Mike's New + Thrifted Style Mix

Mike's New + Thrifted Style Mix

Jason Loper
Jul 17, 2012


Name: Mike Noren
Location: Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months; rented

We got our first look at Mike's apartment during the Small Cool Contest, and now we're back for the full house tour. A recent Chicago transplant, Mike has outfitted his vintage apartment with a mix of new and thrift store-sourced furniture and accessories that comes together beautifully.

When Mike relocated to Chicago from Michigan, he knew he wanted an apartment with vintage details. He certainly lucked out with this Rogers Park charmer. From the built-in shelving in the kitchen/dining room to the large French windows that line the living room, Mike's apartment has all the character of an old apartment. Other vintage highlights include the farmhouse sink, rounded doorways and original doors.

One surprise in Mike's apartment is the amount of closet space. Vintage apartments often lack closets, but this one includes many. In addition to the large closet in the living room, which is hidden behind mirrored French doors that mimic the windows, there's a roomy closet in the hallway and one in the bedroom as well.

To furnish his apartment, Mike has invested in some nice new pieces, like the sofa from Room and Board, but filled in with thrift store finds. He's also gotten creative with his furnishings to save a little cash — like adding an old mirror to the top of a base to create a coffee table and dragging home a large branch after a storm when he wasn't willing to drop a lot of dough on one. All together, Mike's home comes together seamlessly.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-Century thrift-store Ethno-European.

Inspiration: Broadway Antique Mall, Edgewater Antiques, Room & Board

Favorite Element: French windows in the living room.

Biggest Challenge: Deciding what to keep and what to toss after moving from a larger 2-bedroom to a smaller one-bedroom.

What Friends Say: That the space is serene, everything has room to breathe, the light is fantastic, and the use of color is energizing.

Biggest Embarrassment: Kitchen floor is a bit worn out. I'm going to work on the landlady for that one.

Proudest DIY: I haven't really had any DIY in this space, other than the paint job. I was pretty happy when I found the tree branch after a wind storm, though. I'd looked at florists and online for a couple weeks before stumbling across it in my own neighborhood.

Biggest Indulgence: Hutton Sofa Chaise from Room and Board.

Best Advice: Buy the things that attract you and chances are good that somehow they will work together despite their differences. Also, one new piece that anchors a space, like a sofa or bed, can go a long way to giving new life to the rest of your things.

Dream Sources: Paris Flea Market

Resources of Note:


    • Living Roomm: Silver Drop from Behr
    • Bedroom: Manchester Tan from Benjamin Moore
    • Dining/Kitchen: Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore


    • Sofa: Room and Board
    • Rug: West Elm
    • Painting: Marcio Cabral


    • Mod Frames: Room and Board


    • Bed: West Elm

Thanks, Mike!

(Images: Jason Loper)

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