Mud Australia flared ceramic bowl
Oly hardwood and aluminum bookcase, $3,700

Photo: Courtesy of Oly Studio
Alissa Johnson

Alissa Johnson

Chief operating officer and designer at Rae Duncan Interior Design in Lincoln Park

If you have an open plan and want to maintain that, use pieces that don’t shut out light or entirely close you off. A bookcase you can see through, like the gray wooden one from Oly, keeps things airy. It works great in a small apartment, even a studio, where you might want to divide the main living and bedroom areas. Stylize it with accessories like vases — I love the Ernst ones from Jayson Home — copper bowls, or decorative storage boxes. A chaise, like the sleek and minimal Kennon from Burke Decor, can also divide a space without you having to put up a wall. If you want more privacy, add an armoire or a partition. Noir’s modern black metal Levo screen feels different from your typical folding versions. Add in a floor lamp, grab a book, and cozy up in your chaise.


Kieran Kinsella wood table
Kieran Kinsella wood table, from $3,200

Photo: Courtesy of BDDW
Suzanne Lovell

Suzanne Lovell

Founder of Suzanne Lovell Inc. in River North

Most luxury homes these days have large his-and-her closets. I’ll often convince my clients to create a comfortable spot there to get ready for the day — take a call, check your emails, review your calendar — with a club chair and ottoman. The Eames chair from Herman Miller is so comfortable you could sit in it all day. To define the space, set it up on a small rug, like those from Erden’s Edition One collection, and add a side table. I like the one-of-a-kind carved wood-stump tables by Kieran Kinsella, where you can place your morning coffee or tea in a cup and saucer like those by Richard Ginori through Kneen & Co. Complete it with a tripod lamp from BDDW and a soft and super-light baby alpaca throw from Chicago Luxury Beds. If you want even more privacy, drapery can function as a divider — it absorbs sound and adds texture.