Globally inspired heirloom-quality furniture brand Arhaus has relocated to Oak Brook Center, the upscale shopping destination in the western Chicago suburbs. The new two-floor, 18,000-square-foot store, which opened in February, offers a shoppable showroom of indoor and outdoor furniture and decor as well as in-person and virtual design services. In celebration of the new store, Arhaus partnered with DIOP, an African-inspired label whose new line of pillows debuted at this location.
London-born artist and designer Christina Z Antonio recently released her Helios lighting and chair collection in a sublime purple gradient using hand-blown glass, neon, stacked leather and fuzzy alpaca, inspired both by the healing power of light and James Turrell’s 2013 Guggenheim exhibit “Aten Reign.” Luxe caught up with Antonio from her Chelsea studio in Manhattan to learn more about her process.
How were you drawn to the healing powers of light? Light has always played a central role in my meditation practice. When I am able to visualize light, it becomes one of the most powerful modalities in healing.
Tell us about the glass-blowing process. When you play with the nature of glass, it’s so expansive. It’s fluid and it’s always in motion—it’s truly a dance. The color fade and bioluminescent effect was something we worked hard to achieve.
Why focus on lighting and chairs for this collection? I never imagined them together originally, but as I was creating a space where they coexist, I felt they related so well. In essence, they are experiential sculptural pieces.
WHO: Mother-daughter style mavens Margot Hampleman and Kirsten Schmit, whose international assortment of timeless and trendsetting tile and stone—by brands including Artistic Tile, Pratt + Larson and Salvatori—is showcased in four Colorado showrooms (Denver, Vail, Basalt and Telluride) and on their vibrant Instagram feed.
WHAT: Decorative Materials’ feed is “all about bringing the products to life,” Schmit says of photos that showcase some of the team’s favorite projects, products and application techniques—think shimmering gold grout lines, mosaic tile baseboards and pattern-play galore—in inspiring vignettes.
WHY: Visualizing tile and stone in your own home can be tricky. This feed makes it easier by showcasing a wide range of styles—from rustic wood-look porcelains to of-the-moment terrazzos—in myriad residential applications. And there’s no better place to discover what’s hot right now. “We look at fashion trends for color and pattern cues, and we are constantly in communication with our vendors to stay on top of what is on the horizon,” Schmit says. “Italy and Spain provide a great forecast of what we will see in Colorado over the course of the coming 12 to 24 months.”
IN THEIR WORDS: “Currently, our clients are drawn to products that show the hand of the maker, whether it is a handcrafted tile that allows light to dance across the undulating, glossy surface or the organic pitting and chipping of a Moroccan zellige tile.”
Oftentimes home buyers favor a residence that has been renovated with a more modern style. But the features that attracted one couple to a 1920s Miami Beach house happened to be original aspects of the Spanish-inspired structure—a notion that excited interior designers Laila Colvin and Rafaela Simoes. “They’re dream clients who let us be free with our ideas,” Simoes says.
The canal-front residence had undergone an extensive overhaul for a cleaner, more contemporary look. But plenty of 100-year-old charm remained, including arched windows, wood-beam ceilings and— the element that won over the couple—the original open staircase, which sports a traditional wrought- iron railing and colorful ceramic tiles. The owners tasked Colvin and Simoes with capturing a sense of artistry and zeal while bridging the gap between the original and renovated architecture. “They wanted the house to be modern but colorful,” Simoes says. “The wife wanted to keep the Spanish character but more contemporary.” The duo devised a concept for an eclectic bohemian vibe that combines organic, natural elements with streamlined ones. And the staircase, they knew, was the key starting point.
Working with general contractor Leonardo Rescaldani, the duo first made the stairs the focus of the living area by covering the surrounding walls throughout with a textural neutral linen. They then pulled the home’s color palette from the staircase’s Spanish tiles, particularly blues and oranges. The living area’s blue-and-white rug, made of dyed Persian rug remnants, for instance, sets a casual yet graphic backdrop for tailored Brazilian-style furnishings in neutral fabrics. “The sofa is very sleek,” Colvin says, pointing to the off-white track-arm sofa, “but the distressed patchwork rug feels bohemian.” Ottomans and pillows in a sun- bleached orange-red add another boho layer while picking up a second hue from the stairs.
A navy grass cloth covers the wall behind the open shelving in the living area’s custom built-in walnut cabinetry, which has a vertical slatted sliding panel that conceals the television when not in use. “The slatted panel is our signature,” Colvin says, noting she and Simoes incorporated a similar screen in their design studio. “We always use it somehow.” The handcrafted walnut millwork complements the wood ceiling beams, which they refinished for a more refined look.
The staircase’s tiles also informed the residence’s artwork, including a deep orange papier-mâché sculpture on a foyer wall and a pair of abstract paintings in the dining area. There, the interior designers played with opposites in materials: A metal chandelier illuminates a glass-topped table with an organic live-edge wood slab base, while white linen host chairs counter Brazilian wood side chairs with leather seats. “We love the mix of polished and organic elements,” Simoes says. “The balance creates a chic vibe.”
The duo repeated that strategy in the family room, pairing wood side tables with a blue plush velvet sofa and ottoman. “The velvet makes it feel a little fancier,” Colvin says, “but the idea is to be cozy.” Above, lining the wall, is a grouping of the family’s favorite movie posters—a similar scene to the breakfast area, which displays photos by a New Orleans artist over a blue channel-tufted banquette. “We wanted to do a gallery that kind of resembled the staircase, so that was a perfect find,” Simoes says.
Not every artwork is vibrant, though. Echoing the house’s more organic furnishings, mounted driftwood and wooden wall pieces make appearances throughout. The owners fell in love with a wood sculpture Colvin and Simoes placed by a swivel lounge chair in a corner of the primary bedroom. The room’s white linen bed juxtaposes the existing dark wood millwork, which flows into the en-suite bathroom. That space underwent a renovation that involved rearranging the layout to place a freestanding tub in front of a window and install an onyx-like wall. “The floor and most of the walls are concrete tile, so we created a porcelain slab accent wall with veining to break it up,” Colvin says. Overhead, a ceiling window with a sky view casts light on the spa-like milieu.
Just as the home’s original staircase leads to the structure’s next level, the residence itself has taken a step into a colorful new chapter with its history restored in a comforting way. “It was important to have a house that was beautiful, exciting and fun,” Colvin says. “It wasn’t to show off. It’s to enjoy, relax and have fun.”
Fate has a way of showing up in unexpected places. When a Gulf Stream, Florida, couple with three children was in need of a general contractor to renovate their new oceanfront residence, they turned to Terry Cudmore because of the community work he’d done with a local non-profit close to their hearts. As it turns out, they got an even surer sign it was meant to be: He was the one who constructed the house more than 25 years ago.
The structure was a replica of a nearby home Cudmore had built for another couple in 1991. “Those owners wanted the exact same house but with a bigger pool,” he recalls of the original residence. “So I built the identical house—same tiles, cabinets, color, everything—just with a slightly different layout for the garages and a larger pool.”
Although the new residents loved the footprint of the original Mediterranean-style home, they wanted a more modern, cleaner style that maximized the ocean views. So Cudmore and architect Rustem Kupi stripped the structure down to its studs, creating a more Anglo-Caribbean appearance with a cedar shake roof and outriggers as well as wood window and door frames.
Inside, they moved the elevator and added windows in the informal dining and family areas to open up the rear of the residence and ensure the flow of natural light. To accommodate the family’s lifestyle, they converted the library into a home theater and the office into a guest suite, replaced the terrace off the main bedroom and covered in the double-height ceiling in the entryway to create an extra bedroom.
“We wanted it to be sleek, clean and peaceful—very white, earthy tones,” the wife says. “The goal was to give it a more elegant and sophisticated look in some parts of the house, without being stuffy. I wanted people to be able to come in from the beach and feel comfortable, not cold.”
With that in mind, interior designer James Woodrow Taylor made sure the decor embodied simple, modern elegance. Light, natural tones—off-whites, neutrals, grays—as well as warm wood and leather textures bring a cozy intimacy to the lofty space. In the vaulted living area at the home’s heart, he positioned a wide, low-back sectional that provides the perfect perch for ocean views. “It’s low-key, nothing in excess,” Taylor says. “We used no more furniture than we needed to accommodate a normal amount of people.”
Kupi also created custom wood paneling and millwork as well as a minimalist, geometric railing around the mezzanine to help bring down the scale of the living area and allow the natural light to stream through. “The owners wanted to keep the home light and airy,” he says. “Even though there’s quite a bit of casings and moldings, it’s very simple and clean.”
That’s not to say there aren’t surprising irreverent moments amid the serenity. A trio of surfboards on a living area wall elevates the nautical, beach aesthetic, while sculptural light fixtures anchor many rooms, adding bursts of texture and intrigue to the otherwise minimal space. The backyard is just as restrained, featuring a large pool and a spacious lawn where the children can play, all prefaced by the Atlantic Ocean. “I wanted the inside of the house to have a less-is-more kind of feeling, and the backyard is a continuation of that,” the wife says. Around the perimeter, landscape architect Dave Bodker installed plants such as clusia, seagrape, thatch palms, mangosteen, green island ficus and sun rose. “We wanted to preserve the ocean view,” he says. And to ensure privacy from the adjacent neighbors, he added high, dense, multi-trunk palms that also provide a lush, tropical backdrop.
Although Cudmore has many great memories of the original residence, he’s satisfied with its newest incarnation. “It’s even better now than it was,” he says. “Rusty thought of every little detail. It was a good house then, and it’s still a good house.”
A new development in Chicago’s Lakeshore East incorporates the concept of biophilia, or the human desire to live among nature, through a verdant indoor amenity. The Conservatory, a shared space connecting the 350-unit condo tower Cirrus and the 503-unit apartment building Cascade, is filled with flora and fauna and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Cascade Park.
Abundant natural light, lush plants (think fiddle leaf figs and bamboo), wood-block flooring and polished stone allow residents to enjoy natural surroundings no matter the weather. “Over the past year, we have been reminded of the importance of being connected to the outdoors,” says Linda Kozloski, creative design director with Lendlease, a developer on the project. “This renewed interest in the natural world, including its role in supporting our physical and mental well-being, has made biophilic design a guiding principle in new residential communities.”
The LongHouse 6, 2019, Will Ryman. (Photo Courtesy Will Ryman Production)
Sixteen acres of intricately designed gardens and art installations beckon at LongHouse Reserve, which is welcoming guests back to East Hampton this season with a host of exciting events and exhibitions. Save the date for these three must-attend summer fêtes.
SAY YES SUMMER BENEFIT
Stroll through the art-filled grounds while enjoying a variety food, drinks and music at LongHouse Reserve’s Say Yes Summer Benefit on July 24. Don’t miss the chance to win something special at the LongHouse Shares Artsy auction before the night’s end.
PLANTERS ON+OFF THE GROUND X
Take in imaginative container gardens of all shapes and sizes, including the winner of this year’s ON+OFF The Ground X competition: Joshua Werber’s “Cornus Cocoon.” The top design, along with the other finalists’ works, will be on display through July 31.
JACK, LARGER THAN LIFE
Gather for an intimate portrait of creator-collector Jack Lenor Larsen. Nearly 50 iconic textiles are on display along with garments, furniture and art from Larsen’s home. The exhibition, designed by Lee Skolnick of SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership, will be on view through Sept. 5.
If you haven’t been to Willis Tower in a few years, this iconic piece of the Chicago skyline looks very different. The 110-story building has been undergoing a $500 million-plus redevelopment since 2018, with changes including the addition of Catalog (a dining, entertainment and community area) as well as meeting and event space, restaurants (including Tortazo by Rick Bayless), an outdoor terrace and garden, and a soaring skylight.
The most recent addition? Atmospheric Wave Wall by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (top), a public art installation that captures shifting sunlight on the street level of the tower along Jackson Boulevard. “The design creates a new relationship between building and streetscape, drives community and connection, and engages visitors in an experience truly unique to Chicago,” says Todd Heiser, managing director at Gensler Chicago, the architect behind the transformation.
The Gramercy, a new American brasserie on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, is turning heads with its opulent Beaux Arts design. Grand columns, velvet-swathed banquettes, a mirrored elevator (to nowhere), a spiral staircase and neon-lit Heartbreak Hotel reception desk all serve as fabulous photo backdrops; it’s almost as if guests are checking into a grand hotel instead of a restaurant.“
We wanted to pay tribute to the great hospitality institutions of New York City while remaining true to what we are—a Coral Gables brasserie,” says designer Mark Lehmkuhl of Ghost House Creative Group. “The most comfortable place in the world is the lobby of an old-world hotel so we emulated that while balancing moments of old Florida, like the palm leaf canopy over the cheetah-upholstered dining room.”
Sip a Negroni and indulge in bistro favorites like a French dip and prime rib as piano music plays in the background.
The partnership between RH and the art publishing company General Public recently added a new talent to its repertoire of artists: Arizona’s own Loren Yagoda. The Phoenix native grew up among architects and designers and subsequently brings a structural quality to her artwork with bold brushstrokes, neutral palettes and a dash of boldness. Here, Yagoda and General Public’s founder, Portia de Rossi, discuss art and who to watch.
Your work has been described as “architectonic.” What does that mean to you?
LY: Architecture is a springboard into form, only softened. [My pieces] resemble a site plan or a layout, except they are the spirit within the structure…the vibe, the environment or the purpose.
What’s your favorite piece in the collection?
LY: The next one.
What other RH x General Public artist should readers check out?
PD: Dustin Rousseau. Dustin and Loren are what I think of as “organized” in their approach to painting. The result is geometric and bold.