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Inside the Reno'd 'Vintage' Home of a Nate Berkus Protégé

The March issue of Elle offers a cute feature on the four-bedroom Chicago apartment belonging to Sasha Adler, co-design director at Nate Berkus' eponymous firm. Adler and her partner-in-crime, Lauren Gold, have been making a name for themselves for a while now, earning a spot on Trad Home's inaugural list of emergent designers to watch, in early 2011, and cutting their teeth on high-profile projects such as their boss' Chicago condo (which sold not long ago).

Anyway, described in Elle as one of "Chicago's authorities on fashion and design—flitting between chic store openings and fashion fetes," Adler bought the unit three years ago, lured by its century-old bones. Despite her being "totally inflexible about wanting a vintage apartment," as she says, the duo completely gutted the space, adding walls and bookshelves but retaining the original moldings. "I want it to look old," she explains. "I like to see the brushstrokes in the paint. I always want it to look hand done." It's easy to trace the origins of this particular aesthetic: Berkus, too, talks about loving "things that look like they have a story to tell" in the Nov. 2012 issue of Architectural Digest, which published his Manhattan duplex.

Standout features of Adler's eclectically decorated Lake Shore Drive home: those new wall-to-wall bookshelves (which are ever so coolly lacquered black), an Edward Wormley sofa (which was ever so coolly found on eBay), and artwork by Richard Serra and Massimo Vitali. And an antique Indian cabinet—either "an ancient Moroccan vessel where princesses once stored spices" or "a medieval dollhouse," as Elle's Julie Vadnal postulates—given to her by Berkus as a housewarming gift is "the most polarizing piece of furniture I own—people either love it or hate it," Adler says.

· Sweet Home Chicago [Elle]
· Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold on Boss Nate Berkus' Library [Curbed National]