A Small Eclectic Chicago Rental Was Personalized With New Fixtures, Paint, and More
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Name: Mae Kelly, boyfriend Bryce, and 1-year-old Golden Retriever, Peach
Location: East Village — Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: As long as we live in Chicago, this is the place we’ll call home. We’ve put in new light fixtures, painted the bathroom, built shelving in the office, and fully outfitted the kitchen. Most of our pieces are found, while some are heirlooms, but all have been carefully considered. I prefer a minimal approach when decorating, but that doesn’t have to leave out color, pattern, and texture! Over the years, I’ve accumulated many textiles from my job in the design industry — if I really love a textile, I can’t resist framing it!
We spend a lot of time at home due to our remote work, so having our space cater to our hobbies and interests is a priority. Most nights Bryce unwinds while making dinner in the kitchen while I can be found lounging in the living room watching Bravo.
I am a sentimental decorator. I’m forever grateful for the heirlooms in our apartment, from our coffee table that was a gift from my dad to my mom for one of their early living spaces, or the green ceramic bowl that belonged to my uncle and is now used as a catch-all by the front door. Blending these special pieces with newer finds is a much enjoyed creative challenge!
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, organic, serene, personal
What is your favorite room and why? The living room. Lighting is everything — the sunlight that dapples through the leaves on the tree out front is a sight appreciated daily. This is the room where our plants thrive, and our sweet Peach takes her place in the windowsill to look out over the street every morning.
During the day it’s the serene divider between our work-from-home spaces, Bryce’s office and my dining-table-turned-desk, and it’s where we relax and unwind every night.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My favorite home store in Chicago is called Neybir, and just about every room in the apartment has a piece from there! My most recent scores from Neybir are a honey-colored decorative bowl, a glass vase currently acting as a hurricane, and some very dramatic dried olive branches that I like to keep on the dining table. In the springtime I’ll switch them out for fresh magnolia branches!
Any advice for creating a home you love? Design giant Billy Baldwin said it best; “Nothing is interesting unless it’s personal.” Words to live by!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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