A Small Chicago Apartment Is Glam, Gorgeous, & Might Inspire You to Add Wallpaper to Your Rental

published Sep 17, 2019

A Small Chicago Apartment Is Glam, Gorgeous, & Might Inspire You to Add Wallpaper to Your Rental

published Sep 17, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Blake Gifford and her pup, Bash
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

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Chicago-based attorney and content creator Blake Gifford lives in an elegant, small, but dramatically decorated apartment she’s been renting for three years. Being in a rental hasn’t stopped her from adding her own personality and style to the space, though. Blake says she’s added wallpaper to every home she’s lived in since college, and this space is no different. From the glossy and matted black print in the dining nook, to the wallpaper mural behind the bed, to the brand new wallpapered bathroom, Blake has used pattern brilliantly.

Credit: Minette Hand

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Moody, Masculine, Glam

Inspiration: Boutique hotels and British interiors

Favorite Element: The spiral staircase.

Credit: Minette Hand

Biggest Challenge: Storage solutions.

What Friends Say: My friends always compliment the “coziness” of my apartment and they’re usually very shocked at the price point of the items in my home. Because I love a good bargain find!

Proudest DIY: My bathroom wallpaper. I’ve wallpapered in almost every apartment I’ve had since college so I’m pretty skilled at the application process. But because I’d previously only done accent walls, I really underestimated the amount of work that goes into wallpapering an entire room—especially with such an intricate pattern. My entire body hurt for days afterwards, but the space brings such a smile to my face that every knot and bruise was totally worth it. 

Credit: Minette Hand
See what Blake's bathroom looked like before her makeover.

Best Advice: Take your time and find things you love! I also think it’s helpful to just focus on the individual pieces that catch your eye—as you come across them—rather than zero in on a “theme.” You might miss something really great! 

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler, High Fashion Home, Kelly Wearstler



  • Living Room ⁠— “Quaking Bog” – Valspar
  • Bedroom ⁠— “Durango Blue” – Behr
  • Kitchen ⁠— “Black” – Behr
Credit: Minette Hand


  • Vintage Italian Bar Cart ⁠— Craigslist
  • Vintage Frame ⁠— Facebook Marketplace
  • Vintage Phone ⁠— Flea market
  • Chicago Artwork ⁠— Minted
Credit: Minette Hand


Credit: Minette Hand


Credit: Minette Hand


Credit: Minette Hand


Thanks, Blake!

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