Hallie’s Whimsical Yet Sophisticated South Loop Loft
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Name: Hallie Glennie
Location: South Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 2 years; Owned
From the rustic wood ceilings crisscrossed by painted red duct work to the castle-sized windows surrounded by floor-to-ceiling exposed brick, her loft is the real deal — that sleek, urban look that suburbanites (like myself) often try to emulate with faux brick panels and prepackaged beadboard, but can never quite capture for lack of authenticity.
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Hallie knew a gem when she found one — she made an offer on the space, and carefully stowed away treasures, making plans for the day it would be hers. She’s implemented a lot of clever solutions for making the most of the space, including taking advantage of the ultra high ceilings by constructing a sleeper loft above the bedroom closet, and salvaging pieces from thrift stores and even her grandmother’s kitchen to pull together a fun, modern look that still manages to feel warm and inviting. Funky light fixtures and fun splashes of color combine effortlessly with clean-lined, “grown up” furniture. The result? Whimsical sophistication, and a style all her own.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic /Modern/ Midcentury modern.
Inspiration: My friends and my family. As a kid, the first time I saw a Barcelona chair or sat in an Eames lounge chair was at my aunt and uncle’s gold coast home. Later in life a close friend re-introduced me. I liked what she was collecting and how she was incorporating vintage/midcentury pieces into her home.I enjoy looking at design sites like Houzz, Apartment Therapy and IKEA Hackers. I like seeing what other people are putting together.
Favorite Element: Adding the loft bed over the bedroom walk-in closet. My kids love it — it’s like an indoor treehouse for them, but it is comfortable enough to use as a guest bed for a visiting adult.
Biggest Challenge: Budget. It was very tight. I had only $2,500 to spend on furnishings (excluding art), so everything is secondhand or vintage. I spent a lot of time online. Items were collected and stored in my garage over a period of months while I waited to close on the loft.
What Friends Say: I really enjoy sharing the space, and I get a lot of positive feedback. One guest who stayed said it was “like living in a design blog.” I liked that!
Proudest DIY: The horse print over the sofa. It is an photo I took of my horse using Instagram. I had it enlarged and put on canvas. I love it.
Biggest Indulgence: The horse sculpture by Malen Pierson — “Out to Pasture.”
Best Advice: I have a friend who paints and does design. I would sometimes bounce furniture finds and ideas off her. She told me to “avoid the everything room.” I.e., have a cohesive design. Avoid jumbling too many different styles and/or elements.
Dream Sources: I love finding good vintage pieces, but I believe good design is good design. There is nothing wrong with IKEA or West Elm.
Resources of Note:
- Cleo table lamp Crate & Barrel
- Eames rocking chair by DWR
- Rug by Dwell
- Lounge chairs (wine color) – vintage by Monarch found at Retro-a-GoGo
- Slat bench coffee table – vintage no makers mark also found at Retro-a-GoGo
- Console – vintage – no makers mark
- Hairpin side table (used for TV stand) – vintage no makers mark
- Magazine rack – vintage no makers mark
- Glass table, Le Corbusier LC6 from Cassina
- 40/4 stackable midcentury plywood chairs by David Rowland
- Ceiling light fixture – IKEA
- Blue vintage dish set & tea set – Volo Market, Volo, IL
- Blue wine glasses – vintage – my grandmother
- Min bed by DWR
- Dresser and TV stand – baby blue enamel vintage dental cabinets
- Acrylic desk Peekaboo from CB2
- Acrylic leg chair – Fiore
- Ceiling light fixture – IKEA
- Rode prints – vintage flea market finds. Printed in Chicago 1950. Kane Co Flea Market
- Lennon poster – vintage market find
- Jackie O – Warhol print
- Large peacock needlepoint – done by my aunt
- Horse print – iphone to canvas
- Street Images – Crate & Barrel
- Metal Horse Sculpture – Malen Pierson
(Images: Katie Gard)
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