House Tour: Nicole’s “Vintage Comfortable” Townhouse

published Apr 6, 2009
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Name: Nicole Ziegler
Profession: Graphic Designer/Art Director
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
Type: 700 sq ft rented 1 bedroom brick townhouse
Years lived in: 9 months


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A lot of Nicole’s finds come from family and near her Scranton, PA roots, creating what she calls her “vintage comfortable” apartment. We imagine the spotlight on great finds from past eras tends to rotate, similarly to how things rotate on Nicole’s DIY living room clipboards which display whatever she feels like, whenever she feels like it…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Nicole’s sweet, lived-in home is filled with the vintage and the personal — items that warm up each corner and undoubtedly add to cozy conversations with guests. From maps and globes to letterpress letters, from flashcards to pencil sharpeners to old labels, her apartment holds a lot of interest but not a lot of clutter. Enjoy this cozy meander!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

AT Survey:

My style: Vintage comfortable. I am obsessed with old things- the character they have and the inspiration they provide to my daily life as a designer. For example, I like to look at old books, signs, bottle caps and packaging for typography and design inspiration, or scan old things and use them in my designs. I also think plants are a necessity for a home- they provide life and great color.

Inspiration: My family loves to collect things, so I always have an abundance of old furniture that can be put to use, old books & signs, frames I can paint, etc.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Favorite Element: The collection of artwork and photographs on my walls. The artwork is mostly paintings my boyfriend did and the photographs are a mixture of really old family photos and photos I’ve taken throughout the years. I feel like they are a good representation of the experiences in my life.

Biggest Challenge: Living in an apartment where I can’t paint the walls. Picking colors for my walls is one of my favorite things to do, so not being able to do that is driving me crazy.

What Friends Say: “Where did you get that??”

Biggest Embarrassment: How messy my office gets.

Proudest DIY: This isn’t a huge DIY, but I love the clipboards that hang in my living room where I can randomly display paper samples, colors, anything that I feel like putting up for the day.

Biggest Indulgence: The orange chair I just bought on Craigslist. It was $145 and then I had to pay $50 to get it cleaned and believe it or not, it’s one of the more expensive things in my apartment. I love it.

Best advice: Shop for things at yard sales/thrift stores/etc. If you spend time looking, you can get really awesome, original things for next to nothing.

Dream source: hmmm, I don’t know

Kitchen/Dining – Table is from a yard sale, chairs are from Craigslist
Living Room – coffee table is from Craigslist, Rug from Ikea, couch from the Room Place, bookshelf from my Dad, orange chair from Craigslist, folding chair from a thrift store
Office – desk is made out of wood from home depot and shelving units from home depot. The orange organizer boxes are from the container store.
Bathroom – rug and orange towels from CB2, poster from and frame from a thrift store.
Most of the artwork is either photographs I’ve taken, old family photos, or my boyfriend’s paintings: Juxtavision
Most of the old things I have (cameras, books, cigar boxes, old games, etc) either came from family or from a thrift store near Scranton, PA.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


(Thanks, Nicole!)
Click here for Nicole’s full apartment flickr set and even more detail shots!

Photos by Nicole Ziegler
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