mabaker's Profile

Display Name: mabaker
Member Since: 5/21/07

Latest Comments...

If you look at, you can do a search for what you are looking for - residential, budget, style (I think it breaks it down to these search criterias, but not sure). The site will then give you a list of designers in Chicago that meet your requirements.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Good Questions: Looking for a Designer in Chicago...
11/7/08 04:42 AM

Chilledsoup - 4 years for furniture is a pretty short life span, especially if you are the going to be the only primary user on a day-to-day basis. So, the IKEA ones will work fine I think. However, you may check out White Elephant on Lincoln - I drove by there a couple days ago and they actually had some cool dining chairs in the windows, better than I would expect, and those may last longer since they are older and better made (I am assuming here, but you want to check yourself obviously).

Erinpearce - You can buy just the shades at Room and Board, and you may be able to do this at Crate and Barrell too. Room and Board doesn't necessarily advertise this, but you can get anything piecemeal - I think you have to do it in the store though, so if you can get to the Suburban Room and Board that is an idea.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Open Thread 120Chicago
7/23/08 07:29 AM

Although beautiful, I don't feel very inspired by this space. All it does is make me feel bad for having too much stuff. My apartment is 1/2 the size of this, and this doesn't really give me any "small space solutions"... other than get rid of everything and buy all new matching glassware to display. However, saying that - if I owned a place and could retrofit my place to create hidden everything (even outlets), then I would totally go for it!

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Small Space Solutions from a Designer's Toronto HomeMetropolitan Home
7/21/08 06:06 PM

Everything I have learned tells me that jute (and most natural rug materials) will eventually turn back to their natural color, despite taking dyes very well. They are cheap so this probably won't be a big deal by the time they start to fade, but just an fyi if you are really going for vibrant, fairly unnatural colors in a highly lit area - they probably won't stay that way for long.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Patterned Jute Rugs
7/7/08 07:29 PM

Horizon 11! My sister (roomie) just painted our living room cabinet a hot pink and birch color, and we have this great green tweed reading chair that was our great-grandfathers, and our couch is sort of a brownish color (that sounds really ugly... but its great in real life and we need a great pillow to go with everything!).

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Thursday Giveaway: Amy Butler Pillows
5/22/08 06:53 PM

I can't attest for this particular edition, but Martha Stewart usually has the sources listed in the back of the magazine for the furniture, paints, etc. they use in the magazine. I see a lot of "to the trade" items in there though, so maybe that is where this is from.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Sneak Peek: Outdoor Furniture Cleaning & CareMartha Stewart Living 06.08
5/14/08 08:31 AM

I work with a firm and we use New Metal Crafts (on Wells and shop is on Elston) for things like re-wiring, etc. I can't give you an estimate, but I know they will do a free estimate for you and then you can decide.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | CHI Good Questions: Rewiring a Chandelier?
5/7/08 07:09 AM

My sister (and roommate) has the floating shelf from west elm and it has held up pretty well, better than a couple other IKEA shelves we have, and it looks better.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | CHI Open Thread: 106
4/16/08 11:17 AM

I am currently attending Harrington College of Design in Chicago, but moved to Chicago from San Diego - so prior to enrolling I looked at schools in California, Florida, NY, GA, and Illinois. To repeat what others have said, definitely go with an accredited program, and at minimum I would go with a Bachelors or Masters program. Harrington no longer offers a certificate program, and I have never seen a (good) firm only require a certificate for education. You would be doing yourself a disservice by only going for certificate or associates. Although alot of people with bachelors degrees already (myself included) think an associates is enough (especially if planning on residential design), the market seems to be going away from that and a lot of firms require you to have a BA in ID.

I ended up deciding on Harrington because I am originally from IL and wanted to be closer to home. I decided against Parsons and other NY schools because it was so expensive, living in the city is so expensive, and with new ID grad salaries not exatly high, I just didn't want to get that much in the hole - plus, your portfolio really does speak for itself and there were lots of other good schools in other locations.
Univ. of Florida (Gainesville) was my second choice to Harrington, because they offered a masters program, one of the few I was able to find in a location that I actually wanted to live in for a few years. CIDA only accredites bachelors programs, so be aware that any masters programs won't show there... however, schools with accredited bachelors programs may have masters programs (as in UofFlorida), so if you go for Masters still go to an accredited school. Harrington is adding a Masters program - I am not sure if they are advertising for it yet, but I think it is supposed to start this fall.

I also work at a design firm, part time, while in school and one of the other designers went to the Art Institute and she said the focused mostly on commercial, and didn't even take a lot of classes I think are important to both fields (such as textiles). I think Harrington does a good job at having projects in both fields - gives you the opportunity to change your mind if something ends up becoming more interesting to you over the course of the program.

This entry is getting really long... so feel free to ask me any other specific questions if you have more. Otherwise, good luck!

Apartment Therapy Chicago | CHI Good Questions: Design School Recommendations?
4/14/08 02:05 PM

I love it. Its so spare, but better than other MTV Cribs that have huge chandeliers, 6 motorcycles in front and lots of gold. This speaks volumes about his taste, and the architecture of the space I think is very cool. Its not like anything you normally see, which in itself is a breath of fresh air. As we all know, money doesn't always buy taste, but I think this place is pretty cool. Though, I would love to see it now that is is totally done and he is living there - a little more life to it now would be nice.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Kanye West's Apartment
3/28/08 12:24 PM

Collapsible bar... genious. Great for people like me that like to entertain, but our apartment is a little too small to be in "entertainment mode" all the time.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Sydney Outdoor Bar from West Elm
3/25/08 01:28 PM

Has anyone thought of LLBean towels? They have great home products (just bought a great comforter for a great price!). I have towels from there I bought before my freshman year in college, and that was 10 years ago and I still use them and they look great... made it through 4 years of college, 3 city moves and I love them. I have always washed & dried them like normal.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Bamboo Bath Towels: Pros and Cons
1/17/08 08:12 AM

Why don't you think about propping a few smaller framed art pieces/photos on the counter? If you prop a couple of varying sizes in an interesting way, that may take up some wall space without doing anything permanent (that way if you don't like it you can go to plan B), and it would hide the plug which I think would help. You can move the frames easily when you need the plug.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Flickr Finds: Edgewater Two Flat Update
1/8/08 07:14 AM

I love this idea too, but do you have any that look a little better than the standard Holiday-Inn looking ones in the picture? Maybe it just doesn't matter what these look like, but would be nice to find something a little more interesting.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Folding Luggage Rack
12/20/07 06:49 AM

"suck" UK is right. Sorry, but this is just awful. Neon lighting in general should stay in bars and basements.

Apartment Therapy Chicago | Hot or Not? Neon Mirror
12/11/07 06:24 AM

Thanks for your comments about the black blanket! Right now I am leaning towards the Kashmere one from Bluefly (thanks MC!). Its a throw, but it seems to be the largest throw as far as dimensions (56"x83") which is better than nothing. Thanks callbob for the offer, but I need something larger than 50"x60" - a twin blanket is around 67"x90", so that is the ideal dimensions for whatever I go with. The black comforter from Target may work too, but I already have a down duvet so it may be too much fluff. But, I am definitely open to a coverlet-style/thickness rather than more of a blanket... but I couldn't find those in black either. MC - I know the Ralph Lauren one is ridiculously priced, but I can't even find that online - do you know where I can find it? If anyone else has ideas I am still open - thanks so far!

Apartment Therapy - Open Thread 83
11/7/07 08:50 AM

O.K. so I have done a million (or so it feels) searches online and can't seem to find a decent black blanket. I know a black blanket may sound crazy, but it is something I need to fold on the end of a bed to pull in a random black chair in the room (that won't be moved or re-painted). I need to have a blanket that is twin-sized, NOT a throw-size, as I want it for an additional bed blanket. I am open to a larger size and then cut it down, but not sure how easy that would be. I don't want any acrylic or polyester fabrics - either 100% cotton, wool, cashmere, or a blend of any of those would be ideal (basically something that just feels nice against the skin). My budget is decent (I think!) at $100-$300, so hopefully someone out there has an idea for where in the world to find something like this! Thanks in advance for your help. One more thing... nothing too girly if possible, this is for a guy's room.

Apartment Therapy - Open Thread 83
11/5/07 12:58 PM

I put cream velvet curtains up over my closet to help with the cold... my room is unfortunately above the not-heated stairwell so it gets incredibly cold in the winter, a lot of it coming out from my closet. My room stays warmer (although my clothes themselves are still freezing) with the heavy fabric. I don't have the $ or storage space to have seasonal drapery, so I opted for a lighter color that would still look O.K. during the summer months but keep me warm in the winter.

Apartment Therapy - Insulating Windows with Curtains
11/5/07 12:49 PM

anadequatenovel - not sure your aesthetic, but I have been really happy with Calico Corners. You can order small or large samples, and they come really quickly. They also have several suburban locations I think, which if that is convenient for would I would recommend so you can see the fabrics up close - and there are so many online it may just be faster to go to the store and look through them that way. I have also been really happy with in Atlanta. Great customer service and they give you really good sized samples (even though they are $2.50 each). Good luck!

Apartment Therapy - Open Thread 81
10/26/07 06:02 AM

For my pops, that's a great idea! He looks like such a dork (God love him!) with the passport around his neck. If it will be one other way for people to not look so touristy while still keeping their passport safe, then go for it. Otherwise, totally tacky.

Apartment Therapy - Hot or Not? Passport Travel Socks
8/23/07 08:09 AM