Interior Design – By the Clan of The Cave Rat


I have a family member who is a production designer and is incredibly inspiring. Seeing some of her work really feels like you are experiencing a number of different worlds, and the detail she puts into each project is astonishing. When I got to my place, I realized your environment has a profound effect on your psyche, and the best way to make yourself feel at home is to design it to reflect the person you are. It takes great empathy to be able to connect to a character on such a deep level, which is what made her work so interesting to me. When I saw it I thought she could teach this! After living in Chicago for over a decade and deciding to call it home, I was determined to make this my world, so I took a stab at creating “my space”. When one is lost in many thoughts, they can make a big mess of their place. Knowing yourself and designing the place to reflect you may help to respect things from your life that bring you joy and you will find a natural tendency to be yourself.

The Use of Wallpaper

There are many productions that use wallpaper and I developed a whole new respect for it. I never liked wallpaper much, but if you can find a nice pattern and color, one wall as an accent is a great way to add depth and character. If you think that painting is not appropriate, then you shouldn’t have tried teaching me much much worse at such an early age!!!

Bathroom Vanity

This mosaic vanity DIY only cost $180 (including the waterfall faucet) and was a lot of fun. All you need is random mosaic tiles, mosaic powdered grout, glue, tile nippers, and a thirst for a weekend creative project. I didn’t record myself, but instructions can be viewed here. Hers is a bit more tedious design with smaller pieces. I wanted to be spontaneous with complementary colors and randomness.

I loved all women’s take on Carrie’s apartment article on Modsy. I used the ottomans and accent sofa color used in Carrie’s take to come up with my own version, including my love of all types of music, and to resemble some of the cultures I have experienced and come to love. I find books a way to travel, and I love sailing, so I made the book stoppers as antique ends of a sailboat, and they are all antique books I kept from my grandparents and parents. Road trips to all the national parks such as Zeon, Great Teton, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and more – have been quite an adventure. I went on rides through those on my own, so I got a retro car planter for a small cactus and a retro-style radio to tune in to FM to savor those memories. The pillows are there to remind you to dream and travel in your dreams. The painting is a Leonid Afremov painting.

I love his knife technique, his take on impressionism with bright colors, and his life story. I chose the triptych with a girl walking in the rain because, in Kenya, I was given the name “Wanjiku” and told it means “born with rain.” Actually, I just liked the painting because I thought it was very calming, and I want to run/walk/dance/believe in the rain… and Leonid is so gifted at catching the ambiance of rain in his paintings. But, I think
in my subconscious, I was still connected to that name. You know how some of those books about the power of your subconscious mind tell you how your paintings at home describe you, and you may not always be aware of it? I felt that AFTER I hung the painting up. I was also shocked how my colleagues in Kenya got me, and I love it when I invite friends over; they see me in the design of my apartment and also feel good about hanging around here. I want to start having tea parties and cook some Czech cuisine for them in the future. The lamp is a mesh lamp to remind me of our lights at Amazon Jungle or African Safari. The faux lambskin is to remind me of grandma’s room in Czechia. When I visited her, I always found it to be like a door to the Roman Empire.

When it came to the color choice, I wanted to keep it within the 60-30-10 color rule, including my guitars, djembe, and harp, but of course, I played around a bit to add to that. I’d say 60 would be the warm tones (yellow, orange, brown), 30 would be the cool blues, and 10 would be the patterns. I slightly altered the hue of blue to teal when I started designing the bedroom. The cool tone is the primary color, adding a bit of green to resemble the nature of blending trees with the blue sky. To alter the yellow, I changed it to gold to fill in the 10%.

My music corner is a depiction of a love of improvisation. My grandfather was an improvisation jazz musician, singer, and piano player. I thought he would even be with me when I would play my piano and look at the guitar-playing lamp – reminding me to keep going with the flow, and then the lightbulb will go off. I’ll perhaps even compose something one day or just jam along as I did with the musicians in Kenya Riruta Satellite.

Looking into the details of how you design your home sets your mood and connection with yourself. I normally just throw stuff around and hardly tidy up; in childhood, I had posters of my favorite bands wherever there was space. Making this my space that I want to feel at home in and be grateful for makes me more excited to make my bed in the morning. I recommend it to anyone!! I absolutely loved the process of designing my own place. I wanted to thank all the interior and production designers for their inspiration and hard work that helped us connect with each other, most of all, my family! ❤

This place is also available on Airbnb for rent when I am traveling. The location is idyllic for those who like to keep themselves busy throughout the day and night and are interested in many cultural aspects of metropolitan cities, such as arts, music, cuisine, nature, entertainment, sports, etc. Some of the amenities in the building, as well as close by, include…

Amenities that are part of the property:

  • WiFi & Cable
  • two pools & tennis courts
  • rooftop grill area with views of the city and the lake
  • laundry
  • full kitchen with dishwasher, microwave, and electric stove
  • large flat screen TV with Prime subscription and all major news channels
  • feel free to checkout any books in the library, but return without damage
  • music corner is open for use, containing two acoustic guitars, one classical guitar, one electric guitar, piano, violin, djembe and lyre harp
  • Alexa operated lighting and sound system in bedroom/bathroom/living room
  • Alexa operated blackout blinds
  • soothing electric fireplace attached to TV stand
  • rainfall shower and hydromassage tub with Alexa in the bathroom
  • night time doorman
  • guest parking garage
  • bike room
  • package delivery up to the apartment door
  • maintenance available by appointment (or in emergency)

This one-bedroom condo with a full kitchen and three closets can be rented for $123/night or $2,300/month, all amenities included. Check out availability on Airbnb.

Close by venues and entertainment:

  • steps away from the lake and two of the main beaches in Chicago with volleyball nets and restaurants with tiky bars and live music
  • Chicago is very bike and dog friendly, with terrific trails around the lake
  • Navy Pier is a few minutes down South, you can catch fireworks each Saturday Night throughout the months of Summer
  • 1.5 miles away from sailboats and boating events/classes
  • steps away from upscale shopping & dining as well as live music & comedy entertainment such as the Second City or Porchlight Music Theatre right around the corner… Improv is something that is naturally associated to LA and NYC, but Chicago is the birthplace of Improv, well known for its comedy scene and voted as America’s funniest city year to year, being home to some of the most prominent personalities in the field, such as Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Keegan-Michael Key, Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell—to name a few, but there are also many local artists, musicians and play writers who have open exhibitions and performances throughout the year…
  • steps away from Lincoln Park, Zoo, and Botanic Garden, where you can also take outdoor yoga classes for free
  • stroll away from beautiful Old Town and other unique Chicago neighborhoods such as Logan Square, Chicago Loop, Lakeview, Wicker Park and River North… all very unique with their own crowd ranging from hip and artsy trend setters to LGBTQ communities, or families and young professionals… you can experiment with wide range of international cuisines and local as well as international breweries, local artist shows, concerts, and plays… or have a quiet dinner on one of the rooftops in the city with spectacular views of the river, modern architecture, and lake…
  • steps away from public transport
  • gym with basketball courts, classes, an indoor pool, and a spa is around the corner
  • 10-minute walk to the city center
  • within a two-mile radius, you can find Millenium and Grand Park with Buckingham Fountain, Bean and natural public lawn for a Summer picnic you can plan during the classical or jazz live music festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or join in during the Latin dance festival
  • within a two-mile radius, you can also find Field Museum, Art Institute
  • within the same two-mile radius is also THE oldest planetarium in the US, also one of the best – Adler Planetarium, and one of the largest aquariums in the world – Shedd Aquarium. I take regular walks there to say hi to the dolphins and belugas or watch the sky at the planetarium. They are right next to each other, so you can do both 🙂
  • Gold Coast is right in the middle of two major Chicago sport arenas, both within a stroll away – the Cubs in Lakeview up North, and the BlackHawks hockey as well as Chicago Bulls basketball at the United Center going South direction
  • Chicago is known for its architecture, and Gold Coast is no exception, full of its own contributions, with historic mansions that have stood the test of time, until more modern architecture done by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright was added, as well as some of the most recent tall skyscrapers such as The One Chicago East Tower… walking through the neighborhood can almost feel like walking through many different centuries in human history

About Gold Coast

Read about this lively and charming neighborhood here –

Since I got into this and spent all the money on designing my space, I am started to do interior design as a hobby, currently working as a freelance interior designer on Task Rabbit until I build a larger portfolio. I start my work by giving a questionnaire and interviewing you about your style (favorite artworks, music, designs etc.) and to get to know who you are and what you enjoy in life. It gives me a sense of how to use and design your space to match and represent YOU. Feel free to reach out if you’d like my help!


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