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Name: Hannah Mestyanek and family
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type of home: Condo
Size: 725 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years 8 months, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I live in a high rise in the middle of Chicago. Our complex was originally built in 1967 and has quite a few unique design details. For starters, our unit is actually pie-shaped! The entry is quite narrow and gradually fans out as you move through the kitchen and into the main living space. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room gives us a lot of natural light and stunning views of Chicago’s north side.
I love sitting on our balcony (even bundled up in the winter!) and watching the city go about its day. One of the details I love most about our space are the two carved arches in the living room and bedroom. They’re very ’60s, but I love the visual interest they give the space.
Both my husband and I are originally from Southern California and we’ve tried to incorporate elements that remind us of home. We gravitate towards neutral tones, lighter woods, and natural textures like rattan and linen. My husband is a fourth year medical student and I work in the non-profit health field, so it’s important our home is calming and peaceful after long work days. Our home is definitely our refuge, a warm and welcoming place to escape the high energy of downtown Chicago.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Clean lines, intentional, cozy, bright
What is your favorite room and why? It has to be our main living area! It truly is the heart of our home and where most of our life happens. It’s a small space, but we’ve managed to create zones with the help of rugs, lighting, and strategic furniture arrangement. The view from our floor-to-ceiling windows also can’t be beat; it’s the perfect backdrop for early morning coffee or evening happy hours.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We are expecting a baby in the next couple of months, so the last thing we bought was actually a dresser for him! We aren’t planning on moving to a bigger place just yet, so the corner of our bedroom has been transformed to what I’m calling the nursery nook. We went for a simple IKEA dresser, but swapped out the knobs for these cute rattan ones I found on Etsy.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Curate your space! Really think about the colors, furniture, textures, and patterns that you’re drawn to. You don’t have to like what’s trending at the moment; choose pieces that feel like you. It may take a bit longer to complete, but the end result will be so much more authentic if you take your time.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.