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Mix Master

At home with the up-for-anything owner of design shop George Lowell

Arduser and his Chihuahua, Norton, relax in the sitting room, where a geometric-patterned rug from CB2 works well with small-scale furniture, which includes a Bungalow 5 coffee table.
Arduser and his Chihuahua, Norton, relax in the sitting room, where a geometric-patterned rug from CB2 works well with small-scale furniture, which includes a Bungalow 5 coffee table. Photo Gallery »
 

SIZE  1,800 square feet
TYPE  Bungalow
LOCATION  Marquette Park

I like everything, which can be a problem,” says interior designer George Arduser, who owns the hip home-design shop George Lowell, in Andersonville. “But having a mix is timeless.”

Arduser’s home, a bungalow in Marquette Park, bears this out. Its eclectic vintage and contemporary furnishings make it look much like his store. His older pieces, which include a neoclassical cubbyholed secretary and a 1940s English-style cabinet that he uses for cookbooks, blend seamlessly with new furnishings—upholstered seating in neutral fabrics, a CB2 chocolate-and-cream rug with a geometric pattern—and vividly contemporary wall colors.

In the guest bedroom/TV room (below), a bright orange accent wall sets off an armless charcoal sofa, black-and-white draperies, and a leather-topped bench that serves as a coffee table.
In the guest bedroom/TV room, a bright orange accent wall sets off an armless charcoal sofa, black-and-white draperies, and a leather-topped bench that serves as a coffee table. Photo Gallery »

Accessories run a wide gamut, too. An oversized white ceramic table lamp and a Buddha head move a corner of the sitting room in an Asian direction; a cowhide rug under the dining table seems completely at home with a black crystal Bethel chandelier, Robert Abbey sconces, contemporary Halo rattan chairs, and high-gloss black-and-white photos of ancient Greek statuary.

Arduser, who grew up in Mason City, Iowa, in a sometimes-chaotic household with four siblings, jumped at the chance to buy the spacious, recently updated two-bedroom, two-bath house seven years ago. He loved the South Side neighborhood’s quiet streets, with their manicured lawns and old-growth trees.

He immediately painted the place with strong new colors, a practice of long standing. (As a child, he says, he once painted his bedroom kelly green. To his parents’ occasional chagrin, he was also fond of rearranging furniture.)

He still favors vibrant hues. A bright orange wall provides punch in the guest room, where the color is repeated on pillows and in the rug. Granny Smith green freshens an otherwise traditional dining room. In the sitting room, sunny yellow draperies contrast confidently with deep-toned walls.

Arduser selected relatively diminutive pieces for the home’s smallish front rooms, and supplied the spacious family room at the back of the house with oversized furnishings, including a giant industrial metal coffee table that looks like a hulk of salvaged machinery, its bolts and girders exposed. To celebrate that room’s cathedral ceiling, he ran a series of mirrors up the main wall, visually doubling the already ample space.

The designer tends to nest when he’s not working with clients or tending to the store. Arduser enjoys watching TV, riding his bike in nearby Marquette Park, and, once in a while, even after decorating all day long, he still enjoys rearranging his furniture.

Resources: See Buy Guide.

 

Photography: Nathan Kirkman

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