A pair of artists are selling a Rogers Park condo they rehabbed into a vibrantly colorful, inventive space.  James Conley and Kurt Heinrich are asking $399,000 for the three-bedroom condominium on Morse Avenue on the western edge of Rogers Park. It was listed yesterday, represented by Lisa Blume of Keller Williams One Chicago.

Since buying the condo for $282,000 in July 2016, the couple has rehabbed the entire interior, including updating the bathrooms and kitchen.  When they bought the 2,000-square-foot unit, which is in a vintage 1930s building, it was in need of updating, both men said, and as visual artists, “we were excited to put our stamp on it,” Conley said.

Their stamp includes lemon yellow paint on all the arched doorways running down the hallway, panels of magenta on the replacements and mantels, and vivid shades of blue and green in the dining room and bedrooms. It’s all complemented with their stylish collections of furniture and art for a look that the blog Apartment Therapy in 2019 dubbed “colorful modern nerd chic.” Although the kitchen tile is a bright shade of green in the kitchen, the couple’s design in that room was about problem-solving more than color.

They wanted to move a wall to open the small kitchen into an adjacent space but learned that the wall contained the utility lines for kitchens in condos above and below them.  “We made it into an art piece that shows the history of the building,” Heinrich said. They opened up the wall with a pair of window-sized openings, in one of which the working plumbing lines are on display, painted silver.  The resulting kitchen layout got them more space, including room for a built-in breakfast bar, and never fails to elicit comments from visitors, they said.

Blume, the listing agent, said the condo’s bold style gives it something of an advantage in online listings, which are often filled with homes done in look-alike neutral tones.  “If people like color, they’ll notice this,” Blume said.  At the same time, the home isn’t an overwhelming riot of color. There are neutral walls and tones in the design, with what Conley called “hero colors” chosen to give the rooms some pop. It was all painted professionally.

Heinrich and Conley are selling to move down the block to a bungalow, which Conley said is another “blank canvas for us.” Conley works as a librarian, and Heinrich as a writer. They are both also visual artists.  Three-bedroom condos of about this one’s size in Rogers Park have sold for an average of $163 a square foot, according to Midwest Real Estate Data. These sellers are asking $200 a foot for a condo where the kitchen and baths have recently been renovated.

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