Our team is a big fan of The Everygirl, so we were delighted when their cofounder, Alaina Kaczmarski, included Artfully Walls in her newly designed Chicago greystone! We sat down with Alaina to get the scoop on her new apartment, tips on creating a cohesive gallery wall, and her expert advice for making a rental feel like home.
The Artful Review: WOW--we love your home! Tell us about the process of finding this gem and your design inspirations that guided your decorating.
Alaina Kaczmarski: Well believe it or not – this was a craigslist gem! Dan and I were displaced last December due to a gas leak at our apartment that had been going for a year. I started browsing just to see if anything was available, and this showed up! I immediately recognized the architecture as reminiscent of a Brooklyn brownstone. It had multiple fireplaces, a grand entry and staircase, high ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows... I loved it. I immediately knew I'd draw inspiration from the homes of Jenna Lyons and Ali Cayne–both of whom had Brooklyn brownstones with english roll arm sofas, grand chandeliers, and large gild mirrors above the fireplace.
AR: We can't get over your living room gallery wall! Can you give our readers some tips on keeping it chic and achieving your curated look?
AK: Thank you! As you can see, our entire home is pretty neutral, so putting this gallery together was made much easier because all of our art is black and white. I even keep the frames in the same palette of black, white, or brass and gold. So this just came down to sizes and piecing it together like a puzzle. Grouping a horizontal print next to a vertical one then sort of puzzling them together to fill this space. When creating a gallery wall, I do recommend choosing a color palette (even if that palette is bright, bold colors!) but mix up the medium: include photography, sketches, paintings... I really love that collected gallery look and it's much more interesting to look at!
AR: Lastly, we LOVE that your home is a rental, yet you were brave enough to truly make it your own. Any advice for our readers who are struggling to bring personality to a rental apartment (without upsetting the landlord)?
AK: Rentals are homes too and deserve to be decorated! Hah--I get if you're only going to be in a place for a year or less, it seems like spending time and money on a place isn't worth it. But if you'll be there for a while, it's definitely worth that $20 can of paint and a Saturday afternoon to completely change a room and make it your own. It can easily be painted back. Worried about hanging art and window treatments? A container of spackle costs anywhere from $2-5, and it takes no time at all to patch up those holes when you move out. And one of my favorite changes in a rental that I cannot recommend enough is to change out the ceiling light fixtures! Just be sure to hang on to your landlord's fixtures and put them back up when you leave and take yours with you to your next home! Believe you me, we will be taking all of this lighting with us when we move!
Okay, now for the tour!