Interiorssneak peeks

Storied Accents in Chicago’s South Loop

by Garrett Fleming

Every home I’ve lived in has always appeared to me as a chapter – a step in the narrative of where I’m going and where I’ve been. The special tokens I take with me as I move around hold such special memories for me as well, whether they’re a family heirloom or a favorite vintage piece. My fondness for mementos and memories is what drew me to art director Amber Hampton’s Chicago home. Amber has called this loft in Chicago’s South Loop home since 2009. Its floor-to-ceiling windows were a huge draw, but it was a challenge for her to find clever ways to reinvent her space as a renter. We think she did a wonderful job (that wallpaper above? It’s a hand-painted stencil!) and love the way each book, nook and keepsake tells a specific story. -Garrett

Photographs by Amber Hampton

Image above: You would never know that Amber faux-wallpapered her wall using Farrow & Ball paint and hand-stenciled, silver florets. What a clever and hypnotic accent wall. 


Click through for the full home tour after the jump!

Image above: Amber’s self-proclaimed addiction to antlers meant her Dad’s prize mount found its way to her modern home.

Image above: The mount and this mid-century pottery contrast nicely with her luxe wall treatment. And that’s no accident. She purposefully matched the curve of her antlers with the curve of her local pottery and lamp’s base.


Image above: Cooking is both fun and therapeutic for Amber. She likes to spend time cooking and working, so this space is perfect for keeping an eye on her boiling pots and email at the same time. 



Image above: This is no run-of-the-mill magic 8 ball. It’s a prized memento from Amber’s former boss and a reminder of her professional accomplishments.


Image above: A lustrous sliding door opens to reveal a bright and airy bedroom. Amber’s cherished $15 vintage typewriter desk from Brownstone Antiques offsets the clean lines of her bedding and bed frame perfectly.

Image above: This 1930s portrait from Etsy instantly adds softness to the space. The Gourd table lamp is from West Elm


Image above: These tabletop art prints are Amber’s most treasured possessions. She purchased the larger one in college – when she says she could, “only afford ramen,” from an art gallery in Santa Fe. The smaller etched piece was a graduation gift from her college art professor. 

Image above: A special gift, “Stylist’s Guide to NYC” by Sibella Court and a go-to read, Nate Berkus’ ” The Things That Matter,” reside on Amber’s dresser for easy access in a design crunch. 

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  • I love those bar stolls, so industrial but yet they work so well with the modern kitchen.

  • Yes!!! I also LOVE the stencil…please, where can “we” find it?
    And I love the entire place! Thank you for posting this! You’re my fav blogger!!

  • Gorge! When can I move in? Or better yet, can you come over and cook and redecorate my entire home?

  • When I first saw the lead photo I was thinking “OMG that wallpaper is amazing!” only to find out it’s stencil! What a wonderful job she did! I highly doubt I could pull it off myself but what an excellent DIY. I love the whole vibe in the apartment. What a lovely space!

  • I love everything about this sneak peek….except the antlers. To each her own! Great, great job on the stencil.

  • Love the chair in the first photo! Any chance you could let us know where it’s from?

  • Hi Abby, Can you tell me the size of the stencil you used…I checked out Then Stencil Library and that design comes in 4 sizes? Your size seems perfect. As I’m ordering it from Oz via the UK, I’d rather not select the wrong size. Hope you can respond with info. Many Thanks, Gwend

  • Hello everyone, thank you for all the lovely, sweet comments! 

    Gwenda, the stencil size is MD35-L (Large).
    Best of luck with your project. I’m excited of you!

    Maayan, the little arm chair is from Room & Board. Sadly, this chair was discontinued.
    However, R&B currently has two very similar styles available: Abbott Chair & Cole Chair. 

    Shelby, the living room lamp was a flea market find. Just keep your eye out for a vintage Mid Century Modern Lamp (teak and brass) on Ebay or Etsy. I’m certain you’ll find something quite similar if not the exact same one!

    Kirsten, the penguin print was from Anthropologie

  • So lovely! I love that dark patterned focal point..such a nice contrast to the rest of the room…not to mention it’s incredible that she have painted it!

  • What are the colors you used in your stencil? It looks like a charcoal or dark navy with some shade of white?
    Also, was there a method to your placement of the stencil? Thank you

  • Hi Kimberly,

    The Dark Blue wall color is Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. Paint used for the stencil pattern was Benjamin Moore Silver Metallic Glaze. It was applied with a small paint roller. As for the placement of the stencil, it was really easy. The Stencil Library makes there stencil so it’s foolproof.

  • Hi Amber and Grace, I love this feature. I work at The Stencil Library and a customer sent me a link to this post earlier this evening, I had not seen it before. The stencilling looks beautiful, your home looks fabulous and thank you for your kind words about our product.