Living Room Tour

Almost everything in my living room tells a story. My friend Kristin walked into my apartment and said you could lead me in here with a blindfold on and I would know that you live here. Starting with the West wall- part of the reason I rented this apartment is that it gets a lot of light. In the corner is my dress mannequin, Mrs. Bertha Palmer, whom I have spoken of before. I bought her at the Chicago Antique Mart one summer with my friend Dan and a friend visiting from Iraq. The art hanging next to Mrs. Bertha was purchased at a fund raising event for Heartland Alliance.

My sofa was my first 'adult furniture' purchase. I bought it almost ten years ago and it is the Jasper from Room and Board. I love that it is sleek and modern, yet it is also extremely comfortable.

The quilt on the back is made out of men's suiting fabric from the 1930's. It was probably made out of scraps or samples. I bought it from a very lovely, yet expensive, antique shop on Damen Ave in Wicker Park. They were having a sidewalk sale and the owner was paring down his quilt collection.

On the couch are a couple of pillows from IKEA a pillow I made out of some home decor fabric, the Kantha quilt pillow is from West Elm.  The lamp to the right of the couch is also from the 1930's and I purchased it at the Ravenswood Antique Mart. I do not like the overhead light because it is too bright and so this is perfect for task lighting.

Along the North wall I have hung my art. The top left 'O' is a vintage electric O from Brussels, Belgium, which I found in Michigan while having a 'girls' weekend with Jenn and Christine. The photo to the right is actually a post card I bought in Cairo, Egypt of a faluk, which are the sailboats on the Nile. They have not changed in design to this day and I was so lucky to have been able to sail one.

The photo below it I found on Etsy. It is of the Place des Vosges, Paris, France and I had bought a print from a street artist in the Place des Vosges, but unfortunately it did not make it home.

The next photo is of a sail from my dear friend Cora. The right on the top is a photo by my friend Ingrid of the Chicago Cultural Center. Below that is a photo I took in Brugge, Belgium on my Ilford.

Continuing on is a postcard I purchased on Granville Island when I was in Vancouver visiting Krusheska. Below that in a large metal Room and Board frame is a print I bought from a little shop on Chicago Avenue called Monkey Business many years ago. Sadly Monkey Business has gone out of business, but the artist, Quang Hong, can be found online. To the right is another photo by my very talented friend Ingrid. The view is from downtown looking at Trump Tower into the sun. Below that is an old utility light that I found on a little antique shop on Damen.

Below that is a French Victorian secretary desk that I have had since I was a child. On it is a candle holder made out of old auto parts, a wee Quang Hong in a bottle and a Danico vase that I bought when my friend Dan and I were traveling through Denmark.

There is also an Ikea poof that I bought eons ago that I recovered and the National cash register that used to sit in my grandparents restaurant.

The East wall has the entrance to the WC, a 1960's teak Danish tv cart that I found at the Ravenswood Antique Mart. I started collecting records and most are old musicals or kitschy stuff (polka anyone?). The record player I found on Etsy. I admit I have not yet figured out how to hook it up! The next entrance is to the kitchen.

And last but not least in the corner opposite Mrs. Bertha is my 1950's Necci sewing machine that I learned how to sew on when I was a child. On top of the sewing machine is an ice bucket I got at the Columbus Antique Mall (years ago), a martini shaker from the Chicago World's fair (also from the Columbus Antique Mall 15  years ago) and some glasses I found at the Ravenswood Antique Mart.

In the center of the room is the 'Knock Down Drag Out' coffee table that I got from Design Public. Sadly Material Furniture is no longer in existence and it is no longer being made. My favorite thing in my whole living room is my Eames plywood molded chair. It is an original, not a reproduction, and I found it at a Victorian antique shop on Ashland in Chicago ten years ago. It stood out like a sore thumb in the midst of all the Victoriana, which is why I think I got such a good price on it.

I found the grey Eames molded plastic chair at the Columbus Antique Mart and I got a real good price on it as well.

Last, but not least, is the Turkish rug that I found at Yoruk Rug Gallery on Belmont. I highly recommend Yoruk because he was so patient helping me sort through and find what I wanted and he was very fair on the price. It was a little small for the space and so I created a border out of the Fedora Flor tiles.

Everything, except for the couch, coffee table, pouf, tv and stereo are either vintage or family heirlooms. This room tells the story of my life, but not just my past, it also has elements that are going forward into my future. For example, my sewing machine that is currently serving as a bar is going to be front and center some day in its own space. That cash register is going to sit on the counter of my store some day.


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