Good Questions: Does Weather Affect Chicago Design Choices?

Good Questions: Does Weather Affect Chicago Design Choices?

Heather Blaha
Feb 12, 2007

Dear AT,

I'm supposed to come out and visit Chicago (and Minneapolis) for the first time next week (February 16- 27). I'm from Sacramento, California so I don't know Chicago cold. Now I scroll through your site almost every day and really don't see much about the weather. Does the weather not affect you all? It was recently -35 degrees and I see not a peep. I'm so curious about how the cold plays a part in your day to day lives and your design choices. (Industrial strength coat racks?)

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: chicago(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)

My friends from the Midwest tell me it's part of life and you all just bundle up and go on with your lives but the bitter cold must impact many design choices, not to mention how you interact and live. What's the scoop?


Dear Beth,

It's quite possible that because the weather is ALL anyone talks about when it gets this cold, I think AT has continued to steer the focus toward what happens in our homes, not outside. That said, though, the winter months are a tricky time to:

1) find places for snowy boots and shoes when you come home to a small apartment,

2) find storage and easy access for all of the gloves, scarves, bulky coats, and thick sweaters we wear on a daily basis,

3) enjoy home and catch up on "projects"...being inside more doesn't always equal being productive. Many people just get frustrated and stir crazy.

The bitter weather certainly affects people at home when it involves heating issues and cost, window insulation, leaking radiators, shoveling snow, or anything else that one might be responsible for (or if not responsible for, then impacted by).

BUT, we hadn't exactly thought about it in terms of how it affects design choices - on the inside. We like to think our apartment's style transfers easily from season to season, and the only things affected by what's happening outside are what we're wearing and how many blankets we're using.

We do think your question is an interesting one, and there are probably a slew of related issues and ideas lingering out there. We wonder what all the other AT-ers have to say. Thoughts?? Does the winter weather really affect your interior design choices?

(First page, photo via Flickr, Michael Meskis' photostream. This page, photo via Flickr, FrancesDre's photostream)

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