HBCH April 2013 : Page 62

IN-HOU S E DESIG N Park Place A design queen’s scheme merges dazzling indoor details with frisky family functionality. By Margaret Sutherlin Photography by Eric Hausman In a sea of narrow Lincoln Park graystones, having a distinctly unique design voice is always front-page community news. Lucky for architect Jean Dufresne at Space Architects + Planners (spacearchplan.com) and interior designer Jenna Wedemeyer (jennawedemeyer. com), their client’s decision to keep the historic shell intact allowed for an alternative interior kept well under wraps (and under the nosy neighbor’s radar). Th e open-mindedness of the inhabitants—a family with three kids and a dog—made the whole process a ton of fun, seeing as how they were just as happy to choose whimsical dog-print wallpaper for a laundry room as they were classy travertine for the kitchen tabletop. “Th e clients brought us all together, and it was such a great group,” says Wedemeyer. “Th ere were no egos—it was a collaborative eff ort.” The 5,300-square-foot space had lived several previous lives since its construction in the 1920s. After a fi re while it was individual apartments, the City of Chicago Landmark was converted back into a single-family home. Enter Dufresne and Wedemeyer, who helped the family maximize every inch of the footprint— starting with removing the back staircase to add three new rooms upstairs and expand the kitchen. “Th ey were thinking they would need an addition,” says Dufresne, “so they were really surprised when we suggested taking out the staircase. But it made a huge diff erence.” Th e concept for the main level centered around gathering spaces, fi nding furniture that was durable but beautiful and utilizing as much sunlight as possible. Th e original dark wood of the staircase and hardwood fl oors in the foyer was preserved in the TOP HEAVY Wedemeyer and Dufresne transformed the kitchen from typical to exceptional with their 300-plus pound limestone and bronze custom dining table by McKinley Design and the bubble chandelier by Pelle Designs. In the end, the industrial base and organic top pull the outdoors in and complement the modern lines of the kitchen. contemporary yet still comfortable formal living and dining rooms. Dufresne and his team raised the living room ceiling, sealing off an additional doorway in the process to make a larger dining area and entry that could take advantage of the natural light coming from the back of the house. By painting the ceilings and walls neutral colors and using classic furniture, the space was transformed into an inviting, warm room that appears much larger than it is. In the dining area, one eye-catching piece is the sea urchin-inspired Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry over the dinner table. “Th e family appreciates art, and this really is a piece of art,” continued ... 62 | | Spring 2013

A Graystone Cocoon In Lincoln Park Reveals A Gut Job With Gusto By Space Architects And Jenna Wedemeyer

Margaret Sutherlin

Park Place

A design queen’s scheme merges dazzling indoor details with frisky family functionality.

In a sea of narrow Lincoln Park graystones, having a distinctly unique design voice is always front-page community news. Lucky for architect Jean Dufresne at Space Architects + Planners (spacearchplan.com) and interior designer Jenna Wedemeyer (jennawedemeyer. Com), their client’s decision to keep the historic shell intact allowed for an alternative interior kept well under wraps (and under the nosy neighbor’s radar). The open-mindedness of the inhabitants—a family with three kids and a dog—made the whole process a ton of fun, seeing as how they were just as happy to choose whimsical dog-print wallpaper for a laundry room as they were classy travertine for the kitchen tabletop. “The clients brought us all together, and it was such a great group,” says Wedemeyer. “There were no egos—it was a collaborative eff ort.”

The 5,300-square-foot space had lived several previous lives since its construction in the 1920s. After a fire while it was individual apartments, the City of Chicago Landmark was converted back into a singlefamily home. Enter Dufresne and Wedemeyer, who helped the family maximize every inch of the footprint— starting with removing the back staircase to add three new rooms upstairs and expand the kitchen. “They were thinking they would need an addition,” says Dufresne, “so they were really surprised when we suggested taking out the staircase. But it made a huge diff erence.”

The concept for the main level centered around gathering spaces, finding furniture that was durable but beautiful and utilizing as much sunlight as possible. The original dark wood of the staircase and hardwood floors in the foyer was preserved in the contemporary yet still comfortable formal living and dining rooms. Dufresne and his team raised the living room ceiling, sealing off an additional doorway in the process to make a larger dining area and entry that could take advantage of the natural light coming from the back of the house. By painting the ceilings and walls neutral colors and using classic furniture, the space was transformed into an inviting, warm room that appears much larger than it is.

In the dining area, one eye-catching piece is the sea urchin-inspired Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry over the dinner table. “The family appreciates art, and this really is a piece of art,” says Wedemeyer. “I showed it to them and [the husband]—who had a bad experience with a sea creature as a child—was not really on board at the beginning. It is now a favorite piece —design as therapy!” The light fixture also presents a contemporary juxtaposition for an otherwise traditional space.

The kitchen and family room presented the opportunity to explore even more unconventional territory. After removing the back stairwell, Dufresne added new windows near the kitchen sink and the mudroom. Since the owners’ home extends past their neighbors’, there were several opportunities to open up the shell to the outdoors for views and sunlight.

In the kitchen, Dufresne suggested the beautiful Bubble lamps by Jean Pelle above the island. The matching one over the kitchen table is flecked with 24-karat gold for a warm, homey glow. “For me, I had to think about things that would hold up to the kids and the family,” says Wedemeyer. “They live in [the kitchen and family room], so we wanted pieces that were functional but also looked sophisticated.”

Another furniture-as-art item is the stunning kitchen table, which Wedemeyer and Dufresne set out to design to tie together the contemporary kitchen. The industrial bronze base grounds the more delicate organic lines of the limestone top—which not only allows for more seating options, but introduces visual interest. “That table was a group effort between Jean, myself and Mick Wells of McKinley Design. There were many sketches and drawings between the three of us, and much concern about the weight of the metal and stone. It took a long time to make, and we even had to reinforce the floor!” explains Wedemeyer.

Workspaces upstairs also make the shift between functional and playful. With the back stairwell gone, there was lots of room to create more efficient and accessible spaces—such as moving the laundry room from the basement to the third f loor. Wedemeyer suggested Osborne & Little’s “Best in Show” dog print wallpaper to sprinkle some amusement into an otherwise closetlike workroom.

Because of the kitchen remodel, the original office downstairs had to move. The upstairs redux became a standout part of the remodel. High-gloss lacquered turquoise cabinets by Euro Style were suggested by Dufresne to bring a modern edge to the space, while Wedemeyer added contrast with traditionally patterned curtains and a vintage Murano glass chandelier. The countertop is even made of compressed recycled paper. “I have a fascination with colored cabinets; they’re fun and different,” says Dufresne. “I have always wanted to use Paper Stone counters as well, and in the office, I got to use both!”

Having clients willing to take design risks— whether in innovative materials, off-the-primary palettes or unexpected details—allowed Dufresne and Wedemeyer to create a home that is absolutely original but still pleasant to live, work and play in. “I got an email a few weeks after [the clients] moved in and it was pretty simple,” says Wedemeyer. “‘Just wanted you to know we love the house and wouldn’t change anything about it.’”

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/A+Graystone+Cocoon+In+Lincoln+Park+Reveals+A+Gut+Job+With+Gusto+By+Space+Architects+And+Jenna+Wedemeyer/1372720/154600/article.html.

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