Drew & Annie’s Calm & Collected Home

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Name: Andrew Samuel and Anne Greenwald
Location: Ukranian Village; Chicago, IL
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months, rented

I visited Drew and Annie’s apartment on the first snowy day of the season, when everything outside was still and white. Annie was out of town, but Drew, who used to work at several independent record labels and who now works at Intelligentsia Coffee, played the perfect wintertime host, serving up warmth, conversation, and great music.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

With Laraaji on the stereo and a cup of coffee in hand, Drew and Annie’s home felt like precisely the place you’d want to be on a blustery day. It was cozy and inviting, but thanks to its minimalist elements, it still managed to blend seamlessly with the tranquility of the world beyond its windows.

Drew and Annie recently moved in together, and in their former homes, they had collected a number of dark, heavy pieces. In this apartment, they wanted to achieve the opposite look: a light, airy, and spacious feeling. Their apartment is minimalist but not sparse. It feels full of possibility, and its openness gives one a distinct feeling that the home is ready and waiting for beautiful things to come.

The couple feels that they’ve finally reached the point where, after many cases of trial-and-error, they’ve figured out what they like, and they’ve begun a process of gradually gathering investment pieces that they truly love. The cantilevered Milo Baughman sofa was a recent purchase, and the Jean Michel Frank club chairs were lovingly restored after being bought from a friend who was moving. Drew and Annie share a love of mid-century pieces, soft colors, and a clean, uncluttered feeling, but they have taken on different roles in the design process. Drew is the diligent hunter who chases down their perfect pieces for their home (and who traces down their history with equal vigor), while Annie is the space planner who is able to visualize the perfect spot for each item.

The more time that one spends in their home, the more coordinated elements one discovers. Like a masterfully crafted piece of music, one begins to see themes that naturally carry from one room to another, producing subtle harmonies throughout the home. Chrome accents punctuate each room, bringing light from one room to the next. A slatted bench in the dining room gives a visual echo of the slatted wall piece in the kitchen, and a series of lush plants add a dose of green to each room, repeating the one shot of vibrant color that occurs in the living room: the verdant leather of the club chairs. Each element is deeply considered, but the end result is not a formal, overly calculated, untouchable space. Instead, Drew and Annie’s home achieves a beautiful, relaxed flow that invites lingering and exploring.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Natural minimal contemporary

Inspiration: Mid-century modern design, unique open-air spaces, California

Favorite Element: How light and sunny the apartment is.

Biggest Challenge: Trying not to get bogged down in big, blocky, dark furniture. We had to get rid of a lot of pieces that made the apartment feel closed in and “cave-like.” We wanted to make the space feel open, sunny, and light.

What Friends Say: “This place feels like a beach house.”

Biggest Embarrassment: This one is tough. There’s so many embarrassments–at least a few every day, haha.

Proudest DIY: Having total control over this space and being completely free to move pieces around and make changes over and over again until we got the place to look and feel just how we wanted.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the Milo Baughman sofa

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to sit with an arrangement for a few days, and then if it doesn’t feel right, completely rearrange it. It also helps to have a like-minded person to live with.

Dream Sources: Anything by the Eames; Sam and Bettina’s place, Mill Valley, CA; minimal composers (all kinds of music in general); modern art

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Resources of Note:


  • Impression prints were a gift from Andrew’s parents
  • Planters by West Elm
  • Original Sam Prekop painting entitled “Afternoon Speaker”


  • Sofa by Milo Baughman for Founders, bought at Humboldt House
  • End table by Lane
  • Jean Michel Frank club chairs, purchased from a friend
  • Cowhide rug purchased at IKEA
  • Lamp found at Broadway Antique Mall


  • Rug by West Elm, Kabuki print
  • Chrome and Italian marble table by Richard Young for Merrow, purchased at Inside Home
  • Matte black Farstrup chairs bought at Humboldt House
  • Pod planter by PAD Outdoor, found at Sprout Home
  • Original painting by Michael Hunter, untitled


  • Danish sofa/sleeper found at Circa Modern
  • LP shelves from IKEA
  • glass/chrome end table found at Humboldt House
  • LPs purchased throughout USA, Europe, and Asia


  • Vanity and wall shelf by IKEA
  • Pyrex test flasks provided by Andrew’s father
  • Wood and fabric “Bull” piece a gift to Andrew’s grandfather from friend
  • Shower curtain from, you guessed it, Target


  • Marcel Breuer chairs found at Inside Home
  • Dining table from CB2
  • Floor lamp: Walter von Nessen found at Reform Objects
  • Slated bench found at Humboldt House
  • Wall shelving unit found at Reform Objects
  • Plants purchased at Sprout
  • Chenille rug


  • Paint color: White and very, very pale yellow
  • Slated wall piece: IKEA
  • Dishes by Heath Ceramics, Sausalito, CA
  • Early production Chemex’s by Peter Schlumbohm
  • Silverware by Laguiole


  • Bed purchased at IKEA, storage under mattress is a great way to save space
  • LP/denim storage shelf found at IKEA
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Thanks, Drew and Annie!

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