Liz & Joe's Cute & Crafty Coach House

Liz & Joe's Cute & Crafty Coach House

Jason Loper
Jul 12, 2011

Name: Liz Villacorta & Joe Bankmann
Location: Bucktown — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 1 — rented

We first got a taste of Liz's style when I wrote about her dresser makeover last month. Now we're back for the full house tour of the crafty coach house she shares with her boyfriend Joe.

Liz and Joe's cute little coach house is the perfect space for two people. The main floor features an open floor plan that's perfect for hanging out, entertaining, or just cooking something up in the colorful kitchen. It's also the space where Liz has her desk set up. The upstairs loft area includes space for a bedroom and a separate office space for Joe.

Even though it meant sacrificing the already limited storage space, Liz devoted one of the downstairs closets as a craft space. Outfitted with space for her sewing machine and bins of crafting supplies, it's the perfect way to have a space dedicated to crafting in this small home. And this lady definitely needs space for supplies! How else would she be able to turn so many found and craigslisted objects into such beautiful pieces?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Inspiration: Scandinavian design, nature, mid century modern, organic shapes, industrial materials.

Favorite Element: High ceilings + skylights = streams of natural light all day.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping clutter to a minimum. Since we have limited closet space we are forced to only keep the things that really matter the most. Which is a really good thing.

What Friends Say: Warm, welcoming, and cozy.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our small back yard is in need of some love.

Proudest DIY: The yellow stenciled kitchen! Initially I wanted to use wallpaper but due to high cost and because we are renting, I found another way to achieve the same look. We love to cook and live in the kitchen, so I wanted to make it one of the coziest and happiest rooms to hang out in. Even on the cloudiest of days, this yellow hued room keeps our spirits up.

Biggest Indulgence: White electronics! I loathe big black boxes of any kind along with most electronics. So to help soften the look, I insisted on finding electronics that were a bit more soothing to the eye and complement our space.

Best Advice: Only buy things you love and don't always settle for the first option. Surround yourself in colors that make you the happiest. Make paint, elbow grease and a sewing machine your best friends. Devote a space (big or small) for yourself!

Dream Sources: Desire to Inspire, 2 Modern, West Elm, Dwell, Anthropology

Resources of Note: Thrift stores, Craigslist, lucky side of the road finds, and IKEA have been the major sources for almost all items in our place. Along with paint, elbow grease, and DIY's to turn those free finds into something we are proud to own.


    • Kitchen: Glidden in Spicy Banana Pepper
    • Craft closet: Glidden in Cool Cobalt


    • Coat Tree: IKEA
    • Chair: craigslist
    • Credenza: craigslist
    • Shelves: The ReBuilding Exchange
    • Bench: childhood piece


    • Couch: West Elm
    • Wood Stools: craigslist
    • Rug: Home Goods
    • Coffee Table: ReStore
    • TV console: IKEA


    • Table: free (found in alleyway)
    • Chairs: craiglist
    • Bench: Kane County Flea Market
    • Chalkboard: free (found on curb)
    • Island: craiglist
    • Bar: craigslist
    • Mirror: craigslist
    • Stencil: Cutting Edge Stencils


    • Bedframe: IKEA
    • Side tables: Goodwill
    • Lamps: Target
    • Dresser: free


    • Table :(cut to size) craigslist
    • Shelves: Target
    • Wallpaper: Menards
    • Magnetic boards: IKEA
    • Storage boxes and totes: Walmart

Thanks, Liz and Joe!

Images: Jason Loper

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