The Nest Issue | Feature | Chicago Reader

The Nest Issue 

Stuff, and how to have it: inside the homes of Chicagoans with a decidedly maximalist aesthetic

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From the home of Sandra Soss

From the home of Sandra Soss

Leslie Schwartz

Mark and Jeri Webb own enough wooden shoes to hang a ring of them around their kitchen. Sandra Soss's heaps of small dolls make her shelves look like Woodstock in Lilliput. Neil G. says the desire to acquire sleek Italian lamps and mementos of trips he didn't take is in his DNA. Eva Niewiadomski surrounds herself with brightly colored textiles and baubles in which she feels the artists' presence. And Amy Meadows has so many collections she has to rotate them in and out of basement storage. These people acquire at a rate and with a single-mindedness that puts normal American consumerism to shame. But they're not normal American consumerists, piling up new clothes or the latest electronic ephemera. Neither are they hoarders, getting slowly displaced by old newspapers and rubber-band balls. Their triumph is that they've found ways to live gracefully, enjoyably, beautifully—and, some of them, profitably—with their antique crucifixes and American art pottery and vintage candy boxes. They know how to have stuff. —Tony Adler

Photography by Leslie Schwartz

Mark and Jeri Webb
By Tate Gunnerson


Neil G.
By Katherine Raz


Eva Niewiadomski
By Katherine Raz


Amy Meadows
By Tate Gunnerson


Sandra Soss
By Katherine Raz

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