Design Within Reach has finally re-released the famous Story Bookcase in a short and tall version here. I purchased ours on Amazon in 2017 before the re-release here. The Amazon version is 79.6″ high, 14 shelves and $285 + $43 shipping. The DWR version is 75.5″ high, 12 shelves and $295 + $21 shipping. If you’ve ever seen this bookcase in a photo and wondered how someone can possibly stack their books so neatly without them falling over, well, this is how.
While the bookcase is a bit pricey, I love it because it can hold a ton of books in a super space efficient way and it looks chic.
I stack my books from large to small, bottom to top (I wouldn’t recommend any other way), with white bindings or pages facing out. Yes, this means that if the binding is colored, it is facing pages OUT and binding IN such that the entire front of the stack is in shades of white. Of course you can stack any way you’d like.
To most quickly order the books from tallest to shortest I first line them against the wall to gauge height and organize on the floor first, into groups, then transition to the shelves.
The Sapiens Bookcase is such a great architectural piece that adds nice interest to any room. If short on floor space, the short stack can be added to the top of a desk or console for equal impact.
Many of the windows in this home are drafty because they are old! The den is a great example with curved glass windows from 1897 and the bedrooms all have wooden framed windows that raise and lower on chains. In addition to being energy inefficient, the draft does blow in some dust and debris – yuck – which is not great for the new paint job! I searched solutions and found only a couple that I would consider myself. Now, these are NOT the most energy efficient solutions, but they are the prettiest, so keep that in mind.
First, there is window putty that can be inserted in the gaps. It is pretty discreet, but I couldn’t find it in white, so I gave up.
Second, there is Etsy! Etsy solves so many problems in a chic way. I am loving these Grain Sack Linen-Canvas door and window draft stoppers from Woods & Shore and ordered the beautiful yellow and cream version for the guest.
I discovered high shine “Wendy’s Green” paint from Farrow & Ball while searching for the perfect olive paint. The store actually does not carry a true olive paint but good news!, the custom mixed Wendy’s Green is available, with a 2 gallon minimum. This is the same green that designer Wendy Labrum used at the 2017 Lake Forest, IL Design & Garden Showhouse. I love it!
Perhaps anyone who has house hunted has found the “almost perfect” house before finding “the one”.
We each found our own “perfect” house but unfortunately it was not the same house, so we went with neither and had to move on. However, from time to time i still think of this one…
This house was even better in person and I loved every detail. It was impeccably clean and looked like it came straight from Architectural Digest.
The molding was fresh and new (no cakey old paint) and the cream walls were the perfect backdrop for art. There was an incredible flat marble fireplace that was the perfect touch of modern for the space.
The dining room windows looked out on Lincoln Park and I loved the books and beams.
The back of the house didn’t have the best view, but that was the only slight downside that I saw.
With their open floor plans and soaring ceilings, lofts are one-of-a kind residences and why this loft stood out among a sea of rentals. Interestingly, I had come across photos of our loft online when I lived in New York, before we moved to Chicago, when browsing the internet. This was before I had ever contemplated living in Chicago, so to end up in this exact building by chance is either an amazing coincidence, or a great example of the powers of the internet on predicting consumer choice!
The furniture chosen for this loft was intended to be low profile and transitional so it could move out of the rental someday and into a more permanent spot. This explains the lack of a full couch, which would have been a big commitment, expensive, and potentially hard to incorporate well in a new space. This couch is perfect because it can just as easily serve as the main seating as it is here, or divide a large room.
The chairs from InMod have custom cushions that were made by Patio Lane with Ralph Lauren fabric. The original InMod cushions were very low quality but the chairs are solid walnut. The Molteni coffee table was purchased off the floor as a sample for 50% off.
What made this apartment fun was I had to start from scratch. This provided a lot of fun challenges to get the best deals and make the most from the least. So many elements in this home were made by hand such as the dining room table, the dining chairs, the woven leather chair, most of the artwork and the bar cabinet.