Minimalism and Creating a Cozy Family Home: Amanda Jane Jones Reveals Her New Chicago Apartment

Abigail Sawyer | 19 Oct 2017 | Cellular Shades

If you follow Amanda Jane Jones, you know that she’s a huge driving force behind the minimalism movement that’s sweeping the design world. As a co-founder of Kinfolk Magazine and now a sought-after graphic and product designer for top brands, her work is instantly recognizable for it’s clean, refined aesthetic.

It’s no surprise that Amanda’s home is just as lovely and thoughtfully designed. She and her husband recently had the opportunity to renovate the apartment next door and create more space for their growing family. We’re excited to share the full reveal with you here and learn more about why cellular shades are Amanda’s window covering of choice for a minimalist space.

Take a Full Tour of Amanda Jane’s Apartment on Instagram

Want to get an exclusive first peek into the Jones Family’s lovely new apartment? Amanda Jane will be taking over the @blindsdotcom Instagtam Stories on Saturday 10/21 to give followers a full tour.

When we did our last interview with you in June 2015, Jane was a toddler and Miles wasn’t even born yet! How is life at home these days?

Much messier and way louder, but also so SO so much more fun. Those two are just starting to really enjoy playing with each other for the most part and Cree and I are constantly laughing. Even when they are grumpy, it’s funny. They just have the best little personalities and we feel so lucky to be their parents.

Our new place now has a bedroom for Miles which has made all the difference — poor guy first slept in our room, then the living room, then the kitchen in Switzerland and then the dining room — so I think he is just as tickled as we are that he as a little space to call his own. He always yells “my woom!” so I guess that’s his stamp of approval.

How did the opportunity to move into this new apartment come about and what do you like most about your new place?

The apartment next to ours has been vacant ever since we bought in 2013. It was always this kind of creepy dark apartment that occasionally leaked into the basement. Gross right? Our upstairs neighbors met the owner and decided to buy it and renovate it. It was really, really gross. There was so much water damage the walls looked like rotten cottage cheese.

By springtime, they’d fixed all the walls and designed the bathrooms and we expressed interest in buying it from them. They agreed and allowed us to team up for the last bit of renovations. I still can’t believe they said yes – They’d never admit it, but I’m sure it was super annoying having us art direct the rest of the work! We totally lucked out that they were so kind throughout the whole process. We took over the kitchen and were also able to pick out the wall/trim color, floor stains and furnishings. For us it was a win-win! We were able to buy an apartment that looked just like we wanted it to. My brother now rents our old apartment, so we feel pretty lucky how it all turned out!

What did you do differently in decorating this apartment vs. your last?

Cree built amazing custom shelves for each of the closets. The more kids we have the more I realize organization is key. Our closets are much more organized which can keep the rest of the house pretty tidy and free of clutter which is important to me, especially because I work from home. I need my work environment to be relatively clean and tidy — it helps me concentrate better.

How did you decide on window coverings for your new place?

We LOVE our windows and all the natural light they provide, but we also love our privacy. We were on the lookout for something that filtered light to keep our rooms feeling light and airy but also blocked the outside from seeing in. We ended up going with Light Filtering Celluar Shades in Glacier.

I also love love love the minimal – no window treatment look and these are perfect. When they are collapsed, you can barely even see them —they almost disappear. When they are extended, they still fit in with our simple/minimal aesthetic and also look beautiful on the windows. We adore them. We actually used them in our last apartment too, so I anticipate we’ll just keep using them in each home we move to!

Amanda opted for the Clear Fit top-down/bottom-up lift. It allows her to let in natural light from the top while keeping most of the window covered for privacy. The cords that hold the shades up are tight to the sides of the window, so they virtually disappear.

closeup of window with white top down cell shades

When shopping for your home, do you find yourself gravitating more towards new pieces or antiques?

Both! We love thrifting as well as shopping new. Each room has at least 3 or 4 craigslist/antique market finds. Jane’s room is almost entirely vintage which is really fun! It gives it a quirky classic feel. My mom hit the jackpot and found both her desk and her bed at a garage sale for under $100. Jackpot! (Thanks mom!)

corner of living room with scandinavian inspired furniture and white cellular shade covering bottom half of windows

What’s your philosophy in capturing and documenting family moments? How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?

I take way too many photos. I’m a photo hoarder, but I’m not ashamed to admit it. I can’t delete photos! I have over 30,000 on my phone right now. Whoops! 😉

It’s funny you should ask how we decide what to post and what to keep private. I’ve been thinking about this a lot! Really, Instagram only shows just a couple minutes of each day, so it’s only a glimpse into our lives. There is so much we don’t share, even though it seems like we share a lot. I guess I don’t have a direct answer, except to say, social media is fun, but it’s not what matters most. Being with our family, and working hard and serving those around us and in our communities is. I’ve been wondering lately if I need to share more of that part of our lives because right now, all it looks like is trips to the beach and ice cream cones!

Sitting room with mid-century furniture and toddler boy standing in front of window with white top down bottom up cellular shades

Your family spent summer 2016 living abroad. What were some of your favorite moments from that time? Now that you’re back, how has that experience influenced your home and style?

It was so much fun. We learned to live in close quarters and it made us appreciate the space we have here in Chicago. Adventuring with the kids was our favorite. We hiked all over the alps. Being on top of the mountains with our babes sleeping on our backs is one of the sweetest memories I have as a family. They are good little travelers and enjoyed all the different cultures and experiences for the most part.

Every time we travel we try to find unique pieces for our home – generally a wooden toy or a beautiful book. Most everything in our home as a story or was from somewhere we’ve been. So if you ever visit, feel free to ask about them!

What is your wish for how your children will describe life in your home when they’re adults?

I hope it will always be a safe haven for them. I hope they remember it was somewhere they felt happy and safe and peaceful and cozy. We’re big on feeling cozy in at our house. Jane’s favorite thing – self proclaimed – is to “get cozy.”

You’ve been a part of some exciting collaborations lately with companies like Gathre, Wren and James, and Solly. What led you to branch out from graphic design into product design?

Yes! I’m loving it. It was by invitation from other companies and I’m so glad they took a risk on a graphic designer! It’s fun to see how my design training comes into effect when designing products. It feels very similar in a lot of ways, which was surprising for me — the worlds are very intertwined.

What’s next for you and your family? Any upcoming projects we should be keeping an eye out for?

Jane started preschool, Miles is getting his two year old molars. Cree passed his dissertation proposal and I’m just doing the same old! It’s great! The move was a huge adventure this summer, and now that we’re all settled, we’re just really excited to be here, which each other in our new home.

Take a Full Tour of Amanda Jane’s Apartment on Instagram

Don’t forget to watch Amanda Jane’s full apartment tour when she takes over the @blindsdotcom Instagram Stories on Saturday 10/21 .

Get the Look!

Amanda got her minimalist window look with Light Filtering Celluar Shades in Glacier with a Clear Fit Top-Down/Bottom-Up Lift.

Our Chat with Kinfolk Magazine Co-Founder Amanda Jane Jones

Custom Painted Blinds Become a Work of Art – x Define Magazine

  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw