One thing is certain about this Chicago home: there is no shortage of character! Designer Lauren Svenstrup of Studio Sven says, “I am a designer who embraces color, and that is the reason the clients chose to work with me. But honestly, even I wasn’t prepared for how much color they wanted! This project pushed me outside of my color comfort zone, and I am so happy with how it turned out.”
The young family who lives here first found the property by accident. “They lived in a condo in the neighborhood and were out for a walk and stumbled upon an open house. They instantly fell in love and had to have it,” Lauren says. The home is a traditional brick “Worker’s Cottage” — a common fixture in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. It was owned and renovated by an architect in the early 2000s who made design choices congruent with the trends of the time, like vaulted ceilings and skylights. “The renovation also resulted in a second floor with very little privacy, as the walls were constructed in a loft style – meaning that they don’t connect with the ceiling,” Lauren recalls.
Fortunately, the family dared to dream. They envisioned the space as a functional, beautiful home for their family of four. “We’ve been referring to this house as our ‘Tree House’ project since day one,” Lauren says. “It already had that vibe going for it with the architecture, and the homeowners wanted to fully embrace it.”
The homeowners had specific rules when it came to color. “They love orange and yellow, but did not want very much black,” the designer explains. “I challenged this thinking a bit – since it’s my signature color! – and was able to win them over with some select applications of black.” Additionally, almost every piece of furniture in the home is either vintage or custom, which is another Studio Sven signature. “I ordered the coffee tables, the tapered chest in the dining room, the knot ottoman, and the bedroom dresser, and everything else is vintage or custom,” Lauren shares.
It took about 9 months from the first call to the final piece of art on the wall, and the homeowners absolutely love it. The space perfectly reflects their lifestyle and their approach to life in general: colorful, bold, whimsical, cheerful and bright. Lauren smiles, “When I talked to her yesterday, she said, “Multiple times a week we’ll just stop and look at each other and say how we can’t believe we get to live here!””