Reader OMG! – Jon & Christina’s Modern City Home

Reader OMG! is a series showcasing home tours from my favorite people…The DIY Playbook readers! Every month or so, I highlight the home of someone with some serious design style. I hope that these swoon-worthy spaces will make you say “OMG”…hence the name! It also gives me a chance to feature home styles outside of my own, so you can take away some fresh ideas for your space.Reader OMG blog series

So far we’ve featured these amazing homes in the series…

Jon & Christina’s Modern HomeJon and Christina's modern home tour

  • Homeowners: Jon & Christina
  • Location: Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, IL
  • Home Type: 4 bedrooms, 1 office, 5.5 bathrooms
  • Year Built: 1890s
  • Describe your Home Style: A traditional Chicago single-family home on the outside, with a contemporary fresh feel on the inside.
  • Favorite Spot in your House: We both enjoy cooking and hosting, so we’d have to say the kitchen with our outdoor spaces coming in at a close second. 
    Jon & Christina's modern home tour

Today’s Reader OMG! profile is one you’ve been asking about for quite some time now. It’s the modern home of our good friends Jon & Christina.With our hostess ChristinaEnjoying the baby showerOur baby shower game

Christina hosted my baby shower back in March and I received so many questions about the venue.  “Was it in a hotel? A home you could rent? A restaurant?” I think people were a little disappointed when I said it was our friend’s home because they couldn’t rent it out for their next party!Gorgeous art in this modern home tour

But let me back up. Jon and Christina lived below us in our old condo building and we became fast friends when we moved into that building back in 2015. They moved out of the building in 2018 and into this gorgeous home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. We were sad to no longer be living on top of one another, where we could have a cocktail on the back deck at a moment’s notice, but luckily we still see them often and can’t wait to spend even more time together post-COVID. Living room space overhead shot

All this to say, they’re amazing people and we feel lucky to call them such great friends. You’ll soon see that their home is incredible and it is the perfect home for entertaining. They host fabulous dinner parties and lots of summer BBQs. freestanding bathtubOh, and we even got to housesit this place when our home was under construction in the summer of 2019. It was fun to play house in this gorgeous space for a week! Let’s take a look at this modern home tour…

Exterior & Entryway

Lincoln park Modern home tour
Round planters
Modern home tour
Entryway via Gemma Parker Design

Entryway Photo & Design via Gemma Parker Design

This home was built in the 1890s and it comes with quite the history. It was a bakery, a boarding house, a two-unit home in the 1980s, and was finally transformed into a single-family home in 2010. That’s the cool thing about Chicago –  so many homes have such a story to tell. I love that the exterior of the home is traditional, but with an edge to it with all of that black, and those jumbo round planters!

While the outside has that old historic feel, the moment you walk in, that unique modern vibe takes over! The entryway is truly a stunner with the bee wallpaper, green console table, and the black and white chandelier. When you walk in, you instantly know that this home is special and anything but cookie-cutter.

Front Living RoomA white and modern living roomCustom record built-inLanding spots in the three story entryway Art in the modern home front living roomWarm fireplace modern Custom record player and built-in storageModern art in this home

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Christmas White” (this color runs throughout the entire home); Marilyn Monroe Artwork; Marco Casentini Artwork

That entry hallway leads to the front living room. This just might be my favorite spot in the house because the ceiling is three-stories high! When you look up, you can see the second and third stories above you, with those cool landing areas. The interior brick was painted white and the room feels spacious, bright, and open.

Jon & Christina are the ultimate entertainers and this living room is a wonderful spot to host lots of people. Their custom record player holds their vast record collection along with their record players. They also have tons of seating in this room, complete with a modern fireplace.

Kitchen & DiningKitchen in this modern home

White interiors let art stand out
Dining area in the kitchen
Dining room chandelier
Range in the island in this modern home

Their black and white color palette works well to highlight their expansive art collection. They always like to buy a piece of art when they travel and I adore their oversized artwork in the kitchen  – it’s a piece by Ole Aakjær.  Keeping the rest of the kitchen black and white really allows those prized pieces to shine.

Jon is an incredible cook and this kitchen sees a lot of action. I love how all of their appliances are paneled, so the dishwasher and refrigerator just blend on in. They also have tons of countertop space, which really came in handy for our baby shower!

Basement Bar & Hangout

Floor to ceiling gallery wall

Bar and basement lounge area via Gemma Parker DesignPhoto & Design via Gemma Parker Design Champagne bucketPhoto gallery wall

On the way down to the basement, you’re greeted with this two-story gallery wall. It’s incredible and really adds so much life to the home. I adore the black frames with black and white photographs from special times in their lives. It gives me major inspiration for our own stairwell.

As you go down the stairs, you first hit the cool bar area. This circular bar has another dishwasher, tons of wine storage, a wine fridge, and barstools, so you can sidle on up. I’m not gonna lie, we get a lot of use out of this area when we visit! Down here you’ll also find a cozy lounge and TV setup. And how about the wallpapered ceiling?! Again, this room gives me major inspiration as I plan out our main bedroom details. (I’m leaning towards a wallpaper in our own coffered ceiling!)

Music Room

Music room in the basement
Bookshelves with colorful books
Tulips in the music room
Records on the bed
Guitar in the music room

Just past the basement family room, you walk into a large “music room.” Jon and Christina have quite a passion for music (I mean, did you see that record collection?!), so they decided to add a dedicated room to their home for lounging and listening to records. It has a big daybed where they can lounge and relax, and it also doubles as another guest room.

I always think it’s a good idea to paint a room with no windows with a dark color. That way, it feels super cozy. This paint color (Benjamin Moore “Hale Navy”) is perfection and their gallery wall of art stands out against the dark backdrop.

Main Bedroom & BathroomChristina's modern home tour

Decor in a bathroom

Main bedroomOkay, let’s travel up two levels to their main bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom is something out of a movie. It’s ginormous and how about that freestanding tub? A dream space! And I’m not gonna lie, I used the tub when we housesat and Finn immediately told Jon & Christina when they got home from their trip, but they didn’t mind one bit. Ha! The steam shower is also fantastic with the marble tile all around – even on the ceiling! In their bedroom, they again highlight their love of art with an oversized piece and minimal furniture and decor in the rest of the space.

Outdoor SpacesBackyard patioBackyard patioBackyard outdoor bench

Upstairs outdoor area
Flag day party
Outdoor lounge furniture

When you live in the city, outdoor space is coveted. Jon & Christina’s home has a backyard patio with a grill and dining table. Plus, they have a front balcony on the third floor of their home with a cozy seating area. Oh, and they have a huge deck on the third floor that is still waiting to be furnished and used. Wow, there is so much potential!

During the summer months, they spend lots of time in the backyard, barbecuing and hosting friends around their large circular table. It seats eight and the middle part is a Lazy Susan, which makes it really easy to pass appetizers around! The upstairs outdoor space is a cozy spot for hanging at the end of the night. Plus, this is where they have their flag pole. If you remember from this blog post, I chatted about our friends who host an annual Flag Day Party where they fly each couple’s custom flag. Jon & Christina are those friends, although, sadly they had no Flag Day Party last year because of COVID. On the day I popped over there to take these photos, Christina’s favorite team, the Arkansas Razorbacks, were playing football, so her flag was flying!

Shop the Look – Modern Home TourJon and Christina's modern home tour

I don’t have sources for every item in Jon & Christina’s home. They worked with a designer (Gemma Parker) to furnish their home and most of their pieces are one-of-a-kind, like that insane art collection. But all of the below items are inspired by their modern home style.

Modern home style home tour

Marble Coffee Table // Marilyn Monroe Art // Globe Planter // Bruce Springsteen Art // Record Player // Orange Throw // Black and White Pillow // Charcoal Pillow // Arm Chair // Centerpiece Bowl // Gray Area Rug // Black Table Lamp // White Vase // Globe Chandelier

Thank you for letting us house crash

A big thank you to Jon and Christina for letting us crash their home. Not only are they fantastic friends, but they have a stunning style that fits their cool personality. I promise that the next time I’m visiting, I’ll showcase even more of this expansive home!

Modern home tour in Chicago

Submit Your Home for Reader OMG!Reader OMG blog series

Want to see your home featured on The DIY Playbook? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Reader OMG!”, including lots of photos of your gorgeous home. I’m booking homes for the remainder of the year, so please submit your space!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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