A Chicago Townhome Gets The London Treatment


neutral exterior entrance landscape

When what was meant to be a simple refresh of the residence with interior designer Anthony Michael turned into a major renovation, owner Bala Ragothaman took the opportunity to create the London town house-style home of his dreams. The 4,500-square-foot structure was built in 2016 and boasts four levels, including a rooftop deck.

contemporary living area piano sitting...

The main living area on the primary floor provides a space for more formal entertaining, including piano performances. In the room's sitting area, Michael designed a velvet settee for warming by the fireplace.

contemporary living room gold tables...

In the front window of the living room, Michael placed a Caracole sofa and swivel chair, all upholstered in Pindler fabrics and adorned with Kravet and Schumacher pillows. The floor lamps are by Arteriors; the chandelier and gold tables are Noir.

contemporary family room blue rug...

Artworks from Soicher Marin in Bradenton, Florida, and Kroto Fine Arts set a stately tone in the family room. To the right of the custom firebox by Francois & Co., the Julian Chichester wing chair is upholstered with a Donghia velvet. The sofa and chairs, holding striped Ryan Studio pillows, are from Hickory Chair. A Currey & Company chandelier hangs above the RH coffee table, which tops a custom red-leather Brusic Rose ottoman. A Pindler fabric was chosen for the Roman shades.

contemporary foyer antique carved horses...

In the foyer of a Lakeview home, custom Lucite stools sit beneath a console topped with antique carved-wood horses. The dark gold-foil wallcovering in the nook counters the soft white hue of the surrounding hand-painted faux-parchment walls.

contemporary dining area neutral white-marble...

In the dining area, a Caracole table and chairs are paired with a Bernhardt buffet. The white-marble lamp and sunburst chandelier are from Arteriors. A grass-cloth wallcovering and matchstick shades add texture to the room.

contemporary kitchen chandelier

An avid cook, Bala wanted a large kitchen where he could involve his family. Key pieces include a Bertazzoni range, a custom hood by Francois & Co., Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and a built-in Miele espresso maker; the chandelier is by Schwung Home. Michael unified the space with marble and cabinetry by KWI that extends into the butler's pantry. All the faucets are Dornbracht.

contemporary bathroom white freestanding tub...

Michael placed a freestanding Kohler soaking tub in the master bathroom's alcove, which features shaped marble slabs and 24-karat gold leaf. The stone is backlit to create a glowing effect at night. Overhead is a chandelier by Oly Studio.

contemporary neutral white bedroom wallpaper...

The master bedroom is anchored by a custom bed upholstered in a Romo fabric and dressed with Eastern Accents linens. The chairs and the nightstands, above which hang framed Paul Montomery wallpaper panels from Nancy Corzine, are from Century Furniture. Michael, known for using specialty finishes, designed a white-gold-leaf stripe for the ceiling, illuminating it with a Corbett Lighting chandelier, while a custom Stark carpet grounds the space. The artworks are from Soicher Marin; the gueridon is Marge Carson.

contemporary outdoor sitting area roof...

Amid mature pear trees and an antique olive jar, RH furniture joins custom ipe-wood benches topped with David Sutherland cushions on the fourth-floor roof deck. Michael sourced the pillow fabrics from Lacefield Designs.

From our first meeting, it was clear that his energy, attention to detail and view on eclectic contemporary style were ideally suited for my personality,” says homeowner Bala Ragothaman of interior designer Anthony Michael. “Besides, they were a full-service interior design firm that could wrap their arms around architecture, design, build and install–traits that turned out to be a blessing as the project took a turn!”

That turn was the discovery of mold by an electrician. So much mold, in fact, that the family had to vacate the home for two years of renovation work, a period in which Ragothaman’s marriage ended. Seeing the project through became a catharsis for the homeowner and his sons, and gave them the new beginning they needed.

“We started over with a brand new design, and guided Bala through creating a luxurious London town house feel,” says Michael.

The four-story home includes a lower level playroom and guest suite, a main level with the public spaces (living room, kitchen and family room), bedrooms on the upper floors and a rooftop lounge and garden.

“The house is calm when you want it to be, trendy when you want it to be and cozy when you want it to be,” says Michael of the design. “We absolutely love it,” adds Ragothaman, an avid cook who especially enjoys the kitchen. “We are proud to call it our home.”