Child-Friendly Two-Bedroom in Chicago

Child-Friendly Two-Bedroom in Chicago

Blogger and stay-at-home mother Jiye Lee once read a post about the way the French don’t babyproof their homes; they just use common sense. This very simple wisdom rang true for Lee and her husband, and remained with them since they redesigned their home.

“I forget the exact origin, but the gist of this piece was that French kids learn to live with all of the fragile pieces and delicate furniture,” Lee says. “In precisely the exact same way, we chose to not turn our house into a giant, padded, gated-off playroom like so many parents have done.” Even though the couple moved possibly hazardous things higher up and relocated their coffee table when their first kid (they have 2, ages 3 and 10 months) was learning to crawl, for the most part they’ve kept their contemporary sense of style. Here is a glimpse into their Bucktown flat, which will be within strolling distance of cool Damen Avenue.

at a Glance
Who resides: A couple and their two kids
Where: Bucktown/Wicker Park, Chicago
Size: 2 bedrooms, two bathrooms

Gia Lee, apparel up files

A navy blue light trellis area rug adds geometric pop and colour to an otherwise neutral-toned living room. Lee, a self-confessed private-sale enthusiast, purchased the carpet at a discount. “Shipping and handling included, the whole purchase was just $260. It’s a wonderful price to get an 8-by-10 carpet,” she says. Bonus: The carpet is 100% wool and free from chemical additives, supplying extra reassurance in a house with kids.

Lee excitedly shares the way the Eames molded plywood seat made its way into their home. “I was 39 weeks pregnant with our first girl. My husband knew how much I was admiring the seat, a functional sculpture on its own. 1 day I walked out into the living room after a shower and there it was!”

An Eames chair to get a push gift? “I will take it on jewelry daily,” Lee says.

Area Shade: nu-Loom Moroccan trellis; chair : Eames Molded Plywood Armchair in Ash; living room paint: Willow Creek, Benjamin Moore

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Lee spends the little spare time she’s online working on her style blog. In between diaper changes and mom’s wine nights, and during naptimes, she can be seen on the dining table evangelizing readers on the hottest Lara Miller collection or curating the top editorials on lady denim.

Fun truth about the suspension lighting: It’s the exact same one used at the movie The Breakup, starring Jennifer Aniston. “We were watching the movie and got excited when we seen our light in the center of it,” says Lee.

Dining table, chairs and mirror: Room & Board; suspension lighting: Clavius, from Lightology; infant chair: Boon Pedestal Highchair

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Lee’s favorite time of day: whenever she can carve out time to enjoy the Eames lounge chair and ottoman. “It’s the most comfortable place to sit with my Kindle plus a cup of tea,” she says. “It’s definitely my most beloved space in the house. My husband insists that it’s worth the investment”

Bedroom seat: Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Framed wallpaper graces the space over the fireplace. “I love the combination of methods: screen-printing and painting,” Lee says. “The colors are hand-painted, so each sheet is unique,” says Lee.

Artwork: Nama Rococo

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Prints appropriate for a child’s room line the main hallway. “We love the way the examples feature kids but are performed with sophisticated color schemes such as grays, blacks and taupes with splashes of colour to make them friendly to adults as well” Lee says.

She also credits the team at one of her favorite furniture stores with giving her the exact swatches to paint colors that she liked in their mock-up rooms. “Just ask should you like a particular detail at a retail shop, and should they have the info, they’ll probably give it to you,” she says.

Prints: Ashley G; wall paint: Iron Mountain, Benjamin Moore

Gia Lee, apparel up files

The conventional black-and-white silhouette print is tweaked in pink in Lee’s eldest daughter’s room. She explains, “We’re in a transition period right now and at the middle of moving out of a baby’s space to a big woman’s room. I’m searching for design inspiration”

Chandelier: Urban Outfitters; crib: Walmart; blanket and pillow: Etsy; print: Ashley G; wall paint: Pismo Dunes, Benjamin Moore

Gia Lee, apparel up files

Toy storage and organization are musts in almost any home that doesn’t wish to be completely overrun by toys, books and arbitrary little parts on the ground. Lee uses several baskets for storing odds and ends, children’s books and art equipment.

Baskets: Land of Nod; bookshelves: IKEA

Gia Lee, dress up documents

Although Lee largely uses online sources for inspiration, tried-and-tested printing materials occupy the top shelf of her bookcase. Neutral-spined style and design books find a house alongside a Thomas O’Brien clock and a framed print in bright yellow.

Hitter: Target

Gia Lee, apparel files up

Lee and her husband love the fact that there are 3 windows behind their bed, providing much-needed sun, especially during long and chilly Midwest winters. She intends to substitute their bedside tables, which she says are too low for your bed.

“The littlest one still sleeps in a bassinet next to the bed,” Lee says, adding that she nurses simply by propping herself and the infant) against the seat, which eliminates the need for a glider and ottoman.

Modern Bucktown Beauty
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