroom gallery wall. There was lots of painting and patching as I got the arrangement just right; I didn’t measure anything, just started hammering nails in the wall and hanging frames until it felt complete.

Biggest Indulgence: I pined over an English roll arm for years, and once I finally had the space (and turned 30) I was able to justify doing so. I love it.

Best Advice: When moving into a new place, tackle little areas or projects month by month, and try not to put so much pressure on yourself. Pinterest, magazines, websites, etc., all make it seem so easy, but know that it took time for each home to get to where it is. Expecting to have your entire home complete within a few weeks of settling in is insane unless you have endless time and an endless budget. It took almost nine months to finish my home. In fact, the rug in my hall arrived the day of my shoot!

Dream Sources: Jayson Home, The White Attic, Scout, Serena and Lily.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note: