House call: Boho on a budget
A Logan Square home marries thrift-store treasures and alley finds with art and artifacts from abroad.
The 8-foot table pushed up against the east wall of Teresa Bekker and Adam Grzegorczyk’s Logan Square home reflects the couple’s salvage-everything approach to decorating. Unable to find a credenza that suited their budget, Grzegorczyk cobbled together pieces they already owned—a concrete slab for the tabletop, broken chair spindles and legs adjoining random storage compartments like sewing-machine drawers.
Since purchasing the two-and-a-half-story wooden-frame home 11 years ago, the couple turned their space into what looks like the epicenter of a world market. From crystal chandeliers to an antique wash basin used for storing bottles to a wall display of retablos—painted tin plates from Mexico (“Frida Kahlo had a lot of these in her home,” Bekker says)—the place is neatly cluttered with a barrage of local thrift-store finds and trinkets from international travels.
Seemingly disparate colors and styles surprisingly complement one another in the house: Murky green walls meet a metallic silver door in the bathroom. Purple Christmas ornaments and an old-timey tin Squirt ad flank the kitchen. “I wanted the kitchen to look really old-fashioned, like a general store, so the bottom [cabinets] are just the cheap Home Depot ones, which a friend painted [with whitewash and a simple floral pattern]. She wanted it to have that antique Swedish look,” Bekker says. Even the overgrown garden reveals a treasure trove of odds and ends: Blown-glass baubles sprout from the soil and a rusting bed frame divides masses of unwieldy plants.
The one motif—if you could call it that—tying the place together is the use of homemade mosaics. Broken shards of graphic homemade tiles from garage sales, glass marbles and solid-colored ceramics from the Tile Outlet inch their way up the chimney, across the dining table, the kitchen backsplash and Bekker’s self-proclaimed greatest achievement, the entire front of the house.
1 The couple found these kitchen artifacts—from cheese graters to vegetable peelers to a washboard—in the basement and at local thrift stores. Bekker uses some of the pieces in everyday cooking, too.
2 Finding a few religious icons left in their home from the previous tenant, the couple decided to start a collection; the now-packed wall features finds from their (and their friends’) travels around the world.
3 “Adam’s mom made these stained-glass windows. That’s her new hobby,” Bekker says. The colors and geometric shapes break up the dark-paletted wall of religious prints and crucifixes.
4 “This [tile mural] is from Portugal when we were traveling there six years ago. They sell them on the side of the road.”
5 “There were gaping holes [in the chimney] and pigeons were coming in. We didnt want to rebrick it, we decided to mosaic it,” Bekker says.
6 For fun, Bekker’s 11-year-old daughter, Tess, added an antique glass bottle to the front-of-the-house mosaic wall, which she fills with feathers.