Interiorssneak peeks

A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City

by Garrett Fleming

In most cases, the passions of the homeowners we feature influence the look of their homes. Chef’s kitchens, for example, are typically enviable, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more interesting greenhouse than that of a plant lover. In recent years, however, a different type of passion is influencing homes all over the world: being eco-friendly. I hadn’t thought about it until recently, but it has its own unique way of coming to life through decor and style. Such is the case with Green Lifestyle Expert Ashlee Piper’s rental in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood.

The 100-year-old space brims with recycled goods, vegan products and secondhand finds, the last of which holds the utmost importance to Ashlee. She simply couldn’t have her green home contributing to the creation of any more “things.” In fact, she’s so dedicated to the Earth-friendly movement, a staggering 95% of the Craftsman-style home’s furnishings are either from Craigslist or the garbage! All of this scrounging around doesn’t mean this home is a mish-mash of styles and random finds, though. Ashlee has taken her time to really forage for eye-catching pieces from Urban Outfitters, IKEA and more to give the space a modern and clean personality.

While it took time to make sure her space was affordably decorated while doing right by our planet, Ashlee would do it all over again if she had to. That’s how much she adores the cozy feel of her space. But looks aren’t everything. There’s something more to her house that really gets her every time she walks through the door. Her home reflects her values, and she couldn’t be more proud. Click through to see more. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Amy Mokris

A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
1/12
Ashlee used to live in Boston, where she picked up this painting out of the trash. It now hangs next to her vibrant back door. She says it's her favorite view in the apartment.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
2/12
"Everything in my home is pre-loved, from the couch, to the rug, to my pup, Banjo, whom I adopted from the Anti-Cruelty Society in 2008," Ashlee tells us.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
3/12
The brilliant light that streams into the kitchen helps Ashlee start each day with a smile. Like the majority of the room's furnishings, the light fixture is secondhand and was snagged on a trip to Kentucky. She did splurge on one purchase, though: the marble-topped CB2 island.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
4/12
A statement rug and a portrait of Ashlee's "sassy" great-grandmother are all the living room needs to get conversations started. The West Elm sofa and Urban Outfitters rug are Craigslist finds.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
5/12
"The dresser is a Craigslist find. A woman from Skokie, IL sweetly drove it to me, helped me assemble it and then we went and got lunch. I love how resale can connect you with stories and people," Ashlee reflects. Atop it sits an original sketch by French painter Toulouse Lautrec.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
6/12
Ashlee doesn't spend a lot of time in her bedroom, so she hasn't invested much on its decor and styling. Her side table's actually an upside-down laundry basket, and IKEA furniture from Craigslist provides her with just what she needs to make her bedroom functional. Artwork by Patti Murphy.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
7/12
Ashlee is a self-proclaimed "plant rescuer" and often scours the Internet for people who are moving and looking to get rid of them. The bathroom's greenery lives in a Dansk pot she got at a resale shop.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
8/12
The entryway is decorated with a secondhand IKEA mirror and drawers. She realized the drawers were a perfect fit for the entryway after seeing a hack online. After finding the set of drawers secondhand, her landlord generously added its wood top for her. Not everything in this area of her home came from a big-box store, though. "The combat boots are handmade by my friend, Stephanie, who's a fourth-generation female shoemaker," she tells us.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
9/12
"Space and openness" get Ashlee's creative juices flowing, so her office is kept light and uncluttered. A West Elm chair, World Market desk, secondhand Urban Outfitters light fixture and some simple artwork are all she needs.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
10/12
A spot for client meetings in Ashlee's streamlined home office.
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
11/12
A Stylishly Eco-Friendly Home in the Second City, Design*Sponge
12/12
Ashlee's Craftsman-style home used to be a butcher shop. It was built in 1912.

Suggested For You

Comments

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.