Erik & Smith’s Historic Hideaway

published Feb 5, 2010
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(Welcome to Smith from Chicago, one of the bloggers trying out for a place on the Apartment Therapy editorial team as a House Tour Contributor. Enjoy her work – comments welcome!)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Erik (software engineer for Table XI) and Smith (Departmental Technician for Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago)
Location: Chicago, Prairie Avenue District
Size: 900 square foot one bedroom
Years lived in: 4 months

Erik and I are lucky enough to rent the Mother-In-Law unit in one of the eleven remaining Prairie Avenue historic homes. Having moved each year for the past 5 years, we have developed a simple yet comfortable style that easily adapts to different kinds of space.

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

When Erik and I got married a few years ago, we commissioned our talented pool of friends and family to each make a centerpiece for one of the tables at our reception. In addition to having an eclectically styled wedding, we wound up with some great pieces of art that add a great deal of character to our home. It now includes everything from a hand-drawn portrait of the us, to a hand-blown glass sculpture to a disco ball hanging in our kitchen window.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Simple but comfortable. Clean lines with playful, personal elements.

Favorite Element: We are lucky to have such great architectural elements– original woodwork and beautiful floors throughout.

Biggest Challenge: 5 doors in the long, skinny bedroom. Someday, we’ll be able to walk around the bed…

What Friends Say: You live in a mansion!?!

Biggest Embarrassment: The insides of our closets… don’t tell!

Proudest DIY: Our bed. It’s made from 2 x 4’s, casters and a re-purposed restaurant booth, and it’s the most comfortable bed we’ve ever owned!

Biggest Indulgence: Reupholstering Smith’s grandmother’s sofa. It was totally worth it to have an heirloom piece that means so much to us.

Best advice: Think about the scale of your home before purchasing a too-big sofa or too-small table.

Dream source: Someday we’d love to have more custom and re-purposed furniture.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Burchell Upholstery– they did a great job reupholstering my grandmother’s sofa, and they by far were the most affordable place in town I found!
Bridgette Buckley Studio– our wonderful friend and furniture designer, Bridgette Buckley custom-designed our dining area lamp, as well as several other pieces
West Elm– sectional sofa
IKEA– basic accessories, the ever popular Malm dresser
Lenny and Me– vintage home accessories
• Smith’s mom and aunt- beautiful hand-made quilts
Renegade Craft Fair– we love picking up fun handmade items
Etsy– again, fun handmade and vintage
• Art from friends- it’s so great to have objects around that remind us of our talented friends

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Images: Smith

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