An Artist's Sophisticated Chicago Home

An Artist's Sophisticated Chicago Home

Aimée Mazzenga
Nov 18, 2017
Artist and designer Josh Young lives in a Chicago Gold Coast apartment that he shares with his husband, Ignacio. Josh is the owner of Jösh Young Design House and Ignacio, known as "Nacho" by close friends and family, works in finance.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Inspiration: My style is definitely influenced from all of our years living in Milan, Italy and traveling around Europe. Cities inspire me more than anything and when I fall in love with a city, I always try to bring back decor for our home. There's probably four locations that have without a doubt influenced my style and aesthetic and they are Milan, Stockholm, Amsterdam and New York. Milan for its modular rationalism and industrial elegance. Stockholm for its minimalist, soft, airy refinement. Amsterdam for its cozy, warm, historical charm. New York for its bright, flashy, gilded glamour. I think our home reflects a little bit of each city and its qualities in its own little way.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Proudest DIY: Our two Danish Mid-Century armchairs in our living room for sure. I found the frames on Craigslist and bought them both for only $100! After that, my husband Ignacio added the webbing needed for the base and I found the cushions that fit perfectly.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga

A mix of old and new, vintage and found: Their coffee table is vintage and the sofa they splurged on.

Biggest Indulgence: Our sofa from a furniture dealer in High Point, N.C.

Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
The view from living room window looks east over Rush Street in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
The brass table is from Urban Outfitters.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Our Style: Italian Rationalism meets Scandinavian Chic meets New York '70s Glam meets Dutch coziness.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Favorite Element: I'm a designer and an artist so 99% of the artwork in our home is my own. I've been obsessed with old oil portraits since I was five years old and in 2009 I began creating appropriation art with numerous portraits in my archives.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
They add historical charm and elegance with a modern, avant-garde twist that's perfect for our place. I do appreciate balance though, so I also create and use minimalist, geometric art in our home as well. I call myself a "Minimalist-Maximalist" and my work always demonstrates this juxtaposition.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
This artwork is also an original by Josh Young Design House. The chairs he found vintage and the table is CB2.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Biggest Embarrassment: Oh Lord, well, we rent so unfortunately we do not have the power to remove certain items from our apartment. One of those items being our ever so stylish 1990s ceiling fans in our dining room and bedroom. Yikes.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
What Friends Say: "Can I move in?" and "Could you come design my home!?"
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Biggest Challenge: Our apartment building was a hotel back in the early 1920s and when they converted the suites into apartments, they awkwardly divided up some of the rooms, which left a very strange placement of the windows, wall cut-outs, etc. It was hard at first to place furniture in specific areas since there's a lack of symmetry. Luckily all of the original features, moldings and pre-war charm remained, which is one of the main reasons why we chose this apartment! Gotta take the good with the bad.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Josh scored this Jonathan Adler lamp secondhand.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Best Advice: Lighting is everything. I hardly ever use overhead lighting and always strategically place lamps and floor lamps where soft, warm lighting can create a calming, cozy atmosphere and mood to each room. Also, I always pay attention to space and the placement of my decor and furniture. If I have an area or corner in my house that may appear "busy," I try and make sure the space around it is minimal and airy so that it allows for the decor and objects to breathe.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
James Dean peeking out from beside the bed. The globe light is vintage IKEA.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Dream Sources: Villa Necchi Campiglio, Milano. Amsterdam Canal Townhouses. New York Brownstones. Truman Capotes Brooklyn and Hamptons Home. Gamla Stan, Stockholm. RAW Milano. Carole Radziwill's West Village apartment (circa 2013). The production design from Wes Anderson and Tom Ford films. Our beautiful and charming neighborhood in Chicago's Gold Coast.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
One of Josh's most recognizable pieces, Emma.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
The view from their bedroom has a small view of the lake on the left!
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Their vintage bathroom features more original artwork by Josh.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Bathroom vanity essentials. The ceramic tray is from HomeGoods.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
The kitchen is full of vintage finds making a basic space much more stylish.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
The leaning bookshelf is from Wayfair.
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga
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Name: Josh Young and Ignacio Martinez
Location: Gold Coast — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 7 months, renting

Josh and Ignacio have spent the last eight years living all over the world in cities like Milan (where the couple met while studying), Santiago, and New York. Ignacio was born in Tel Aviv and grew up in Concepción, Chile. Josh spent most of his growing up years in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. After moving to Chicago last spring, they knew they wanted their apartment to not only reflect and display the elements from where they had lived and traveled before, but also represent where they are as a couple today. They have always chosen to live in historic, pre-war apartments and always appreciated the elegance and charm of these buildings...and how well modern, modular furniture look within them.

As a designer and an artist, Josh wanted a space that could properly display his work and that offered a blank — yet sophisticated — palette. Much like his artwork, their home is a constant balance of old and new. Bold yet subtle. Colorful yet subdued.


Gilded Frame — Vintage
Hand-Woven Montauk Rug — Safavieh
French Urn — Vintage

Gallery Wall Art Josh Young Design House
Danish Mid-Century Armchairs — Vintage
Mid-Century Coffee Table — Vintage
Wool Area Rug — Pottery Barn
Vogue Coffee Table Books — Vogue Living
Brass Bowl — Kurt Jacob Miller
Mid-Century Candle Holders — Vintage
Roman Bust — Antique
Découpage Plate — Josh Young Design House
Side Table Lamps — AllModern
Side Tables — IKEA
Iron End Table — Urban Outfitters
Decorative Plate — Fornasetti
Cube Shelf — Vintage
Decorative Jar — At Home
Vogue Postcards Collection — Vogue Editors
Mid-Century Ceramic Vase — Josh Young Design House
Desk — Crate&Barrel
Lamp — Kate Spade
Large Portrait Artwork — Josh Young Design House
Paintbrush Holder — At Home
Pencil Holder — CB2
Standard Jean Prouvé Chair — Vitra
Terracotta Army Statue — Vintage
Business Card Holder — Kurt Jacob Miller
Zipcode Design Ricardo Bookcase — Wayfair
Portrait Artwork in Gold Frame — Josh Young Design House
Nordic Light Foldable Candelabra — Danish Design Store
Sheepskin Rug — Bed Bath & Beyond
Baristo Tripod Floor Lamp — AllModern
Geometric Artwork — Josh Young Design House

Large Geometric Artwork — Josh Young Design House
Aqua Virgo Dining Table — CB2
Danish 1970s Chairs — Vintage
Koldby Cowhide Rug — IKEA
Decorative Plates — Fornasetti
Vase — CB2

Venetian Candelabra — Vintage
Botanical Artwork — Josh Young Design House
Old Oil Painting — Vintage

Ventana Tripod Floor Lamp — Jonathan Adler
Artwork / "EMMA" — Josh Young Design House
Roman Bust — Antique
Danish Armchair — Vintage
Nissedal Mirror — IKEA
Velvet and Acrylic Bench — Custom
Louis Ghost Chair — Kartell
Mother/Child Pop Throw Pillow — Jonathan Adler
Artwork / "EVA" — Josh Young Design House
Celia White Vase — CB2
Horse Bust — Custom
Mid-Century Brass Lamp — Vintage
Dresser Drawer — Antique / Custom
Retro Globe Lamp — Vintage IKEA
Peekaboo Acrylic Nesting Tables — CB2
White Bedside Table Lamps — HomeGoods
Antique Sculpted Bust with Glass Dome — Josh Young Design House
Decorative Bed Pillows — Zara Home

Artwork — Josh Young Design House
Ceramic Vanity Tray — HomeGoods
Crystal Vase — Vintage

Thanks, Josh and Ignacio!

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