For chef Lisa Santos and her husband, Joel, converting a 100-year-old switching station in Chicago to their home was made easier with the help of a team from local firm Beaux Bo Properties, who had already divided the building into condominiums.
The open two-story space was still very much a tabula rasa, and appeared larger than its 2,400 square feet.
Upstairs, what Santos calls a “very, very raw” screen porch stood off the master bedroom; the couple enclosed it to accommodate a seating area overlooking an interior courtyard.
Downstairs, century-old subway tile and copper windows keep the new kitchen gritty; it gained a stainless-steel island, new appliances, and a wall of IKEA storage.
“The tile, with its sporadic bolts and nails, doesn’t need a lot of art, as it is art too,” Lisa says. “The copper windows... Well, you just can’t find those anymore.”
The couple supplemented the rawness of the open living area with funky secondhand finds from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
Like the communal spaces, the bedroom features a shining subway tile wall.