A Classic Mix of Vintage & New in a Chicago Condo

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Name: Lauren Baker
Location: Ravenswood; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 927 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months, owned

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From the moment Lauren opened the door, I knew this was going to be a fun tour. Lauren greeted me like an old friend, and her personal warmth and natural ease are evident throughout her home, as much of it is designed with one-of-a-kind pieces acquired through her relationships with local businesses and artisans.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

As the director of events for Land of Nod, Lauren has the scoop on virtually every cool who, what, when, and where in the Chicagoland area. Hearing Lauren talk about her home is incredibly fun because it is evident how much she enjoys connecting with local shop owners and artists, and a majority of her belongings have an interesting, often personal story attached to them. Some of my favorite examples are her kitchen stools, which she had custom powder coated in white at Heritage Bicycles. The great part about this story is that Heritage is a custom bike shop, but because they know and love Lauren, they offered to paint her stools using a technique typically reserved for bicycles. I also love the story of her credenza, which the owner of District Chicago found in an alley and beautifully refurbished into a showpiece. These personal touches add so much character to the beauty of Lauren’s home and transform her space into one that is as welcoming as it is well designed.

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Clean, classic, a mix of vintage and new

Inspiration: I spent a large portion of my career working in buying for Crate and Barrel, CB2, Holly Hunt, and The Land of Nod. It definitely made me appreciate great design and create an aesthetic for my own home. I follow a lot of bloggers and small businesses, and am often inspired by others’ personal design. I also lived in Vancouver, B.C. a few years back, and my Hudson Bay items remind me so much of my amazing life adventure and lovely friends I made there.

I found much of my overall home inspiration from Heritage Bikes and General Store (Heritage Bicycles) in Chicago. I absolutely love the calming and inspiring vibe I always feel when I walk into that shop for coffee. There is a great mix of black, white and wood…plus so many special details like the bike rim chandelier, which actually inspired the chandelier in my living room.

My kitchen stools were inspired by the bar stools at
in Chicago. I loved how old-school classic they are, but painted a bright white.

My black doors were inspired by my blogger friend, Chassity Evans of
Look Linger Love. I was at her house for a work event in Charleston, SC, and was obsessed with the black doors against white walls in her beautiful home!

Favorite Element: The front window in my living room. It brings the best light in, especially in the spring and summer when my view is filled with beautiful green trees and sunlight. Also, I love my front balcony. It’s one of the main reasons I bought my place. It’s so great to relax out there after work on a nice day with my bulldog, Lola.

Biggest Challenge: Those darn cherry wood kitchen cabinets. I have been advised not to paint them several times for the sake of resale value, but they just scream 2007 builder decision to me.

What Friends Say: When are you inviting me over?

Biggest Embarrassment: My second bedroom. It hasn’t been touched since I moved in last June, and since I don’t have a storage unit…that’s where everything goes, never to be seen again. (That’s why you are not seeing it on this tour!) It’s my next home project for sure.

Proudest DIY: Oh please …I am not a DIYer. However, the mirror in the entry way was a $5 find at Anthropologie because some of the rattan pieces were broken and they were about to damage it out. I super glued that bad boy, and voila! Call me Bob Vila.

Biggest Indulgence: The School House Tangled Chandelier. It’s my first custom made light (since I have always rented previously.) Love the quality and look, it was worth every penny! Also, my Holly Hunt coffee table. It was a sample sale purchase when I worked in merchandising for Holly Hunt, but still definitely an investment piece I plan on keeping forever.

Best Advice: Be patient. It’s tempting to decorate everything all at once, but the best treasures come when you wait for them. (Reminds me so much of dating. Ha!)

Dream Sources:

  • District Chicago. District finds the absolute best midcentury modern furniture and cleans them up for the best prices! I have sent so many of my friends to them, and their pieces in my home are by far my favorite. The credenza in my living room owner Chris found in an alley in Chicago and made it beautiful again. The Hudson Bay Chair in my living room was also reupholstered by them, and I literally cried when I saw it for the first time refinished. I don’t think they have ever posted something on instagram that I haven’t liked.
  • Schoolhouse Electric. I want to move into that store in Portland.
  • The Land of Nod. I promise it’s not because they give me a paycheck! Seriously, Nod has so many amazing artists that we collaborate with, and I get SO excited to see all amazing designs that come out in each catalog and store floor sets. Granted it’s a kid store, but there is so much good stuff for all ages. I am 36 years old and my home is full of Nod products. (eg., my Rock Lamp!).



  • Doors: Benjamin Moore- Universal Black
  • Living Room, Kitchen, Bedrooms, Hallway: Benjamin Moore-Simply White
  • Bathroom- Benjamin Moore- Deep Space






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Thanks, Lauren!

Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2015 – AB