A 400-Square-Foot Studio Uses Gold Removable Wallpaper for a ‘Disco-Meets-Deco’ Vibe

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This Le Corbusier knock-off I found on Craigslist is a classic.

Name: Lori Hall-Araujo
Location: Lakeview — Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Apartment
Size: Approximately 400 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 months, renting

I hung curtains from the ceiling to separate my bed from the main living area.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m a college professor and museum curator visiting Chicago for the semester while writing a book. Things happened very quickly and I wasn’t able to apartment hunt in person. Being very particular about my space, I found searching for a short-term lease from a distance nerve wracking. Thankfully, persistence paid off. This apartment was slightly beyond my budget, but it had everything I was looking for: hardwood floors, great light, a view of Lake Michigan, proximity to public transportation, and tons of nearby restaurants and shops. Even though I knew I would only be in the apartment for six months, it was important that it feel soothing and conducive to writing and reflection. I’m glad I took the time to find the right space and make it my own because COVID-19 hit this spring and I’m spending even more time at home than I had anticipated.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Serene writing aerie.

I’m of Mexican descent and love traveling to Mexico where I’ve collected some beautiful pieces like these Day of the Dead skulls.

What is your favorite room and why? Since the space is a studio, I would say my favorite spot is the corner where I have a secondhand gold velvet Jonathan Adler swivel chair I found on Craigslist. It’s a cozy perch for gazing out at the lake between reading and writing. In the evening I like to relax with wine or tea and look at some of the beautiful treasures I’ve collected on my travels.

Glamorous, removable wallpaper in the entrance was a simple way to make the space my own.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My building was constructed in the late 1920s so I thought it would be fun to give it a disco-meets-deco flavor. I found a great removable gold and black wallpaper on Wayfair, which I used in the entry. It’s very dramatic and elegant. I feel like I’m entering a nightclub whenever I come home.

I like to create little vignettes of art, personal mementos, and gifts people have given me.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Everybody has different priorities and needs. For me light, good architectural bones, and organization are essential. Beautiful things get lost in a dreary, messy space. I also love things that are well-made: textiles, art, a delicious meal. Over the years I’ve accumulated a small collection of objects I display and use because they make me smile and evoke fond memories. I think it’s important to slow down and cherish the people and things in our lives instead of getting caught up in disposability. Constantly replacing and upgrading to the new can only lead to perpetual dissatisfaction.

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