When you have young children, not many items in your home can be too precious. The second you get a tablescape designed or a bed made, the kids come barreling in with messier things in mind. That being said, designing a stylish and functional space sometimes leaves parents feeling a bit perplexed. Crystal Blackshaw and her husband Leon are no strangers to this challenge — they’ve got two creative girls running around their Chicago, IL home. When it came time to outfit the apartment they all share, the couple will admit that they, too, were a bit stumped as to how to balance fashionable designs with functional ones.
The Parisian-style home’s “parquet floors, plaster walls, arches and large picture windows overlooking the lake” caught the family’s eye immediately. All of these pretty elements beg to be shown off and couldn’t be paired with just any-old decorations. “With this apartment, I wanted to contrast the vintage bones with modern touches,” Crystal says. It simply wasn’t practical for Crystal and Leon to accomplish this with expensive heirloom pieces, though. Instead, they’ve combed through Craigslist, IKEA and eBay, seeking out affordable alternatives that if broken or worn out wouldn’t break the bank to replace. One such find was the modern IKEA shelving in the living room. The girls’ books are stored here by color: a great tip for maintaining organization amongst chaos. The same can be said for the design of the girls’ bedroom. Similar – yet slightly different – bedding and headboards give them each a unique spot to call their own. The subtle symmetry of the space also helps trick the eye into thinking their room is tidy, even when it’s not.
The backdrop to all of this fabulous design is an unassuming, matte-white paint job. Now, all it takes is a quick wipe to remove all the ooey-gooey fingerprints the Blackshaw kids leave behind. Being able to provide their daughters this carefree ability to have fun is what Crystal and Leon savor most about their space. Click through to gaze at the rest of the colorful, kid-friendly and fashionable home. Enjoy! —Garrett