A Chicago Home Where Repurposed & Restored Items Rule

A Chicago Home Where Repurposed & Restored Items Rule

Jill Ruzicka
Mar 2, 2017

Name: Jeannine Riske
Location: East Pilsen — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, rented

When Jeannine was apartment searching last year, she was sold on the interesting architecture of this one-bedroom home in Pilsen. She was especially drawn to the huge semi-circle window in the living room, which lets in lots of light. She knew she had found the perfect place.

Since moving in a year ago, she's filled it with vintage and mid-century pieces that complement the charming windows, arches and floors. Shockingly, she did it all on a modest budget, scouring estate sales, garage sales and Craigslist for her furniture and decor. She advises that "repairs and repurposing can be a little intimidating, but in the end it's totally worth it because you can make it your own."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, Mid-Century

Inspiration: I was inspired by mid-century design when decorating my apartment. I love filling my home with neutral colors and a pop of something bright to add some excitement.

Favorite Element: My favorite detail of the apartment is the giant semi-circle window in the living room. It lets in so much light and it gives me a great view of the backyard, which is a private park shared by the surrounding buildings.

Biggest Challenge: Affordability. My budget is somewhat tight, so it forced me to be creative. I scavenged estate sales, garage sales, and Craigslist for furniture, art, and decor. Repairs and repurposing can be a little intimidating, but in the end it's totally worth it because you can make it your own.

What Friends Say: Clean, put together, but still comfy. They said that it looks like it's straight off of Pinterest or an Apartment Therapy tour!

Biggest Embarrassment: I am a terrible plant owner. I struggle to keep them alive, so instead I fill my home with metal or wood plant-like art objects. I garbage-picked a beautiful Madagascar Dragon Tree that currently lives in my living room. I am crossing my fingers it stays alive.

Proudest DIY: My kitchen table! I found the table top on Craigslist. It's an old work table top, so it has lots of character. The guy I bought the wood from happened to have the metal legs in his garage, so I took those home, too. I painted the legs white, and my dad helped me assemble it and add the bottom shelf for support.

Biggest Indulgence: My mattress. I really love sleeping, so I figured I might as well have the most comfortable sleep possible.

Best Advice: Don't feel like you have to buy everything new. When you buy from alternative markets, the items have a character that new items don't. Through repurposing, you can make them your own!

Dream Sources: David Bowie's estate sale. RIP sweet angel, but I bet his estate would have some amazing finds.


White Bench — Garage Sale

Bed Frame — Ikea
Bookcase — Ikea (Not exact model, but similar.)
Side Table — Garage Sale
Dresser — Antique, inherited from my Great Grandpa who bought it secondhand!

Makeup Table — Garage Sale
Dresser — Ikea
Rug — Wayfair

Desk — Ikea
Chair — Garage Sale

Couch — Bauhaus USA (Estate Sale)
Mid Century Chairs — Estate Sale
Mid Century Coffee Table — Inherited from my Great Uncle
Mid Century Credenza (Turned TV Stand) — Craigslist
Bookshelf - DWR Sapien Bookcase (Similar)
Rug — Wayfair (Can't find it on Wayfair, but this is the rug.)
Floor Lamp — Ikea

Table — Craigslist / DIY
Chairs — Walmart
Rug — Urban Outfitters

Thanks, Jeannine!

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