Name: Jaime Pérez-Pineda
Location: Pilsen — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 2.5 years
After leaving the 'burbs of Chicago for college and grad school, Jaime returned to his home base nearly three years ago and settled into the vibrant, lower west side neighborhood of Pilsen. His loft is a fitting reflection of the neighborhood's offbeat vintage yet youthful vibe. Even at just 400 square feet, he's managed to create a chic space that takes advantage of the natural light that it's blessed with, compounded by warm and inviting pieces.
Given the small space he had to work with, Jaime was only able to experiment with his furniture arrangement so much before he settled on a layout that was agreeable to the characteristics of his rental, particularly in the living and dining area. But he's come up with creative ways to mix up the feel of his home periodically, such as with a chalkboard painted "headboard" that he can change out when inspiration strikes.
This implementation is a perfect demonstration of his artistic appetite. Jaime's aesthetic is built on tactful finds, clever DIYs, and striking details that nod at his Colombian roots. It's a study in the balance of textures and colors, with not any one element overpowering another. And you can also stay here when Jaime's occasionally away; his place is on airbnb.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Modern / vintage, minimalist, artsy
Inspiration: Mid-century modern style, anything DIY, clean lines, Colombian / Latin American culture
Favorite Element: Exposed brick wall
Biggest Challenge: The kitchen cabinets. I rent so there's nothing drastic I can do about them other than try to decorate around them. I prefer white modern kitchens.
What Friends Say: "How much is your rent?"
Biggest Embarrassment: My fridge is empty 75% of the time.
Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY is this mid-century Danish chair I bought disassembled off craigslist for $25 that I put together and refinished. Unfortunately I don't have space for it so it's currently hibernating. My second proudest would be my IKEA-hack TV stand / bookshelf.
Biggest Indulgence: I'm a pretty thrifty buyer so I haven't spent a lot of money on one particular thing. I would like to invest in a real bed and a wooden credenza.
Best Advice: Craigslist is this great and vast source of all things furniture. A lot of people are scared to buy from strangers or don't even know it exists. It's like an online flea market where you can find a lot of gems if you search correctly. It's where I've gotten 75% of my furniture.
Dream Sources: Domino magazine, Home Polish, HGTV, Apartment Therapy