Matt & Ben's Transitional Traditional Home

Matt & Ben's Transitional Traditional Home

Jason Loper
Oct 3, 2012

Name: Ben Paciello and Matt Horton
Location: Uptown, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years; Owned

Matt and Ben are not afraid to re-sell their furniture if they're not happy with the way it fits in their apartment. In fact, that's how I first met them. The minute I walked into their apartment to buy the yellow Parsons desk they had listed on Craigslist, I knew I would have to hit them up for a house tour.

When I first entered Matt and Ben's apartment, the desk I was buying was sitting right next to that amazing blue and white sofa. These gentlemen have style, I said to myself. I let my eye quickly scan around their home and, from what I could see, my initial assessment was confirmed – they do indeed have style.

After I got my desk home and set up, I sent a photo of it set in my home to Matt and Ben, taking the opportunity to hit them up for a house tour. They agreed to a tour but wanted to wait until the apartment was a little more tour-ready. Months later, when they had me back for the full tour, I was impressed to see how the whole place had come together. Using a mix of new and vintage furniture, they've given their home a traditional look with a eclectic twist.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Transitional, Eclectic, Comfortable

Inspiration: We tend to be most drawn to and inspired by pieces that can serve a dual purpose of being practical, but equally interesting to look at. It's hard to narrow down the source of this, from travel to magazines, blogs, and so much more. It's not uncommon for one of us to see something while reading or walking around town that sparks an idea and ultimately becomes a part of our home.

Favorite Element: The "most beautiful bar in the world," according to Larry Vodak at Scout (and us), our dining room sideboard.

Biggest Challenge: The Office. This one room has quite possibly had more styles, furniture, and rugs (can't forget the rugs - 15 tries to get to the current one, not to mention the two desks and multiple wall hangings!) than the rest of the house combined.

What Friends Say: "It's so clean!," "When can I move in?," "I don't want to mess anything up!"

Biggest Embarrassment: Painting our master bathroom a lovely shade of lavender instead of pale grey. After spending 5 hours taping and painting this provided a lesson one only needs to be taught once - always buy a sample and put the paint on the wall - you never know how the light will impact the color.

Proudest DIY: Our hallway artwork. We love to travel and were looking for a way to be reminded of some of our favorite places in the world. Using IKEA frames we created a collection of some of our favorite photos we've taken, and with room to expand it can only mean we have to keep traveling.

Biggest Indulgence: See "Favorite Element." Oh, did we mention this was also our brush with local Chicago fame? Both Kathy Brock (ABC Chicago News Anchor) and Alessandra Branca were in Scout at the time of purchase and were ready to buy if we didn't step up to the bar (literally).

Best Advice: Take your time to find pieces you really love - if you don't love it or it doesn't feel just right you'll want to replace it, so don't buy it.

Dream Sources: Flea Markets, Antique Stores, Merchandise Mart Showrooms, Baker, Herman Miller

Resources of Note:


    • Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, Hallway: Coastal Fog
    • Office: Brandon Beige
    • Guest Bathroom: Smoke Gray
    • Guest Bedroom: Silver Marlin
    • Master Bedroom: Sweet Innocence


    • Rug: World Market
    • Bench: Scout
    • Mirror: Flea Market Find (from Ben's childhood)
    • Indian Chest: Walter E. Smithe


    • Sofa: Room & Board
    • Pillows: Klim (purchased on trip to Istanbul, Turkey), Blue (Pottery Barn)
    • Matching Side Chairs: Crate & Barrel
    • Rug: Crate & Barrel
    • Coffee & End Table: Pottery Barn
    • Small Round Table: Target
    • Occasional Chair: Purchased from Ben's former co-worker and reupholstered
    • Lamp: Crate & Barrel
    • Media Cabinet: West Elm
    • Terrarium: Alapash
    • Glass Float: Alameda Point Antiques Fair (San Francisco)
    • Glass Bowl: From a trip to Malta


    • Bar/Sideboard: Scout
    • Table: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
    • Dining Chairs: Scout
    • Map: From a trip to Chartres, France (purchased in a restaurant, Le Pichet)
    • Barware: Pottery Barn
    • Wallpaper: Schumacher


    • Bar Stools: West Elm
    • Wooden Bowls: Given by Matt's Grandmother from when she lived in Mexico
    • Fruit/Bread Basket: Williams-Sonoma


    • Bed: Crate & Barrel
    • Bedding: Pottery Barn
    • Ikat Pillow: Purchased on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey
    • Side Tables: Target
    • Lamps: Crate & Barrel
    • Dresser: Brownstone Antiques
    • Glass Bottles: Roost
    • Mirror above Bed: Pottery Barn
    • Mirror between Closets: West Elm
    • Artwork: Ben Brandt from Scout
    • Planter (Vintage Ceramic Crock): Scout


    • Bed: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
    • Dresser: Craig's List Find by Matt's Mom
    • Runner on Dresser: From a trip to Chartres, France (purchased in a restaurant, Le Pichet)
    • Vase: Crate & Barrel Outlet
    • Wood Painted Side Table: From Matt's Parents (they had it custom made years ago)
    • Metal Side Table: West Elm
    • Small Console Table: CB2
    • Lamp on Console Table: Moss
    • Bedding: Crate & Barrel
    • Side Chair: CB2


    • Settee: Ballard Designs
    • Side Table: Given by Matt' Grandmother
    • Side Chair: Given by Matt's Grandmother and reupholstered
    • Bookcase: Scout
    • Desk: Scout
    • Desk Chair: Roost
    • Desk Lamp: Haymaker
    • Floor Lamp: One Kings Lane
    • Antique Flag: Scout
    • Antique Egg Sizers from Holland: Alameda Point Antiques Fair (San Francisco)
    • Rug: Pier One
    • Photography: Taken by Matt & Ben on a trip to London and Paris

Thanks, Matt and Ben!

(Images: Jason Loper)

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