A Small Eclectic Chicago Rental Was Personalized With New Fixtures, Paint, and More

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
Credit: Mae Kelly

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!

Credit: Mae Kelly
View into the office

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.

Credit: Mae Kelly
Bonus space opposite the kitchen

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

Credit: Mae Kelly
Peach in her window spot in the living room

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.

Credit: Mae Kelly
Weekday desk, weekend dining room

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!

Credit: Mae Kelly
Sage-Green moment in the bathroom

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.
Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form