With a massive, marble-topped island and restaurant-grade appliances, the kitchen was designed to meet the demands of frequent entertaining.
A big family, this Winnetka clan resides in a neo-traditional home where floor-to-ceiling windows add a winning, contemporary transparency to the solid brick construction. A semi-open plan unites the living and dining rooms, while the large kitchen and spacious library (people-pleasing magnets when company comes to call) spin off nearby. For designer Laurel Feldman of Highland Park, the floor plan offered the perfect opportunity to create an environment of integrated yet discretely composed rooms ideal for convivial get-togethers. In the living room, she opted for a white-on-white palette that manages to project both a studied formality and a welcoming sense of relaxation. “I like to provide a lot of seating,” notes Feldman, “and plenty of places to set down a drink.” Here, her seating choices include sofas she custom-upholstered in velvet with a woven silk trim and a pair of ceramic Chinese garden stools that can be moved about as needed. Alabaster-topped occasional tables by Todd Hase and a Chinese parchment coffee table supply plenty of space to rest a glass of wine or plate of canapés, and the marble-topped shelf of the built-in bookshelves can easily handle a tray or liquor bottles.
Enveloped in Benjamin Moore’s “Carbonite” and outfitted with classic club chairs and a coffee table designed by French master Lucien Rollin, the library is a classically urbane retreat.
When it came to fashioning the dining room, Feldman respected her clients’ request for something “rich and dramatic,” but realized it in a beautifully balanced way. Rather than cover every wall with a dark hue, she painted just one in a luscious aubergine and gave the windows opposite the grand treatment with substantial drapery in an olive/gray Italian fabric of stylized flowers. “A dining room should be a special setting,” says Feldman. “It should transcend the everyday. Like a fine restaurant, it should uplift. Whether it’s traditional or contemporary, everything about it—the wall color, the art—should just glow.”
A sense of occasion pervades the formal dining room, where the Thanksgiving table is set with family silver, crystal, and china.
A big fan of echoing nature in her rooms, Feldman papered the dining room’s cove ceiling with a lattice pattern wallpaper and introduced a black lacquer Chinese cabinet painted with images of chrysanthemums and fruit. Charmed by the owners’ Sheraton-style dining table and chairs, she acquired at auction a 19th century sideboard from New Orleans. And to accompany an ornate, French gilt mirror the owners had on hand, she chose a new dresser-like buffet from Holly Hunt. A commodious butler’s pantry with a sink and plenty of storage space is situated between the living and dining rooms, making it easy to keep any party rolling along.
In the light-filled living room, shades of cream and white pair richly with the cherry-stained hardwood floor.
While the library is a fairly private retreat for the family, this handsome space often attracts guests as they move about before dinner or sink into postprandial confabs. “Although everyone uses this room, it is a library and I wanted it masculine,” offers Feldman. “So I used paisley wool fabric for the drapes and a blue-gray wall color.” A fireplace, bookshelves, and artwork give the room a classic feel. A reproduction of a table French designer Lucien Rollin created in the 1930s—luxurious in Makassar ebony with silver sabots—is the perfect match to a trio of Art Deco club chairs. As in the living room, a Chinese garden stool (this one a warm oxblood hue) functions as both a tabletop and additional seating, while a standing candelabra adds a unique note to the carefully orchestrated atmosphere. With a television and sound system integrated into the room, this sophisticated space can easily morph from a champagne-by-the-fire hideaway or a laid-back spot for catching an afternoon game or a late night show with friends as the evening wears down. While for many of us the sweetest sound of a party is that of the front door closing after the last guest leaves, for these lucky homeowners, that sound only signals it’s time to start thinking of the next get-together.
Laurel Feldman, Laurel Feldman Interiors, Inc. IIDA in Highland Park, 847-266-0067, laurelfeldmaninteriors.com
Pair of sofas: Baker, Knapp & Tubbs, Merchandise Mart in Chicago, merchandisemart.com, 800-677-6278
Sofa fabric: Cowtan & Tout, Merchandise Mart
Drapery fabric: Holland & Sherry, Merchandise Mart
Onyx top tables: Todd Hase, Merchandise Mart
Lacquer coffee table, kite by Michael Thompson, 19th c. wine pots, 19th c.
Chinese wood lattice panel, meditation stone, and pair of Chinese garden seats: Pagoda Red in Winnetka, pagodared.com, 847-784-8881
Andaluza inlaid box and Roman torso sculpture: Ebanista, Merchandise Mart
Bronze sculpture by Tom Corbin: Holly Hunt, Merchandise Mart
Bone boxes and pillows: Interior Crafts, Merchandise Mart
Trim on drapery and sofas: Samuel & Sons, Merchandise Mart
Glass obelisks, carved bone dragonfly and butterfly, architectural box: Mecox in Chicago, mecoxgardens.com, 312-836-0571
Drapery fabric and fabric on miniature chairs: Donghia, Merchandise Mart
Handmade area rug, pewter serving bowl, pewter decanters: Ebanista, Merchandise Mart
Capri walnut chest: Holly Hunt, Merchandise Mart
Fabric chairs: Innovations, Merchandise Mart
Centerpiece 22K platinum glazed winged conch shell: Interior Crafts, Merchandise Mart
Ceiling wall covering: Osborne & Little, Merchandise Mart
Trim on drapery and sofas: Samuel & Sons, Merchandise Mart
Pewter condiment holders, trays: Table Compliments in Highland Park, tablecompliments.com, 847-579-4878
Hand blown crystal candle hurricanes: Mecox
Charger plates, placemats, embroidered napkins, napkin rings, alabaster grape clusters, pewter lidded acorn and crystal wine glasses: Material Possessions in Winnetka, materialpossessions.com, 847-446-8840
Standing candelabra: Ebanista
Sofa: Henredon, Merchandise Mart
Sofa fabric: Holly Hunt
Drapery fabric: Holland & Sherry
Vintage Japanese suiting pillows, maple leaf form on stand, 19th c. cinnabar garden stool: Pagoda Red
Custom porcelain bowl: Jacob Grant, potter (available through Laurel Feldman Interiors)
Lucite dice: Mecox Lucien Rollin Macassar Ebony
sofa table: Interior Crafts, Merchandise Mart
Trim on drapery & sofas: Samuel & Sons, Merchandise Mart
Breakfast Area & Kitchen
White French ceramic bowl and large headed pitcher: Ebanista
Fabric on custom LF Interiors bench and chairs: Summer Hill
MacKenzie-Childs cake plate, trays, dishes, cups and saucers: Table Compliments
Light fixtures over table and island: Lightology in Chicago, 312-944-1000
Living Room: Farrow & Ball – Shaded White
Dining Room: Farrow & Ball – Shaded White & Mahogany
Library: Benjamin Moore – Carbonite
Kitchen & Breakfast Room: Benjamin Moore – Decorator’s White