Coziness doesn’t always mean lumpy beds, blankets, layering and such. Sometimes coziness a feeling. Like slipping into the perfect pair of jeans, a cozy space fits the owner perfectly, no matter the style. Hair stylist/blogger Lauren Wendt Bremer and her painter/graphic artist husband Matthew’s rental in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood is one such place. Instead of piling on the decorations in hopes of creating a cozy retreat, they’ve designed a space that fits them like a glove through restrained design touches and a strategic use of color.
At 850 square feet, the two-bedroom space isn’t huge. Minimally decorating each room has proven an invaluable way to keep the floor plan open, giving the home the illusion of being larger. Those few accessories that did make it into the apartment are a combination of the twosome’s aesthetic: Scandinavian and 70s retro. Luckily, Chicago offers many shops that specialize in those two looks, and the Avondale apartment has become a showroom for some of the city’s best stores: South Loop Loft, Humboldt House and Alapash. As you’ll see, Lauren and Matthew went through and thoughtfully handpicked colorful textiles and sumptuous leather goods from each that are big on style, not size.
To further streamline the look and help each room flow into one another, the couple used only two paint colors throughout their nest. The base white hue is warm and clean. It perfectly fits any decoration the couple throws at it and bounces light around the home in such a wonderfully calming way. The warm white is offset by pops of a rich, onyx-black tone. With such a bold hue, Lauren and Matthew knew they would have to be strategic in their use of it: an accent wall here, a cabinet backing there. The paint job has proven to be a subtle and refined way to tie each room together and add visual interest without adding clutter. Click through to see exactly where they peppered in the moody color and to ogle over the entire cozy, yet minimal abode. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Carolina Rodriguez