Hivemind Designer: What Would You Do With This Wall?

Hivemind Designer: What Would You Do With This Wall?

Julia Brenner
Jan 25, 2012

I was talking to my friend Aimee recently, and she was describing her plans for the condo she purchased in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Specifically, she was telling me about a large wall in her living room. Then she said the magic words, "I'd love some advice from Apartment Therapy readers." (You guys have some serious street cred.) What a cool idea, I thought. So, rather than doing a traditional Before & After and getting your feedback, we're taking it to the streets. We're coming to you for inspiration. What would you do with Aimee's wall?

The Overall Vibe
Walking into Aimee's home reminds me of walking through a park in the city on a lovely spring morning. Sun-drenched vignettes of bright colors are balanced against the earthiness of an exposed brick wall and hardwood floors. I love the contrast between jewel tones and rustic browns and golds, but then, there's the wall: the massive red wall, with built-in glass curio shelves, that extends up towards a vaulted, 15-foot ceiling. The empty space between the top of the wall and the ceiling also adds to the conundrum (it was attic space that a previous owner opened up to elevate the ceiling).

I asked Aimee the following questions to get a better sense of her redesign plans.

What are you hoping to change about the wall? The main goal for redesigning the wall is to change the color and make better use of the space on either side of the fireplace. My instinct is to go with built-in shelves because there is always a need for places to put my books, but I'd love to hear ideas that go in a completely different direction, too. Dealing with the TV effectively is also part of the challenge. Specifically regarding shelving, there are so many configurations and material choices available, I'd like to hear what people see in that space!
*The fireplace is functional.

How would you describe your overall style? My overall style is driven primarily by color - lots of it and the more saturated the better. I want to create a place where people feel welcome from the minute they walk in the door, where they can put their feet up on the couch and are reluctant to leave.

Thanks in advance everyone for your input. Part II will be the "After".

(Images: Omar Porras)

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