MBCH December 2013 : Page 52

life IN ChiCago dIgs WALK THE LINE A trio of pendant lights from Niche Modern hangs over the glass-topped dining table. Mod Squad Centaur Interiors’ Michael Miller brings a thoroughly contemporary Gold Coast bachelor pad to life. | By Brian Dukerschein | | Photography by Tony Soluri | Everyone knows that a successful man needs an equally impressive home in which to hang his hat. This 3,325-square-foot gold Coast penthouse, with its 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and two patios, certainly fits the bill. And while the raw space itself was remarkable, there’s always room for improvement. Enter Michael Miller, director of Centaur Interiors, who was charged with refreshing the unit’s slightly dated design. “At the beginning, we were just hired to do the design,” says Miller, whose firm specializes in high-end residential projects. “As we got involved, the homeowner really liked the dynamic of the team, and I think he felt comfortable letting the project get larger than he wanted to, initially.” After settling on a color palette of sophisticated grays, one of the top priorities was removing the marble tile that ran through the entire unit. “We had a vision of wood floors,” says Miller, who has supervised renovation projects at some of the city’s most prestigious addresses. “The owner and I really wanted to warm up the space. continued ... 52 | | Winter 2013

Life In Chicago Digs

Brian Dukerschein

Mod Squad <br /> <br /> Centaur Interiors' Michael Miller brings a thoroughly contemporary Gold Coast bachelor pad to life.<br /> <br /> Everyone knows that a successful man needs an equally impressive home in which to hang his hat. This 3,325-square-foot gold Coast penthouse, with its 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and two patios, certainly fits the bill. And while the raw space itself was remarkable, there's always room for improvement. Enter Michael Miller, director of Centaur Interiors, who was charged with refreshing the unit's slightly dated design. "At the beginning, we were just hired to do the design," says Miller, whose firm specializes in high-end residential projects. "As we got involved, the homeowner really liked the dynamic of the team, and I think he felt comfortable letting the project get larger than he wanted to, initially."<br /> <br /> After settling on a color palette of sophisticated grays, one of the top priorities was removing the marble tile that ran through the entire unit. "We had a vision of wood floors," says Miller, who has supervised renovation projects at some of the city's most prestigious addresses."The owner and I really wanted to warm up the space.<br /> <br /> It felt very cold with all the glass and marble." Miller settled on plain-sawn oak flooring in a custom stain that instantly gave the apartment a more modern aesthetic, and hexagon-shaped tiles were laid in a free-form design in the foyer, which Miller transformed into a gallery for the owner's burgeoning art collection. The Centaur Interiors team even helped the homeowner acquire three pieces from renowned photographer Abelardo Morell at Expo Chicago, which now hang underneath perfectly positioned flush-mounted lights.<br /> <br /> Despite it being the home of a frequently traveling bachelor, revamping the kitchen was also high on the to-do list. "The owner is a single guy and does a lot of entertaining," says Miller. "We came up with a design that included opening the kitchen up and making it more of an integral part of the living space." The wall dividing the kitchen from the living area was removed and an oversize island, white lacquered Snaidero cabinetry and quartz countertops were installed. "The client wasn't initially sold on white," says Miller, who has extensive experience designing kitchens and baths."Gray is his favorite color. But he warmed up to it, and I think it's a great complement to what we're doing with all of these different tones of gray." Perhaps Miller's greatest stroke of genius? Hiding the hood for the new induction cooktop in a piece of custom millwork suspended over the kitchen island. That hint of lightness runs throughout the home, courtesy of the narrow reveals at the base of the walls that make them appear to float above the floor.<br /> <br /> In the living room, Miller incorporated texture and a heavy dose of industrial cool by coating the architectural columns in a concrete finish and covering an accent wall with limestone tiles. A faux concrete mantle hangs a few inches above the floor and features a wood-free EcoSmart fireplace. "Everything in the apartment is very smooth, so this was a great way for us to incorporate different materials while still keeping the overall look very clean," says Miller.<br /> <br /> Creating a great home office was essential, so Miller suggested converting one of the existing bedrooms into a welcoming workspace. "Initially, the client wanted us to build him a separate office off the kitchen, but I didn't want to cut out good space to save a guest room that may only be used five times per year." The result? A fantastic multipurpose room with a custom wall unit for the homeowner's book collection, a generously sized desk and ample seating, including a sleeper sofa for overnight guests. One particularly cool feature: a closet with a biometric lock for storing valuables.<br /> <br /> In keeping with the client's goal of spending wisely, changes to the master suite were limited to the essentials: a custom bed with integrated lamps, semitransparent Lutron shades, a new bathroom vanity and a larger steam shower. The walk-in closet also benefited from a custom redo, and Centaur's turnkey service meant the client was able to come home to find his suits and shirts already on their hangers. With that degree of planning, it's no surprise Miller often feels a deep connection to these projects."You discover all the possibilities with the client and make something truly unique and special for them," he says. "I think a lot of the time when I work on renovations like this, that's what makes it fun."<br /> <br /> BOTTLE SERVICE <br /> <br /> Clockwise from above: A Sub-Zero wine cooler and drink station in the kitchen; the half-bath now boasts a floating vanity and Maya Romanoff wallpaper; the home office performs triple-duty as a den and guest room.<br /> <br /> “You discover all the possibilities with the client and make something truly unique.”

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Life+In+Chicago+Digs/1562632/184202/article.html.

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