Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: chad kouri + margot harrington

by anne

Chad Kouri and Margot Harrington live in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Chad is a collage artist, designer/illustrator, muralist, public artist and one of the founding members of Post Family, which is part gallery and part hotbed of creative collaboration. Margot started her graphic design studio and blog, Pitch Design Union, in 2008 after being laid off, and she hasn’t looked back. She and Chad often collaborate on projects, but most of her bread and butter comes from designing blogs and dressing up WordPress themes, while also enjoying printmaking, bookbinding, teaching and writing. They’ve lived in this 900 sq. ft. loft — with a 300 sq. ft. deck that initially sold them on the place — for almost two years. Chad and Margot share a love of vintage and art buying, so many pieces in their home have a story, making the place feel as though their friends live with them. They love the area, as well, with shops like Angela Finney-Hoffman’s Post 27 that have helped their style evolve. It is thanks to Angela, as well as photographers Brian Guido and Julia Stotz, that the space looks so great for today’s peek! Thanks also to Chad and Margot for opening their doors to us! — Anne

Image above: Prints above the sofa are by Canadian screenprinting studio Seripop. They’re in handmade frames from salvaged wood, which was a surprise Christmas present this year made by Chad. The coffee table, end table and rug were received on trade from Post 27. Like the Cosby stand-up on vinyl, our records have been almost exclusively inherited from our parents and grandparents and reflect a pretty wacky musical range.

Image above: Chad’s Collage Command Central, aka “man cave.” Random bits of ephemera adorn almost every surface in an endless stream of inspiration, and it’s certainly an ode to Chad’s process. The balloon diptych above the desk is by Brian Guido and Julia Stotz, another crazy-talented creative couple and the creators of these lovely photos of our space.

More inside Chad and Margot’s Chicago home after the jump . . .

Image above: Stow & Davis teak chairs and gallery-style wall. Clockwise from top: Nicole Lavelle; Collector’s Plate is by Christopher Simmons; wood lettering by Matthew Hoffman; small abstract painting is by Nick Butcher; a vintage outtake from Chad’s dad’s senior high school portrait session; thrifted scissors; 2012 calendar by Debbie Carlos; and collage by Julia Hendrickson.

Image above: The flat file is Chad’s favorite thing in our house. We finished it off with a glass top so we could treat it like a specimen case of sorts. We are constantly rearranging this display with new and fun stuff. What you see here are prints by Don Kilpatrick, Amos Paul Kennedy, Sonnenzimmer, Leo Rosen, a Cody Hudson and Juan Chavez collab and a reprint of Colby Press’ “Note to Self” by the MCA’s design and publishing department, along with original art by Frank Chimero, Tim Fite and Jeff Canham. But that’s really only the beginning.

Image above: Bookshelf detail — a small print by Portland artist Mark Warren Jacques, along with family snapshots, vintage books and various found baubles and trinkets.

Image above: The gray color on the wall is Benjamin Moore’s Sea Haze. Screenprints are by Ina Weise. The desk is a well-worn ’70s Steelcase, scored free alongside the sea foam green filing cabinet (also vintage) from an abandoned factory office across the street from Post 27. It’s an excellent quick perch for short work and planning sessions. Otherwise it’s a drop zone for mail and keys and converts to a buffet and bar when we entertain. Eventually we’ll replace it with a proper dining table (I particularly love Strand Design’s tables), and depending how long we stay in this apartment, a built-in of some kind.

Image above: The abstract painting was once the work table of local painter Nick Butcher, one half of Chicago’s premier screen-printing duo, Sonnenzimmer. The little yellow reading chair is the newest addition to our home, making this corner of the bedroom a cozy reading nook. Still looking for a little ottoman and a delicate floor lamp to complete its functionality. The large yellow painting on top Chad picked up at a “fire sale” of painter Derek Erdman’s work. Its unprovoked and arbitrary “fuck the man” statement is where the initial attraction came from; most of the art we have acquired over the years instills this same feeling of unrestrained joy when first seeing it.

Image above: Sheets are by Unison Home, and Chad picked up the throw blanket on a trip to Brazil a few years ago. Longman & Eagle letterpress prints above the bed are by Cody Hudson and were a gift while visiting his studio. If you know Margot, it’s no secret that she has an unabashed thing for ampersands, so they make appearances all around the house. Much to our delight, all were gifts or free finds. Otherwise the mirror, dresser and lamp in the closet are all thrifted. And we couldn’t resist showing off some of Chad’s extensive t-shirt collection, either.

Image above: The drawing on the cupboard door is by our friend Jesse Brown.

Image above: Despite its small size, the kitchen gets used pretty heavily. It’s been quite the challenge to maximize storage. We installed the pot rack (Ikea) with some effort. Anyone who’s ever lived with exposed brick will tell you that drilling into it will cause a headache. But now there’s a place for our foodie books, including Margot’s aunt’s dog-eared copy of the classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. The tray is hand-painted, a souvenir from our trip to Costa Rica last year. Of course we have art in this room, as well. The Keep Going lettering is cut paper, done by Chad.

Image above: Thistles in Polish medicine bottles scored from Axman, a science and surplus shop in St. Paul, MN (Margot’s hometown).

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