A Chic Classic Home in Chicago

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Name: Jonny and Aimée Mendez
Location: Albany Park — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: Rented for 1.5 years

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Jonny and I were married in May of 2015. One of our deepest joys over the past year has been creating our home together. Soon after we were married, we really considered the questions, “How do we want to feel in our home?” and “How do we want others to feel when they enter our home?” As we began to decorate, we made mindful choices to try and ensure that our home is both inspiring and peaceful. As artists, the aesthetic of a space is so important to us.

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Jonny is a music composer and works as an art director at a social media content agency in Chicago. I am a freelance photographer and interior stylist. My main focus is product, interior and lifestyle photography.

When guests enter our third story apartment, we hope they feel they are visiting a light-filled, chic and well-designed home. We attempted to have one room elegantly flow into the next with the consistent color palette. We love the attention to detail in the crown molding and wainscoting and feel it is the cherry on top of our classic Chicago apartment!

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I’d describe it as traditional mixed with sophisticated modern. We love to mix old and new. We are drawn to timeless pieces and tend to avoid what is “trendy.” We love black and white, brass accents, busts, and symmetry in a space.

Inspiration: Oh, there are so many! Kate and Andy Spade’s home, the Jo Malone headquarters in London, Gold Coast Chicago, Soho New York, Frank Muytjens home, Cy Twombly’s palazzo in Rome, English gardens and the streets of Paris (although we have yet to stroll them).

Favorite Element: The stark white crown molding and the wainscoting. It adds something so rich to our home. If it were up to us, we would wainscot every wall.

Biggest Challenge: There is one large wall in our living room, right next to our fireplace that we have not been able to find the perfect piece for.

We also have very limited closet space. But I’m learning to love it because it forces us to purge a lot and keep our life more simple.

What Friends Say: “Let us know if you ever move out.” Or “Can you come help us with our home?”

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

Biggest Embarrassment: With our very minimal closet space, we have resorted to shoving everything that doesn’t have a place behind our couch. Throw pillows, miscellaneous cords, yoga mats, books, a picnic basket, deer antlers, you name it. If you ever come over, don’t look.

Proudest DIY: Installing dimmer switches in the living and dining room. Light is such a game changer in a space. We love being able to dim the lights for intimate dinner parties.

Biggest Indulgence: Our Restoration Hardware 19th C. Cameo prints that hang in our dining room. They were on sale and still a big indulgence.

Best Advice: Dream about your home. Gather inspiration endlessly and if you are married, do it together. We have a pin board called “apartment dreams” that we are adding to almost daily. Remember it’s your home, not your friend’s home or your decorator’s home. Surround yourself with pieces and artifacts that deeply inspire you. Don’t think too much about it, trust your gut. Don’t rush the process, either. Finding the perfect piece sometimes takes time. Also, search your favorite brands on Craigslist.

Dream Sources: We dream of traveling the world collecting art and artifacts. Bringing home beauty and a story. Our friend Richard is a luxury travel agent who has traveled the world. When we’ve visited his home, every piece of artwork or artifact has a story and is from a different corner of the globe—we love that. Also, Restoration Hardware Kate Spade Home and vintage pieces.

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)
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Welcome to the dining room. Down the hall you pass the front door on your right and then enter the living room. The walls are Restoration Hardware Slate. (Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

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