A Flat Roof Glencoe House Filled with an Eclectic Art Collection


Eclectic Cream Master Bathroom Vanity

A contemporary custom vanity designed by Richar and fabricated by Highland Park Millwork complements the Crema Marfil marble countertops in the master bathroom. The material juxtaposes nicely against a vintage chest from the designer’s private collection. A runner from Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries graces the floor.

Eclectic Cream Master Bedroom Seating Area

The mix of antique and contemporary furnishings in the master bedroom includes a bed from Design Atelier and a pair of vintage Dakota Jackson lounge chairs covered in mohair from Donghia. A large ottoman from J. Robert Scott, upholstered in leather from Spinneybeck, finishes the look.

Eclectic Neutral Family Room

An area carpet by Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries adds color to the family room while the custom sofa from Tru Furniture in an Edelman Leather hide offers comfort. A curved chair from Charles Pollock Showroom featuring Pierre Frey fabric creates a sculptural note for the space.

Modern Bluestone Exterior Patio

To create a clean, contemporary setting for the exterior patio, landscape architect Drew Johnson incorporated broad sweeps of bluestone set against Petal tables by Richard Schultz and Bertoia lounge chairs, both from Knoll. The sculpture is by René Magritte.

Eclectic Wood Paneled Great Room Dining Room

In the great room’s dining area, a recessed wall niche can be used to display art. Since the owners like to play card games, the dining table can be separated into two or joined together for large dinner parties. In contrast to the warm custom millwork, armchairs from The Bright Group feature bronze mohair fabric from William Switzer and Associates.

Eclectic Cream Great Room Sitting Area

Vintage walnut lounge chairs from The Golden Triangle and a coffee table by Joseph Jeup through Holly Hunt create a conversation area in the open-concept great room. The octagonal ceramic side table is from Design Atelier and a sculpture by Ty Best adds visual interest.

Eclectic Cream Ornate Console

An ornate console by Carlo Bugatti, from Richar’s private collection, makes a bold statement in the foyer. The vintage mahogany side chair from Dialogica has a seat covered in Donghia fabric. Zirlin Interiors fabricated the Roman shade.

Eclectic Wood Paneled Great Room

In the open great room, mahogany wall paneling and a pair of custom area rugs from Hokanson add warmth to the neutral color palette. Dining chairs with decorative embroidery by Christian Liaigre set off a walnut dining table from Holly Hunt.

Eclectic Cream Foyer Mahogany Cabinet

In the foyer, a Dominique cabinet from designer Richar’s private collection is as much a piece of art as the painting by David Kroll and the ceramic sculpture by Jeff Koons. A pair of sconces with silk shades, from Baldinger Architectural Lighting, illuminates the scene.

Modern Flat Roof Exterior Patio

To create a clean, contemporary setting for the exterior patio, landscape architect Drew Johnson incorporated broad sweeps of bluestone set against Petal tables by Richard Schultz and Bertoia lounge chairs, both from Knoll. The sculpture is by René Magritte.

When a pair of empty nesters decided to downsize and build a more intimate home on a private lot in Glencoe, they let past experience be their guide. To design the home—nestled between a ravine and a golf course—the couple turned to late architect Tony Grunsfeld, with whom they had collaborated to create their previous house, as well as designer Richar, who had fashioned the interiors for several of their dwellings in the course of nearly three decades.

Key players, such as Richar, were involved from the start and because of that, the designer was able to influence the material choices and to make sure that certain details were in place. “The best projects result when you engage your interior designer, your architect and your builder from the beginning,” Richar explains. “As the designer, you know where the furniture and art should be, which impacts where the lighting and outlets should be placed. These details are important.”

Such details are evident from the home’s entry, where visitors arrive through the front courtyard into a large foyer leading into a great room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the forested ravine. Crema Marfil slab floors are balanced with mahogany paneling that conceals storage for audio and video equipment on one side of the room. Outfitted with inviting furnishings and unique art pieces, this space is one example of the juxtaposition against the more modern exterior. “The shell is totally contemporary, clean and simple,” Richar says. “For the interiors, the clients desired a warmer feeling.”

Through the years, Richar had helped his clients collect an array of fine antiques that include Italian, Scandinavian and French pieces alongside Art Deco, Asian and more primitive furnishings. A lot of the items came from the designer’s private collection. “I used subtle fabric textures as a counterpoint to these very ornate pieces,” Richar says. “The mix of periods creates more of a collected, international look—eclectic and transitional.”

To further unite the styles, Richar selected a neutral palette of cream, bronze and cinnabar. “This is quiet, understated elegance,” says the designer, pointing to the rugs in the living and dining areas, which are identical but done in different textures. “When something specific draws your eye, it can steal the show. I designed the great room to be viewed as a whole,” he says. “And carrying a common thread of elegant sophistication to each room produced a synergy to the house.”

According to landscape architect Drew Johnson, who worked on the project alongside landscape designer Rick Lamble, it was just as important that the outside areas complement the architecture and interior design to create a well-balanced aesthetic. “Tony Grunsfeld homes really open themselves up to the landscape, so it’s critical that the details—where the sculptures are set, where the furniture sits—are carefully considered,” Johnson says, pointing to broad sweeps of bluestone that lay the groundwork for a series of “rooms” along the rear and side of the home.

But before the home could be built and style considered, the picturesque lot had to be leveled by driving a series of steel pilings into the edge of the ravine. “We added concrete panels and a special fill between the pilings to level the land,” explains builder Ron Carani, who had often worked with Grunsfeld in the past. “I really appreciate his attention to detail and enjoyed working with him so much.”

The owners, too, are thrilled to be living in one of Grunsfeld’s final projects. “Tony was a perfectionist. We wanted a house that we could live in and entertain in, and it serves both of these functions very well,” the wife explains. “This is such a beautiful setting and was the perfect place to build a house.”