House Tour: Mary’s Vintage Old Irving Home

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Name: Mary

Location: Old Irving Park

Size: 750 sq ft

Years lived in: 7 1/2 years

We are so excited to get back on track with Chicago house tours; our archives are filling up with the most interesting range of styles, sizes, and tastes. Mary (who we can proudly credit with taking her own photos for this tour) lives in Old Irving Park, surrounded by treasures that make her…joyous.

Soon she will be moving to a place on the lake, so we are thrilled that we could first get a glimpse of the space she’s called home for over seven years. Enjoy the tour of a true lover of all things “vintage.” All info about Mary’s place below:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
1. My Style: Vintage with Asian/exotic undertones. Main colors used are red and purple. Most items in my home were either purchased at estate sales, garage sales, resale shops, flea markets, antique shops, or auctions. I feel a home is built over the years. It is a culmination of all the treasures that you collect along the way that make it a unique expression. I am a collector by nature. So, I have to monitor myself to avoid a cluttered feeling.

2. The Inspiration for my home: My love for all things “vintage,” decorating magazines and books, restaurants/bars, spas, friends’ homes (especially the antique dealer’s homes-they have the most amazing, unique homes) local house tours (Pullman tour is fabulous). I truly aim to create a warm, welcoming, and cozy environment.

3. Favorite element: My favorite room is the living room. There is such a great amount of natural light in that room. I love it! Plus, since it is on the third floor, it feels like a tree house in the summertime. Also, there is a simply wonderful cross breeze throughout the apartment when the windows are open. The air just flows perfectly. I also like the layout of the apartment. There are many things that I love about this space. That is why I have lived here so long.

4. Biggest Challenge in designing my home: The building is very old. Previous tenants from years gone by wallpapered the walls so you can still see traces of that. I did not want to invest money into a space that does not belong to me. So, I designed around that to distract from it as much as possible. Also, I needed to create a home office/workspace in lieu of a dining room.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

5. What friends Say about my home: “I wish my house could feel like this. I love your apartment.”

6. Proudest DIY: Refinishing a dresser that belonged to my grandmother. Salvaging a beautiful highboy from the trash. I ran into the middle of Milwaukee avenue during rush hour and flagged down the first truck that I saw. I offered the guy $40.00 to load it up and deliver it to my house. Not quite a DIY but worth the mention. What a find!

7. Biggest indulgence with respect to my home: Soft sheet sets, comforters, pillows and towels are a must. There is nothing more heavenly than sinking into a cloud at the end of the day.

8. Best Advice given or received: Do what makes you feel joyous.

9. Dream Source for stuff: Material Possessions, Jayson Home & Garden, Ligne Roset, Roche Bobios, Design Studio, Pagoda Red, and many more.


Amara’s Resale Shop – deco bedroom set (not including mattress), glass top table/stools in living room
RPN Sales — oriental side cabinet in living room obtained at auction
Ikea – shelves and tv cabinet in living room, shelves in office, second desk in office and pink chair
Salvaged — Highboy in foyer
Officemax — glass top “L” shaped desk and black office chair
Home Depot — wall shelving in office
Estate sales – 50’s kitchen table and chairs, velvet love seat in office

Accessories, Lighting, Art
All over the city at estate sales, garage sales, Rosemont flea market, auctions, resale shops (lots from Amara’s), TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, vintage shops in New Orleans and San Francisco