Scott and Jerry’s Oak Park Charmer

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

Name: Scott Livingston, Jerry Valentine and Spencer
Location: Oak Park, Illinois
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years; Owned

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If you’re at all familiar with Oak Park, it is probably because of its many Frank Lloyd Wright homes or its legacy as the one-time home of Ernest Hemingway. It’s an area filled with beautiful, historic homes, and Scott and Jerry’s home is no exception. They’ve updated many of the finishes and the house’s overall functionality, but they’ve stayed true to its character, retaining the original millwork, the stained glass windows, and the perfect sense of cozy glamour.

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Some of Jerry’s art and a bit of quirk give the entryway a dose of fun. (Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Scott and Jerry’s home has a rich blend of warm tones and natural materials. Hides, wood, classic wool rugs, and leather contribute to the comfortable atmosphere, and even on the rainiest of days (like the one on which I photographed their home), the house feels welcoming.

The basic elements of the home are neutral, but dots of cool turquoise and dramatic, punchy reds enliven the space. The dining room is dark and dramatic, and Scott says that he tried out a number of different color schemes before settling on its current inky palette. Scott is an enthusiast for antiques and all things French, and Jerry is a photographer with a keen eye for color and spatial arrangement. All of these elements and interests have combined to create a sophisticated, classic, and well-appointed home, but it’s important to note that Scott and Jerry never take themselves too seriously.

This is also the home of Spencer, a four-year-old with a huge imagination, a love of marbles, and a penchant for making friends with strangers who come to photograph his house. Nothing in the house is too precious for romping and dreaming, and Scott and Jerry have actively created a home that embodies a sense of play. Scott is a LEGO lover, and his office is home to a whole LEGO universe. Jerry and Scott also both love art, and this is how the home gets a hefty dose of its whimsy. A prized sculpture of a paint tube rests on the dining room table, a wood-scrap swordfish crowns the fireplace, a set of large dice welcomes visitors in the entryway, and Jerry’s colorful photography dots the walls.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic

Inspiration: The house itself

Favorite Element: The gardens

Biggest Challenge: Blending two different styles

What Friends Say: “Your home is so comfortable!”

Biggest Embarrassment: The upstairs bath—SO in need of updating

Proudest DIY: The dining room paint and wallpaper

Biggest Indulgence: Livio de Marchi sculpture

Best Advice: Don’t follow trends.

Dream Sources: ABC Carpet & Furniture, Jayson’s, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, anything by Barbara Berry or Bunny Williams


(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Living room (above): Benjamin Moore Hot Spring Stones
  • Dining room: Benjamin Moore Midsummer Night
  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Mt. Rainier Gray
  • Scott’s office: Benjamin Moore Muslin
  • Master bedroom: Sherwin-Williams Charleston Gray
  • Spencer’s room: Sherwin-Williams Crisp Linen
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Green couch: Mig & Tig
  • Grey chairs: Room & Board
  • Steel side tables: Room & Board
  • Nickel floor lamps (by stained glass windows): West Elm
  • Glass and bronze coffee table: Crate & Barrel
  • Red bowl on table: Pier 1
  • Ceramic bull: Jonathan Adler
  • Red rug: Chicago Rug Gallery
  • Writing desk: Cassona
  • Figurines on desk: Jonathan Adler
  • Cowhide chair at desk: Antiques on Old Plank Road
  • Black Louis VI-ish cabinet (by the green couch): Roy’s Furniture
  • Nickel lamp on black cabinet: Williams-Sonoma Home
  • Library table: Crate & Barrel
  • Mercury glass lamp on library table: West Elm
  • Fish vase on library table: Pewabic Pottery
  • Eames lounge and ottoman: Room & Board
  • Loveseat (by TV): Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Coffee table (by TV): One Kings Lane
  • Rug (by TV): Macy’s
  • TV stand: Walter E. Smithe
  • Floor lamp (by TV): Pier 1
  • Curtains: DIY, fabric from Mood Fabric in NYC
  • Painting over couch: DeGraaf Gallery, Saugatuck, MI
  • Fish over fireplace mantel: Good Goods, Saugatuck, MI
  • Painting over writing desk: Hermitage Gallery, Rochester, MI
  • Painting over black cabinet: Marketa Sivek Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Pen and ink of garbage can (near grey chair): Jerry Valentine
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Table and chairs: Marshall Field’s
  • Drop-leaf table: Ethan Allen
  • Lighting: Pottery Barn
  • Curtains: Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Rug: Chicago Rug Gallery
  • Mirror: Nest
  • Wallpaper: it’s grasscloth, but no longer manufactured, trust me—it took weeks of surfing the net to find a second roll!
  • Painting: Button-Petter Gallery, Saugatuck, MI
  • Tube of paint: Livio de Marchi, Venice
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Stools: Restoration Hardware
  • Table and chairs: inherited from the home’s previous owner
  • Kid’s kitchen: Kidcraft via Amazon
  • Bowling pins: Broadway Antique Market, Chicago, IL
  • Painting on hutch: Marketa Sivek Gallery, Chicago, IL
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Desk: Antiques on Old Plank Road
  • Small glass and nickel table: Williams-Sonoma Home
  • Bookcases: Homelegance via Amazon
  • Large black mirror: Roy’s Furniture
  • Floor lamp: Robert Abbey via Macy’s
  • Louis VI desk chair: Restoration Hardware
  • Rug: Joss & Main
  • Red trunk: Pier 1
  • Black and white Eiffel Tower over desk: Amazon
  • Eiffel Tower oil painting: street artist in Paris
  • Pencil drawing of figure: Jerry Valentine
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Bed: Crate & Barrel
  • Nightstand: Crate & Barrel
  • Other nightstand: Room & Board
  • Crystal lamps on nightstands: Williams-Sonoma Home
  • Dresser: Crate & Barrel
  • Globe light: Scout
  • Leather chairs: Restoration Hardware
  • Cowhide rug: West Elm
  • Built-in closets: Roselle Custom Woodwork (Jerry’s brother)
  • Rug: Great Indoors
  • Curtains: DIY, grey suiting material from Vogue Fabric
  • Floor vase: Pier 1
  • Painting: Discovery Art Center, Saugatuck, MI
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)


  • Bed: West Elm
  • Bedding: Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Rug: Great Indoors
  • Desk: Roselle Custom Woodwork
  • Dresser and bookcase: made by Oeuf, purchased at Grow in Chicago, IL
  • Lamp on bookcase: Devine Consign
  • Wall decals: Fab
  • SPENCER wall hanging over bed: Foursided Custom Framing Gallery
  • ABC handwriting chart: Foursided Custom Framing Gallery
  • Curtains: DIY, fabric from Jo-Ann

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Thanks, Scott & Jerry!