Yana & Petar's Nomad Luxuries

Yana & Petar's Nomad Luxuries

Carolyn Purnell
Oct 14, 2014
(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Name: Yana Puaca of NoMad Luxuries and Petar
Location: Lakeview; Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,385 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Owned

The name of Yana's lifestyle blog, NoMad Luxuries, also accurately describes the style of the home that she and her husband Petar share. Inspired by their many travels, the space has touches of Italy, Greece, Morocco, and other far-flung locales, and dashes of gold, impeccable tailoring, sparkling chandeliers, and classic design elements give it a luxurious feel.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Luxury means indulgence for all the senses, and Yana and Petar's home certainly lives up to that standard. It's immediately easy to see how the eyes would have a treat, thanks to the the vivid Persian rugs, lush greenery, reflective surfaces, and tasteful art. Soft textiles, faux fur accents, and the textural diversity of wicker, wood, and metal make this a comfortable space for relaxing, and the soft scent of the fresh flowers that Yana keeps in each room fill the air. And if you've read Yana's blog, you know that food, good music, and good company are all an integral part of her home as well.

Yana recently branched out on a new career path with design, and while her company is new, it's clear that she has an advanced eye for balance. The living room, for example, is grounded by the intricately patterned rug while the neutral walls, ivory seating, and acrylic coffee table keep the room feeling airy, fresh, and light. Yana has a sophisticated eye, and she's mastered one of the hardest design skills: knowing how to evenly distribute visual interest and rest. All the rooms in Yana and Petar's condo have a healthy dose of pattern, but you almost wouldn't notice it because every element fits together beautifully, creating a restful, calm space.

Perhaps even more impressively, Yana and Petar started from scratch when they moved into this home a year and a half ago. Yana, ever mindful of their budget, scoured estate sales, vintage shops, online retail outlets, and big box stores to create an affordable home that feels sumptuous and rich. Their home is also an excellent reminder that DIY need not look "crafty." Homemade curtains and pillows, painted furniture, and added gold accents give their home a custom, bespoke look. (Ceiling fans are a contentious item here on Apartment Therapy, and in a stroke of genius, Yana elevated the bedroom fan by painting it to resemble her favorite David Hicks pendants.) Their latest DIY endeavor is the kitchen, which is getting a makeover in a soft, classic scheme to match their style. It's still a work-in-progress, so it's not photographed for this tour, but it's well on its way to becoming as fresh and elegant as the rest of Yana and Petar's home.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Collected and global. I especially love to mix in new pieces with vintage ones, trinkets I’ve picked up on my travels and pieces that I’ve given new life to. I wanted my home to have a luxurious element and yet be cozy and welcoming. I can light a candle, turn on some bossa nova and immediately melt the day away. Scents, textures, lighting…they all play a part in creating the right ambiance. It’s definitely a balancing act.

Inspiration: A large part of my inspiration comes from my travels. When I walk through that door, I’m immediately transported…back to a destination, an experience. I’m constantly reminded of those special moments. The best part? Continuing to fill our home with new memories.

Favorite Element: When we were in the market to buy our first home, we knew that we both wanted a space with character. The crown molding, picture molding, French doors and built-in bookcases were essentially what sold us on the condo. If there are good bones to work with, you can do amazing things.

Biggest Challenge: Starting! Since we moved in with no furniture, we had a completely blank slate to work with. It actually made the process harder because there were so many directions we could go. Once I took the pressure off, I started noticing the pieces that I was drawn and attracted to. It’s easy to overthink things and get caught up in the “process”. I work best when I trust my intuition and my eye. If I love it, I’ll find a place for it!

What Friends Say: I’m always flattered when someone can’t believe that I designed the space myself. Most of the time, they are surprised by how much I paid for a piece or how it’s been transformed. You can make any space look expensive and high-end if you know how to mix highs and lows.

Biggest Embarrassment: We’re fortunate enough to have in-unit laundry but it’s visible from our dining room. We literally have all of our “dirty laundry” on display for our guests. I’m still trying to figure out a way to conceal that!

Proudest DIY: Refinishing our kitchen cabinets {not shown}. The project isn’t done so I couldn’t share it quite yet, but it took blood, sweat and 3 weeks to refinish. Let’s just say, I’ve gotten quite handy with power tools since we’ve moved in.

Biggest Indulgence: I’ve never believed that you need to spend a hefty amount of money in order to live in a beautifully designed home. While most of our pieces are second hand, or budget-friendly, we did splurge on our sofa. I wanted a sofa that would fill our living room, entertain guests and be big enough for cozy nights at home. We customized the fabric and it took months to arrive, but we absolutely love it. I should probably add rugs to the list. I’m a bit obsessed. The second I purchase one, I’ve got my eye on two others!

Best Advice: Don’t rush the process and be patient for the pieces you really love!

Dream Sources: I’d love to spend a few months out of the year on a buying trip; collecting unique pieces and amazing memories along the way. For me, it’s all about the hunt.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Resources of Note:


  • Sofa: Z Gallerie
  • Chairs: Vintage Parsons chairs, estate sale
  • Coffee table: CB2
  • Brass bamboo side table: Home Goods
  • Lamps: Nieman Marcus
  • Brass sconces: Restoration Hardware
  • Leopard pillows: DIY with fabric from Calico
  • Other pillows; Home Goods
  • Brass curtain rod: West Elm
  • Curtains: DIY with vintage fabric from One Kings Lane
  • Media cabinet: Vintage, painted in black
  • Burl wood end table: Vintage
  • Gold bamboo end table: Home Goods
  • Rug: eBay


  • Rug: eSaleRugs.com
  • Console: Amazon
  • Palazzo print: Leigh Viner
  • Snakeskin tray: Home Goods
  • Venetian mirror: Wisteria
  • Baskets: Home Goods
  • Lamp finial: Hillary Thomas
  • Brass trunk: vintage
  • Chandelier: vintage


  • Dining table: World Market
  • Bar cart: Home Goods
  • Sconces: Restoration Hardware
  • Chandelier: Vintage, Craigslist
  • Curtain rod: West Elm
  • Curtains: DIY with vintage fabric from One Kings Lane
  • Black, modern Ghost chairs: Italian
  • Club chairs: Vintage, Craigslist
  • Rug: Home Goods
  • Peacock chair: Vintage
  • Campaign dresser: Vintage
  • Mirror: Vintage


  • Bed: One Kings Lane
  • Faux fur throw in lynx: Overstock.com
  • Vanity: World Market
  • Mirrors: Home Goods
  • Abstract art: West Elm
  • Curtains: Ikea, grosgrain ribbon trim added
  • Rug: Rugsusa.com
  • X-benches: Safavieh, found at Home Goods
  • Fabric for benches: Shumacher
  • Nightstands: Vintage from Genoa, Italy
  • Dresser: Vintage, estate sale

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Thanks, Yana & Petar!

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