Name: Kristin Schleiter, Nathan Dylan Hess, and Addison (a schnauzer/poodle mix)
Location: Ukrainian Village — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months, owned
Kristin and Nathan haven’t been in their loft for long, but it sure doesn’t show. Especially impressive when you learn how much work they had to do after purchasing the space. The chain smoking previous owner had been there for years and the loft was covered in (stinky) carpet. Ceiling ducts 12 feet off the ground were a grimy, salmon color and in an overall unattractive state. Luckily Kristin and Nathan were able to see the space’s potential and quickly made it their own. After a lot of hard work in the master bathroom and the kitchen, after closing off the guest room, and after adding a few DIY sliding doors, the loft is ready for the couple’s next chapter.
Kristin is a legislative attorney with the American Medical Association and had lived in Lakeview for the last decade — this is her first place on Chicago’s west side. Nathan is a data analyst for the University of Chicago Urban Labs and had previously lived in nearby Humboldt Park for years. Shortly after moving in to their loft, Nathan proposed to Kristin on the roof of the building, which has a beautiful view of Chicago’s skyline. They’re getting married in September!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Cozy, classic, vintage
Inspiration: Nearly every decision was based on whether it would make our loft look like a cute and cozy coffee shop.
Favorite Element: Our favorite structural element is the wood beams and ceilings. We love the age and the detail in each beam — rusty nails and all. Our favorite design elements are the mid-century heirlooms we inherited from our grandfathers.
Biggest Challenge: Painting the ducts. They were salmon, 12-feet off the ground, and covered in a quarter-century’s worth of grime. We rented scaffolding and spent many, many long nights cleaning, priming, and painting them all a beautiful black.
What Friends Say: Your house belongs in Apartment Therapy!
Biggest Embarrassment: On the bottom shelf of Nathan’s closet is a mason jar containing his old beard — complete with waxed handlebar tips — that he just couldn’t part with after going clean-shaven. (It was a particularly glorious red beard.)
Proudest DIY: Our big beautiful barn doors. We built them with the help of my super handy dad and all of his power tools. It was 98 degrees outside, but we cranked classic rock and knocked them out in a weekend.
Biggest Indulgence: Carrara marble countertops. I love them. I had to have them. They help make our loft look like a cute and cozy coffee shop!
Best Advice: Our friend Sara, an interior designer, recommended that we hone in on no more than two design personalities, and stick to them. Her advice helped us stay focused on building a coherent home that fits our personalities and tells our story.
Dream Sources: We spent many Saturday mornings driving to the Restoration Hardware outlet in Milwaukee for amazing deals, industrial furnishings, and soft linens. Our favorite sources, though, are locally owned shops like Neybir for beautiful handmade goods, Sprout Home for succulent pots, and District for restored mid-century modern furniture and cozy candles. We’ve also found some of our favorite pieces, like our dining room table and entryway bench, on Craigslist.
PAINT & COLORS
Benjamin Moore, Paper White (walls)
Benjamin Moore, Onyx (front door & fire door)
Rust-oleum, Black semi-gloss (ducts)
Bench – Craigslist
Mirror – Target
Lounge II Sofa and Chair and a Half— Crate and Barrel
Drexel credenza – Vintage
Lane coffee table and side tables – Vintage
Rug – Overstock
Speakers – Vintage Klipsch, refurbished for a housewarming gift from Dad
Planters – Neybir
Tripod planter – District Chicago
Ladder – West Town Home Decor
Table Lamps — Target
Posters — Parabo Press
Dining table – Craigslist
Kipp Stewart for Drexel dining chairs – Craigslist (similar)
Knoll Risom lounge chair – Craigslist (similar)
Rug – Overstock
Bar cart – IKEA (because you’d better believe I’ve studied this and this!)
Candle holders – Crate and Barrel (similar)
Plant planter – Sprout Home
Succulent planter – District Chicago
Kitchen cabinets – Cabinets.com
Cabinet hardware – Myknobs.com
Black stainless appliances – PIRCH
Range hood – Houzz
Faucet – Wayfair
Carrera marble countertop – CM Stone Works
Barn light/sconce – Restoration Hardware
Counter stools – Restoration Hardware
Shower door – Coastal Shower Doors
Shower system – Hudson Reed
Vanity – Houzz
Faucets – Wayfair
Sconces – Restoration Hardware
Mirrors – Restoration Hardware
Big hexagon tile – The Tile Shop
Small hexagon tile – The Tile Shop