A 1950s Chicago Home’s Ever-Evolving Renovation

updated Apr 30, 2019

A 1950s Chicago Home’s Ever-Evolving Renovation

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Carly and Brad Moeller
Location: Ravenswood Manor — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years, owned

For all you design-loving storage fanatics, this home is for you. Carly and Brad each have architectural backgrounds, and they were able to bring style and function to their 1950s Chicago home when they updated it. (Like a bold color palette that creates a playful atmosphere in every room.) But their very favorite part of the house is the custom-designed, three-sided, built-in wall of cabinets that divides the living area and kitchen on their first floor. Carly says, “It’s the best thing we did in the renovation and one of the things that truly brings me joy daily, and not just because it’s filled with booze. Although that helps.”

They have maximized their space all while maintaining the aesthetic of the design. In addition to the beautiful custom built-in, they took a linen closet and made it accessible through a vanity mirror so that they could add a second sink to their master bathroom. To see more of their renovation and designs make sure to follow along on their blog.

You can see more of Carly’s style game; she helped James and Kurt with their stunning Chicago home!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, Modern, Vintage, Sentimental, Clean, Ever-Evolving

Inspiration: Travel, architecture

Favorite Element: The custom three-sided built-in that we designed at the tail end of our major renovation when we first purchased the home.

Biggest Challenge: Working with a contractor that disappeared for a few weeks. And no basement = no hoarding. (Challenge and a blessing.)

What Friends Say: Friends always say how much bigger the space seems on the inside versus the exterior appearance, how efficient the space is, layout and storage wise, and sometimes question how it’s so tidy.

Biggest Embarrassment: I would would say the grout in the master bath, which is bit messed up. I also am annoyed and embarrassed as a designer by the closeness in finish of the floor tile and vanity in the master bath. I like them both separately, but they bug me together. Hence the colorful rug, which I love.

Proudest DIY: The triangle wall stencil in our front entryway. Not only does it make my heart sing every time I walk in the front door, it is the house’s paint color palette. It was also quite incredible that a couple from Dublin reimagined it in their own home and sent me some images, which I shared on the Unpatterned blog.

Biggest Indulgence: The three-sided custom built-in mentioned above! Definitely the most expensive single part of the renovation/house, but absolutely well worth it.

Best Advice: Splurge on lighting, toilets, and wallpaper in a special area. Don’t be afraid of color on walls. Hang your art, TODAY! Sometimes a built-in is the only and best answer. When selecting a patterned finish, always ask if there is a larger scale or installed sample somewhere to view.

Dream Sources: Flea markets/antique malls/vintage shops/thrift stores all over the globe, DWR, Blu Dot, Made Goods, South Loop Loft, Lake + Wells, Lindsay Edelman, Apparatus, Emily Henderson’s prop shelves, your grandma’s house.


Trim: Benjamin Moore — Decorators White
Living Room/Kitchen/Hallway: Benjamin Moore — Graytint 1611
Dining Room: Benjamin Moore — Rocky Coast 1595
Master Bedroom: Benjamin Moore — Hale Navy HC-154
Master Bathroom: Benjamin Moore — Shoreline 1471
Lyla’s Bedroom: Benjamin Moore — Water Drops 659
Office: Benjamin Moore — Mocha Cream 995
Family Room & Guest Bath: Benjamin Moore — Stingray 1529
Guest Room — Benjamin Moore — Wilmington Spruce 754

Level Setting Carpet Tiles — Flor
Vintage Console Table — Antique mall
Photograph — Brad Pogatetz

Adelaide Bi-sectional — Gus Modern
Smart Round Marble Coffee Table — CB2
Vintage Lucite Tray — Indiana Antique Mall
Chair — Vintage (reupholstered; was my grandmother’s!)
Painting by Kathleen Patrick — Chicago Skyline Art
“The Happy One” Photo — ND Trivette
Rug — Wall-to-wall remnant
Media Console — Vintage via craigslist
Pillows — Target and HomeGoods
Drapes/Sheers — Original to home

Table — Craigslist (repainted myself)
Vintage Steelcase Chairs — Craigslist
Sputnik Chandelier — Practical Props
Art — Photographs of travels by us in IKEA frames
Marjun Curtains — IKEA

Glenn Counter stools — IKEA
Access Lighting Chrome Retro Ball Pendant lights — Lighting Direct
Cutting Board — John Boos
Anatolia Bliss Smoke Backsplash — Virginia Tile
Rug — Canary Lane

Casa Vieja Matrix Fan — Lamps Plus
Duvet Cover and Square pillows — Unison Home
Yellow and Gray Felt Patches Pillow – Target
Luxe Core Sheet Set in Smoke Window Pane — Brooklinen
Dresser — Vintage via Craigslist
Nightstands — Vintage Lane via my grandma
Rug — Canary Lane
Ada Lamps — CB2
Vivan Curtains — IKEA on Target Rods
Marble Wall Art — Grandin Road
Umbra Trigg Planter — Alapash

Vintage Kilim Runner — Etsy
Clock — CB2
Crepe Paper Flowers — Made by Ilyssa

Babyletto Mercer Crib — AllModern
Crib Sheet — Dwell Studio
Graham Glider — West Elm
Pillow — Target
Rug — CB2
Dresser — Vintage from a friend!
Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad — Giggle
Deerfield Bookshelf — Home Decorators
Kallax Shelves — IKEA
Ubbi Diaper Pail — Ubbi
Umbra Skyline Wall Hook — Wayfair
Archibet City by Federico Babina — Society 6
Yarn L — DIY
Map Cicle Mobile — DIY
Tree Town Paper Animal Garland — Etsy
Needlepoint art — From Brad’s nursery, made by his mom

“Arabian Nights – Clay” Wallpaper in — Relativity Textiles (2017 Collection coming soon!)
Herman Miller Eames Fiberglass Chair — Craigslist
Mirror — Found in crawlspace of our house!
Heywood Wakefield Tea Cart — Indiana Antique Shop
Haeger Vases — Indiana Antique Shop
Bow Tray —Thrift Store
Bunny Chair — Pottery Barn Kids
Vintage End Table – MegMade (will be painted soon!)
Vintage Table Lamp — District
Loom Art — Prophet Gypsy Robot
Sofa — Roy’s
Throw Pillows — HomeGoods
Rug — Canary Lane
Coffee Table — Vintage Lane (was my grandmother’s!)
Big Dipper Arc Lamp — CB2
Baskets — HomeGoods
Creature Kingdom Hooks — Anthropologie
Lincoln Modular Media Console and Hutch — Pottery Barn
Christie Ahee Ceramic Pot — Gather Home + Lifestyle
Kidcraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen — Amazon

Thanks, Carly and Brad!

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