Having established a reputation for boutique accommodation with a remarkable devotion to site-specific detail, the Sydell Group – whose properties include New York’s NoMad hotel – have now turned their attention to the Windy City. Working with long-time collaborators, design firm Roman and Williams, the newly opened Freehand Chicago – the second in the company’s hip hostel series after Miami – celebrates the city’s Midwestern heritage with a string of evocative communal spaces and rooms located in a restored 1920s Art Deco building, set among the high-rises of the downtown River North neighbourhood. The designers imbued the interior with a layered feel, using a combination of textiles, leather and wood to create a cosy, lived-in atmosphere, as well as using a mixture of vintage and custom-designed pieces inspired by regional craftwork traditions. In addition to the inviting private and shared rooms, the property plays host to a second location of acclaimed craft cocktail bar Broken Shaker, as well as an outpost of artisanal coffee purveyors Café Integral.