A Warm, Relaxed & Sentimental Chicago Studio Apartment

updated Apr 16, 2019

A Warm, Relaxed & Sentimental Chicago Studio Apartment

updated Apr 16, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Sarah Crowley
Location: Ravenswood — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: 2 months, renting

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Though Sarah’s only been living in this studio apartment for two months, she’s loving it. “It’s my first time living alone and I’ve got to say, it rules. I’ve spent five years thinking about how I would decorate my own apartment, sans roommates, so moving into my own place has been, dare I say, life changing.” Sarah’s day job is digital marketing and design at Big Delicious Planet, but she’s also a freelancer photographer on the side. “Having a place that I can come home to after work that I genuinely like being at was really important for me to create.”

She had been living in Logan Square, but moved to Ravenswood because of a larger supply of more affordable studios in the area. Though happy to have a space that better fit her budget, the apartment’s small size (450 square feet) meant she’d have to really consider how all her stuff would fit.

“I’m not a minimalist by any means but having just moved in, I wanted to carefully select each piece so that it made sense in the grand scheme of things. Each element of my apartment was painstakingly picked out (ask my boyfriend, he was ready for it to be over lol), but each had an intended purpose. I wanted everything to make sense and not be overcrowded because it’s only 450 square feet. Also comfort is key. If you have something that just looks good but doesn’t make you feel good when using it, then what’s the point?”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: Sentimental, warm + relaxed.

Inspiration: In the past I’d been into more vintage, ornate looks, but as my style evolved I was interested in having a more modern feel for my home. I wanted it to feel timeless and current, with nothing feeling too trend heavy. Simplicity, bolder colors (than I was used to), functionality, and being able to pair old with new were my biggest inspirations.

Biggest Challenge: When I first moved in the lighting situation was a little rough. The overhead daylight balanced bulbs seemed to bring out the worst in everything. My boyfriend is very into how lighting can make a room feel, so in order to set a mood that didn’t make the apartment feel so sterile, we bought hanging paper lanterns from IKEA and draped them from the ceiling to create a dimensional lighting situation. Dimmable 4w Edison bulbs were used in the paper lanterns to keep the light especially soft. I bought a floor lamp and used the same Edison bulbs for another corner of the room.

Having moved into such an old building, you never know where you’re not going to be able to hammer into. Because the paper lanterns were light enough, we used Command Wire Hooks to hang them because the plaster wasn’t able to hold a real hook. With lighting placed in different corners of the rooms I don’t use any of the overhead lights in the apartment (aside from the bathroom), and the look is much more welcoming. Overall, the hanging lights were a really cheap solution costing $50 total.

Proudest DIY: I’ll admit, I’m not a huge DIY’er. At least not yet in my life ;). The lights were probably the most hands-on thing I did in my place.


Red Rug — Family Heirloom

Couch — Room & Board
Solid Blue Throw Pillow — Project 62 Target Small Multi Color Throw Pillow — Project 62 Target
Oversized Textured Throw Pillow — Project 62 Target Grey Coffee Table — Project 62 Target Grey End Table — Project 62 Target Dresser / TV Stand — Family Heirloom
Small End Table — Family Heirloom
Geometric Print — Estate Sale / Chicago Artist
Winter Scene Painting — Family Heirloom
Bird Print — Birds of America / Family Heirloom
Wall Clock — Amazon
Large House Plant + Pot — Ikea
Black & White Picture — Family heirloom
Paper Lanterns — Ikea
Blue Lamp — TJ Maxx
Mid Century Desk — Project 62 Target Mid Century Desk Chair — Target Indigo Area Rug — Project 62 Target Yellow Throw — TJ Maxx
Plaid Throw — Family Heirloom
Glass Globe Floor Lamp — Project 62 Target
Curtains — Amazon
Wicker Basket — TJ Maxx
Coasters — Target Clay Plant Hanger — Michaels
Glass Plant Hanger — World Market (no longer on their site)
Small Picture Frame — Project 62 Target
Doodle Drawing — Doodlebooth
Red Pot — Adams and Sons Gardens

Kitchen Table — Amazon
Dining Chairs — Amazon
Desert Painting — Family Heirloom (Vintage Pier 1)
Bakers Rack — Amazon
Small White Print — by Olivia May Judge
Green Watercolor Painting — Original by @philipschmidt_ art
Women Hallway Painting — Original by Libbie Beaudet
Blue Rug — TJ Maxx
Floral Rug — Target
Plants — Adams and Sons Gardens
Paper Lantern — Ikea
Lamp — Target (no longer on their site)
Yellow Vases — IKEA
Blue Bowl — Beloit Pottery Company

Comforter — West Elm
Pictures — Family Heirlooms
Miranda Drawing — Original by Libbie Beaudet
Jug Lamp — Family Heirloom

White Shower Curtain — Marshalls
Narrow Shelf — Ross
Weaved Hanger — Ikea
Prints — Family Heirlooms
Hanging Art Piece — Humboldt House
Bath mat — Ikea

Thanks, Sarah!

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