A Celebration of Punchy Colors & Delightful Kitsch in Chicago, IL

A Celebration of Punchy Colors & Delightful Kitsch in Chicago, IL

I think it is splendidly satisfying when a home reflects its owners through and through — when you walk into a home and know exactly who it belongs to without any prior debriefing. This is the complete opposite of someone who might be gregarious in their wardrobe or social pursuits, but prefers a stark and minimal home; or maybe a fun and outgoing home for an otherwise introverted person. I’m talking about the kind of home where the owner’s personality is downloaded, word-for-word, into every room of the home. When this happens in design, it’s downright magical.

Which is why I am so enamored by the Chicago, IL home of Anna Rafferty and Richard Schreiber (and their cats Bob and Barbara). Richard is an elementary school art teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and Anna sells fantastic vintage clothes — and their affinity for creativity is plain as day. “I have a vintage clothing brand called Barbie Roadkill Vintage; I sell on Etsy as well as in a retail space that I share with two other women called Festive Collective (it’s a colorful pink dreamland specializing in party supplies and vintage; you have to check it out if you’re in Chicago!),” Anna begins. “I’m attracted to the bold colors and prints I grew up with in the 80s and 90s, and my vintage shop and home decorating aesthetic reflects that. My husband Richard is an elementary school art teacher, and lucky for me, he’s a fan of color, too! He’s content to let me handle the decorating and I’m more than happy to let him do the dishes.”

Tucked onto the third (top) floor of a 1922 condo in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, Anna and Richard bought this 1,200-square-foot home in August 2018. Crayons in hand (yes, crayons), Anna got to work sketching her technicolor plans for each room. “My main goal with our home was to inject as much color into each room as possible without it looking too gaudy,” she shares. “We didn’t have the budget for designer and mid-century modern furniture and decor that we love, so most of our things are secondhand from Craigslist or thrift stores, but we still sought out pieces that felt special and well-made. Ultimately, we wanted the space to feel impactful but still inviting and comfortable.” Anna’s vibrant plans are now reality — with some changes and tweaks made once the couple moved into the space and really felt it out — resulting in a pleasing blend of in-your-face color, joyful accessories and vintage sensibilities. It’s a home that’s sure to draw out a smile. —Kelli

Photography by Anna Rafferty / @barbie_roadkill & @thefestivecollective

Image above: The main bedroom. Anna shares, “We hired painters before we moved in, which we’ve never done before and it made a huge difference to have that done first. I made sketches (on paper with crayons, I’m not tech-savvy at all) of how I thought the rooms would look, but most rooms ended up quite different once we were actually working in the space. There’s only so much mapping and planning that can be done in advance; a lot of decorating is trial and error… It feels like home now, after six months, but there are still projects on my to-do list (and there probably always will be!).”

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