...continued Randy HelleR Pure & Simple Interior Design, Highwood/Highland Park Ladies Dressing Room and Bathroom Randy Heller grew up in a family of artists— her dad paints, her mom was a dancer and creativity was strongly encouraged. Though always connected to the arts in some way, it took a second wind and a nudge from her husband to pursue her passion. Heller jump-started her new career by hopping on a plane to learn the ropes from revered London designer Kelly Hoppen. After a stint working for a design firm back in the States, she then ventured out on her own in 2008 and is now participating in her very first showcase house. “I expect to learn and grow working with designers of this caliber,” muses Heller. Before presenting her plans for consideration, she asked herself, ‘What would David Adler be proud of?’ Recognizing Adler’s penchant for the occasional Asian influence, a sign of wealth and culture during his time, Heller will pull from that inspiration by mixing Asian, classic Italian and art deco influence. “I want to create an environment that respects and reflects the architect, with the hope that the current homeowner would imagine drawing a bath, enjoying the fire… wanting to come home and not go back out.” Heller’s plans for the bathroom include a fabulous horizontal fireplace that stretches across the wall in view of the travertine-lined tub, complete with a balcony overlooking the lake. The lucky homeowner might actually decide to live in the bathroom. RestLess nAtive Cliff miller at home with his chirping dart frogs Though her personal style evolves, Heller’s design tends to lean toward a neutral palette, and she prefers for the pieces to speak from their history and multiple lifetimes. A collector as well as designer, she offers some of these pieces for sale at Anna’s Mostly Mahogany in Highwood (where you might catch her tooling around in a pickup truck, donning her Hunter boots). When asked about her favorite projects, Heller says she is blessed with amazing clients who’ve told her, “I hire you to buy your eyes.” It is a compliment she will not soon forget. P. CliffoRd MilleR PCM Landscape Artistry, Lake Bluff Sunken Garden Landscape designer Cliff Miller, seasoned veteran of many showhouses past, inadvertently started his career while creating habitats for his various amphibians as a boy in Deerfield. Numerous terrariums full of chirping dart frogs later, Miller has more than come into his own as a premier landscape designer on the North Shore. An innovator of naturalistic design using native plants in the landscape, Miller has been referred to by Horticulture Magazine as a Pioneer of Design and “one of the most outstanding designers at work today.” Though most of his projects are DesiGn DivA Randy heller with six original engravings, circa 1790, from Art Post Gallery 72 | | spring 2013 photos by neIL burger residential, Miller often consults with villages and open lands, currently working on the Forest Park project for the City of Lake Forest and Sunrise Park for the Village of Lake Bluff. For his showhouse designs, he likes to push the envelope and move outside of his trademark naturalistic style. “We like to have fun with this and do things people haven’t seen before,” explains Miller. “We’ll honor the history of the house, respecting the intent, but won’t copy what was originally there.” The original sunken garden was designed by Ralph Root and featured formal clipped boxwood and larger yews at various times during its lifespan. At approximately 100 by 100 feet with a gorgeous vista of Lake Michigan, it is an extraordinary canvas to work on. But also a difficult one—keep in mind that landscape designers participating in the showhouse must plant in unpredictable weather, often too early for most flowers to bloom or grass to green. Miller plans to keep it formal, playing off the style of European estates with a nod to an Italian Renaissance garden. The icing on the cake will be an elaborate fleur-de-lis-influenced design mowed into the lawn, which will evolve and grow as the program continues into May. “I see planting as a form of sculpture,” Miller says, “integrating people, plants and places.” His design here will no doubt dramatically reflect this.