Let’s paint it white,” suggested designers James Dolenc and Thomas Riker about the natural woodwork in a historic Chicago-area Tudor residence. To which the owners balked, but just a little. “We convinced them that was how the house would have looked in the 1920s and they gave us the go-ahead.”
The reawakening of the somber interiors continued with a predominantly neutral palette punctuated with a healthy mix of contemporary furnishings and modern artwork with more traditional pieces. In the living room, for example, a wood-frame sofa and an equally clean-lined 1950s glass-and-bronze coffee table counter classic tufted chairs sporting burgundy fabric. “It’s a historic color,” notes Riker.
Meanwhile architects Julie Hacker and Stuart Cohen problem-solved the lack of connection between the family room and kitchen by restructuring the wall that divides the two spaces. They replaced the arched openings with squared-off, more contemporary versions and introduced interior windows on either side of the fireplace.
About the improvement Hacker says, “Now there’s more light in the enclosed kitchen and when the homeowner is in there she can keep an eye on her children in the family room.”