Michael & Karen's Home, Studio and Gallery

Michael & Karen's Home, Studio and Gallery

Smith Schwartz
Mar 3, 2011

Name: Michael &Karen
Location: Hammond, Indiana
Size: The main house is 2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms from 1930. SideCar Gallery is 900 square feet, 2 bedrooms and believed to be built in 1890.
Years lived in: 5 years — owned

When Mike and Karen were in the market to buy a house five years ago, their search brought them just south of Chicago to the town of Hammond, Indiana. Hammond is connected to the city by a 40 minute ride on the South Shore Electric Line, making the weekday commute comparable to many neighborhoods within the city limits.

Mike and Karen fell hard for Hammond when they found not one, but two vintage homes for sale together on one lot. The main house was built around 1930, and owned by just one family before Mike and Karen made their purchase. Luckily, the house was in great shape. With most of the original detailing and built-ins in place, the home only needed a small amount of work before they moved in. The rear house was built in the late 1800's (and was likely the original owner's first residence before building the larger home). The second house has been turned into an art studio and gallery where Mike, a museum specialist and artist, has plenty of space to work on his own artwork. Not content to use on the space only for himself, Mike opened SideCar Gallery in 2009-- a contemporary art gallery where artists are invited to collaborate and experiment within the space.

SideCar's first floor is outfitted with gallery-typical whitewashed walls and track lighting, yet retains the character of the old home. The upstairs attic, which feels like a log cabin, (and is accessible only through a very interesting bathroom staircase,) is reserved for site-specific installations.

On my visit to Mike and Karen's home, I was lucky enough to catch a few artworks that were yet to be installed in SideCar's latest exhibition, 'Fire: New Work and a Collaborative Installation' by Paul Perkins and Jeremy Price. The show runs from March 5 - April 2 with an opening reception on March 5 from 5:00 - 10:00 pm. Please see SideCar's website for open hours and directions.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic

Favorite Element: The dining room in the main house.

Biggest Challenge: Persistence/money/time

What Friends Say: What's it like living in Indiana? I say 'Here be dragons'.

Proudest DIY: Committing to gutting the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: Refusing to rent out the second house (SideCar Gallery)

Best Advice: Don't be afraid to buy, just buy smart.

Dream Sources: I don't really know. I just say 'Let me dream if I want to'.

Thanks, Michael and Karen!

Images: Smith Schwartz

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