A structural glass inset in the ceiling brings extra light into the living room from the level above. The carpet and the coffee table (made from a vintage ox cart) were purchased at the now-closed Fenway Gallery; oak flooring was stained ebony. In the kitchen, Ikea cabinets are complemented by countertops of statuary marble. See more photos in the gallery below.
Kristina Albaugh and Josh Ingmire are home-makeover veterans. Since meeting at the University of Oklahoma 17 years ago, they have rehabbed two houses and three condos in various cities, completing the design and much of the demolition and construction work themselves. Trained, respectively, in advertising/journalism and architecture, Albaugh and Ingmire moved to Chicago nine years ago for careers in retail fashion; Ingmire joined Luminaire as general manager in 2006.
“We tell our real-estate agents to show us the crappiest places they have, but with the best square footage, in a good neighborhood,” Albaugh says. “Then we take it from there.” Adds Ingmire, “We don’t mind living surrounded by tarps.”
Their latest challenge was turning a 1,400-square-foot bare-bones loft in the West Loop into a multilevel pad with a townhouse feel. By expanding a sleeping loft to a full floor and adding a third level above it (the original space had a 33-foot ceiling), the couple increased their floor space to 2,400 square feet. Over three years, the evolving configuration has yielded an open yet intimate living room and dining area adjacent to the kitchen, a master bedroom framed by translucent glass doors, a guest room/study, and a third-floor sleeping loft/studio. A split-level 700-square-foot roof deck tops things off.
Finishes were carefully chosen. Warming the living room is a wood-burning fireplace faced with remaindered teak; an ethyl-alcohol-burning fireplace in the study is surrounded by sleek Cor-Ten steel. The kitchen island has a waterfall-edge marble top. And the couple reconfigured the original staircase in an L shape, fitting the steps with ebony-stained oak treads.
Ingmire’s technical background aids their do-it-yourself strategies, while Albaugh’s eye—she is an assistant manager for MaxMara and also an artist and online vintage-clothing dealer—balances the duo’s design equation. They like to mix modern American and Italian furniture with standout vintage finds, such as a weathered wingback chair and a coffee table created from an old ox cart.
“We wanted to make our home express who we are instead of contriving rooms that felt too pristine,” Albaugh says. Ingmire agrees. “A minimalist loft was just not for us.”
Photograph: Bob Coscarelli
Styling: Diane Ewing
See more photos in the gallery below.
1. Albaugh painted a vintage armoire white and added safety straps from Home Depot to create a contemporary art statement. 2. Pennie enjoys the swing made from oak strips bolted together and covered with Plasti Dip. It’s suspended from the ceiling of the third-floor sleeping loft/studio by airline cable that was threaded through PVC pipe on one floor and a cutout on the other; the swing itself is in the living room. 3. Colorful screwdrivers pushed into reinforced wall backing provide hanging opportunities in the master bedroom. 4. The modular bed by Piero Lissoni is outfitted with linens by Frette; the pillow shams were made from vintage dresses. A series of small photos hangs over the bed; Ingmire and Albaugh took them while driving through New Mexico during a lightning storm. 5. The couple found the wingback chair at an estate sale and offset its blue leather upholstery with bright pink paint on the legs. On the wall, a portrait of Albaugh’s grandmother on horseback was blown up as a graphic image. The Frank side table is from Luminaire.
Photograph: Bob Coscarelli
Styling: Diane Ewing
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Living room: Flexform Magister sofa, white Segretto side table by Zanotta, Tato poufs by Baleri Italia; built-ins, Random bookshelf by MDF Italia, JJ chair by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia, Toio floor lamp by Achille Castiglioni, Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312-664-9582, luminaire.com. Orange feather trophy on side table, Branca, 17 E. Pearson St., 312-202-1019, branca.com. Artwork, Nan Pendarvis, facebook.com/nan.pendarvis. On coffee table: Rina Menardi Big Bubble vase, Luminaire. Paint and Color in Decoration and Defining Luxury, Branca. Horn box, Interior Crafts, Merchandise Mart, 773-376-8160, interiorcraftsinc.com. On shelves: Vitra miniature chairs, books, Luminaire. Mounted handblown glass with red rhizome, Branca. Dolls: Visionaire, visionaireworld.com; Rotofugi, rotofugi.com; Girard, Design Within Reach, 10 E. Ohio St., 312-280-4787, dwr.com. Carved wooden objects, Morlen Sinoway, 1052 W. Fulton Mkt., 312-432-0100, morlensinoway.com. Kitchen: Cabinetry, Ikea, ikea.com. Appliances, Abt, 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-967-8830, abt.com. Cement tuxedo bowl, Baker, Merchandise Mart, 312-337-7144. Dining room: Random lights by Moooi, American walnut Lance table by Arco Meubel, Mezzadro stool by Achille Castiglioni, chairs by Herman Miller, Baker teal resin bowl, Luminaire. Study and guest room: Eames Aluminum Group chair and ottoman, Herman Miller, hermanmiller.com. Cowhide rug, Ikea. Simplice side table, Maxalto, 309 W. Superior St., 312-664-6190, bebitalia.com. Bronze flame tapered vase, Baker. Curtains, Chicago Canvas & Supply, 3719 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-588-3139, chicagocanvas.com. Glass floor panel, Trainor Glass, 939 W. Lake St., 708-388-5700, trainorglass.com. Nemos ethyl-alcohol fireplace, Ars Nova glass doors by Safretti, Meta system desk by Fantoni, Luminaire. Master bedroom: Porro bed by Piero Lissoni, B&B Italia side table, Frank round side table in Mustard, Luminaire. Frette bedding, Bloomingdale’s, 600 N. Wabash Ave., 312-324-7500, bloomingdales.com. Faux sea urchin on table, EG-367 textured glass vase, Interior Crafts, Merchandise Mart, 773-376-8160. Pink leather journal, Branca. On armoire ledge: Yellow wooden artist’s figure, Morlen Sinoway.