Elizabeth & Brent’s Rented Luxury

published Mar 26, 2012
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Elizabeth Krueger & Brent Sanders
Location: Ukrainian Village — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years — rented

The downturn in the housing market has left many high end, new construction apartments and condos sitting empty. For clever couples like Elizabeth and Brent this affords them the ability to rent an apartment with luxury features — like a fireplace in the bedroom, a kick-ass kitchen and a unique bi-level floorplan — that would normally be out of reach.

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

The housing market has been hard hit in Chicago, with some neighborhoods particularly hard hit. New construction units that were finished after 2007 have been sitting empty and luxury homes in neighborhoods that were still up and coming and feeling a bit down and out.

During the housing boom, Elizabeth and Brent wouldn’t have been able to purchase this newly constructed luxury home. But after the empty building languished on the market for a while, the builder decided to rent out the units. Elizabeth and Brent get to experience all the luxury finishes but at a fraction of the cost of owning.

To outfit the apartment, Elizabeth relied on some new furnishings but also gladly accepted hand-me-downs, like the piano inherited from Brent’s aunt. Elizabeth also admits to having sticky fingers when she visits her own mother’s house.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: The best way for me to explain it is to compare it to the way I dress. I go for simple & classic with a bit of an edge. Brent inherently has great style and I have learned a lot from him. His mother has impeccable taste, so he comes by it honestly.

Inspiration: I am inspired by spaces that feel homey. Crackling fire, music playing and dimly light. There has to be symmetry and comfort and personality. I crave things with a story and interest. I envy those who make looking effortless seem so effortless.

Favorite Element: Master Bedroom windows AND a new construction bathtub – noone has used it before us!

Biggest Challenge: Covering the windows inexpensively!

What Friends Say: There’s a downstairs?!

Biggest Embarrassment: Don’t go in to the guest room closet….DISASTER.

Proudest DIY: My mom & I made the draperies in our Master Bedroom out of painter’s drop cloths from home depot & old drapes for the banding.

Biggest Indulgence: Renting this apartment.

Best Advice: Do Yoga

Dream Sources: Oh geez …. I worked at Holly Hunt, so that was sort of torture. I do love finding a deal too, so anything great with a story, I love!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:



    • Vases & mirror: my mom
    • Shadow box: West Elm
    • Stacked boxes, framed art and stool: Jayson Home & Garden
    • Console & basket: World Market


    • Consoles: Crate & Barrel
    • Upholstered chair: Jayson Home & Garden
    • leather & steel chair: Renegade Craft Fair
    • Metal trunks: Nadeau
    • African pieces: Brent’s mom’s resource Osami
    • Draperies: West Elm


    • Shelving unit: going out of business sale from “Out of the West,” on Armitage. .
    • Dining table: IKEA
    • Dining chairs: Restoration Hardware



    • Screen/headboard: great grandma’s
    • Bedding: West Elm & Calvin Klein Home
    • Desk: Target
    • Lamp: IKEA
    • Desk chair: Restoration Hardware.
    • Green tufted chair: Jayson Home & Garden.
    • Chair & a half: Jayson Home & Garden.
    • African end table: Judy Sanders, resource: ossami.


    • Pull out couch: IKEA
    • Mirror: IKEA
    • lamps: IKEA
    • End tables: West Elm
    • Rug: IKEA
    • Black cabinet: Crate & Barrel
    • Piano: aunt Margie

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Elizabeth and Brent!

Images: Jason Loper

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