I left Texas for Chicago, IL with only three suitcases and a job. Immediately, I set out on a trek to find a “For Rent” sign. Like a mirage, one popped up on a quiet street overlooking a quaint elementary school. Bunnies even frolic in the garden. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Believe me, I felt like I was in one! The landlords were simply too kind, the inside too perfect and the surroundings too picturesque for me to pass up. Stumbling upon it was so serendipitous, I felt destined to start my new life right there. Five years later, I’m still grateful to call the greystone on Fremont Street “home.”
For the first two months, I lived with my clothes, a rocking chair and a blanket. The space came together very slowly, and I reveled in the ability to make a home from scratch. Initially, my taste was much more rustic than the mix you’ll see as you click through — that was probably the lingering influence of Texas. I’m still a huge fan of distressed accessories, but over the years my style has become more eclectic, lustrous and a bit silly. Decorating is so much fun, and I enjoy not taking it too seriously. Crafting and DIY have also played a major role in my home’s look. Bits and bobs of my own making dot my bachelor pad. Since I live alone, and there’s no one else to influence the style, the home is 100% me. As I was designing my space, it was important that the end result be cozy and fun. I’m an extroverted introvert, so I cherish my alone time. I’m comfortable resetting here with my quirky finds and wouldn’t trade that for anything.
That laid-back atmosphere has proven to be an invaluable aspect of my home. In retrospect, it’s crystal clear why I moved to Chicago. I needed to meet “me” without any pressures or expectations. I found moving to a new place liberating. Being a little fish in a big pond let me truly open up and be vulnerable for the first time ever. With that vulnerability came all sorts of emotions, but I always knew I could step inside my second-story apartment and feel at home.
Fremont Street has been the backdrop to some of my most thrilling memories — one of which happened a year ago this September. As I sat on the floor eating animal crackers, I found out I was the newest member of the Design*Sponge team. It continues to be a dream come true. I hope you enjoy peeking inside my home as much as I have enjoyed working with Grace and the team this past year. Cheers to many more peeks to come! —Garrett
Photography by Carolina Mariana