Author Archives: Norma
A House Becomes a Home
A Lincoln Park Duplex is home to a family with 3 young girls. When they first moved about 5 years ago, the goal was to slowly renovate the house into a home that reflects their lifestyle and taste. They wanted to be able to comfortably live there for many years to come. The challenge was to transform this relatively small space into a functional, comfortable and modern home. This past year the renovation plan was finally completed with a redesigned powder room, girls’ bedroom and bathroom.
The powder room gets a lot of use by the family as well as guests, so the design had to be practical and functional. A gray vanity with metal accents creates an elegant look while providing 2 large drawers. A beautiful focal point was created with leaf shaped glass tile covering the entire back wall. An oversized pendant light fixture adds just the right amount of drama.
With 3 girls sharing a bathroom, adding a second sink was a must. Despite having only 53″, we were able to accomplish this with Kohlers Verticyl small round sinks. Storage was located everywhere possible–in the vanity, upper cabinets and recessed wall cabinets. The shower features space saving sliding glass doors, a storage niche and a hand held shower. The frameless shower door and the white wall tile keeps the space feeling open and bright.
The Girls’ Bedroom
The 2 younger girls share a small bedroom. The most efficient way to utilize every bit of space is with custom built-ins. The high ceiling allowed room for bunk beds, designed to be a private “little room” within the bedroom. Each girl has her own space complete with curtains, lighting, an upholstered headboard that lifts up to reveal a storage cubby, shelving and charging station. The shared space includes a bookcase, a fold down desk, storage drawers in the stairs and a tall dresser. The white furniture and gray carpet are set off by blue violet and plum accents.The fabrics are from Cest La Viv and the custom built-ins were fabricated by Karp Designs.
Photography by Kip Wilkinson
The rest of this Lincoln Park Duplex can be viewed on our portfolio.
The View from a Mies Apartment on Lake Shore Drive
From closed-in and outdated to modern and open, this renovated kitchen is exactly what the homeowners requested. Top requirements were to create a space in-line with the Mies architecture of the building and to open up the kitchen to the dining room and living room.
While the kitchen is set off by the dropped ceiling above and the tile below, it feels like a seamless part of the entire apartment The cook can now enjoy the views and talk to guests sitting at the large counter or dining room table. See the before photos below.
Photography of the Mies Kitchen by Kip Wilkinson
Before: view of the kitchen from living room Before: view from dining room
Industrial Chic in the West Loop
We are excited to take on a commercial project for a food consulting company who helps its clients design, produce and launch new consumer products. Having outgrown its office in the West Loop, a move a few miles away to a first floor, light filled, 3,000 sq. ft. space is in the works.
The current space, shown above, includes a kitchen, meeting rooms, offices, storage and prep area in a rustic industrial style.
The new location has a much different feel with large windows and a concrete floor. The style will remain industrial but more chic with metallic and gray finishes. To achieve this look, we selected dark gray epoxy to cover the concrete floor and a metallic woven material for the window shades. A decorative resin panel embedded with a metal sheet will be used for accents throughout the space. White glass tile will cover the backsplash in the kitchen. Large barn doors will be custom made in steel and glass to divide the space.
Now that the framing, electrical and plumbing work is complete, drywall and flooring is next. It will then start to look like an office–hopefully in time for move in day in December!
Downtown Kitchen is Complete!
After months of work, the apartment has been transformed. In addition to the renovated kitchen, the entire place was painted, lighting was updated, and the carpet and floor tile was replaced. In the kitchen, storage was increased with deep drawers, roll-out shelves, a trash pull-out, and silverware and spice inserts. Even a wine rack was included under a seating area at one end. Now the kitchen is beautifully updated and very functional!
A lot can change in a few weeks! The before photo above shows the dramatic transformation to the kitchen photo below. While still in the middle of construction, the final results are becoming clear. When it came time to select the paint colors, we looked for inspiration from the homeowner’s art collection. Her numerous and colorful pieces would really pop on a white canvas and provide direction for accents.
Two work areas make this small office functional
A floor to ceiling bookcase provides room for books, storage and display
A large closet is concealed with bronze sliding glass doors
Glossy taupe is mixed with gray-brown wood
Woven carpet in gray and cream tones
The office before was dark and outdated
The homeowners had made due with a dark, cluttered, outdated office for long enough, when they decided it was time to update and make the space functional for both of them. At only 140 sq. ft, with one window, and an 8′ ceiling, every inch needed to be utilized while keeping it open and airy.
Utilizing modular Italian furniture, a custom layout was designed to suit their exact needs. Each have a separate work area with their own file drawers and storage. A floor to ceiling bookcase provides plenty of room for books. The glossy taupe with brown-gray wood tones keep it modern, yet warm and inviting. Woven carpet in shades of gray and cream make the office homey and comfortable. A beautiful shade of purple-gray, found in the carpet, covers the walls–it is a perfect, subtle accent color.
A recessed lighting system was selected to keep the room from feeling closed in. This LED system creates a clean line of glare-free general illumination within the ceiling drywall and can be formed into endless configurations, giving ample opportunity for customization. We designed a simple rectangle to direct light exactly where it is needed, over the work areas. It is punctuated by 3 square recessed lights to brighten up the center of the room. This combination creates a striking design on the ceiling.
To make the most of the existing closet, it was expanded to the ceiling, and filled with shelving and drawers. Matte finish bronze sliding glass doors allow light to pass through while hiding the closet contents beautifully.
This office is now a light filled, updated and functional office for two to share and enjoy.
White cabinetry is accented with a blue-gray island
A relaxing spot at the island
A natural Capiz Shell pendant light
Kohler faucet and Blanco sink
Lunada Bay glass tile in muted shades of green and blue
The kitchen is open to the dining room
Gray cabinetry provides plenty of storage
Hansgrohe plumbing fixtures
Kohler medicine cabinet with integrated lighting
Duravit dual flush toilet
Built in storage niche
Shower shield from Fluerco
The kitchen before
The Master Bathroom before
After living in her townhouse for several years, the time felt right to finally make “her home her own.” This four level, three bedroom townhouse had plenty of potential with its light filled, spacious interior. The renovation list included a new kitchen and master bathroom, wood floor refinishing, updated lighting and painting throughout.
Removing the wall between the dining room/living room and kitchen was most impactful. In its place is a wide bar counter, seating up to four people. Now the entire main floor is open and bright–perfect for entertaining. The kitchen is a pleasure to inhabit while cooking or reading. The glass backsplash tile is a muted mix of blues, greens and earth tones which brings together the color scheme.
The island is a focal point with its blue-gray cabinetry which provides additional storage and houses a microwave. On top is a quartz countertop where two can sit by the window. A large Capiz shell light fixture gives it the final punctuation.
The Master Bathroom was transformed into a modern, soothing space. Gray cabinetry offers abundant storage, while recessed medicine cabinets feature LED integrated lighting. A rain shower head, deep soaking bathtub and heated floors are luxurious touches. The minimal glass shower shield is sleek and functional.
Now the space is a true reflection of the homeowner. It is her personal sanctuary for living, working and entertaining.
Ravenswood Renovations are Ready!
The Ravenswood Renovations are complete and the final photos are ready! This 4 story townhouse in Chicago’s north side neighborhood, was treated to a new kitchen and master bathroom. In addition, the entire home was painted, the wood floors were refinished and the lighting was updated.
A fun Capiz shell light fixture punctuates the island while clear glass pendants adorn the countertop between the kitchen and dining room. The glass backsplash tile is a muted mix of blues, greens and earth tones. The blue-gray island cabinetry and sage green dining room walls complement it perfectly.
The Master Bathroom was made more functional with a tall storage cabinet and a shelf above the vanity. A rain shower head, deep soaking bathtub and heated floors are luxurious touches. The glass shower shield is minimal and modern. Storage within the shower is provided by a wide niche, which floats right into the green accent stripe.
Now this townhouse is a beautiful reflection of my client and her lifestyle!
Photography by Kip Wilkinson Photography
It’s a Wonderful White!
White is truly wonderful–it is clean, classic and easy to mix with other colors and textures. The girls’ bathroom (above left) in the Lincoln Park Duplex is halfway through its transformation. White square tiles are staggered on the shower walls, while a niche is accented in blue/gray stacked rectangles. In the Meis apartment building on Lake Shore Drive, glossy white cabinetry is the perfect modern statement. An 8 foot bank of deep drawers with flat panel doors is sleek and functional. Soon to be topped with a matte grey countertop with a waterfall side! (above, middle and right)
White is seen again in the before photo of this Lincoln Park Townhouse kitchen from the 90’s. While white never goes out of style, the laminated materials and the stark black/white contrast is dated. The homeowners love white, as long as the renovated kitchen is updated and modern, with improved storage and function. The dining counter is awkwardly shaped due to the neighboring doors, but they don’t want to get rid of it completely.
White gloss combined with gray textured wood creates a warm modern kitchen. The quartz countertop in light gray with white veining, gives added texture in a mid-tone. A rectangular piece of quartz will sit on the countertop to create a separate, but integrated surface for eating or reading. Next up is selecting the backsplash tile. See the options below.
So many shapes, sizes, colors, finishes and textures! From penny rounds to large rectangles, from smooth to glossy—there is an endless variety to make every space unique. Check back next time to see what was selected for this Lincoln Park Kitchen Renovation.
Lincoln Park Home Office
The final photos show a spacious, modern space with plenty of light and storage. The modular Italian furniture features glossy taupe combined with brown-gray wood tones. A woven carpet in shades of gray and cream make the office homey and comfortable. A beautiful shade of purple tinted gray, found in the carpet, covers the walls–it is the perfect hint of an accent color.
Truline, from Pure Lighting, creates a clean line of glare-free general illumination within the ceiling drywall. It can be formed into endless configurations. We chose a simple rectangle to direct light exactly where it is needed, over the work areas. It is punctuated by 3 square recessed lights to brighten up the center of the room. This combination became a striking custom design on the ceiling.
The closet was enlarged to the ceiling and is enclosed by bronze glass sliding doors.
Mies Apartment Building: Kitchen Renovation
The construction site is piled high with cabinets and other materials, but a beautiful Lake Michigan view can be seen peeking through. The design concept drawings above show how the views will soon be visible from within the kitchen.
This renovation involved removing two walls that made it feel small and cramped, and blocked it from the expansive views (see the before photo, above right). The awkwardly placed 13″ tall soffits were replaced with a 9″ dropped ceiling (see above, middle). This week the drywall will be done and then it is time for the cabinets. Soon it will start looking like a kitchen again!
In one day this kitchen went from outdated and closed off to an open space with views overlooking Lake Michigan. A 9″ dropped ceiling over the kitchen will hide the new duct work and provide a space for recessed lighting.
In keeping with the Mies design style, we chose clean, modern materials in neutral colors. The glossy white cabinets will complement the white veining in the charcoal gray quartz counter top. The concept drawings above show the kitchen from both vantage points. The beautiful view can now be enjoyed by those in the kitchen!
The Master Bathroom in this Lincoln Park Rowhouse is finally complete after the installation of the countertop, sinks, faucets and backsplash. The glass backsplash is repeated as an accent strip and niche in the shower.
Powder Room Focal Point!
The Powder Room in the Lincoln Park Duplex got its final touch with the addition of an oversized ceiling light fixture. The high ceiling gave us the chance to select a design that would be a focal point of the room. The percussion-inspired Marimba Chandelier works perfectly in white with silver leaf interior.