David and Jo-Nell's Warm Modern Loft

David and Jo-Nell's Warm Modern Loft

Sarah Coffey
Aug 26, 2010

Name: David & Jo-Nell Sieren (and Edwin, their dog)
Occupation: Graphic design (David), Photographer (Jo-Nell), Explorer (Edwin)
Location: Fulton Market — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 950 square foot loft
Years lived in: 3

David and Jo-Nell are the kind of ultra-creative people who do lots of things really well. He's a graphic designer and member of Chicago art & design collective the Post Family, and she's a photographer who works in the art world and does a little bit of everything, from web design to gallery work. Their home reflects their mutual interest in modern furniture, sculpture, photography, and printmaking.

Their style is clean and simple, and they've built up a small but strong collection of classic modern furniture. A palette of reds, greens, and ochres warms up their airy loft, and artwork puts their personal stamp on the space. Their taste in art is diverse — an abstract expressionist painting by David's mom hangs in the same space as a print by Chicago cartoonist Chris Ware, while a pair of carved wooden animals hang out on the credenza. Even from a brief glimpse into their home, you can see that they're one of those couples who are well suited to each other, with a shared passion for art and good design.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern warmth

Inspiration: The books we collect and the friends whose spaces we admire

Favorite Element: Hands down it's gotta be our shark helmet — one of the coolest pieces of sculpture we own. We each put it on at least once a day. Comfortable? No. But it does give you special powers.

Biggest Challenge: Storage. Simply put, there isn't any. And absent of any basement locker-type solution, we've resorted to converting one bathroom to a hybrid tool shed / attic / puppy kennel. We're a couple — who needs two bathrooms anyway?

What Friends Say: They love it, but say we're definitely not set up for kids yet. All that order will go out the window, replaced by complete chaos (and softer corners).

Biggest Embarrassment: Our bathroom-turned-tool shed / attic / puppy kennel. That door tends to stay shut...

Proudest DIY: The amalgamation of all the little things around the house that made it ours, from the updated closet handles to the shower to the key hooks in the foyer.

Biggest Indulgence: Book stores. Along with any mid-century chair David finds on sale.

Best Advice: Don't succumb to the knock-off — integrity lies with the original.

Dream Source: Direct orders from various Merchandise Mart showrooms.

Reality Source: Online orders from numerous web retailers. And semi-annual sales — those help.

Resources of Note:



    • Kathy Sieren — David's mother, an amazingly talented abstract expressionist
    • Jo-Nell and David (photographs and posters)
    • Starn Twins
    • Chris Ware
    • James Deavin

For specific sources from David and Jo-Nell's home office, see this post.

Thanks, David and Jo-Nell!

Images: Evan Thomas and David Sieren

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