Location: Logan Square — Chicago, Illinois
I moved to Chicago from Los Angeles earlier this year and found a teensy apartment in my favorite neighborhood, a block from the center. I'm a baker professionally and use my home kitchen for recipe testing, so it took me a while to figure out how to utilize the narrow, poorly lit space. I decided to mount a shelf along the wall as a bar table and found some rad wooden step-ladders to mount underneath and use as chairs when needed. It totally saves on space and turned out really well considering I had never installed shelves before! I also invested in a steel food cart to up my counter space and use as a prep table. Now it's my favorite room and I constantly try to bribe people with baked goods so they will come over and admire it!
My living area reflects my style pretty well—warm colors in a mid-century modern meets thrift store vibe. I love clean lines but also need to feel cozy and comfortable. The couch is custom-made West Elm and is the most expensive thing I will probably ever own. Totally worth it. My closest friends created the art hanging above along with a photo of my Dad and a framed record bag from my favorite record store in Nashville, Grimey's. My coffee table was found at a crazy huge warehouse in East Bay that I bought for my first apartment, seven years ago in San Francisco. It cost $15 and is perfect in every way.
I have to say my most prized items in my home are the following:
My record it was built for me by a friend who is a professional carpenter. The wood grain is BEAUTIFUL and I'm in love with the hairpin legs. I based all of my furniture around this piece, so I guess you could say it's the nucleus of my apartment style.
My apron collection: when I began working in pastry 5 years ago, people just started giving them to me! Birthdays, Christmas, "just cuz"—friends and family assume it's an easy gift idea I guess since I'm a baker. Now I own around 40 and have hung up some of my favorites, including two from an estate sale of Exene (front-woman of "X"), and one from The Loveless Cafe outside of Nashville, where I used to live.
Seinfeld Embroidery: My best friend from back home in LA stitched me a Seinfeld quote ("These pretzels are making me thirsty") as a Christmas gift a couple years ago. To this day, she has still never seen a single episode of the show and had to google popular quotes to guess which one I might like as a gift. Essentially, she rules, and it's something I would grab if the building was on fire! It also embodies me pretty well, kitschy and sarcastic, so that's an added bonus.
I should also note that Apartment Therapy helped me ~*a lot*~ when figuring out how to live in such a tiny space, I hope my strategies can inspire others as well!
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