A Design to Compete with the Chicago Skyline

After the loss of his wife, my client knew he needed to begin again, but where? With three of his adult children living in Chicago, and another child and his own mother close by, the choice seemed clear: it was time to move to the city where he grew up.

So he returned to Chicago, and found a home in the Lake Point Towers, which was close to all the activities he loves to do: explore, run, see his favorite teams play, and of course to spend time with his family.

Now, it is possible to find a space that meets all of your design wants and needs, so in this case, your efforts are going to be in the details and decorations, just like in this project. This design’s driving force revolved around bringing warmth and beauty into the space so the inside would match the gorgeous view outside: the Chicago skyline.

With a client who was willing to trust in the process and have fun with it along the way, these finishing touches may very well be one of my favorite projects for a while.

Starting over can be hard. Have faith in the process and put your trust into the new transition. Allow it to be transformational.

Clean East-Coast Inspired Home For A Young Family

Imagine waking up to the waves crashing against the shore and a gentle ocean breeze wafting through the windows. If you’re not lucky enough to live on the ocean, there’s still a way to replicate a nautical vibe in your design elements.

This young family wanted a home with clean lines and cool colors — something that would remind them of the shoreline of the east coast. To accomplish this, blues served as a reminder of the sea and sky, while greys and whites accentuated many elements. By adding texture and pattern, we achieved a balance of sophistication and comfort that is truly timeless.

The best part? The clean lines create an easy, comforting feel that will help this young family keep the transitional style fresh for many years to come.

Capturing the Story of Their Lives

You might think a home in a solid gray tone would be characterless, but sometimes the calmest of neutrals acts as the best canvas for showcasing personality and color in a home. 

After moving a few times, this family wanted their home to reflect their love of travel and the colors of the world. They started with a nice collection of furnishings, but wanted to find a way to make the space feel cohesive and complete.

To accomplish this, we began by painting the main area in a grey tone and updating the furniture in the family room. Then, we used blue as the one thread to run just slightly through each room, weaving together a color story that says “come in a sit for a while”. Their collection of decorations added the finishing touches to tell the story of their travels and time in different spaces.

The Perfect Home for Entertaining and Recharging

For a family who loves entertaining, one idea may develop into something much bigger, which is exactly what happened in the case of this family who decided to update a great portion of their home to create more spaces for get-together.

We began by taking off the deck and creating a porch by adding a roof for an outdoor living space meant to bring everyone together. Now, you might find someone reading under the porch off the kitchen or gathering by the firepit in the evenings. Better yet, there’s space for  enjoying a late-night dip in the hot tub to relax and stargaze. 

We then moved inside and  updated the family room so it created more space for comfort and togetherness. Next, we maximized the use of one room to create a lady’s office retreat that is both super organized and fun to be in. This space also doubles as a guest room when their company decides to stay over, and because there is a full bath just across the hall, their guests can relax in privacy, as well.

Finally, the master suite was updated to feel fresh, warm, and cozy, giving the owners space to read by the window or simply catch up on sleep after a busy weekend of welcoming guests.

An Empty Nest Refresh

Homeowner often learn how to live in their home, instead of making their home support their lives, which is especially the case during the busy child-rearing years of life. However, kids grow up, adults begin to entertain more often for friends, and an opportunity arises to transform a home to function better, which is exactly what happened in this empty nest refresh.

We started in the kitchen, reconfiguring the floor plan for flow and function. Can you imagine that when this home was built, you actually needed to walk through a tiny opening to get from one side of the kitchen to the breakfast room? Our solution: move all of the cabinetry and reposition the sink to form a walkway that would open up the entire space. 

Though, that’s not the only area which needed updating. Because these homeowners never used the dining room as a dining room we redesigned the space into a sitting room for the homeowners to read and enjoy the beautiful view outside the front window. Here, trim was added to open up the fireplace mantel and lighting fixtures were dropped to tie everything together and anchor the room. 

In the refreshed powder room, we worked with a craftsman to designed a custom vanity that looks like a piece of furniture, and paired it with a fun wallpaper.

Finally, all new, neutral-colored, dog-proof flooring was laid throughout the whole house for a cohesive and updated look.

The Queen Anne Victorian Rebuild

Old homes have so much character; yet, if the space needs to be gutted, it’s important to bring as much of that character back into the home in the redesign.

This project is still underway, and it’s taking an entire team to turn the vision into a reality. In this 1867 historical Victorian home I’m working with the homeowner, an architect, and a contractor, in a gut-and-rebuild project that will bring this beauty back to life. 

Stay tuned for updated photos and a behind-the-scenes peek as this home gets restored one room at a time.

It’s Time for a Remodel

When this family first moved into their home, one of the younger children told their mother to “get in her spot.” Wondering what spot that was? In front of the stove! For 13 years this mom cooked grilled cheese after grilled cheese (and many other meals) for her four children — and their friends and extended family. While she loves to cook and spend time in her kitchen, her children were getting older, and she knew it was time to update one of the most used rooms in the house.

We worked together to reconfigure the layout of her kitchen. The original island, where the family ate many meals, was half the size it is today. By replacing the cabinets in the kitchen we were able to open up the walkways and create a larger island where the family can gather and enjoy a meal and time together.

When working on big projects, like reshaping a room design, remember that the “little” details can also make quite a statement. One of my favorite parts of the design is in the lighting we choose for the space. Another design element that packs a punch of personality is the tile in the backsplash. It is an investment that will bring joy everyday. 

The blue color scheme was continued into the dining room and throughout the entire first floor, creating a flow and continuity between the rooms.

New Build Closer to Family

Don’t wait to call an interior designer after your new build is finished. Working with me from the earliest phrase throughout the entire project gives you peace in knowing that your home will support your lifestyle and be the perfect fit — as all new builds should be! 

For this project, I worked with empty nesters who decided to move to Ohio to be near their children and grandkids from Indiana. They wanted a home that was built for grown-ups, but could transform into a family space to host large Sunday dinners and host relatives during the holidays.

The design centers on clean lines and a modern feel with touches of blue on a neutral background. Then, design elements allow for pops of color in this open floor plan home. While the first floor boasts space for the grandkids to run and play, creating a true rec room in the basement to watch movies, put together puzzles, and house toys was another priority in this project.

The Heart of the Home

It’s said that a kitchen is the heart of the home, and for this project, that’s absolutely true. 

The main design concept involved removing a wall to open up the dining room to the kitchen. We family wanted to create one large space for cooking and entertaining all at the same time. 

And, what’s better than a white, light, and bright kitchen to freshen up an older home? In this space, the side dry bar stores the wine and drinks for guests. On the opposite end, near the back door, we created a drop zone for the family. Being organized when exiting and entering a home is a must and a drop zone is a great way to help you accomplish this, especially in a small area.

To complete the space, we recovered the chairs and brought in a new table to host family and friends. This kitchen-dining space is now the true heart of this lovely old home.

A Space for Everyone

My clients for this project are an active family who loves to travel and attend their kids sporting events, so it was important to design a home that can handle a busy family — and all the friends and family who drop in to visit! 

We started in the basement rec room where their son often hosts his friends for floor hockey tournaments and video games. We also carved out a space here for a true workout room that father where father and son can enjoy some healthy time together. 

The basement isn’t just a boy’s cave! The daughter uses it for dance parties. This space also needed space to accommodate her love of movies and reading. This finished area was designed to handle a large crowd and keep them happy, regardless of what they’re doing.

Moving upstairs, the next room was designed with the mom and dad in mind — the master suite. With very active kids in the home, these parents needed a spot to recharge. The master suite was completely redesigned and opened up to include a glamorous bath with heated flooring in a great herringbone pattern and a shower with two sides of glass. 

The master bedroom was inspired by a piece of fabric that we pulled colors out of to bring the room to life — warm colors reflective of a sunset on the water. The wallpaper behind the bed has a gentle sparkle that is so beautiful in the evening light. 

The kitchen was also redesigned to open up the island where guests can sit and enjoy each other’s company. The homeowner wanted a green kitchen to mirror the woods outside and the warm tones in the rest of this lovely home. Because they love color and already have a ton of color in their home, it made sense to embrace the bold choice of green here

Another special detail is the wallpaper in the powder room. We added custom trim to break up the wall paper so it doesn’t overtake the space but adds so much detail and color.

This project is truly one of my favorites. By embracing color and design details that bring so much to a home, we created a colorful home that will be lived in and enjoyed for many years.

Designers Designing

The Family Room

One of the very first questions I hear from my clients is: How do I get started? Or Where do I start? When it came time to update my own home, I knew that I’d use art as an inspiration for the overall design. So I worked with an artist to incorporate colors we love as a family on a gallery wall to display in the family room of our home. 

Being the place where we gather to spend time together, and having a large family, means there was a need for a lot of seating and a big TV. And this spacious seating area is helpful when family joins us for fun or for holiday celebrations.

The artist wasn’t the only craftsman I worked with to create custom pieces for our home. For the bar area, I drove out to Amish country and hand-selected the bar top. A cabinet maker helped create the live edge slab of maple wood that would match the custom color on the mantel.

The Hearth Room

The kitchen may be the heart of a home, but our large family couldn’t fit comfortably for meals in the eat-in kitchen area. So we transformed the space into a hearth room; bringing in artwork, comfortable chairs and a small marble-topped table that made the space perfect for eating apps, sharing a beer, and listening to our favorite music. No matter what room you’re working on, artwork, collectables, and trinkets from important parts of your life, such as travels, competitions, or heirlooms, can help to tell a story while bringing life into the space.

(Plus — unlike many other families, our dining room now gets used for every single meal!)

A Home Office

Work is a pleasure for me, so when it came time to design my own home office, I wanted it to be a place I felt drawn to. One that inspired both creativity and productivity. To achieve this, I balanced white with pops of color to create a special place that allowed me to concentrate, get work done, and also be able to relax, read, and journal. My office is both functional and a necessary retreat.