House Tour: Jen & Dave's Pet-Friendly Palace

House Tour: Jen & Dave's Pet-Friendly Palace

Heather Blaha
May 31, 2007

Name: Jen and Dave
Location: Logan Square
Size/Type: roughly 1500 sq/ft 2 bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 5

Jen and Dave were recently selected for a fab

While Jen and Dave have slightly changed a few things (a vanity and jewels added to the "chair" corner; darker, richer bedding), the overall effect remains. The rest of their home is a simple statement on how not to fill up 1500 square feet just because you can. It's really a house of five (Jen, Dave, pup, and two cats) all compromising on the best ways to accomodate the needs and desires for each.

Our Style: Stark, modern, vintage chic. Easy on the shabby.

The Inspiration for our home: Dave really loves Bauhaus, Dada, the Constructivists, and typography. Our apartment is spare, modern, sans clutter… with the exception of art books *everywhere*! I love colors found in nature, lots and lots of plants, organic shapes, bold patterns. Very dramatic.

Favorite element: The long hallway decorated with Dave's silkscreen prints, et al. Every time I walk down the hall I feel like I've "made it"… I have an amazing boyfriend who is also my best friend and we're constantly surrounded by and creating art. That is all I've ever wanted in life really.

Biggest Challenge in designing our home: The biggest challenge in designing our apartment is also the biggest love of our lives – our pets. Our oldest cat, Coco, is diabetic and is prone to accidents (so no rugs) Our youngest kitty, Little Bee, literally climbs walls (so prints must be hung at a certain level). Furniture must be low for our miniature dachshund, Talia. It only takes a bit of creativity to overcome these challenges, though. We almost always buy used because we're not so shaken if something is damaged. Besides, our animals mean so much more to us than objects.

What friends say about our home: modern and clean

Biggest embarrassment in our home: Definitely the cat box closet! oy.

Proudest DIY: We painted our living room ourselves. I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, but we have zero time for such things. Dave is a full-time art director, creates silkscreen rock posters, and is in a band. I am a full-time copy editor and I do tons of freelance writing. We take Hapkido lessons three nights per week. Sometimes our proudest DIY moment is making an actual meal for dinner.

Biggest Indulgence with respect to our home: The California Closet system in our bedroom. I adore it because even when it's vomiting clothing everything still looks organized. Such amazing hocus-pocus.

Best Advice given or received: "You can't buy good taste…"

Dream Source for stuff: We are such design whores. MocoLoco, for sure.


-Living Room Sofa- Ikea
-Living Room Chairs- Dania
-Living Room Two-tiered round table- Salvation Army
-Living Room Lane Coffee Table- Craigslist
-TV stand- Dania
-Bookshelf and plant stand - inherited from Dave's late uncle
-Wood linen close in hallway- inherited from Dave's late uncle

-Kitchen Table and Chairs- IKEA (I covered the chairs with red vinyl myself)

-Bedroom Chairs and Chandelier (thrift store finds refurbished by the Strengs)


-All Pillows in house- West Elm
-Small pieces in living room either Jonathan Adler or IKEA
-Living Room picture frames from Komoda


-Living Room White lamp with flocked Shade- Urban Outfitters


-Living Room- Home Depot (I don't remember the color name- Sorry!)


-White Bathroom Rug- Target

Window Treatments

-Living Room Faux Velvet Brown Curtains- IKEA
-Bedroom window shade- custom from Streng Bedroom Makeover


-Mattress- IKEA
-Custom Steel Frame- Streng Brothers
-Laser Cut Headboard and adjoining shelves- Streng Brothers


-All silkscreen prints in hallway except "Le Tigre" by Dave Head. (
-LeTigre silkscreen in hall by AmyJo
-Acrylic paintings in hallway near kitchen created by our friend, Bob Taylor
-Miller switch plate in hallway made by Dave. Miller is his primary client at work (Upshot Marketing) and he creates a lot of commercial art for them... so it's all Miller, all the time!


-Custom Bedroom Door and California Closet system- Strengs
-Black Vintage Mirrors (Living Room/Bedroom)- garage sale
-Bathroom Shower Curtain- Urban Outfitters
-Bathroom corner table- greenhouse in Michigan (can't remember the name!)
-Bathroom magazine rack- IKEA (I painted it chartreuse)
-Kitchen night light- Logan Square shop called Rinky Dink that's no longer around
-Bedroom shelf- IKEA
-Lamp on bedroom shelf and 2 rice paper lamps- IKEA
-"chandelier"ish lamp on small side table in bedroom- Target
-Bedroom TV stand cubes- Target

(Thanks, Jen, Dave, Talia, Coco and Little Bee!)

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