A bathroom with a glass wall, handgun art, and more surprises from boutique rental company Bangtel | Space | Chicago Reader

A bathroom with a glass wall, handgun art, and more surprises from boutique rental company Bangtel 

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While visiting France a few years ago, a friend and I checked into a posh hotel. The concierge showed us to our room, which was fabulous save one quirk—the bathroom was in a clear glass cube in the center of the room. My travel buddy and I weren’t even on pee-with-the-door-open terms, so a glass-box shower show was out of the question. With an exasperated eye roll reserved for prudish Americans, the concierge escorted us to another room. This bathroom still had glass walls, but at least they were frosted. I began to think the see-through bathroom was a forward-thinking design element distinct to French libertines, so I was surprised to see this concept again on a recent visit to a Humboldt Park town house designed by Chicago native Liz Klafeta. One wall in her second-level bathroom is transparent floor-to-ceiling glass. It's subtle in comparison to the French version, so it wasn't until after flushing that I realized I had a clear view of people milling about below. Frantically, I replayed the bathroom visit in my mind, hoping I hadn’t done anything embarrassing.

"I want people to walk in and be like, 'What the heck?!'" says Klafeta, 32, the founder of the boutique apartment rental company Bangtel. With the two-year-old startup the designer applies her over-the-top style to furnished rental properties currently available in Chicago and New York. The business began with the first house Klafeta ever designed—her own.

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