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Interiorssneak peeks

When the best color choice is white

by Amy Azzarito

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Before Rebecca Crall and Eric Neagu found this apartment, they both lived in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area on the north side of Chicago. They thought about trying another neighborhood but the leafy streets, relative quiet and proximity to public transportation were too hard to let go. When they moved into this apartment, Rebecca impulsively painted almost every room a different color. It didn’t go well. She missed the natural feel of their space almost immediately. Four years later, they have white walls in all the rooms. Both Eric and Rebecca are inspired by nature, travel and family so they wanted to find ways to bring all three into their living space. They tend to decorate with neutral tones and objects that they find hiking or at the beach. Textiles play an important role in the design scheme – and increasingly so since Rebecca started Territory, a textile and craft collective. And finally, most of the artwork in their home was made by family members.  –Amy

Photography by Miriam Doan

Image above: “This is the living room,” says Rebecca. “We spend a lot of time reading and working here. The mid-century wicker chairs are a recent purchase from Craigslist and the raindrop batik was created by artisans in Indonesia. We have this cool (kind of crazy) 18th century Spanish missionary statue that my grandparents gave us. For the time being, he guards the hallway. And this is our coffee table’s second appearance in a DS Sneak Peek! We bought it from photographer Emily Anderson when she moved from Chicago to New York a few years back so it was featured here. It’s made by Lane and we love it! ”

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Image above: “This is a corner of our living room. The pillow is from Morocco and will be available in the Territory shop soon! The Laurel lamps were passed down to us from my grandparents. The side table is IKEA and the basket is handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico. The art on the wall is Caitlin Foster purchased from Little Paper Planes.”

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See more of this Chicago home after the jump!


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Image above: “This is a shot of one side of our dining room. We keep a small collection of our books here along with a cowbell that my parents brought back from Nepal in the 1960s(!!!), one of our favorite plants and some odds and ends from travels. The antlers we picked up in this great vintage store in Galena, Illinois.”

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Image above: “This is our dining room. Probably one of our favorite rooms in the house. The tall ceilings are amazing for light, especially during our long Chicago winters! The textile and the basket are from Mexico.”

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Image above: “A closeup of our table and chairs in the dining room. The chairs are actually original Thonet chairs that we purchased from the Eero Saarinen Concordia Campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana when they decided to remodel their cafeteria. They are certainly a piece of history. The table we had custom made by Scott at Rustic Elements Furniture west of Chicago (highly recommended!). The rug was purchased on a family trip to Morocco when I was 17! I am actually working with a group of weavers now to create similar ones. It’s important to me that the pieces I carry at Territory have story and meaning. The baskets are from Mexico and Senegal (all available in the shop).”

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Image above: “Another corner of our dining room. We just put in a mirror and it really brightens up the space. The shelves we bought secondhand and they hold books and pottery from Japan. The photograph was taken by my father. He is really talented.”

Rebecca7 Image above: “This is a peek into our sunroom which is off the dining room. On the wall is another vintage batik from artisans in Indonesia. The artwork on the wall is by my grandmother and the egg basket is one of my all-time favorites, also created by Indonesian artisans.”

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Image above: “A closeup of the batik.”

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Image above: “This is the bedroom. This was the last room to move back to white. Our flat is close other buildings so having the light walls makes up for a lack of light in this room most days. I was inspired to put a small shelf above our bed where we have another small collection of books and art from family. The pillows are created in collaboration with artisans in Thailand. Another product development project in the works.”

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Image above: “This is a closeup of a rug from artisans in Tunisia. I love the how they have taken traditional design and simplified these rugs to be graphic and modern. From the Territory shop.”

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Image above: “The mirror and dresser in the bedroom are from my parents and grandparents. The mirror still has tags from an old factory store in Cleveland. The dresser my Dad found when we were kids and refinished it. I love the history that both of these pieces hold. The little basket on the table was a gift from a dear friend. She knows I have a thing for baskets, so she brought that one back from Alaska, where’s she’s originally from. The small artwork on the wall is my grandmother’s again. “

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Image above: “This is our bathroom. Since we rent, we have to deal with the fixtures that come with the place. But we try our best by adding personal touches like a linen shower curtain and a custom made wooden shelf, also from Rustic Elements. We love Turkish towels, especially the linen ones!”

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Image above: “This is Bailly! The sweetest, most laid-back English Retriever in the world. She is always with us. Even in the bathroom :). The rug we picked up in Santa Fe a couple years back (this is not an original Navajo rug! We would never put that in the bathroom.)”

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Image above: “Some detail from our bathroom cabinet. This piece adds an amazing natural touch to the bathroom and provides needed shelf space. The balm was made by a friend and the ceramics and small baskets are from the Territory shop.”

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Image above: “This is our kitchen. We love the light in here and the fact that there’s enough room for a couple people to move around. I keep joking that since I started Territory I have become estranged from our kitchen. Luckily my husband is an amazing cook! I look forward to joining him once things are a bit more established with Territory. The rug is from my parents’ travels to Afghanistan in the 1960s. It’s worn and beat up and we love it! “

Rebecca17 Image above: “The kitchen window that houses our growing plant, ceramics and wood collection.”

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Rebecca18 Image above: “I am a huge coffee drinker. My brother turned me onto roasting my own coffee a couple years ago. I am totally addicted. I roast about a pound of coffee a week and there is just no comparison. I source the green beans from Sweet Maria’s out of Berkeley. My favorite beans are from Ethiopia. Sooooooo good.”

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Image above: “This is my workspace. I have all of my inventory for Territory in this room but I keep the desk clean and organized. I feel more inspired and productive that way.”

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Image above: “Hanging out with Bailly in the dining room. We have fun together.”

Source List

  • Mostly Craigslist, vintage shops around Chicago and travel finds.
  • Rugs and textiles from Territory
  • Sofa is Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Smaller pieces from IKEA
  • Custom Furniture Rustic Elements
  • Paint is Benjamin Moore, Atrium White and the bedroom is Navajo White.

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Comments

  • Beautiful rooms – very calming even though color is used throughout. I am also moving my walls towards white. do you hang your fabrics on dowels? I received some batik prints and trying to figure how best to hang them for displays. Thanks!

  • Hi Ramona!! I use simple, smooth, round, wooden dowels from the hardware store…as long as the fabric isn’t delicate they are usually fine. For finer textiles I would probably use something with a smoother surface so as not to snag any fiber. If you have a sewing machine handy, it’s great to sew one side to create a space for the dowel. I LOVE hanging textiles in the home!!

  • I love the bedroom and serene grays that were used. I have already shown the picture to my husband – some inspiration for the next time we redecorate. PS – the Otomi wall hanging looks great! I love the fuchsia.

  • This is beautiful and tasteful. But just curious, why are there so few shots of entire rooms? this seems to be a trend on this website. I’m guessing even my place would look pretty good if i only showed a corner of my couch, small sections of my bookcases, and my utensil container. It’s no wonder the apartment looks so uncluttered, I’m guessing there’s a bunch of stuff crammed in the other side of the room out of view.

  • Rebecca,
    Thanks for the tip on getting the dowels from the hardware store – I’ll get there this week and pull out the sewing machine!

  • Rebecca, your gorgeous Tunisian rug in the bedroom is exactly what I’ve been searching for…but I don’t see it offered on the Territory website. Please tell me it’s still available! Your aesthetic is stunning, thank you for opening your beautiful home to us.

  • Oooh wow, what nice wood furniture in all your rooms! Love the story behind the Thonet dining chairs. Really cool you were able to get those!

  • I skipped down to the comments as soon as i saw those rattan “polo” chairs. I had one when i was a teen…. i paid about $5 at the Akron store ( a long gone chain that had imports )… oh how i wish i still had it! The year was approx 1965-66

  • Such a beautiful home…I love the white, paired with natural wood and plants… perfect environment for a lovely collection of textiles!

  • Can you tell me where you source the Turkish towels? I want to try something that dries faster than terry.

  • You all are so great! Thank you for the kind words about our home. Laura, we are hoping to stock some more of these amazing Turkish towels through one of our connections there but in the meantime, check out Loomed Nola (http://www.loomednola.com) ! They work with the same weavers in the Eastern Part of Turkey and their towels are AMAZING. All created on hand looms which makes a huge difference!

  • So lovely, I am a BIG fan of textiles and appreciate what you have curated for your lovely home (I was apartment hunting in Ravenswood a few years ago myself) and wish you, the artisans and all the people along the way, well in your Territory endeavors. Thank you for sharing.

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