A Coastal-Inspired Home In Chicago Comes To Life For An Active Family


great room with brick fireplace

In the great room, an RH coffee table is surrounded by two custom sofas by Andrea Goldman Design and a pair of rocking chairs from Ralph Lauren Home. The clients requested a series of main rooms with open walls “where we could be in different areas of the house, but still see each other.”

white kitchen with soapstone countertops

The clients wanted a large kitchen for, among other things, preparing hockey team “carb fests,” which typically feed 15 to 20 kids before a game. Lighting fixtures from Cisco Brothers are suspended over soapstone countertops. Hardwood flooring throughout the home is by Duchateau; the rug is by Dash & Albert.

breakfast nook with bench and...

“Everybody likes to hang out in the same room,” says the wife, and more often than not, that room is the kitchen. The breakfast area is graced by an abundance of natural light and manages to seat all six family members comfortably. It’s also a favorite spot for the family’s dog, Zoe.

round dining table with sisal...

“We like to introduce color through art, on pillows or with small upholstered pieces,” Goldman says, such as with the blue chairs covered in a Zak+Fox fabric. A sisal rug helps delineate the space, with a custom table and chairs by Andrea Goldman Design. The overhead lighting fixture is by Gregorius Pineo.

white entry with wood floors

“We wanted that contrast of dark and light,” Goldman notes of her design concept. The entry, which includes a custom bench by Formations as well as an Andrea Goldman Design custom table and framed artwork, provides a glimpse of this approach. The overhead lighting by Lindsey Adelman is the first in a series of eye-catching light fixtures appearing throughout the house.

office with gray flannel wallcovering

Goldman used a gray flannel wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries to set the tone in the secluded study, which features a Stark rug and a ceiling fixture by The Urban Electric Co. Goldman designed the desk and the armchair, which is upholstered in Theo Fabric.

master bedroom with bernhardt furniture

Chairs from Lee Industries with striped pillows from C&C Milano flank the fireplace in the master bedroom. The bed is from Bernhardt Furniture; bed linens are from Boll & Branch. Above it all hangs a Bamboo Cloud chandelier by Roost.

white master bedroom with soaking...

A custom bench—by Andrea Goldman Design with George Spencer Designs—adds a soft burst of color to the predominantly white master bath. Countertops are Calacatta gold, with sinks and faucets by Toto. The Oscar Isberian rug lends softness to the space.

back porch seating area with...

“It’s really calming,” Goldman says of the back porch, with its view of the pool and the much-appreciated privacy backdrop of mature trees. “Except for the winter months, the family is out there all the time.” The space features a fireplace, lounge seating and an eating area where meals are enjoyed around the RH table.

pool deck with RH dining...

The pool area offers a relaxing counterbalance to the family’s active lifestyle. “Our life is so chaotic all the time,” the wife says, “that we really wanted our home to feel peaceful and quiet.” The RH dining table is surrounded by Blu Dot chairs. The lounges are from Ledge Lounger.

We knew this would be our forever house, where the grandkids could run and play,” says the wife, of her family’s suburban Chicago home. Spoken like a true empty nester—except she’s not one quite yet. But there’s something to be said for what she describes as “projecting forward.” Though several years away from having grandchildren—their four kids range from preteens to teenagers—these clients already know what they’re going to want in their later years.

It wasn’t just the future that factored into the couple’s decision to build a new home. Their former residence, which was located only one block away, consisted of a series of small, formal rooms—an awkward layout for an active family. So the clients turned to residential designer Paul Konstant, whose coastal aesthetic they had long admired. “Everything he does feels like it should be next to a body of water,” the wife says of Konstant’s signature style. “We really wanted this open-air plan where the six of us could be in different areas of the house but still see one another.” Konstant, along with general contractor Scott Rosett, took the owners’ wish list and gave them an interior that, although somewhat defined, feels very open. Vaulted ceilings, hand-scraped plank floors and shiplap on the walls all nod to the vibe the couple desired. “She was very disciplined and organized,” Konstant says of the wife’s guiding directives. “I like that.” She also knew what she wanted when it came to the interiors, which is why she brought on designer Andrea Goldman. “I had seen a lot of her work,” the wife says. “I had done my research, and when I met her I had an instant feeling of confidence that she was the person we were going to work with.”

Goldman is known for her calm, neutral interiors, but she also enjoys using a deeper color scheme in at least one or two areas in the house “where the space feels a bit more like a cocoon,” as she puts it. The husband’s office, distinguished by gray flannel wallpaper and bold, graphic art over the fireplace, is a clear example. Where not shiplap, walls throughout are covered with wallpaper, imparting subtle texture. “We tried to make certain that, even though the wall surfaces are quiet, you kind of want to walk up and touch them,” says the designer. “You can tell there’s something going on—it’s not just paint.”

If there is any flight of fancy amidst this sea of tranquility, it’s the lighting. “More than any other element in this house, the light fixtures are where we kind of pushed things to be more fresh and even contemporary,” Goldman says. She went with a mixture of dark and white fixtures to add a little oomph without disturbing the overall peace. “We really wanted the lights to not in any way compete or conflict with what was happening, of course,” says the designer, “but they are fun. We didn’t want boring.”

For the wife, the kitchen area easily ranks as one of her favorite parts of the house, with its spacious seating area and, most importantly during those long, cold Chicago winters, a fireplace that is going six months out of the year. The design team gave the kitchen comfort and style; the family gives it life. “My kids come home and they plop down in those chairs and I feel like I get so much more time with them,” says the happy mom. “They don’t feel the need to go up to their rooms.” Nearby family members, including both sets of in-laws, frequently help populate the space. “I love that I can have everybody over and we never have to leave the kitchen,” the wife says. If they do leave the room, they’re likely headed to the enclosed back porch. “It’s like a second family room for them,” says Goldman. The space looks out on the pool and pool house, which sing in harmony with the greens, whites and pinks of landscape architect Sara Furlan’s designs. Furlan brought in hydrangeas—a favorite of the clients—justicias, a few roses and a selection of yew evergreens, while autumn moor grass and vinca cover the ground.

“They wanted to really feel like their everyday house is a retreat,” says Goldman of the clients. “With their busy schedules, they can’t get away often. So they wanted a home where they could live well year-round.” Which is exactly what the team gave them.