In many ways, this is a classic Hyde Park apartment. The 3BR unit, which occupies the second floor of a turn-of-the-century stone townhouse, opens into a living room with bay windows. A narrow hallway, which makes for tantalizing human traffic jams during parties, leads from the front room to the dining room, kitchen and rickety back porch. Despite its typical layout, Theo, Sasha and Alice have made the place truly their own (Sasha is Arts Editor of the Weekly). Their aesthetic might be described as ‘70s bohemian meets desert arboretum. Expert scavengers, they are always on the lookout for objects that can be repurposed in unexpected ways.
This silk chartreuse couch is a beloved Craigslist find. Their advice to vintage furniture hunters? “Don’t be afraid toÂ be patient andÂ hold out forÂ a good find.Â Sometimes it’s better to go without a couch for the first few weeks than to get something you don’t love.”
The wood-paneled mantelpiece displays a scattered collection of foundÂ materials. “Anything we break by accident usually ends up on the mantel,”Â said Theo. The pottery, vases, and sculptures are culled from flea markets and thrift stores all over Chicago. All three girls are artÂ students, and the mantelpiece features some of their handiwork, such as the glitter rhinoceros bust andÂ cubicalÂ plexi-glassÂ arboretum,Â which was left over from a sculpture project.
The girls haveÂ a thing for succulents, which can be found throughout the apartment, peeking out of mason jars and wine bottles, hanging from the ceiling, and even growing inside a lamp.
Theo and her mom have been collecting vintage Paint-By-Number pieces for years from flea markets,Â which Theo, Sasha, and Alice decided to cover a living room wall with one night.Â One canvas has a note scribbled on the back: “Happy Birthday Dad! Love Katherine, 1952.”
(Loveseat from Marketplace, vintage chairs and Mexican-style blanket from Randolph Street Market and Goodwill.)
A handmade Japanese plant ornament called aÂ Kokedama.
Dried flower wall art
The girls get much of their materialsÂ from garden supply and science surplus stores. The beakers and graduated cylinders are from a Chicago lab supply store. “We spontaneously change around the decor. We’ll just move objectsÂ toÂ different spacesÂ late at nightÂ orÂ when we get bored,” Theo said.
Theo and Sasha answered an ad on Craigslist for this dining room table. When they got to the park where the sellers had announced they would be, there were about 8 other groups of students hoping to buy the table. A massive rock-paper-scissors tournament ensued to determine who got it. After several elimination rounds, they won the tournament and came home with a new table.