Elbow Grease Made This Small 400-Square-Foot Studio Extremely Livable
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Name: Jenii Stewart and two cats, Robin Hood and Will Scarlet
Location: Uptown — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting
I’m a graphic designer and animator and love plants (I’m slowly growing a green thumb), bugs, and my two cats, Robin Hood and Will Scarlet. They both have an excess of personality and it keeps things interesting.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Mid-century bohemian nerd chic.
What is your favorite room and why? I actually love being in my kitchen since redoing the backsplash and counters. I also find that I’m better about keeping it clean now. I think maybe I have more respect for the space since putting in the elbow grease to make it my own.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would love to have laundry in unit and some kind of balcony or outdoor space. I really miss being able to grill in the summer and it would be nice to have more space for plants.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was the peel-and-stick wallpaper I put up in my entryway. I’m obsessed. It completely transformed that tiny space and it has real visual interest now.
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? That’s a tough question! I think I’d have to say Marian from my favorite book, “The Outlaws of Sherwood.” She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get stuff done. She’s also totally at home among plants, bugs, and beasts.
Any advice for creating a home you love? It takes time. My home has slowly evolved over the last five years. When you’re working on a tight budget, you can’t do everything at once. Allow your home to grow with you.
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