A Shared Chicago Home Has “Minimal Bohemian” Style — House Call

Name: Jennifer Page, my partner, Ronnie, and two cats “The Boys” Henry and Bones
Location: Portage Park/Jefferson Park/Northwest side — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned

When I moved in to Ronnie’s space, our goal as a newly cohabiting couple was to create a space that was entirely our home. We wanted our home to continually inspire us, but also be comfortable and a place to stay tucked away when the work week ends. I’m a floral designer and manage a lifestyle boutique while Ronnie runs a family business of 40 years. We’re not ones to only give half an effort on anything we do, so it’s no surprise that making a home should be any different.

Being the GM of a floral design studio and retail space, means we are always adding plant babies. You can never have too much green.

(Image credit: Alisha Tova Siegel)

We began by combining some of our favorite things: Ronnie’s unique handmade furniture pieces met my ever-growing plant collection; his brilliant vintage fixtures combined with my love of little brass tchotchkes. Add two gray cats (the boys) on top of that and wow did we have a start! What began as a goal to simply fill a space, turned into a hobby. Now every weekend brings new and exciting projects—summer gardening, room rearranging, picture moving, etc. A winter 2018 bathroom remodel found the beautiful bones of our 1916 home and played with some of the original details. Vintage, porcelain hexagon tile combined with modern subway tile; new meets old—we were starting to see a pattern! Ever in awe of warmer, sunnier places, we wanted our space to feel good year round.

Our four seasons room captures the best light, so we’ve highlighted it with a mixture of bold and bright patterns, so it feels like summer all year round.

(Image credit: Alisha Tova Siegel)

We pull inspiration from everywhere so no surprise that a trip to Nicaragua turned into a rush to cover our home in color and pattern. We acknowledged the lingering energy of summer and wanted to surround ourselves with it in every sense. Our past meets present home is full of intriguing vintage details. The finished basement is nearly original to the previous owner with an added recording studio and practice space for Ronnie and his band. A quirky ’70s retro bar/band space complete with working jukebox right next to laundry makes things a bit more fun! We’ve used our home as a way to pursue our interests, challenge each other, and grow together as a couple.

What is your favorite room and why? Oh, this is so hard! We try to fall in love with every room we decorate! I think our main living room. It gets the best light so I can put more plants in this room! It’s really amazing to see how our collection of house plants plays such a key role in our decor in this room. Our vine pothos plant highlights the unique original architectural elements, like the small alcove where the record player lives, while other plants fill corners and frame one-of-a-kind light fixtures. This room is our opening statement when you walk into our home, and I think it really shows what we love and what interests us.

My partner and I both being handy creatives means we make so many of our home’s furniture pieces. An old ladder? Some 2×4’s? BOOM a stunning focal shelving unit.

(Image credit: Alisha Tova Siegel)

We decided to keep some of the quirks of the house from its original owner: ’70s wood panel? No problem for a folk inspired guitar/studio room.

(Image credit: Alisha Tova Siegel)

Any advice for creating a home you love? Do everything with intention! That is seriously the root of all of our projects and buying. Don’t just throw together a bunch of stuff; make decisions, curate. Honestly decide between what you want, need, and let yourself have an impulse buy (or two!) in between. For couples that are just starting to find their space—be generous with your partner. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to change something from Ronnie’s space to our space, and he has always been so generous and really sharing of what used to be just his. Be playful above everything, and don’t just put something in your home because it’s trendy—really love what you surround yourself with.

The best part about creating a home together? The fun we have picking out everything! It’s kind of like being decor soulmates—we’re always on the same page.

(Image credit: Alisha Tova Siegel)

Thanks, Jennifer!

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