Name: Robyn and Drew
Location: Logan Square; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months
Robyn and Drew's vintage graystone apartment is filled with more than just cool-looking pieces, it's filled with original vintage finds and soul for days. They choose their belongings thoughtfully and they take their time; they scour Craigslist and local vintage stores—they celebrate secondhand furniture for its craftsmanship and unique style. And I'm convinced they have access to the secret Craigslist menu—You know, the one that includes teak dining tables, vintage drafting tables, and mint condition mid-century daybeds in teal.
As a curatorial assistant in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Robyn's love of contemporary art is celebrated throughout their home—notably in their decision to use an awkward alcove space off of the kitchen to install a moving-image art piece. The work alone is fascinating, and they've created a wonderful juxtaposition between vintage and modern, as the art piece is adjacent to their study, which is a vintage gem of a room and includes an original Eames lounge chair, vintage drafting table, and part of Drew's (amazing!) book collection. In talking to Robyn, it is evident that the history or story of a piece is just as exciting to them as they way it looks. I loved spending time in their home because it was smart and hip but also warm and inviting, which is exactly how I would describe Robyn and Drew. Now if they'll only help me crack the Craigslist code...
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Bright color and clean lines. Our taste is both minimal and eclectic.
Inspiration: Mid-century American and Scandinavian design. In a way, the white walls of the apartment acted as a source of inspiration—they sparked an interest to inject color in each room.
Favorite Element: The high ceilings and large windows create a bright and spacious feel. The height of the windows made it impossible to buy curtains, so we decided against custom-made treatments, opting to showcase the architectural details of the windows instead.
Biggest Challenge: Storage! We had to be creative with so many cabinets and so few closets—every nook is being put to use!
What Friends Say: Where did you find that?! Everyone is always surprised that most of our furniture is second-hand. Almost everything is from local shops: Humboldt House, An Orange Moon, Modern Co-op, Broadway Antique Market, Knee-Deep Vintage, Salvage One, and of course Craigslist (sometimes eBay). The artwork in our home spans a range of time: from early 20th century to contemporary (1940s-2014). We've acquired most of the work locally from auction houses, galleries, and non-profits like the Community Supported Art program at Threewalls and the annual Spring Fundraiser at Roots and Culture. Other works came directly from the artist.
Biggest Embarrassment: The light fixtures! I really don’t like most of them, but especially loathe the overhead lighting in the dining room. With a rental there isn't much you can do about that so we've learned to design around (and ignore) it.
Proudest DIY: Media Project Space. After living with the awkward nook in our kitchen for a couple months and acquiring Sara Condo’s video Control from the Roots and Culture spring auction, we decided to dedicate the space to moving image art projects and installed a flat screen monitor and media player in the space. We now open our apartment once a month to work by local, national, and international artists.
Biggest Indulgence: Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman from Treadway Toomey in Oak Park
Best Advice: Buy what you like, not for the deal or the investment.
Resources of Note:
• Armoire: IKEA
David Shringley postcards
Iamhome (Sarah and Joseph Belknap)
- Corner TV table: Knee Deep Vintage
- Eames-style chair: Knee Deep Vintage
- Coffee table: Craigslist
- Sofa: Roy’s Furniture
- Artwork: Josiah McElheny, John Bird
Thanks, Robyn and Drew!
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