At Common, our approach to creating a beautiful coliving home involves more than just taking an existing apartment and adding a few extra bedrooms. While some of Common’s buildings are ground-up, many are a case of adaptive reuse with extensive remodeling. What was once a church, a hotel, or a single family home can be transformed into shared apartments at an attainable price — without losing the building’s charm.
Take for example, Common Violet. This Victorian era home was built sometime between 1888 and 1893. When we began working on the building with the owner in 2018 the home hadn’t been updated in decades, but there was still so much to love: stained glass windows, beautiful dark wood moldings, antique chandeliers, and a “stop in the middle of the sidewalk and stare”-worthy exterior.
We opened Common Violet in 2020, and we’re excited to give you an inside look at what this home looks like and offers renters in its new life.
Restored to perfection
To make Common Violet suitable for coliving, our design team had to first update the home’s most basic finishes and features. While the home’s wallpaper was probably lovely when it was first put up, it had become worn and was even peeling in some places. The home’s hardwood floors were another gem — they’re a major design score, but were run down after a century of tenants.
The larger projects were essential to the home’s function as a coliving space. Walls were torn down to create room for a community lounge, and updated kitchens large enough to accommodate multiple roommates at once and with high-end finishes were installed. Even televisions were seamlessly added over the fireplaces, building on the natural gathering places in the living room.
Of course, not everything had to go. We kept much of the home’s charm in place.
All-inclusive rent and amenities
Transforming a single-family home into a coliving home provides a neighborhood and city with more than just a pretty space — it provides comfortable, attainable housing for renters for a lower price than nearby private apartments. Residents at Common Violet enjoy the privacy of their own bedroom, the community and convenience of a fully-furnished shared suite, and the benefits of living with Common, like never having to split the bills with roommates over household essentials or utilities (they’re included!)
A vibrant neighborhood
Common Violet is located in the heart of Pilsen, a vibrant neighborhood in South-West Chicago known for its street art, Mexican heritage and cuisine, and awesome entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars. Members at Common Pilsen are surrounded by some of the neighborhood’s best local spots, including:
Common Violet is also a 3 minute walk to the Pink Line at Damen — arrive at The Loop in 20 minutes, or easily explore some of Chicago’s other popular neighborhoods.
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