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Wednesdays Works-In-Progress (WIPs)

Bathroom Begins in Lincoln Park!

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Renovating a small bathroom is one of my favorite projects!  I love the challenge to maximize function and increase storage while keeping the space looking and feeling open and spacious.  The before photos above show the outdated, dark, dull space which will soon be transformed into a beautiful bathroom.

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A transitional style will work with the vintage architecture of the apartment–clean and classic in soothing colors of gray, green and blue.  There are so many decisions to make, even for a small space. The couple, who will share the bathroom, know they want to replace the tub with a shower, but will they choose sliding doors or a pivot door as shown in my concept drawings above.

Each option offers advantages and disadvantages that will have to be considered.  A partition wall will give privacy and provide a place for recessed shelving and a towel hook, while sliding glass doors will make the room feel open and larger than it is.  The color scheme  will give the room a calming, spa feel.


Lincoln Park Kitchen Renovation is Complete!

After several months of living among construction, my clients are happy to have their kitchen back.  They quickly put everything back so they could start enjoying it.

KC photo 1                             KC photo 2

Featuring white shaker style cabinetry, quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances, this kitchen is beautifully updated in a monochromatic color scheme of white, taupe and champagne. A large island provides ample counter space for the owners who enjoy cooking and baking. It also serves as a dining table or bar counter which can seat 4 people. Now that the back wall is filled with cabinetry–it was previously empty–not only is there additional storage, but a serving counter and glass display cabinets.  Perfect for entertaining!


KC photo 3                KC photo4 revised

Texture is added through ribbed glass door inserts, dimpled glass pendants and ceramic tile. The backsplash is a subway tile from Mission Stone and Tile, which features a raised geometric design and adds a timeless element with a modern twist. The island is highlighted in Silestone’s quartz, Lusso, which has multi-color veining over a white background. The outer counters are Silestone’s quartz in Coral Clay.

counter photo for blog IMG_0151       subway-2x5-Oyster-Diamond-2T

When I arrived to take photographs, the home owner had just finished baking the muffins that are sitting out. She told me how much easier and more enjoyable it is to work in her new kitchen.
As always we strive to create kitchens that are functional as well as beautiful. It is always nice to hear that we were successful!


Bathroom Renovation in Downtown Chicago

The Bathroom as a Place of Relaxation and Well-Being

Mich ave bathroom photo 1

As the emphasis on luxurious bathrooms continues to grow, they have become places of relaxation and well-being. Any bathroom can be transformed into a “home spa” while being functional and durable. This relatively small master bathroom in a downtown Chicago high rise was updated, modernized and outfitted with abundant storage. The neutral gray color scheme sets the tone for a calming and soothing space. A floating vanity was chosen to make the room airy and open. Lighting from beneath highlights it and adds ambiance.

Michigan Ave bathroom photo 2


Large porcelain tiles cover the floor and the side of the bathtub while the same tile in brick size surrounds the tub. Thermofoil cabinets in stainless steel are a modern feature while also offering easier maintenance than wood. A tall cabinet sits on the quartz countertop to provide additional storage.


On one end of the soaking tub, a niche with shelves is filled with easily accessible bath items. At the other end, there is a hand-held showerhead to make cleaning the tub– and the dog– easier.

Michigan Ave bathroom photo 3

The Starck Organic Hansgrohe faucet is sculptural and sensual. It boasts an invigorating spray with low water consumption. Behind the vanity, stacked ceramic tiles are installed flush with the mirrors for a seamless look. The tiles are hand made in California of locally sourced clay.


The soothing color palette, lighting and soaking tub turned this bathroom into a home spa which is also functional, durable and easy to maintain.
Thinking about taking on a bathroom renovation? See my worksheets to help you get started.


Magnificent on Michigan Ave.

                                                                                         April 2016                    

                                                                   Magnificent on Michigan Avenue

Kitchen Renovation




This Downtown Michigan Avenue Kitchen was outdated and didn’t provide adequate storage. The dining counter closed it off from the rest of the apartment and made the work area feel cramped. See the “before” photo below.



The kitchen layout was reconfigured so that it opened up to the dining room. The dining counter was removed but the column had to stay. In order to incorporate it into the rest of the space a quartz counter was wrapped around it on 2 sides. It provides extra work space for cooking or preparing food, as well as a spot to sit and eat or entertain guests.

Michigan Ave photo 2

A neutral color scheme in shades of gray was chosen to give the space an airy, modern feel. Light gray painted cabinets, coupled with a dark gray countertop set the tone.  The wall cabinets above the sink are perfect for display wile the metal/glass doors add a nice contrast among the wood cabinets.


Michigan Ave photo 5

The backsplash tile has a wallpaper look and adds pattern and texture among the flat panel doors and solid color countertops.


Michigan Ave photo 4

To the right of the column the galley kitchen continues to a storage room. A stacked washer/dryer was placed in a cabinet to conceal it and integrate it into the other cabinetry. The Sub Zero refrigerator also has matching panel doors for a streamlined, built-in look.
Across from the refrigerator additional cabinets, a counter and a dog feeding space create a bar area to serve food and drinks to guests– and pets!


Michigan Ave photo 3


Next to the refrigerator is a microwave oven and beverage refrigerator. This second counter can be used for prepping food or folding laundry. This newly renovated kitchen is now an enjoyable, functional space in which to cook, eat and socialize.


Why Wool?

Wool is good for you!

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March 2016 Why Wool?


Wool Area Rug from Delos Custom Rugs

As an interior designer, my job is to specify materials that are beautiful, functional, sustainable and help create a healthy living space. Wool meets all of those criteria.


Herd of Sheep in New Zealand

Wool is the coat of a sheep. It is grown continuously, making it a rapidly and readily renewable material. Wool is used in interior textiles such as blankets, pillows, curtains, upholstery and carpet. It is also used as fiberfill for mattresses, pillows and home insulation.


Entwine Interiors Wool Knit Pillows

Because of its strong, flexible fibers, wool is durable. It is easy to maintain because spills bead up–instead of immediately absorbing–allowing time for blotting. Its natural oils resist dirt and grease. It is soft, warm and resists static build up. Wool is even flame retardant–it self-extinguishes without melting or giving off noxious fume. As a natural material wool contains no irritating substances which could cause allergic reactions or other health issues.


Using wool throughout your home, will create a healthier and more comfortable living environment. It reduces floating dust by trapping it until it is vacuumed. When used as filling in a mattress it provides a buffer by absorbing and releasing moisture, thus regulating temperatures to allow better sleep. As a home insulator, wool permanently purifies harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde in the air. It is efficient, cost effective and absorbs sounds.

So, Why NOT wool?


Wool Fiberfill from Paragon Wool Products


Etsy shop now open!
Check out my hand knit home accessories line, Cozy Modern Living. Unique items for upcoming mother’s day or graduation gifts. Bowls and pillows can be customized for you!


Newly Completed Classic Kitchen!

Jan 2016 newsletter first photo

When my clients bought their beautiful, grand home in Naperville, Illinois, renovating the kitchen was first on their list. The homeowner’s main objective was to update it in a classic style and improve storage and functionality since they enjoy cooking big meals for gatherings with their large extended family.


To help make that happen, a 48” wide Wolf range and 60” wide Subzero refrigerator/freezer were selected. The large island houses a microwave and warming oven while providing seating for four.


Cream colored inset cabinetry, quartz countertops and a crackled subway tile backsplash were selected for a timeless, sophisticated look. An extra thick deep rich brown countertop adds depth to the kitchen’s muted color scheme.


The room’s focal point is a decorative vent hood with Ann Sacks artisan glass tile highlighted above the range. A separate counter area, close to the dining room, is equipped with a small sink and a beverage refrigerator to facilitate serving meals and drinks.


Now their home is complete with a beautiful and functional kitchen in which they love to cook, eat, hang out and entertain.


Cabinetry by Mouser, available at Green Home Chicago


Etsy shop now open!

closeup pillow buttons
I am excited to announce that my new Etsy shop, Cozy Modern Living, is now open. It features hand knit throw pillows, hats, scarves and bowls. They will add comfort and color for a cozy modern life. Visit the shop now and add it as a favorite, please!

 Andersonville Kitchen Transformation!

Vintage House, New Kitchen!

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December 2015
Andersonville Kitchen Transformation

After: kitchen is opened up to the dining room

After: kitchen is opened up to the dining room

A beautiful vintage home in Andersonville gets a long overdue makeover. With an oven placed awkwardly against a wall, poor lighting and inadequate storage, the kitchen needed both a new look and increased functionality. As is typical of older houses, the kitchen was closed off from the dining/living room (see the photo below).

Before: A wall separates the kitchen and dining room

Before: A wall separates the kitchen and dining room

The dividing wall was taken down and replaced with a peninsula counter perfect for casual eating and entertaining or relaxing with a cup of coffee and the paper. The clear glass pendants above provide task lighting and add to the airy ambiance.

Before: A wall separates the kitchen and dining room

Before: A wall separates the kitchen and dining room

White cabinets in a transitional style were chosen to complement the architecture and to lighten up the space which features newly stained dark wood floors . Warm gray quartz countertops paired with a blue/gray handmade glass tile backsplash bring a timeless sophistication to the kitchen.


An avid cook, the owner selected a Wolf professional range and vent hood. Updated yet classic, the apron sink provides ample room for dishes and cookware.


This once dreary, outdated kitchen is now an integral part of the rest of the house. Light filled and airy it is the perfect place to cook a gourmet meal to enjoy alone or to entertain guests.

before: view to dining room is closed off

before: view to dining room is closed off

after: the view is opened to the dining room

after: the view is opened to the dining room


Not a Typical Townhouse 

See our latest completed project in Lincoln Park!

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Not a Typical Townhouse
November 2015

When my clients spotted this outdated 1980’s townhouse in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, they knew it could be transformed into something special. With an open floor plan set around a central staircase, it had tons of potential.


By painting the walls in Simply White, Benjamin Moore’s color of the year 2016, the space immediately became bright and airy. Stained a dark espresso, the hardwood floors are a rich, dramatic contrast to the walls. Square see-through cutouts were created in the stairwell, living room and den walls to allow light to pass from room to room.


They also provide interesting views each time you peek through to see what’s beyond. With eight-foot ceilings, the home needed an infusion of lighting to add a more spacious feel. Recessed can lights were installed throughout and placed on dimmers to allow the owners to create different moods and living/working environments. The fireplace wall was redesigned with a new tiled mantel, niches for artwork and a deep teal blue accent wall.


Modern furniture mixed with mid-century modern finds from antique stores and inherited from family members gives the home an eclectic yet warm feel. A neutral color palette of chocolate, taupe and olive is punctuated with surprising touches of oranges and blues.


The kitchen was designed to be a welcoming spot for family members to gather for meals, homework or to hang out. Banquette seating is not only functional but also cozy enough to lean back and relax with a book and cup of coffee. With thoughtful custom details this 1980’s townhouse is anything but typical.



photo credit: Randi Shepard Photography


Downtown Chicago, “Five Star” Master Bathroom

No luxuries were spared in this townhouse near Navy Pier in downtown Chicago. Designed in collaboration with Green Home Chicago, a large but basic master bathroom was transformed into a “five star hotel bathroom” (to quote the owner!)  It features radiant heated floors, a freestanding soaking tub and a steam shower.

Inside the shower a large rain shower head hangs above copper-colored penny round tiles that cover the floor.
Adjacent to the shower is a floating double-sink vanity with a quartz countertop. Across from the vanity, a series of floating drawers provide ample room for storage and display. Positioned by the window, the freestanding “Stargaze” Kohler tub is the definition of bliss.

A muted color scheme enhances the tranquil atmosphere while an accent wall of hand-made blue ceramic tile adds a soft touch of color.

Robern mirrors with integrated sconces provide lighting as does a dramatic multi-pendant fixture above the bathtub.  The final touch is vivid artwork painted by the homeowner himself.

Materials and Sources

Tile: Green Home Chicago
Cabinetry: Mouser Custom Cabinetry from Green Home Chicago
Mirrors: Robern
Plumbing fixtures: Grohe
Bathtub: Kohler
Counter: Cambria

April 2013


Beautiful views abound in this Chicago Gold Coast high rise apartment. The living room is large enough to warrant two seating areas. The front area is centered around a floating media unit from Jesse Chicago, with a cozy sectional from Roche Bobois and a vintage modern lounge chair. The seating area by the window features a settee, swivel chair and colorful side tables— it’s the perfect gathering spot for conversations and admiring the city views.

April_2013_02 April_2013_03

Antique accent pieces and artwork from the owner’s travels mix in with the modern furniture creating a unique, eclectic feel. Just off the living room is an enclosed patio with pendant lights, lounge seating and a small table and chairs. Behind French doors at the other end is a dual purpose room. The addition of custom built-in cabinets, shelving and a desk allow this den to function as an office, too.
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To view other projects in the portfolio click here.


Follow a kitchen renovation project on my new blog

My blog will invite you to tag along as I tackle real-life interior design projects from kitchen and bath renovations to room redesigns. You’ll get an insider’s look at how I take a room from outdated, cluttered and under-utilized to beautiful, inspiring and functional by mixing colors, textures and styles and taking down the occasional wall or two. See this kitchen design come to life in real time!



Where to Buy

Open wall system, Jesse Home Element

Sectional sofa, Roche Bobois

Vintage Modern Lounge Chair, Broadway Antique Market

Vintage modern Settee, Ed Wormley for Dunbar Furniture

Colorful side tables, Jesse Home Element

Custom built-in Office, Mastercraft Custom Millwork

Lighting throughout, Lightology