This Creative Couple’s Rental Apartment Is an Oasis in Chicago
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“We honestly loved the flow of the space, especially being a one-bedroom, and how the space inspired an openness we wanted to be reflected in our home, especially since we love to host,” Curtis, a writer and director, begins.
“As soon as we walked into the apartment on our tour, we knew it was the one. The space had great bones and felt like a place we could grow into,” he continues. “The foyer area was a highlight because it made the apartment feel more like a home. We appreciated the character even more than the openness of the common areas. Those classic elements of the crown molding, the built-in bookshelves, and the kitchen archway captured our hearts.”
The couple’s biggest challenge when it came to turning this apartment into their home is something many renters are familiar with: “Of course, when you’re renting, it feels like you’re on a deadline because you’re in a lease with a fixed term in most cases,” Curtis describes.
“At times, it was hard to get through the idea of making our space a home when so much can change even in a year. We had to constantly remind ourselves that our process was our own and we couldn’t rush it no matter what it looked like, so learning patience and grace took us far in our process,” describes Curtis, who, along with Danielle, chronicles their home’s transformation on their Instagram account, @PompeoHome, and TikTok.
“At first, it was definitely researching and sourcing all these beautiful pieces of furniture, but having the reality of budget constraints is real, so we just took it room by room. We knew we wanted the common areas to be our first order of business, as we love to host,” he continues. “The pandemic helped expedite our process, as we were inside every day. We knew we had to make a home that inspired us in a time of such uncertainty.”
“The funny part about us finding our apartment was that it found us,” Curtis explains. “We were already living in the neighborhood and were looking for more space, but it was the shortest search in the world because we found the apartment in three days. We were touring other properties and walking past this building that reminded us of Harry Potter, and we just had to know if anything was available there. We’re honestly big kids at heart like that. A large part of the charm of our home isn’t just the feeling and the design of our space, but also that it’s nestled in one of Chicago’s Historically Black neighborhoods, Hyde Park. Building a home in Hyde Park has felt like adding to the beautiful legacy of this community and one that has given so much joy to us.”
- Black and white sofa — Crate and Barrel
- White sofa — Six Penny
- Chair — CB2
- Coffee table — CB2
- Six-drawer dresser — CB2
- Two lamps on the dresser — Joss & Main
- Twins, woven fabric patches framed in wood, 2022 — Artist Shaina McCoy
- Babygirl, oil on textured canvas, 2022 — Artist Shaina McCoy
- Untitled, plaster on canvas, 2020 — Artist Curtis Taylor, Jr.
- Aime Leon Dore, “Still Life Graphic” Poster
- Loose Ties, photography — Artist Adrian Octavius Walker (Pink Durag work)
- Polignano a Mare, photography — Carley Rudd
- The paint on the arch and the wainscoting — Behr
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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