A Small Chicago Apartment Has Skylights in the Kitchen and 70+ Very Happy Houseplants

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Name: Larayne Dumlao, partner, and dog
Location: Bucktown — Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I lived in my previous apartment for nine years and over the course of those years, I’ve reclaimed furniture and decor through Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, Offer Up, Instagram local accounts, thrift stores, and vintage shops. I am instantly drawn to wood and earthy tones and colors, so naturally, that’s what I look for when sourcing reclaimed pieces. After moving into this apartment a year ago, the furniture and decor all fell into place.

Within the year, there have been a few iterations and furniture shifting, but the style still remained the same. When apartment hunting, I was instantly sold on the skylights and sunroom; I knew this was a good match with my 70 + houseplants. My hobby and passion have been houseplants for 7+ years. I find joy and happiness through caring for plants, and find it very meditative. My sunroom is where most of the plants live; the others are spread throughout the rest of the apartment.

My background experience is in design, and I’ve always had an eye for design since I was young. My style has changed over time, but as I got older, earthy and wood tones are what I gravitate towards. A neutral color palette with a pop of green from plants is my preferred style. I also prefer to ball on a budget, so my furniture, decor, houseware, and kitchenware is mostly sourced from Craigslist, thrift, and antique stores. I take the time to scour the internet or thrift/antique stores. I get a rush when I find unique pieces; it sort of feels like I’ve struck gold in a way.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Sunny, plant-filled, boho, MCM (Mid-Century Modern)

What is your favorite room and why? The kitchen, it’s the most unique, from the 1920s antique porcelain drainboard sink, to the three skylights, to the open shelving, to the random mirror—the list goes on. The original cabinets were clunky and closed off. Switching to open shelving ended up being a perfect shelf for my plants, directly beneath the skylights.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home?

Any advice for creating a home you love? Create a space that you can come home happy to. Whether this is through hobby inspired decor, or unique pieces that you’ve sourced—spreading this throughout your home will help create a home that you love.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.