Wednesday, March 11, 2015

H&M Home

H&M is one of my favorite brands for classic, never-go-out-of-style pieces that I can wear (literally) for years. Take this denim jacket, for example:

I've had it for probably 4 years and I still wear it all the time. I'm so in love- it goes with everything, transitions from Spring to Fall easily.

Well, last month I was doing a search for linen bedding and came across H&M's Home collection. How did I miss this? I have no idea, but I am totally in love with everything right now. The collection is very H&M- lots of style without the high-style prices. This home line is a lot of fun, with simple designs with modern touches that will fit into any lifestyle and budget. They have also created a section of designs in their sustainable collection, mostly made of cotton and linen, which is very cool in my book.

Here are some of my favorite items from the online shop.

 Linen Duvet Cover Set  $99 (from the sustainable collection)

2-Pack Hooks $5.95

Glass Vase $9.95

Tea Towel $4.95 (from the sustainable collection)

Cotton Rug $24.95

If you're in need of a spring update for your apartment, check out H&M's home selections for a few super affordable pieces that can lighten up your space.

 Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Back at it!

It's been a REALLY long time since I posted something awesome on this blog. But never fear, I've been a busy bee and have lots of really fun things to show you guys in the next couple of weeks!

First of all, a life update.

If you didn't know, I started going to school in May at Harrington College of Design and I have been loving every single minute of it (even the feel-like-i'm-going-to-pull-out-my-hair-and-lose-all-my-teeth moments :P). If you're thinking about going into Interior Design and live in Chicago, I'll tell you it's absolutely the best school. All of the teachers are amazing, have real experience in the field and the connections and reputation that HCD has are awesome.

Okay, I made my little plug. Next up-

In January I moved into a new apartment that makes lots of things in life a lot easier (transportation, school, etc.) I haven't done much with the space yet because, well, school has been taking over my life! I did take some time to fix up my bedroom though, so I wanted to show you guys a few photos of that.

My biggest concern with this small room was that it didn't have a lot of light, but my most favorite thing was the tall ceilings. I am also sharing the room with my little girl, which is actually kind of fun (it's a sleepover pajama party EVERY night at our house!).

I wanted to keep things light and neutral so that the room doesn't get too small. I left the warm gray on the walls because I just haven't had time to paint, but the plan for in between semesters this year is to paint those babies white.

Now for the really fun stuff. I'm in the middle of helping a very dear friend fix up his apartment to be more functional. But functional is not fun, and he's still a young guy (IJ) so he needs to live somewhere FUN. He was asking for my help for months and I finally said okay, fine, if you want my help, we're going RIGHT NOW (there was a little more coercion than that but we'll keep the story friendly, haha)

His previous house had a ton of light and lots of plants, and he's lived in really incredible places his entire life (think high rise over looking the ocean in Brazil!). This is definitely the smallest apartment he's been in, but the main living area is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. So the main goal is to make the place more functional (a place to eat dinner, adding to storage & minimizing clutter) but also to create a really cool space for him to feel at home.

The concept was really based on 'talking pieces', things that can stand individually as really intriguing objects, but also work really well together to create a welcoming, bright, fun modern space. I think he's going to be really happy with it!

These are a couple photos of the space as it is now, and a few sketches of our plans. Everything will be done in 2 weeks, so stay tuned for the completed project! I can't wait to show you guys this place when it's done.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shoe Store Concept

 Shoe Store Concept for a class at school. Enjoy, would love to hear any thoughts.

Currently working on the concept for a shoe boutique that sells sustainably-made, high quality and high fashion shoes for women. 

Typically, 'high fashion and sustainability' brings to mind images of models walking down the runway in black plastic garbage bags, cut and stitched to look like evening gowns. This concept store is called TIYE (after the wise mother of the famously beautiful Nefertiti) and replaces that recycled-garbage bag look with stunning, completely unrivaled shoe designs using materials and production methods that are renewable and sustainable.

TIYE's design concept is inspired by ancient Egypt as well as the natural beauty and fertility of the Nile River Valley. Materials that come to mind are sleek ebony, glittering limestone and gold, and translucent, glowing alabaster.

The design of the store will also reflect the beauty in the practice of sustainable production while appealing to the most fashion-conscious clientele. Three-step, continuously flowing fountains using collected and filtered water from rain barrels will elevate displays of each season's styles. There will be an emphasis on reflection and natural light through the use of full height windows and floor-to-ceiling mirrors which will highlight the exotic, unique details of the designs. Surfaces will be polished and glossy to reflect the most natural light around the space, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. When there is a lack of natural light, spotlights tucked behind two-way mirrors will shine down on displays. Locally sourced materials will be used throughout the sleek, chic space. The windows along the South wall will also provide a 'greenhouse effect' for the indoor garden along the base; three other bio-walls will be planted on the North wall, alternating between the full-height mirrors.

Fashion and Interior Designers can no longer ignore the impact that production and materials have on the environment- it is necessary to use green practices in all steps from sourcing materials to producing or crafting the designs to the way they are presented to the customer. TIYE is the ultimate model, combining sustainabilty with unparalleled beauty and timeless style.

Monday, April 28, 2014

april feature apartment: gavin & scott's west town story

Welcome to apartmentLove's first ever Feature Apartment post!

Last week I visited my old co-worker Gavin at his West Town two-bedroom apartment where he lives with his girlfriend (whom I did not get to meet but have to thank for letting me photograph her apartment) and his roommate Scott. The space definitely sparked some apartment jealousy in me when I walked in. The walls have lots of exposed brick, tons of natural light, a new kitchen, and it’s filled with a whole bunch of pieces with some great stories attached. My interview with the guys is below, and the full, transcribed (unedited) interview can be read on the Interviews page tomorrow. But first, check out their space in the photos below.

Yes, that is Bob Dylan you see behind the moon globe.

That luxury recliner though.

The book on the music stand is changed once a week from a collection of books on photography, design, typography, & etc.

Scott is a dinosaur guy. Ladies, take note.

The hand-made work desk and accidentally perfect cattle rods.

Most of the prints on the desk are thrift store or convention finds.

The light in this apartment was so perfect, even in the middle of the day.

Gavin nods to his Indiana roots with this super cool state clock.
The M3.

Gavin and his girlfriend just painted their room in cracked pepper by Behr a few days before I stopped in.
Waiting for some plants to sprout on the sunny porch that is accessed through the bedroom.

Enjoying the view of the Chicago skyline.

aL: When did you guys move in here?
G: We got the apartment on Christmas Day, and then we moved in [the] 28th.
aL: What's your favorite room in this place?
G: Favorite room? Well my bedroom now, I just painted it, so... it was out here [in the living room], ‘cause I hated... our room was this burnt orange color before…
aL: The color of Scott's room?
G:  But just in part of it, like right here [by the door]. Ours was that whole f*cking ... That's so much burnt orange, and I… hated it. Hated it, hated it... His is nice ‘cause it’s just like one wall, and it's… compliment. And it… pops.
aL: With the brick it looks nice.
G: But… it was like way too, way too much orange [in our room].
aL: Did you guys paint these walls, too [in the kitchen and main room] or was that done?
G: Nah this is... it's called ‘eggshell’... All of this... Our rooms we're allowed to do whatever we want, but out here we just have to like, tell him.
aL: Do you know when the building was built at all or anything about it? It seems a lot newer. Or at least a little [newer].
G: I know it’s a gut rehab. So the frame of the building is old and… all I know is he said [the] bricks have been redone and they’re like three layers deep now.
aL: Was this your first choice, for apartments? Or did you guys… were you looking at a billion of them?
G: Oh my God…
aL: Was there something you wanted more?
G: Oh… we looked at so many… This place, actually… it was the cover photo on…and I was one of the domu models once.
aL: Yeah, I remember that.
G: I’m still their twitter icon. Which is… weird, I don’t know why… ‘cause they’ve done like four or five campaigns since then, and I don’t know why they still use my picture. But…
aL: Maybe you look like a typical, Midwestern person, who wants to live in Chicago.
G: Well… the picture is… I still have my long hair and a beard, like the way I did when we were working together, and… I have no idea why [they still use the picture] But I told [the landlord], I just… called him right away… he answered and I was like… “I work with that site, too…” and he was like “Cool” and he had us come by, and he told us that when we came by to look at it, if we just brought the check we could sign.
aL: Did you guys have any problems with this space when you moved in… was there anything that you had to fix or… that you didn’t like, or?
G: The upstairs neighbors didn’t like us. I had people over for my birthday, and I had… some words… and they’ve never said anything to us since then… [that] was, honestly, the only thing… I feel like in the first week like three light bulbs burned out, so the landlord like… he timed that perfectly.
aL: What is your favorite thing about this neighborhood? What do you guys like about living here?
G: Um… it’s fairly clean. On the streets, and stuff like that. It’s quiet… After living in Wicker Park for 5 years, I don’t mind that it’s a little quieter at night, like a little bit…
aL: Yeah, not as many bars…
G: ‘Cause off the six way, I mean at the old apartment, not as much when [Scott] moved in, but living there in the summer there was always vomit on the front steps and stuff…
S: Yeah… it’s like the place that you would go to like… “okay, I’m going to wander over here now.”
aL: Where have you guys gotten your favorite pieces of furniture? Can you kind of… can you tell me again what that organ is [in your room]?
G: Oh yeah, yeah, I have a, I have like a mid-seventies… Hammond M3, so … yeah the B3 is like the rock organ and then the M3 that I have is the… mobile version of it [that] they make for travel and stuff.
aL: It’s very cool. And you use it as a desk?
G: …Right I mean… I can still pop it off and play it, it’s out of tune right now, it needs.. all you do to tune it is grease the gears, but it’s a little more work than it sounds like. But… the organ and this Wurlitzer [in the main room] were my uncle’s and… when he was in college, he had like a really successful band in Indiana and… they were the house band at… some big clubs, and like he would always have that organ with that Wurlitzer stacked on top, and he would play both… he was like the band leader, but he couldn’t sing, so, he just was like the musician. He had all these hired girl singers… he was making money. ‘Cause his band was like, him… soulful black dudes and then really pretty girls, so… he was making some money.
aL: What about the chairs? And [anything else]?
G: Oh cool thing, his parents made this desk.
aL: I love that desk!
S: My dad is like, really handy when it comes to making things, like you see that’s, it’s not metal, but it’s PVC and it’s just spray painted… to look like rust.
G: Yeah, most [of] the pots that we have, like the bigger ones… any big one you see that has plants in it I got from… when dibs on our street- I would always steal them from people that would put parking dibs and all of those are from parking dibs.
S: Is that true?? I remember you brought [one] home like “Yes, dude this is from a dibs.”
G: I uh, I got… four I think,
aL: Should I scratch that from the record?
G: No! Dude no, let them know. I drive, too and I hate dibs. Like, I’m the kind of vehicle that… should do dibs because I have a big car and I, you know, if I don’t do it you don’t need to do it. So… I brought those home, bought plants, and then put them all [in].
aL: Can you tell me about those chairs, too? The chairs and this… floor cushion?
G: Scott knows more about the floor cushion, but the two chairs came from Salvage One and they were my last roommate[‘s], she bought them and then she moved in with her boyfriend and… I really liked them and she passed them down to me. Because when we moved in here we didn’t have anything. All I had was this super comfortable bed, and music gear. So, because, before I moved in here, the last place, I was homeless for like 8 months, and then I lived at the last apartment, this time last year is when I moved in [here], and I had to start all over, I did not have anything. So… everything in this apartment except for music gear [has] mostly been acquired in the last year of my life, so… hitting restart is the best feeling ever. And 8 months of not having an apartment taught me… [there are] so many things you don’t need.
aL: But it accumulates really quickly! What’s the story with the floor cushion?
S: Oh yeah a bunch of this different stuff, so… there’s some funny stories… the cushion is actually a meditation cushion… from when I used to teach yoga… and let me see… the chair, is actually a purchase that I made when I was 13. For my… after my bar mitzvah. I used my bar mitzvah money, to buy that luxury recliner. I don’t know if you know, but this goes all the way back, Let me, let me show you why…
aL: Did you have a lot of girls in it when you were thirteen…?
S: Um… yeah, I had a waterbed too. So, I was… I was mackin’ when I was… in middle school.
G: He just dropped that on us the other day that he had the waterbed growing up and I was like, that is ridiculous.
S: Yeah, it was pretty ridiculous.
aL: That’s pretty awesome.
S: I don’t know, I was… somehow like some trashy seventies… wannabe porn star, apparently.
G: The stools you’re sitting on we got from his friend who moved to New York City, the wood that we built the record shelf out of came from rehabbed wood that his parents were maybe going to [build] the desk with, and then, this is really funny, those cattle rods that we have in the corner… those are real cattle rods from a Texas ranch, from a girl I used to live with, and… I tied them up like that to move them here, that was it, and then I shit you not like that same week, I went to CB2, and they had this as… a display thing in their store you could buy, driftwood they had tied together. I sent Scott a picture and I was like dude apparently I am… hip.
aL: Cool. Is there anything else you guys want to tell me about this place?
S: It’s haunted! No, I’m just kidding.
G: Oh… this, probably doesn’t need to be on the record, but… I don’t think we went in the bathroom, which we don’t have to, it’s not the coolest, it’s my least favorite thing about the apartment is the bathroom, ‘cause there’s no natural light. It’s just a dark room… but our landlord previous to us, I guess he travels a lot, for his job, he designed the shower and bathroom after a hotel that he liked… he said he stays there all the time. So it’s the same shower curtain, same… tile, and the same shower head, he had at some hotel that he loves.
S: Yeah, it’s like a Holiday Inn or something.
aL: Oh jeez, I forgot to ask the most important question… What makes your apartment feel like home?
G: That is a good question… The feel, the plants, the natural light, the view of downtown; it feels like where we are supposed to be right now.