Native Chicagoan Liz Cook lives in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. She loves the process of apartment hunting, but this was the first place she visited three years ago, and she was immediately sold on its vintage details, open layout and view of the nursery that neighbors the building. Liz grew up going to garage sales with her mom and grandmother, and collecting antiques was a hobby that ran in the family. Her own style really started to develop in her early 20s when she started to fall for mid-century modern. In her professional life, Liz quit her day job in the wedding industry about a year ago to push her graphic design career in the direction of branding, strategy and social design, operating as Press & Fold Design. These days she’s working on producing a radical alphabet poster with a collective of friends, L is for Liberation, and volunteering through awesome organizations like EPIC. Many thanks to Liz and to Erik Sanchez for help with the photos! — Anne
Image above: I love hunting for the perfect piece, and this armoire was a long sought-out Craigslist win. The warm, rich nature of it has been key in giving my bedroom the bold yet slightly romantic feeling that I was going for.
Image above: The abstract cityscape painting was a cheap garage sale find that caught my eye and ended up fitting perfectly over my bed. I love the way the wall color pulls out the subtle touches of turquoise.
See more of Liz’s retro-inspired home after the jump . . .
Image above: My girlfriend gave me this 1930s tie rack for my birthday a few years back. Aside from showcasing my ever-growing necktie collection, it has a knob you can turn to get advice on color pairing! Choosing a red tie? Consider a white, grey, or blue shirt against a grey or blue suit.
Image above: The living room is the central room in the house. I love having my morning coffee on the couch while I ease into the day, as well as having friends over for a rousing evening of parlour games. The couch is part of a three-piece sectional that I found on eBay. A couple friends and I drove up to Michigan in a borrowed van to pick it up and almost couldn’t fit it in! I spent the ride home sitting on the floor, cramped between the couch and the front seats. It was actually one of the more fun car rides of my life, and we still reminisce about the trip. The letterpress handbills were done by Rar Rar Press and pay homage to the Fireside Bowl, an infamous venue that used to host punk and indie shows and was a frequent destination of mine during high school. The ottoman is from Woolly Mammoth, a neat little oddities shop in my neighborhood, and the (collapsible!) orange Danish chair is an estate sale find.
Image above: Driving past a yard sale with a friend one afternoon, we spotted the gutted-out TV shell and immediately stopped to investigate. At only $5, it was a must have. It now houses a couple odds and ends, and I rigged a light inside to showcase the display. Above it, some framed pages pulled from an old tabloid newspaper complement a stack of 1950s books with frighteningly authentic titles like “The Sexual Responsibility of Women.” I used to remark that I should have been in the ’50s, since I love the style so much, but that book reminds me that I definitely shouldn’t have been.
Image above: The pair of stacked bookshelves are packed with my collections of old cameras, film and photography ephemera, and memorabilia from the Chicago World’s Fair. The projector I inherited from my grandma is still in tip-top shape.
Image above: I’m not much of a comic or superhero fan, but when I discovered this print of the ambiguously gendered Prince Valiant in my grandfather’s attic after he passed away, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.
Image above: The kitchen was painted a bright sunflower color in hopes of making it a little easier to wake up in the morning. It helps, but my hound dog, Henry, does most of the work when he insists it’s time for breakfast.
Image above: The dining room doubles as my work space, and this cabinet houses my art and print making supplies, including my beloved Line-O-Scribe. It also gives me a place to showcase some of my favorite book covers. I love old-school typography and often find myself buying old books just because I like the design of the titles.
Image above: The incredible mantel and built-in bookshelves were a big selling point when I first saw the apartment. The bookcase displays some of my favorite objects: a wire telephone sculpture I made in college, a bingo card printing block, and my 3″ x 5″ Kelsey Excelsior letterpress, which comes from another road trip — this one to Wisconsin, where I bought it off a woman who turned out to bare a striking resemblance to myself, plus 20 years. It was a pretty uncanny experience. The mantelpiece was another item I stumbled upon at Woolly Mammoth.
Image above: The Kissing Booth print by Roll & Tumble Press leads the way into my bedroom, and I’m pleased to say it has been a fairly successful self-fulfilling prophecy.
Image above: The most unique thing about the apartment is that the building neighbors both a cemetery and a nursery. The vibrantly colored foliage of the garden and stillness of the cemetery make the back porch a lovely place to relax and enjoy the view.