Name: Kyle Schuneman
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
Interior designer Kyle Schuneman wrote The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces. He's designed decor carried by Bed, Bath and Beyond, and his upholstery line can be found at Apt2B. And he's shared photos of his Chicago loft that he designed himself! In his own words: "I fell in love with this loft as soon as I walked in for the first time. Growing up in Chicago, I always wanted to own a piece of it and this place had so much history. It's in an old printing house building built in 1917 and what really drew me to it were the massive original windows that overlook the city.
The space has 11-foot ceilings and is basically one big open area except for the bathrooms and the bedroom, so that left a lot of opportunity to design the place with furniture and elements that could define the different areas. Since I'm an interior designer and this was my first home-buying experience, I got to be my own client and take some risks. I really wanted to define the different areas with bold wallpapers — visually it keeps the area open and feeling big but gives each space its own backdrop. I kept with a black and white and grey theme so it still flowed, but you really get different experiences in the specific areas.
It also finally gave me a space to use pieces from my different lines. I have a furniture line at Apt2B, so I was able to finally have my own living room sectional sofa, plaid chair, den sofa, and bed; it feels really cool. I also was able to use some throw pillows from my line in collaboration with Bed Bath and Beyond that was out a year ago. It's cool to be surrounded by personal elements that I've worked on and are proud of."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I love a masculine aesthetic. I think it goes really well with the early 20th century architecture and handsome design is something I've really learned both my male and female clients really respond to.
Inspiration: I wanted an industrial style that was layered with textures. I wanted to keep the colors neutral with greys, whites, and blacks and really layer the textures like metals, woods, linens and wools to make the home feel cozy.
Favorite Element: I've had this plaid rug in my storage forever and it would always be this huge pain taking up so much room, but I knew when I bought my first place I would use it. So it's my favorite piece because it's been with me for years.
Biggest Challenge: I think with a loft the biggest challenge is defining the space because while I love having the open space when I'm entertaining you also want to have everyday moments that are cozy and intimate. I defined the space with large rugs and wallpaper backdrops so while they still coordinated color-wise they felt like their own experience.
Proudest DIY: When I travel I collect leaves and press them in the book I'm reading while traveling. Once they've been pressed and are flat I frame them in super simple black frames and write where they're from. I have them hanging in the den over the black sofa and they create this amazing graphic story of my travels. It's ever growing too and I'm always excited to go on my next trip to find a great leaf to add to the collection.
Biggest Indulgence: Wallpaper! With such high ceilings I needed a lot of rolls (so that would get expensive) but it's also made the biggest impact.
Best Advice: I would say my biggest advice is keep your big pieces fairly neutral. This house has been amazing for the holidays (my first year having them here!) and because it's a neutral backdrop of black, white and grey — adding pops of reds for Christmas or pops of orange for Thanksgiving immediately gives it a new look and totally different transformation.
PAINT & COLORS
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Taylor Sectional — Apt2B
Plaid Rug —HD Buttercup
Williamsburg Coffee Table — Apt2B
Cole and Sons Woods Wallpaper — Wallpaper Direct
Zelzah Bookcases – Apt2B
Scott Plaid Chair – Apt2B
London Rail Wall Clock – Restoration Hardware
Acrylic Tray Table – CB2
Orange Bowl – Heath Ceramics
Black and Brass Globe – CB2
Mohair Charcoal Pillows – Rejuvenation
Plaid Dog Bed – CB2
Palmer Upholstered Bed – Apt2B
Gentleman's Club Wallpaper – Wallpaper Direct
Metal Nightstands – Apt2B
Leather and Lucite Bench – HD Buttercup
Bedding – The Company Store
Throw Pillow – Bed Bath and Beyond
Swing Arm Sconces – Restoration Hardware
Glenoaks Dresser – Apt2B
Harper Sofa – Apt2B
Bar Cart – Bed Bath and Beyond
Stalactite Wallpaper – Milton and King
Jute Rug – IKEA
Clifton Side Tables – Apt2B
Plaid Pouf – Target
Skull Chair – Ankasa
Electric Lamp Art – Apt2B