In case you haven’t heard: small-space urban living is having a bit of a moment. With more and more apartment buildings cropping up in densely populated cities like Chicago, new developments are looking for a way to set themselves apart as the place to live. One such residence, MiCA in downtown Chicago, describes itself as a contemporary dwelling with thoughtful and creative floor plans. MiCA recently enlisted west elm home stylist and model unit specialist, Candace Cannon, to work her magic on one of their model units to inspire visitors to not only become long-term tenants, but also to reimagine their own personal style as it fits in the space.

Candace styled a total of 3 units in the same building, and was challenged with making each one feel unique. The other two, as she describes, were more gender-neutral with one leaning more masculine. For this unit, she wanted to experiment with a more feminine vibe without going too literal. “My favorite thing to do is add something a little bit out of the ordinary, like the very rustic dining table with the more dainty sofa. I love spending time in light and airy, very girly spaces and I wanted this project to have that little piece of me.” Check out the completed space below!

Photography by Belen Aquino.




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Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

When asked what her overall goals were for this space, Candace breaks it down into three parts: staying within the budget, bring in a long-lasting tenant for MiCA and instant west elm customer, and lastly, make the space one that she herself would be down to live in.

“The challenge with a model unit is always to style it so that it shows well but doesn’t take away from the architecture and features of the apartment. A potential tenant needs to notice beautiful concrete ceilings and amazing views and the fact that it has in-unit laundry and not get distracted by the amazing sofa. At the same time, they need to be attracted enough to the furniture or accessories that it brings them into the store.”

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

Chicago Design Crew — MiCa

Candace’s favorite aspect of this space is the fun and playful color palette. “I love the combination of soft pinks and small amounts saturated teal. No matter what project I’m doing I always start with a color palette. Everything else sort of falls into place.”

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

MiCA — Chicago Design Crew

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