A Modern & Masculine Condo Makeover

When we started this little blog, we had no idea that people would consider us “experts” in the home decorating field. We still consider ourselves to be hardcore rookies when it comes to interior decorating. However, we’ve certainly learned a few tricks along the way, and we’re always happy to share what we learn with our friends and family.
Recently a few friends have asked for our help decorating their own homes, and we’ve eagerly jumped at the chance to lend a hand. It’s fun for us because we get to tackle spaces that are new-to-us, and we often get to incorporate new styles and colors that you might not find in our own homes.
So when a good friend invited us to come decorate his Chicago condo…we cleared our schedules and happily jumped at the chance to help him out!
Our “client”, Mehul, recently purchased an amazing condo in the West Loop area of Chicago. It’s a gorgeous one bedroom, with a sleek and modern feel. However, Mehul really didn’t have much going on in the space. In fact, it looked like no one really lived there at all! He did have some furniture (a couch, table, chair, and TV), but that was about it.  Mehul works 6 days a week and therefore doesn’t have much time to devote to decorating his home…so he called us in to help him out. And boy were we happy to help!
Messy TV cords
Here are some of the before shots of the space. You can see Mehul lives like a typical man. Big flat screen TV and a big comfy couch. He’s pretty minimalistic…no books, no knickknacks, no picture frames….really not a whole heck of a lot to work with. We knew a few shopping trips were definitely in our future…
He did request that we keep the space looking masculine and modern, and he didn’t want it to feel too cluttered. “Masculine” & “Modern”….oh boy this was going to be a fun new direction for these 2 gals….
He also asked if we could incorporate some personal elements into the space to make it feel a bit “homier.” Now that we could definitely handle…

After a half dozen shopping trips, we had tons of new fun decor for Mehul’s pad. Family room

We brought the sleek silver bookcase into the room to serve as an entertainment center. Instead of resting on the floor, the TV box now has an inconspicuous place to call home. The bookcase also gave us a great area to display family photos and quotes.  We tried to keep everything within the blue/gray/silver family to show off the great paint colors that Mehul had already chosen for his walls.
Modern Bookshelf
As for the accessories,we tried our best to be as “modern” as possible. Pops of silver, geometric patterns, and cool tones helped us stay on track. We also purchased some storage pieces like the small marbled box and large gray patterned one (both finds from HomeGoods!)2014_4_Mehul's Man Cave
Mehul also requested that we bring in a few Chicago/city elements into the space. Lucky for us, he had a street artist paint a gorgeous mural for us to incorporate into the family room. It added quite a bit of color and definitely helped to show off Mehul’s Chicago pride.
Modern bookshelf and bar sign
We also found a really cool Chicago map at Target (in the background of the above photo) to hang on the wall.
Coffee table tray
A geometric tray on the coffee table helped corral magazines, remote controls, and coasters that used to just sit haphazardly on the couch.
2014_4_Mehul's Man Cave1
We also hung a few more family photos in sleek black frames, and even added this Chicago watercolor print to show even more hometown love.
Family room and kitchen condo
Bar Cart
You guys all know we have a special place in our hearts for bar carts (here’s Casey’s & here’s Bridget’s!) So it shouldn’t surprise you that we wanted to incorporate a little entertaining area into Mehul’s family room.  We found this modern bar cart on Overstock, and ordered it immediately. These 2 rookies opened the box and after a few cuts, curse words, and bruised egos (putting stuff together can be rather difficult)…we officially had a sweet bar cart.
We found the various decanters at thrift stores and estate sales, all for less than $10 a piece. The silver martini shaker and ice bucket are both finds from HomeGoods.
Mehul lived in Kentucky while attending school, so we decided to include some of his awesome Kentucky Derby cups onto the cart. Gotta add a little personality here and there..right?!
Now he is all ready to have some friends over for a cocktail (or two!) just in time for summer. We think they’ll be rather impressed with his swanky bar cart setup.
One last look at the boring before…and now the after.
bar cart and chicago mural
Thanks to a couple shopping trips to purchase some fun accessories, his condo now feels like an actual home. He can come back after working long days, pour himself a drink, and sit back and enjoy new space.