Second-home purchases in the U.S. have been booming since last year, and that has been keeping us very busy at IEG. Mortgage rates are at all-time lows and more people are working from home – so they can work anywhere, and why not in sunny Arizona or woodsy Wisconsin? Perhaps most of all, people want a sanctuary space where they can gather with family and friends where the weather and scenery are gorgeous and where they are far from crowded urban areas.
Why Out-of-State Projects Work Smoothly
Right now we are completing or in the initial stages of four out-of-state projects – two in Paradise Valley, AZ and two lake homes in Wisconsin. These long-distance collaborations are one of my studio’s strong points. With just a few well-planned visits on-site and a lot of work done from our Barrington studio, we can create the home-away-from-home that our clients have dreamed about.
We have worked with all of these clients before, which smooths the way for a long-distance collaboration. We are very familiar with their lifestyles and design styles, time-saving advantage.
When we need to be on-site, perhaps three times during a project, we set aside as many days as needed and plan our work so we can maximize each visit.
Moving Quickly, Maintaining Quality
Frequently, our clients are in a hurry to enjoy their newly built or purchased second home, such as this gracious Arizona residence, above. They want to move in and start swimming, hiking or golfing as soon as possible. We get it! I mean, look at what awaited these clients in their Paradise Valley backyard, above! Definitely looks like paradise to me. Another one of our clients wanted to be in their second home for the last round of holidays. We were able to jump into action and move those projects forward quickly, without sacrificing quality.
No Worries – These Homes are Family-Durable!
For each of these projects, our clients essentially had the same goal. They wanted their vacation homes to become the go-to retreat for their extended family and friends. Sharing time together and making memories was a priority, without worrying about wear and tear on their new furnishings. We paid particular attention to function and selection of durable materials and finishes that can take heavy use, including stain-resistant fabrics and washable bedding where needed. Of course, we always maximize style as well as the priceless views!
Second Home, New Look
These clients purchased their desert home, above, during the summer and we completed it in time for them to enjoy the fall weather. The house was in move-in condition, so we focused primarily on furnishings and accessories. Working from our Barrington studio, we selected everything and had it shipped to our receiver in Scottsdale. In just one, week-long trip, we installed 80 percent of the furnishings. Our clients wanted their Arizona home to look very different from the soft-traditional home we designed for them in Itasca, IL, but they wanted to avoid heavy-handed Southwestern motifs. We selected understated desert colors and textures as well as carefully chosen touches of native-influenced art. The rug above defines the great room and combines the pastel tones of the color palette.
Mixing Textures and Materials
This modern tribal floor sculpture in the same Arizona home as above, was handcrafted of hardwood teak. We love this piece because it is one-of-a-kind. The natural variations of the wood and the placement of each piece make each sculpture unique. We incorporated several other wood pieces into this home made with reclaimed wood, such as the table top and its wood accessory above. The hint of driftwood in those pieces is very on-trend for accessories, and segues perfectly to the desert landscape outside. The end result? A cheerful, inviting space to share with our clients’ favorite people.
Working the View
We were thrilled to work with these first-time clients on their newly constructed vacation home in Delafield, WI. Check out that view! Comfort and durability were top priorities, as three generations of family and their friends will be gathering here frequently. We achieved their practical goals while creating a complete, finished look that doesn’t sacrifice style.
For every project we take on, my team and I look with fresh eyes at the existing furnishings our client wants to keep, and whenever possible, include them in the plans. In the photo above, we are ready for the clients’ existing leather sofas to be placed in front of the new console table. We positioned the two new arm chairs to take advantage of the lake view, and we tucked a quad of ottomans under the cocktail table for extra seating. That comes in handy, particularly when the two youngest members of the extended family, ages two and six, are in residence. We have received the cutest pictures of those two little people sitting at this table playing, coloring, and yes, sitting on it too! But no worries, that table can take it.
We think this foyer says “texture perfection,” with its knotted wool rug, concrete table and wild flowers custom-arranged in a container that has special meaning to the family. What a warm, personal way to greet everyone coming through the front door in Delafield, WI.
In For the Holidays
What do you do when your clients’ new home in Paradise Valley, AZ, is undergoing a major remodeling update, and they would like their family to spend the holidays in the Southwest, far from Chicago’s frigid weather? We improvised, pulled out all the stops and made that happen, focusing on the rooms that were critical to their visit. We worked closely with the contractor to coordinate the final floor coating on a Friday; we installed sofas the next Monday and the family arrived from their primary home in Glenview, IL, later that week. Phew! More photos will follow when the space is completed with rugs, tables and incredible new lighting.
What They Desired
Instead of the soft-traditional style of their Glenview home, these clients desired a transitional look for their second home, with a distinctive Southwestern influence. We are evoking that desert feeling predominantly through accessories and artwork, drawing on vibrant colors to set the scene.
Hints of Modern Coastal on the Lake Shore
This under-construction project will be an idyllic get-away for our clients, whose primary home is in Park Ridge. Their style is “natural,” with a hint of Modern Coastal inspired by the lake. We are in the midst of finalizing furnishings and fixtures in greiges and black accents in our plumbing and hardware as well as focus on natural textures. We will keep you posted via in-progress photos!
Are you thinking of purchasing or updating a second home? We would love to discuss the possibilities. Please contact me at 847-705-9569.