Category Archives: Recently Completed Transformations
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.
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!
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.
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!
The Bathroom as a Place of Relaxation and Well-Being
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.
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.
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 Avenue
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.
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.
The backsplash tile has a wallpaper look and adds pattern and texture among the flat panel doors and solid color countertops.
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!
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.
Newly painted in Benjamin Moore's "Simply White."
Modern furniture is mixed with vintage modern finds.
Ligne Roset's "Extensia" glass table opens to seat 12.
A vintage modern dresser provides storage in the hallway.
A small cozy den is grounded by a soft wool, shag rug.
A hallway between the den and living room can be
used to serve drinks and snacks.
The kitchen is light and airy with maple cabinets and
glass tile backsplash.
A banquette in the kitchen is a place to eat, entertain
or relax. Coral Pendant by David Trubridge provides plenty
of light and interesting shadows.
Custom doors for the coat closet set the tone
upon entering the home.
When my clients spotted this 1980’s outdated townhouse in Lincoln Park, they knew they could make it into something special. It had lots of potential with its open floor plan set around a central staircase.
Painted in Benjamin Moore’s color of the year 2016, Simply White, the space became light and airy. The wood floors were stained dark espresso to dramatically contrast with the walls, while grounding the room with rich dark color.
To make the space feel even more open and light, square see-through cutouts were created in the stairwell, living room and den walls. They not only allow light to pass through, but they create interesting views from every room where you peek through to see what is beyond.
Lighting was especially key to make the small space with 8′ ceilings not feel closed in. Recessed can lights were installed throughout and placed on dimmers to allow the clients to create different effects.
The fireplace wall was redesigned with a new tiled mantel, niches for artwork and a deep teal blue accent wall.
Modern furniture is mixed in with mid-century modern finds from antique stores and inherited from family members.
A neutral color scheme of brown, taupe and olive is punctuated with oranges and blues. The kitchen was designed to be a place the whole family could gather for meals and to do homework or just hang out. Banquette seating gives the space a cozy feel and the perfect spot to lean back and relax with a book and cup of coffee.
With the right custom details this 1980’s townhouse is anything but typical.
This beautiful newer house had a good foundation with its open floor plan and spacious kitchen. However, the kitchen felt dark, dull and outdated. Designed in collaboration with Green Home Chicago, it was transformed into a modern, bright and functional space.
With Subzero and Viking appliances, cream cabinets and a quartz countertop, the color palette stays neutral in gray, taupe and touches of light grey-blue. To improve the utility of the kitchen, a section of dysfunctional cabinets were removed (see the photos below) which made room for an enlarged peninsula nearby.
It now provides ample space for the family to eat together, work on homework and do crafts projects. Extra storage is provided below for art supplies. These days the family is drawn to gathering in the open, airy, functional and comfortable “hub of the home.”
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
After months of planning, demolition day is here. You would never know from the outside of this grand home in Naperville, just what is going on inside. A temporary kitchen has been set up in the basement near where the new cabinets are being stored. It will be many weeks before the family can start using their new kitchen upstairs.
It is always surprising to see how quickly the space becomes an empty room. After everything is taken out and hauled away, the plumbing and electrical work will begin. Then the real fun begins when the new cabinets are installed.
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.
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.
With a baby on the way, my clients didn’t have a minute to waste. In just two short months, I transformed their guest room into a cozy nursery filled with everything a baby needs. The very-soon-to-be new parents requested a music theme, a color scheme appropriate for either a girl or boy and a design aesthetic that was timeless rather than babyish so that the bedroom wouldn’t need to be overhauled as their child grew up. The first purchases of a crib and changing table with clean, sleek lines set the tone for this modern baby room which was then painted a soothing aqua and carpeted in plush gray.
To accomplish the music theme, I hired a decorative painter who designed and hand-painted a stunning mural on the crib wall featuring musical notes, piano keys and inspirational quotes from my clients’ favorite songs. Scattered throughout the room were additional notes and lyrics. To bring in a pop of color, an ottoman and pillow were custom made in an orange/aqua/gray geometric patterned fabric and a functional ceiling fan with a tangerine-colored shade was selected. The final touch? The addition of a beautiful baby girl born just in time for Father’s Day!
A Great Room on Lake Shore Drive
Located in a vintage building on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, this gracious apartment is full of beautiful details including high ceilings, vaulted hallways and crown moldings. The one sore spot was the outdated kitchen. Like most kitchens found in vintage buildings, it was closed off from the rest of the home.
Our goal was to integrate the kitchen to the adjoining dining room to create a large great room with a functional, updated kitchen, dining/entertaining area and a cozy spot for the family to gather. We would incorporate modern touches that would blend seamlessly with the vintage architecture.
The project began by removing the wall between the kitchen and family room. An island was installed for casual family meals and as a bar area for entertaining.
To optimize the new space while meeting all of the owner’s goals, a custom built-in cabinet was designed. Spanning an entire wall of the family room, it includes two desks, display shelving, ample storage and a spot to mount the TV. In lieu of a traditional dining table, the owners chose a multi-functional coffee table that can be easily raised and expanded when needed.
Rift sawn oak cabinets in a Shaker style were chosen for the kitchen to bridge the gap between vintage and modern design. New stainless steel appliances were installed with the notable exception of a restored vintage oven that is not only functional but serves as a stylish homage to the history of the building. Now this once closed off kitchen is part of a truly “great room”.