Lynne McDaniel and her husband, Ty, had one requirement when they were scouting in Wicker Park for a new location for their vintage furniture shop, An Orange Moon (2418 W North Ave, 773-276-6726), and it had nothing to do with the customers’ shopping experience: They wanted a place where they could crash after their frequent parties on-and off-site. “I’m drinking, dancing, laughing,” says McDaniel, who’s known for fostering a sense of community at her many get-togethers. “I don’t want to get in the car and drive anywhere.” The raw 1,000-square-foot empty box attached to what’s now their North Avenue shop sealed the deal.
Despite the nice shell, replete with 16-foot-high tin ceilings, it took more than a little tweaking to transform the space into comfortable living quarters. Formerly home to West Town Bikes, the place was “greasy, oily and drippy,” McDaniel says. Marching band Mucca Pazza occupied the front space, now the shop, with a recording studio, and a makeshift divider barely separated the two areas. McDaniel explained her vision to the landlord: fairly major changes such as adding windows to the back wall, expanding the bathroom, adding a kitchen, a wall to divide the apartment from the shop, his and hers closets, and a heating and air conditioning system. After some negotiation, he agreed to the apartment makeover.
As the owner of a furniture shop since 2009 and having grown up in a family that went hunting at Maxwell Street Market every weekend, McDaniel has a strong aesthetic vision. “I wanted to throw together any kind of color,” she says. “I wanted it to be adult, midcentury-modern meets glam meets good design.” Referencing Elle Decor as her model, she explains that “it doesn’t matter if it’s a midcentury-modern sofa, turn-of-the century stained glass or ’20s Art Deco chevron,” pointing to the Tiffany blue sofa in the back, the stained glass panel on the windowsill and the dramatic chevron curtains covering the glass windows. “This stuff all blends together and works so well.”
Remarkably, it does all blend together. Not to mention every piece in the apartment is vintage (except the kitchen appliances, mattress and huge flatscreen). It’s also all on rotation, with McDaniel swapping in new pieces as she and Ty see fit.
Now, a little more than a year after opening the North Avenue storefront, the couple find themselves spending half their week at their “crash pad,” despite the fact that they also own a home on the South Side around the corner from the original An Orange Moon. But who can blame them?
-Photo: Erica Gannett