A Cozy, Warm Industrial Remodeled Chicago Loft

updated Nov 21, 2019

A Cozy, Warm Industrial Remodeled Chicago Loft

updated Nov 21, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Sruthi, Gautam, Zain, and Mowgli the dog
Location: West Loop / Fulton Market — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 3,550 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

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When Gautam and Sruthi thought about what they were looking for in a home to live with their new son, Zain, they wanted something warm and inviting. They dreamed of a sleek, modern design and loved the look and feel of the renovated lofts around town. Most importantly, they sought to create a cozy home with “come sit here and chill” vibes, something that would fit their family’s personality.

So, they decided on a loft in a neighborhood they love and went for the renovations on their own. They gained inspiration online and “learned more than we ever want to know about plumbing and how sliding doors work.” Acting as their own general contractor was a challenge, but they were able to save a lot of money with that decision. And they were able to really customize spaces in the home that are important for both Sruthi’s food blog (like the kitchen) and their pup Mowgli’s instagram (all the lounging spots). But the renovation isn’t the only way they put their personal mark on the large loft; save for only one item, every piece of art in the space is a DIY—even little Zain’s creative work is on display.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Warm industrial. We love the character and history of old factories or warehouses that have been converted into lofts, like many buildings in our neighborhood, with all the industrial elements exposed… but we also want our home to be warm and inviting, with plenty of spaces that say “come sit here and chill.”

Inspiration: Pulled inspiration from a combination of warehouse homes in the city and cozy timber cabins in the country. We looked at Pinterest boards, books (i.e., “Warehouse Home”), and of course, HGTV. We were also inspired by our travels and the art/creativity all around our neighborhood.

Favorite Element: The kitchen was the perfect backdrop for Sruthi’s food blog. Whenever we host people, we inevitably end up gathered around the kitchen island.

Biggest Challenge: Being our own general contractor during the remodeling. Despite all the nightmare scenarios we saw on HGTV shows, we decided to coordinate the project ourselves. We found different contractors for different parts of the house (i.e., glass, wood, bathroom, floors, kitchen, paint, etc.) and learned more than we ever want to know about plumbing and how sliding doors work. Although time-consuming, we saved a lot of money doing it ourselves and luckily found some great sub-contractors who made things easier.

What Friends Say: “Can I live here?”

Biggest Embarrassment: How much we say “Alexa.” Everything’s connected to that machine (lights, shades, thermostat, security, music). Pretty sure “Alexa” will be our 6-month-old son’s first word.

Proudest DIY: We created all the artwork and photography ourselves except for one piece. It’s amazing how high quality iPhone pics are. We blew some of them up extra-large with a few Photoshop touch-ups. Also, we are particularly proud of these baby animal paintings that Zain finger-painted for his room (with some stenciling help from us).

Biggest Indulgence: The gigantic dining table. We bought it from Salvage One, a used furniture store. It was made from reclaimed ceiling timbers. We weren’t quite sure if it would fit in our dining room, let alone fit through the doors/hallways of our building. It now looks like it was made for the space. We’ve never run out of seating options for dinner guests.

Best Advice: Don’t over-clutter. Just because you have space doesn’t mean you need to fill it—we need to keep reminding ourselves of this. That goes for floor space, shelf space, and storage space. And especially for those who have kids, find somewhere to put away all their stuff, otherwise it can pretty easily take over your apartment!

Dream Sources: Doug Neal for reclaimed wood projects—he helped create the beautiful reclaimed wood feature walls and a custom-made cabinet and window bench (which our dog uses every day to let the dogs outside know who’s boss).


Sherwin Williams – Tricorn Black, Pure White

Box Frame Dining Chevron Bench – West Elm
Photograph Artwork from Bangkok, Amsterdam, and Dubrovnik (printed by BumbleJax, framed by CMM Framing)

Urban 4-Piece Chaise Sectional – West Elm
Industrial Storage Coffee Table – West Elm
Iris Planter – West Elm
Mid-century Turned Leg Planters – West Elm
Rug – EuroFurniture
Custom-made Media Credenza – Douglas Neal Collection
Custom-made Window Bench – Douglas Neal Collection
Custom Lutron Sivoia Window Shades
About 20 different pillows from Amazon
Photograph Artwork from Venice (printed by BumbleJax, IKEA frame)
Self-made Graphic Acrylic Print (created by BumbleJax)

Reclaimed Dining Table – Salvage One
Salvaged Bar Credenza – Salvage One
Eames-styled Dining Chairs – Amazon
Oliver & James Vineyard Wood & Chrome 6-light Chandelier – Overstock.com
Kirsten Traditional Oriental Ivory Rectangle Area Rug – Amazon
Oversized Pure White Ceramic Vase – West Elm
Iris Planter – West Elm
Ridged Stone Planters – West Elm
Plants – Sprout Home
“Rainbow Bull” Print — Graeme Stevenson

Photograph Artwork from Rajasthan, India (printed by BumbleJax, framed by CMM Framing)
Barcelona Chair – 212 Modern NYC
Wassily Chairs
NuLoom Contemporary Marleen Solid Shag Area Rug — Amazon

Cabinets — Markus Cabinets
Caesarstone Backsplash and Island Countertop — Prosource Chicago
Wood Feature Underneath Island Counter — Douglas Neal Collection
Sub-Zero Under-Counter Wine Storage – Grand Appliance
Wolf Gas Range — Grand Appliance
Phoenix Ivory Bar Stools – CB2
Self-made Graphic Print Artwork (printed by BumbleJax, framed by CMM Framing)

Andes Acacia King Bed – CB2
Accent Chairs — Dania
Vintage Side Table — Salvage One
Floor Lamp – CB2
Photograph Artwork from Chicago and Yellowstone (printed by BumbleJax, IKEA frame)
Loloi Barcelona Shag Area Rug – Amazon
Custom Closet — Carson Closets and Cabinetry
Rolling Side Table — IKEA

Babyletto Hudson Crib — Amazon
Alba Credenza – CB2
Wall Bath Cabinet – CB2
Saic Quantam stone rocking chair – CB2
Leather Pouf – CB2
Nourison Aria Oriental Vintage Area Rug — Amazon
Self-made Baby Mobile with Wire and Origami Butterflies
Self-made Fingerpainted / Stencil Animal Paintings (IKEA frames)

Bed — IKEA
Custom Side Cabinets
Wall Bath Cabinet – CB2
Self-made Vertical Garden with a Pallet found in a Dumpster
BumbleJax, IKEA frame

Wyndham Collection Mermaid Freestanding Bathtub — Amazon
Accessories and Plant Holders from IKEA
Wood Feature Wall – Douglas Neal Collection

Chunky Merino Wool Bean Bags — Etsy
Sofa – Crate and Barrel
Futon — IKEA
Le Corbusier Chaise Lounge
Smart Glass Top Coffee Table – CB2
Hammock from Pondicherry India
Safavieh Adirondack Collection Silver and Black Oriental Distressed Area Rug — Amazon
Silver Ticket Projector Screen — Amazon
Pioneer Surround Sound System — Amazon
Tables for Lego Collection – IKEA
Self-made Lego City
Photograph Artwork from Kerala India and Chicago (printed by BumbleJax, Ikea frame)
Soft Wood Tile – Rubber Flooring Inc.
40-foot Reclaimed Wood Feature Wall (from basement to ceiling) – Douglas Neal Collection

Thanks, Gautam and Sruthi!

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