NSML - July 2015
Tate Gunnerson 2015-06-29 05:39:11
PLAYING IT COOL TEXTURAL WALLCOVERINGS, MODERN FURNISHINGS AND TASTEFUL EDITS ADD A SOPHISTICATED YET CASUAL EASINESS TO AN ENGLISH TUDOR IN WINNETKA. When Shelly Handman of Handman Associates first toured the recently constructed English Tudor-style home of his new clients—a hedge-fund manager and stay-at-home mother of two boys—he quickly deduced that its overly traditional, almost fussy aesthetic was ill-suited for the hip young couple. “It was way more traditional than their style, with a lot of unnecessary gingerbread embellishments,” Handman says. “They love to entertain but didn’t want to have anybody over. The house just didn’t feel like it was up to snuff.” Despite its overly traditional interior, the owners felt that the private corner lot in the Hubbard Woods area between Glencoe and Winnetka was an ideal place for their family to plant its flag. When their boys grew out of the toddler phase, the owners brought in Handman and asked him to create a hipper, more modern aesthetic without making any significant architectural changes. “Our kids grew up, and we wanted a house for adults to live in rather than a giant playroom,” the wife explains. “It was such a nice feeling to get rid of all of their toys.” The domed entry foyer establishes the palette of color, texture and modern furnishings that Handman repeated throughout the home. Taking advantage of the room’s 25-foot ceiling, he designed an unapologetically modern 10-foot-tall cylindrical fabric and black metal chandelier. “It’s very sculptural and contemporary, so it’s a wonderful balance to those stair railings,” Handman says, noting that its black metal frame echoes the winding staircase’s wood balusters, which have been painted to contrast its curving white shell. “Sometimes making a simple change makes such a big difference,” the wife says. “It looks so much more modern now.” A neutral grass cloth wallpaper also adds warmth and texture to the cavernous space—just one of many rooms where Handman used the material. “The grass cloth wallcovering is very smooth and quiet, and it gave an ease to the house,” Handman explains. In the living room, gray grass cloth establishes a moody backdrop for a plum mohair sofa and an art deco-style burl chair with brass accents from Golden Triangle. “The room is a place for the adults to relax with a cocktail,” Handman says. “Even though it has a transitional look, most of the pieces are very contemporary.” Indeed, in the dining room, a spiky metallic chandelier from Jean de Merry illuminates a polished mahogany dining table from J. Robert Scott. And to tone down the inherent formality of the mahogany paneled library repurposed as a children’s study, the designer laid graphic black-and-white striped carpet tiles from Flor and incorporated a pair of wall-mounted anodized aluminum desk lamps with oversize shades. “The lights give the room a little kick in the derriere, so to speak,” Handman explains. “We de-classed this formal library, and it looks great.” The same formula has been used to update the breakfast room, where Handman paired a customdesigned rounded banquette upholstered in leather with a modern steel-and-concrete table. “The banquette is so comfortable that you could probably sleep there,” the wife says. A 6-foot-high light fixture in white makes a dramatic statement and lends the space a more modern sensibility. “Using colors and earthy materials, we were able to turn the volume down a lot,” Handman says. “When I walk through now, there’s a freshness, and you can breathe.” That sensibility extends to the basement, which the owners asked Handman to design after a flood devastated the space. The multifunctional area now includes a faux ice-skating rink, a home theater with deep custom sofas covered in luxurious chocolate mohair and a fully equipped gym where the wife enjoys working out with her personal trainer. Although the gym only has one window, Handman created the illusion of a bright and airy workout studio by covering one wall in floor-to-ceiling mirrors and the opposite wall with simple linen draperies. “It gives you the feeling that outside is right beyond, even though it’s just a dark basement,” Handman explains. “The fabric really helps to absorb sounds, and visually, it offers a softness and sexiness to the room.” Handman’s influence even extends to the exterior pool and garden area, where he replaced the outdated patio furniture with contemporary pieces that better match the home’s younger sensibility. The seating areas are used often by the parents, who enjoy hosting friends and family for barbecues while the children splash in the pool, play on the trampoline and gather around the fire pit. “Shelly is a talented guy who is super nice and fun to work with,” the wife says. “His design stayed true to the more traditional architecture, and he did a nice job of adding contemporary elements that make it feel fresh. We love it here.” CELESTIAL LIGHT Textured wallcovering and a spiky chandelier update the dining room. Opposite page: In the living room, a pair of lamps with quartz bases flanks the sofa, which is covered in plum mohair. OPEN HOUSE In the entry, Handman brought in a wooden sculpture. “It lends an earthy quality to a space that was a little bit jazzy,” he says. To style the settee, he covered it with a linen-and-leather fabric. “It has such a gutsiness to it with the brown leather along the top quarter,” he explains. Opposite page from right: Inspired by the warm tones in the Jerusalem gold flooring, Handman selected a mustard color for the kitchen and breakfast nook; a sense of serenity is found throughout the house. SUN AND SHADE Robert Brooks of Autumn Ridge Land and Site Design planned the garden and pool area, which is furnished by Handman with modern pieces. HOME WORK The once formal library was converted into a space for the family’s two boys to do their homework and play the occasional Xbox game.
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