Two Studios, Two Cities, Same Stuff: A Chicagoan Comes Home — House Call

Name: Adrianne Hawthorne and two cats
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months, renting

This apartment is my “welcome home.” I recently moved back to my home, Chicago, after living in San Francisco for the past two and a half years. I knew I wanted another studio because their small size allows me to showcase only the most important things. I actually didn’t see the place until the day I moved in – my sister and partner selected it for me while I was in San Francisco preparing for the move.

It’s kinda weird to make a home out of something you didn’t choose for yourself, but I overcame those initial feelings of doubt and created a warm, cozy home for myself and my two cats, Flip and Sweet Pea (who are real troopers, they survived a cross country move via RV!)

A lot of people ask how I managed to fully decorate the place in a matter of months. The answer lies in my old studio in San Francisco (which was featured on Apartment Therapy last year). I decorated that studio in a way that truly made me happy, so it was easy to transplant everything into my new place and get set up rather quickly.

Not everything is the same, though. The layout of my new studio is very different and allowed room for a kitchen table, which I purchased. I also decided to paint a few walls pink (one of my favorite colors) and bring in a few extra pink furnishings to tie everything together. So, while it’s not a 1:1 of my old studio, it is somewhat similar.

Upon moving home, I acquired a set of pink Depression glass from my Granny. I am in love with the pattern and the color, so I displayed them in the kitchen next to the Czech lemonade set that belonged to my great-grandma Nonnie. The colors vibe really nicely together and it brings a smile to my face whenever I look at or use the pieces.

I think it’s important to mix personal items in as often as possible. It’s tempting to strive for a magazine-worthy, minimal home with perfect furnishings, but those places never have any personality. So, I encourage you to display the things that mean the most! For me, that means hanging a painting I made in college or displaying my old California ID in my bathroom, or hanging a handwritten letter from my late Maw on the wall. Those pieces, while not beautiful, all have a story to tell – and visitors always ask.

Thanks, Adrianne!

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