Kristen's B&W Chicago Loft

Kristen's B&W Chicago Loft

Kristan Lieb
May 10, 2016
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)

Name: Kristen Basilo and Robby the cat
Location: River West, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 825 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years; owned

Kristen Basilo is the owner of Gather Home + Lifestyle and she says that she's guilty of bringing her favorite items home with her. Most people's homes would be hopelessly cluttered if they had access to so many beautiful things, but not Kristen. She's mastered the art of living minimally.

(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)

Kristen's home has themes which she sticks to nearly 100%. Everything is black, white, or wood. The only color comes in the form of plants. Even her cat matches the scheme, though she swears this isn't on purpose. There are occasional gold accents, like the industrial lighting fixtures in the living room and bedroom.

(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)

Chicago is known for vintage apartment buildings and most people live in buildings that were built around the 1920s. Kristen lives in a giant loft building that, while old, has been gutted and made into modern apartments. This was a big selling point for her. When she moved in four years ago she decided to rethink her whole aesthetic to match her modern space. She wound up keeping some of her vintage and mid-century items, like the wicker ottoman and the art above the bar cart, but overall she went in a more modern direction.

(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Minimal, Neutral, and Modern

Inspiration: I am drawn to California design and Scandinavian interiors. I like clean spaces, modern details, muted color palettes, and a good plant accent.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings, open floor plan and loft style. When I decided to invest in my own place I really wanted to get away from the vintage homes you often find in Chicago, and even compromised on the neighborhood to have it.

Biggest Challenge: Creating a space I love on a budget. Living alone can be costly and I can’t always afford the updates I envision for the space. But owning a lifestyle shop does certainly help a little; I’m pretty guilty of having all my of favorite items from the shop also in my home.

What Friends Say: I usually hear a lot of questions about my lack of “stuff.” Living minimally isn’t for everyone and isn’t something I’ve always done. There is an attic space in the bedroom that holds all the things I want to save but don’t want anyone to see. Friends also find it charming that my cat matches—it’s a coincidence!

Biggest Embarrassment: The tile in both of the bathrooms. It’s the one thing that doesn’t really fit the style of anything else. I dream of the day when I get the courage to DIY or budget to update it. I would also love to say I own a nice couch, but that seems like a big pet owner dream.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen! When I bought this condo the kitchen had blue walls, no backsplash, and maple cabinets. Updating the kitchen completely changed the look of the space. The cabinets were sprayed white to avoid the cost of replacing them.

Biggest Indulgence: I splurged on a few expensive pieces I knew I would have forever when I first moved in, like the dining table. I otherwise shop pretty modestly and mix in plenty of inexpensive items with my investment pieces.

Best Advice: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris

Dream Sources: Other than that Blu Dot sleeper sofa I have my eye on so that I can transition the living room into a guest space, I have more of a dream project list; including updating the wall color to white, changing the floor stain, retiling the bathrooms, installing modern lighting, and furnishing the balcony. No problem, right?


(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Shelving: Ikea
  • Basket: Target
  • Print: Urban Outfitters
  • Pillows: Urban Outfitters
  • Light Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric
  • Shelving Accessories: Gather Home + Lifestyle
  • Radio: Crosley
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Acapulco Chairs: Maya Mueble
  • Coffee Table: Room & Board
  • Ceramic Candle: Norden Goods
  • Credenza: Ikea
  • Record Player: Crosley
  • Couch: Ikea
  • Couch Pillows: Target
  • Side Table: West Elm
  • Rug: Target
  • Waffle Blanket: Urban Outfitters
  • Ottoman: Vintage Franco Albini
  • Planters: Modernica
  • Wall Hanging: Woolgather
  • Print: Society6
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Dining Table: Crate & Barrel
  • Dining Chairs: West Elm
  • Light Fixture: George Nelson Pendant
  • Rug:
  • Cat teepee: Uncommon Goods
  • Bar Cart: CB2
  • Cutout Wall Art: Vintage Greg Copeland
  • Wall Mount: Jayson Home
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Vases: CB2
  • Hanging Mug Display: Ikea
  • Rug: Target
  • Counter Stools: Crate & Barrel
  • Slab Cactus Planter: Sin Ceramics
  • Plants: Sprout Home
  • Wooden Utensils: Facture Goods
  • Black Soap Pump: CB2
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Stool: KKDW
  • Print: People I’ve Loved
  • Wall Hanging: Woolgather
  • Planter: CB2
  • Wall Sconce: CB2
  • Blanket: West Elm
  • Rug: Ikea
  • Dresser: Ikea
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Dresser Planter: Modernica
  • Hats: Yellow108
  • Dresser Ceramics: Humble Ceramics
(Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


  • Decals: Etsy
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Print: Designed by my friend, Erica Johnstone
  • Rug: West Elm
  • Trash Can: Ikea
  • (Image credit: Kristan Lieb)


    • Print: Society6
    • Mirror: Ikea
    • Vanity: Ikea
    • Speckled Cup: Guten Co
    • Towel Ladder: Amazon
    • Turkish Towels: Turkish-T
    • Light Fixture: West Elm
    • Rug: Urban Outfitters

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    Thanks, Kristen!


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