A Long Grove Couple Envision a New Home that Stands the Test of Time Yet Suits their Active Family Lifestyle
Nestled on a private acreage with a pond in Long Grove, Illinois, this gracious dwelling is the perfect fit for a tradition-loving couple and their four children. Favoring timeless beauty to modern trends, the homeowners wanted classic interiors and furnishings that could withstand the test of time but also endure their family’s busy lifestyle.
This project involved a major renovation and addition, so basically, it was like building a new home. When I was approached to design the interiors, my husband was very ill at the time, and our firm simply could not take on the task. So, the homeowners hired another designer and, halfway through the project, became disenchanted with the results. But they didn’t give up and approached me again. This time, the timing was right, and we gladly accepted.
We jumped in and assisted with the design of the millwork details—primarily the wainscoting—and adjusted a few construction details that were still changeable. We also selected the paint colors, the cabinet hardware, the wall coverings, and all the furnishings throughout. We even brought in our trusted tradespeople and craftsmen to modify some prior work that did not meet the homeowners’ expectations.
The refined elegance of the foyer sets the tone for this classic traditional home. Upon entering, guests get a first glimpse of the understated beauty that unfolds room by room. Of course, it evolved a bit while we searched for that one ‘wow’ fabric, which we found from Lee Jofa and used on our updated version of a wing back chair. This spectacular space introduces the clients’ home, so we wanted it to be inviting and sophisticated, including the stunning introduction artwork that visually brings the outdoors in.
Because the formal living area is adjacent to the foyer, we wanted these two spaces to complement each other well. So we designed a gorgeous area rug through Julie Dasher rugs that makes an impactful yet quiet statement when guests enter the room. The linear wall molding brings an exquisite traditional enhancement to the elegant formality of the room, and dark wood accents punctuate the serene palette without overwhelming the space. A delicate crystal chandelier crowns the majestic, vaulted ceiling, illuminating the room’s bright white presence.
Part of the home’s traditional appeal comes from the pleasing symmetry applied throughout. This quaint living room vignette demonstrates the technique with its perfectly centered and beautifully balanced aesthetic. In addition, the harmonious scale and proportion of the furnishings together form an impeccable composition.
The couple wanted an elegant formal dining space for entertaining friends and hosting intimate family gatherings. The soft palette of their home continues in this room and provides a gorgeous contrast to the dark wood furnishings and hardwood floors. Crystal candle holders scattered across a linen table runner make an elegant complement to the graceful curves of the pair of white chandeliers overhead.
We designed the kitchen to be a bright space that overlooks the pool, where mom can keep an eye on teenage boys when needed. The large island is perfect for their family, and the adjacent breakfast table also makes a cozy spot for evening meals. We love the tile backsplash we installed with contrasting grout—it gave the kitchen just the punch it needed!
Just off the kitchen, the casual family room emanates a laid-back vibe for relaxing and entertaining. The previously remodeled fireplace design dictated the location of the TV, which was a bit higher than any of us would have liked it to be. So, we needed to select furniture with high backs for neck support to watch television. We also chose a large, comfy ottoman that accommodates many feet.
RHAPSODY IN BLUE
The couple’s love of the color blue makes the master bedroom feel very peaceful and restful. My favorite elements are the gorgeous silk wallpaper and Gracie Studio wall panels. This bedroom is a space we continue to tweak a bit. Sometimes things evolve along the way, and we will be embarking on a few changes to this room. For example, we plan to relocate the area rug to the adjoining sunroom and design a new one for the bedroom that feels quieter and has more of a washed, aged feel.
The lovely powder room is one of my favorites in the home. Here, we selected a sweet, floral-patterned wallcovering and a curvaceous ornate mirror to complement the stylish custom cabinetry. We also added a vintage area rug that befits the style of the wallpaper.
We were so privileged to become a part of this couple’s project mid-way through the construction process. True traditionalists, they wanted a home that would endure over time and live well for their busy family. So we made selections that provided perfect living spaces for their children and their adorable dog—fabrics that would wear well, floor space for brothers wrestling, and lots of windows to take in the natural splendor of the property. It was also essential to create entertaining areas that were beautiful and timeless. I am happy to say they now love their forever home.