A Modern Maximalist Neon Garden in Chicago

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Modern Maximalist Neon Garden in Chicago

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Anna Rafferty and her husband
Location: Irving Park — Chicago, Illinois
Size: Approx. 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, rented

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I am not exaggerating when I say that Anna Rafferty’s home is the most colorful apartment I’ve ever seen. Every room is so thoughtfully curated with pinks, purples, and the ubiquitous green of plants throughout. And not just these colors, but the neon versions of these colors. Mix these vibrant hues with playful elements and you’ve got an apartment with serious wow factor.

Anna uses her creative eye to sell vintage clothing through her shop, Barbie Roadkill. She shares the apartment with her husband, who she says is indifferent to decorating and lets her take control. In addition to thrift and antique finds, she swears by the kids section of any decor store. She says that’s where she finds the most colorful and whimsical items, like the palm tree lamp in the living room.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern maximalist

Inspiration: All things colorful, sparkly, or furry

Favorite Element: Plants, plants, and more plants! They make any room feel more cheery, especially during drab Chicago winters.

Biggest Challenge: Our landlords won’t let us paint so I’m constantly trying to distract from the boring beige walls by adding as much color as I can elsewhere in the room. In my dream world, I’d paint the living room light purple and the dining room seafoam green.

What Friends Say: How do your plants and cats coexist? (A: Years of trial and error. The surviving plants are the flavors my cats don’t like.)

Biggest Embarrassment: The ceiling fan in the living room. I’d love to replace it with a cool light fixture but we don’t have AC so it’s an absolute necessity in the summertime.

Proudest DIY: I just painted our old wooden dining room table lavender. I love how it changes the mood of the whole room.

Biggest Indulgence: The mid-century modern desk in the living room I got off Craigslist; it’s the most expensive thing I own at $275.

Best Advice: The coolest home decor for color-loving grownups is usually in the kid’s section.

Dream Sources: Thrift stores & garage sales <3


Sectional — Ikea (sold out)
Marimekko tapestry (on couch) — Nordic Crafter
TV console — Ikea (sold out)
Palm tree lamp — PB Teen
Orange side table — thrifted, painted
Yellow octahedron plant stand and pink pedestal — Eric Trine
Tofteryd coffee table — Ikea
Koldby cowhide rug — Ikea
Round pintuck pillows — Urban Outfitters
Pink casper armchair — LexMod
Birdy side table — Urban Outfitters
All wall weavings — Lace and Loom
Wrestler painting — Tae Lee
Face painting — Andrew Jessup
Lovers print — Leslie Duiguid
Small painted wall charms — Great Lakes Goods
Opalescent vase — West Elm

ARCH Other assorted artwork — thrifted

Mid-century modern desk — Craigslist
Small floral side table — thrifted, painted
Lucite desk chair — thrifted
Wire diamond chair — Gilt
Pink footstool — Target
Green Hampen rug — Ikea
Yellow Tertial lamp — Ikea
Globe string lights — Urban Outfitters
House plants — Home depot and Ikea

Purple dining table — vintage, painted
Stendig dining chairs — vintage, reupholstered
Peacock chair — garage sale
Woodwork (bench, console, & wall art) — King Courteen
Cayler geo print rug — Urban
Assorted taxidermy — Brooklyn Taxidermy
Candles — 100 candles
Purple Frida and mint Noa metal planters — Urban Outfitters
Abstract paintings — Andrew Jessup
Spider web wall art — Wilfredo Merced III

Table — thrifted
Yellow chairs — Ikea (sold out)
Table cloth — Impwear Home
Assorted artwork — thrifted
Hanging basket — thrifted

Side tables — Ikea (sold out)
Vintage kantha quilt — Wintage World
Amara floral pillowcases — Urban Outfitters
Sky tapestry — Urban Outfitters
Triangle wall shelves — Urban Outfitters
Marble table lamp — Target (sold out)

Thanks, Anna!

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