Welcome to House Calls, a new feature in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Chicagoans. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.
[photos by Nick Fochtman]
The classic Chicago greystone that Marco Trusewych lives in has been in the family for over 55 years, with Marco becoming the third generation to call the two-flat home. The conversation about Logan Square often revolves around the increasing gentrification of the neighborhood, however there are still families who've been around for decades and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. As an intern architect and property manager, Marco has a passion for good design and has used his apartment to showcase his creativity. The apartment has a vintage Chicago vibe, but with some contemporary lighting fixtures and bright colors added into the mix. Personal DIY touches include an "On the Air" sign that turns on when someone is in the bathroom and an otherwise ordinary entryway that has been transformed into a focal point for the entire home with its suspended salvaged wood blocks.
What are the stats?
Approximately 1,200 square foot two bedroom, one bathroom with a backyard. Your typical apartment in a Chicago style two-flat.
How long have you lived here?
I've called this apartment home for seven years, but I've been coming here all my life. My grandparents purchased the building in 1959. My father grew up here, but unlike him, who slept in the foyer, I get a bedroom to myself.
What's your favorite thing about your house?
I love the interplay of the historical and the personal elements. It's got original architectural features, like the Corinthian columns separating the living and dining rooms, furniture my grandfather designed and unique art and lighting that I've collected over the years. There's also been some renovations that bring the space up to date and make it my own.
What thing do you like least about it?
I did most of the finish work myself so I know where all the flaws are and they often annoy me. I just have to lean from these mistakes and improve my skills for the next project.
What was the inspiration behind your design?
Emphasizing both the vintage and the contemporary. During the renovation, I felt it was essential to keep some of the old charm and quality materials, but I also wanted to incorporate current design trends and technological innovations. The overall color palette is neutral to allow focal elements — accent walls, furniture, artwork — to stand out.
What's the deal with the On the Air sign?
The sign came from a local radio station. I've had it for years and when I was renovating I came up with the bright idea of connecting it to the vanity lights in my bathroom. It's a great way to indicate the bathroom is occupied and encourages everyone to sing while inside!
What are your thoughts about what's happening in the neighborhood?
We've seen some significant change — from times of crime to a becoming a destination for dining and culture. Although the neighborhood has changed tremendously in the seven years that I've lived here, my immediate neighbors are still the same. They are always telling me stories about my grandparents and we take turns lending one another a helping hand. Ultimately, it's people that comprise the neighborhood. There's no way around the fact that gentrification is happening, but it is important to integrate new developments with the history of the community.