By Jan Parr, Nate Berkus
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Additional resources for Chicago Spaces: Inspiring Interiors from the Editors of Chicago Home + Garden Magazine
Sleek leather chairs keep the mood modern on the screened-in porch. Edelmann’s home is a study in creating a personal style blissfully free of decorating boundaries. Daughter Caroline’s bedroom walls are covered in a Farrow & Ball wallpaper that reminds Edelmann of aged plaster. The horseshoe-shaped desk in the designer’s second-floor home office can accommodate assistants. Part Two ROOMS This modern house in Northfield was designed in 1937 by the firm that became Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. In the foyer, an era-appropriate 1930s Jacques Adnet mirror combined with more contemporary pieces gradually unveils interior designer Frank Ponterio’s sophisticated scheme for the rest of the home.
No Great Walls of decorative pillows. An absence of fussy, impenetrable layers of bedding. Just the right headboards for making a style statement, while encouraging comfortable reading in bed. All perfect for falling into, anytime. A Crate & Barrel bed is paired with a bold-patterned rug in this modern room, brightened by a sunny yellow painting and warmed up with a mohair throw (and Charlie, one of the owners’ two dogs). A tired midcentury dresser was given new life with white lacquer. The built-in walnut bed, designed by architect Kathryn Quinn, is made up of a frame, a headboard, nightstands, and a low storage bench—one completely unified, functional, and gorgeous unit.
But we are not slaves to tradition. A favorite trick of our architects is to leave the front of a wood-frame shotgun house (so prevalent on the North Side) intact so that it blends in with its neighbors, then blow out the back with a glass-walled kitchen/family-room with a deck. Around here, we call it the architectural mullet: business up front, party out back. Designers and homeowners, too, have the guts to do things their way. They might keep the original wood moldings and built-ins in Victorian homes but paint them white, black, or gray for a fresh take.