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A Rogers Park condo gets a warm contemporary makeover

Interior designer Erica Lugbill showcases her earthy flair

As an interior designer, Erica Lugbill is decisive with her clients. But when it came to rehabbing the Rogers Park condo her and her husband, Justin, live in, there was much more belaboring over the details.

“With my personal projects it’s so hard because I know how many options are out there. It’s just hard to pick something I know I can live with, especially since every day I see something new and different and exciting that I want,” she says. “I lose sleep over it and over-analyze.”

Left: The couple has created a small but welcoming space to work from home.
Right: The dinette sports a contemporary but earthy vibe.

But now Erica says that after mulling over all her options, she’s satisfied with the space, which lacks the sterile condo look and instead has a contemporary, but warm, feel with some global elements.

Erica and her husband, who works in digital marketing, moved to Chicago from South Bend, Indiana. They were drawn to Rogers Park because of the lake and the amount of square footage they could get for their money.

“I think we’re lifers. We love it here,” Erica says. “It’s such an artistic and interesting neighborhood.”

Top left: A soft chair occupies the corner of the bedroom. Top right: Personal hanging items include scarves and a guitar. Bottom: Neutral tones with pops of texture complete the bedroom.

They ended up as renters in the building where they would eventually buy their condo. When they bought the space three years ago, it was “really basic,” with bland builder finishes and wear-and-tear from the renters who lived there before. The 1,500 square-foot condo also had a lot of space that wasn’t being utilized. They didn’t waste any time starting the demo process.

They took out the floor and replaced it with new hardwood, and in the kitchen they took out the countertops, replaced them with concrete counters, and also extended the peninsula to create more storage.

“There was like 40 inches of space completely unused, and in a condo in the city that’s liquid gold right there,” Erica says.

Left: Edison bulbs hang over the kitchen bar.
Right: A reclaimed wood credenza serves as the liquor cabinet.

While working, Erica found a vanity at one of her suppliers that she fell in love with, so they ripped out the guest bathroom and redid it with that vanity. The master bathroom was a little longer coming. The couple tore it up and left it that way for about a year while saving and putting some thought into the design.

The space today has a lot of gray and neutral tones with interesting pops of texture, like the honeycomb marble tile in the master bathroom or a sunburst chandelier over the dining table, which is Erica’s favorite piece in the home. She says she often find objects and furniture from the wholesale suppliers and stores she frequents for work, or while traveling she’ll pick up “anything in the house that I can fit in a suitcase and take home.”

The couple wanted the condo to be a space where visiting family and friends could stay. They also host a lot of parties and game nights, and the open kitchen/dining area and an outdoor terrace helps with the flow of guests.

Left: Erica and Justin, seen here, say there’s nothing they’d change with their home.
Right: Succulents add contrast to the neutral tones in the kitchen and dining area.

Even though she’s wont to stress over design choices for her space, three years after moving into the condo she said she’s happy with the result.

“I feel good about my final choices in the end because I put so much time or thought into it,” she says. “There’s nothing I would change about my personal space, and it feels amazing to say that.”

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