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Interiorssneak peeks

A Chicago Family’s Victorian Cottage

by Garrett Fleming

Andersonville is one of my favorite neighborhoods here in Chicago, IL. The Swedish community not only has some of the most fabulous design shops in town, but my friends and I look forward to its Midsommarfest every year. The family-friendly and artistic neighborhood north of downtown is not only perfect in my eyes, but turned out to be the perfect spot for Angela, Gene, Enzo and Luca when they decided to move eight years ago. Their quaint cottage is a master class in how good things can come in small packages. According to Angela, the lots in Andyville – as my friends and I call it – are so close together “you could honestly pass a cup of sugar to your neighbor.” This presented a unique set of design challenges that Angela and Gene attacked head-on after moving in.

Determined to make the home feel larger and brighter, the family decked out their entire 1890s Victorian in shades of barely-there grey. Before this, “each room was painted a different color and every room had a different colored floor,” creating a disparate and uninvitingly dark feel. This new paint job, however, was just the beginning. From the get-go the family wanted a Scandinavian aesthetic with light floors, a lot of candles and a fireplace, but how exactly that would come together was up to the home itself. Angela let the home speak to her for a year before making any big decorating decisions. I have seen the results and think you’ll agree that a year’s worth of design development has resulted in a refined and warm place to call home. Click through to check it out. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Amber Hampton

A Chicago Family's Victorian Cottage, Design*Sponge
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Angela added this fireplace herself in order to give the room a clear focal point. If she could have a fireplace in every room, she absolutely would. "The mantel is an old, marble Victorian from a house in Wisconsin." A sculpture by C. Jeré hangs above it, and the family cat, Moondust, lounges on a rug found on eBay.
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The craftsmanship that went into creating vintage furniture and accessories is what keeps Angela going back to many of Chicago's antique stores. She'd much rather recover an old piece than buy something new.
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The living room's sofa under Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis."
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"I am a big fan of lots of different textures and materials in a room, especially if you are going neutral." This reindeer hide is a nod to Angela's obsession with "Game of Thrones."
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The dining alcove.
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Angela recovered these vintage dining chairs in "indestructible" faux leather and couldn't be happier with the results.
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A Thomas O'Brien lamp sits in front of a dramatic baroque mirror that Angela painted white. It's not uncommon to find the bust wearing a hat. From top hats to military helmets, he has played many characters.
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Angela feels every room should have a nod to the past. The dining room's antique hutch fits the bill and opens up to a desk.
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Many mornings, the whole family can be found snuggled into the master bedroom's giant bed. While she hunts for the perfect headboard, Angela makes do with these large throw pillows. A Chad Wys inspired print sits behind the side table.
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This Indian daybed has a look that the family loves but is, unfortunately, so uncomfortable that it's now used as a clothes catcher. These shutters in the master bedroom do wonders for blocking out all light so the family can sleep soundly.
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The porthole mirror is by C. Jeré.
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The bathroom is painted in Farrow & Ball "Cornforth White," the sink is from Waterworks and the light is made by Circa Lighting.
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Angela always makes time for baths. With such a beautiful bathroom, I can't blame her for wanting to spend as much time as possible soaking it up in her Victoria + Albert tub.
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Enzo's room is lit by a fixture from the UK, and his bedding is from IKEA. All of his room's furniture is vintage, and the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball "Blue Ground."
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"I love old dressers painted modern colors. The desk is a mid-century take on a roll-top desk."
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Superheroes and vintage finds live on Enzo's dresser.
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