An "Eclectic Granny" Patterned, Colorful Chicago Home

An "Eclectic Granny" Patterned, Colorful Chicago Home

Brittany Purlee
Jun 28, 2017

Name: Elizabeth and Tom (and Walter the dog)
Location: Logan Square — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

Elizabeth and Tom have a fearless approach to decor and life. They had only been dating a few months before deciding to move in together. And I should mention that their version of moving in together was signing a lease on an apartment in disrepair and then spending a year fixing it up together. Now when guests enter this shared home, they're welcomed into an unusually bold blend of lots of colors and patterns...and lots of layering of colors and patterns!

This fearlessness is also evidenced by their careers. Where they found the energy to completely transform an apartment with their many demands is a mystery to me. Elizabeth runs her own event company and Tom is a chef. Actually, the two met when their professional paths crossed. Elizabeth says, "I always joke moving in with him was a piece of cake, but I don't know if that's because the apartment was such a disaster — we had so much to focus on there."

It's clear that Elizabeth flavors her apartment with the same creative energy that she brings to weddings and parties. In the current sea of mid-century minimalism it's rare to see such a variety of patterns finding common ground; textured pillows, geometric blankets, graphic rugs, and flowered walls. But thanks to their daring design (and relationship!) collaboration, they have a home that's completely and uniquely them.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Elizabeth: Lots of colors, lots of patterns, lots of layering of colors and patterns. I'd say my style is eclectic-granny. Lots of antique pieces mixed with collections and travel finds. A little glam, a little whimsy, a lot of color. I cannot say no to a bold pattern. I am very focused on form and Tom pays more attention to function but I think we found a way to land on a nice middle ground where we are both happy.

Inspiration: Travel. Instagram. Pinterest. Restaurant, bar, and hotel décor.

Favorite Element: The wallpaper! Our adventure-loving skeletons and the flowered bedroom wall. Elizabeth: I also love all of our plants, all of which Tom keeps alive.

Tom: And the living room, it's the biggest room in the house, but it still feels cozy and it gets a ton of great light. We spend a lot of time here.

Biggest Challenge: Tom: Finding enough time to make this happen. Elizabeth owns and operates her event planning company Anticipation Events and is the Director of Operations for 16 on Center and I work chef's hours (all of the time) so for a long time, every time we had a day off, we were working on the house.

Elizabeth: Agreed, it took a little over a year to get it to where I felt like it was "finished" so it's been nice to be able to have time to just enjoy it.

What Friends Say: Tom: To be honest, both of our sets of parents saw it before we moved in, and later confessed they cried in the car on the way home. It was in pretty bad shape, which we think makes the "after" even better.

Elizabeth: I could see the potential, and I know how excited I can get about a project like this house, and it was fun that Tom did, too. We feel more attached to the space because it's our first place together but also because all of the work we put into it. My friends also think I'm a little insane.

Biggest Embarrassment: It is a rental, so there are things that we can't justify spending money on. The light fixtures, some pretty serious tile situations in the kitchen and bathroom, and the kitchen cabinets.

Proudest DIY: Tom: The kitchen! We spent so much time on it before we even moved in just to make it livable. We pulled out a huge built-in and cabinets in order to open it up to the dining room. We took down a bunch of other cabinets that were making it feel claustrophobic, ripped out shelves in the butler's pantry and a desk behind the door to the porch, pulled down the old wallpaper…it was truly a labor of love. It's still probably one of the most frustrating rooms in the house, but it's come a long way.

Elizabeth: I am also partial to the hallway stencil. I swore I would never do another one after the last one but I couldn't help myself.

Biggest Indulgence: The wallpaper. We can't take it with us, but it makes us pretty happy while we're here and we're hoping the next renter will love it, too.

Best Advice: Do what makes you happy. I almost never have a plan (which is strange because I'm a planner,) but more often than not I find something I like and figure out how to make it work. Paint colors you like, choose pieces you love, and make your home your very favorite place to be.

Dream Sources: Tom: Arhaus. The set from the movie Clue. Elizabeth: Foreign flea markets, antique stores, estate sales. The Anthropologie home catalog is always drool-worthy.


Paint — Salty Dog, Sherwin-Williams
Diamond Trellis Wall Stencil — Royal Design Studio
Lalita Rugs — Lulu & Georgia
Map prints — PaperSource calendar Elizabeth cut up and framed
"Donkey" print — berkleyillustration on Etsy
Milk glass lamp — Vintage
Table — Goodwill

Blue Velvet Couch — Nebraska Furniture Mart
Light Blue Couch — hand-me-down from Elizabeth's parents
Dia de Dumbo Wallpaper — Flavor Paper
Rug — Lulu & Georgia
Ottoman — Ballard Design
"Life on Mars" print — Minted
Purple curtains — Designed by Elizabeth, handmade by her mom
Willowherb curtains — Anthropologie
Plant table and lamp — Antique hand me downs from Tom's family
Throw pillows — Target, Urban Outfitters, Homegoods
Bird Lamp — hand-me-downs from Elizabeth's grandma
Green Chair — hand-me-down from Elizabeth's grandma that she re-covered
Gold pouf — Kenza Moroccan Pouf, Lulu & Georgia

Paint — Watery, Sherwin-Williams
Blazing Poppies Wallpaper — Anthropologie
Curtains — Designed by Elizabeth, handmade by her mom
Dresser and Chest of Drawers — Antiques from Elizabeth's grandma
Lamps — Target
Ralia Octogon End Tables — Lulu & Georgia
Organic Harmony Sheets — West Elm
"CTA Announcement" prints — monkeyrope on Etsy

Dresser — Repainted from Elizabeth's childhood room
Shelving Cubbies — Pottery Barn
Nesting Side Tables — Antique hand me downs from Tom's grandparents
Milk glass lamp — Vintage
Toile Chair — hand-me-down from Elizabeth's grandma that she re-covered
Bookshelf — Repainted bookcase from Elizabeth's childhood room
Chevron canvas — Elizabeth made
Vintage dress form — A World Through Rose Colored Glasses
Organic Braided Matelasse Duvet — West Elm
Dinosaur sheets — Amazon
Curtains — IKEA that Elizabeth dyed peach
"Fortune Favors the Brave" & "Live & Let Live" prints — smalltalkstudio on Etsy

Paint — Salty Dog, Sherwin-Williams
Desk — Salvaged from an old CPS building in Chicago
Cotton Luster Velvet Curtain, Dusty Blush — West Elm
Aztec Fleece Area Rug — Target
End table — World Market
Lamp — Home Goods
"Things That are Round" print — 1canoe2 on Etsy
"So Very Happy" print — dazeychic on Etsy
"Let it Fucking Go: print — Bad Loo Loo on Etsy
"Shine on" print — handz on Etsy
Hot dog print — FoundRe:
"When Life Hands You Lemons" print — dearcolleen on Etsy
Illinois State Pillow — Bad Loo Loo on Etsy
Paper Mache Animal Sculpture — West Elm

Paint — Mint Condition, Sherwin-Williams
Shower curtain — Urban Outfitters
Nate Berkus Bath Mats — Target
Towels — Anthropologie
Prints — PaperSource calendar I cut up and framed
Gallery brass picture frames — CB2
Drohgo and Bronn taper candle holders — CB2

Paint — Black Magic, Sherwin-Williams
Bar stools — Target and painted by Elizabeth

Paint — Watery, Sherwin-Williams
Table and Chairs — Antique from Elizabeth's parents, chairs recovered by Elizabeth
Buffet — Antique handed down from Tom's grandparents
Seller's Cabinet — Antique handed down from Elizabeth's parents

Paint — Mint Condition, Sherwin-Williams
Curtains — Tommy Bahama Swaying Palms Aloe Fabric, handmade by Elizabeth's mom

Red furniture — hand-me-down from Elizabeth's parents that she painted red
Rug — Target
Tulip chairs — Meijer
Gnome — HomeGoods
Pillows — Ballard Design

Thanks, Elizabeth and Tom!

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