This Condo’s Ornate Decorative Fireplace and Chunky Crown Moldings Are a Must-See
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Name: Dana Matsuo, husband Andy, and 2-year-old son
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Type of home: Condo
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years; owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: One of the main reasons we bought our condo was for the location, just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and walking distance to great parks, restaurants, and the train. But we also liked all of its vintage charm like the decorative fireplace and chunky crown molding. From the day we purchased it we’ve worked to make the place feel like ours. We’ve not only learned a few DIY skills along the way, but that we also really enjoy working on our home. This condo has evolved to accommodate two work-from-home setups and has seen us through a big life change with the addition of our son.
And while parenthood has been beautiful, it has also been stressful, as we worked through countless appointments and hospital stays to learn that our son has a rare genetic disorder. In all that time, the comfort of home and the work we did has felt even more valuable. Our condo has been a wonderful, cozy refuge. We love spending weekends in our sunny living room, whipping up pancake Sundays in the kitchen, tackling small projects here and there, and finding wall space for Andy’s growing vintage print collection.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy, timeless, a little eclectic.
What is your favorite room and why? Tough call but we’d both say our living room. We live on the second floor and one thing we learned after moving in is that the tall trees keep it cool and shady in the summer, and then all the leaves drop and it’s bright and sunny for the long Chicago winters.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We’ve had a map of Evanston from the 1920s (printed just a couple years before our condo building was built!) that sat in a poster tube for over a year. We recently popped into a resale shop and found a print in a beautiful gold frame that perfectly fit the map. We snatched it up, swapped in our map, and love finally seeing it up in our living room.
Any advice for creating a home you love? We’ve realized it’s nice to spend some time living in the place and then figuring out how things should all come together and change over time. It’s a great way to create a space that is tailored to fit you. Also, lean into the quirky things that you find enjoyable or interesting so that the home feels uniquely yours.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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