Four years in the making by Magellan Development Group, The St. Regis Chicago (rebranded from Vista Tower) officially opened to residents in December 2020.
At 101 stories tall, not only is it the third-loftiest building in Chicago, but it’s also the world’s tallest building designed by a team of women architects and designers, led by architect Jeanne Gang of Chicago’s Studio Gang. As impressive as its pedigree is its faceted exterior inspired by crystals.
Inside, the design continues the gemstone theme for each of the finish packages offered in 393 residences, including 20 single-floor penthouses complementing the 191-room hotel below (opening this summer), as well as a restaurant from Alinea Group. Another residence perk: the 47th amenity floor, with a pool, spa, gym, exhibition cooking area, golf lounge, wine tasting room and more.
“With so many areas,” says Kathleen Dauber, partner with HBA Los Angeles who oversaw the design, “we selected a vocabulary for the flow and open spaces to intuitively guide the guest to each destination within the floor.”
“The husband has a ladder, which he used to get a better view of the property. Atop it, he saw the perfect grade for a new home, one he thought would establish an axial view of Mount Saint Helena,” recalls architect Timothy C. Chappelle. “And he was right!” Chappelle’s reverence for the setting inspired him to propose a family compound honoring the Napa agricultural vernacular without being gimmicky. “They wanted to be good neighbors, and this is quiet architecture that celebrates simple gable forms,” he says.
Working with project manager Casey Cramer and general contractors John Rechin and Mark Rechin, Chappelle developed a two-story main house clad in knotty Western red cedar and a separate stone guesthouse with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a sitting area. “It’s not one big box; it’s modular and agrarian,” he explains, noting his penchant for what he calls “skinny houses,” one-room deep spaces that capture daylight and provide ample cross ventilation. “This house is a gathering point, so it’s designed for flexibility and privacy,” he continues. “The great room is like a mini hotel lobby, and the guest rooms feel like a resort. There are fun things, too, like the bunk room.”
“They wanted to create an unpretentious estate for weekend retreats,” adds Ash, who, like Chappelle, sought to capture the essence of Napa Valley style in a fresh way. “We wanted the house to be casual, but not too rustic or expected,” she explains, noting that the home possesses an almost Hamptons-like spirit, a nod to where the couple first met in New York. The designer began with the color palette, pulling blues, greens, and natural wood tones directly from the landscape, intentionally keeping the primary spaces tranquil to not distract from the view. (Although she did play with bolder colors and patterns in the guest house.) But a mostly quiet color scheme didn’t stop her from finding intriguing pieces such as the antique Savonarola chair that punctuates the entryway or the rope chairs and sculptural wood tables by Caste furniture designer Ty Best in the living area. Ash says of the latter, “Those are the prize items. I knew from the beginning that I would use those tables.” Fine art adds an important layer to this home. The clients worked with art advisor Caroline Brinckerhoff to find pieces by David Hockney, Damien Hirst, James Nares and Adam Fuss. While almost all of the rooms came together smoothly and as planned, there was one last-minute request: A home office for the husband. Ever nimble, Ash quickly converted part of his closet into a workspace, adding a concealed door to the couple’s bedroom for a seemingly uninterrupted wall plane and even giving the newly created room vineyard views.
Since the home was meant as the ultimate retreat, the outdoor areas were treated as essential elements. Landscape architect Dustin Moore was hired to design a pool, lawn, vegetable garden and a gravel courtyard strung with globe lights for alfresco dining. “We approached the grounds as outdoor rooms,” says Moore of tying the garden to the architecture. “There’s a story in how you go from one space to another.” Chappelle, noting how the olive trees and grasses soften the home and help it become one with the landscape, says, “This house doesn’t stand out. It’s less about being a trophy home and more about a simple existence with family and friends—it’s the epitome of California living.”
When she met her clients–who were preparing to relocate from New Jersey to Denver with their 7-year-old son–Schumacher instinctively knew their project would be all about mixing different pieces and styles. “They are young, so it was important that the house be fresh and light and incorporate items with both a classical feel and a sense of whimsy,” she says. The homeowners had a similar flash of intuition about Schumacher: “We are a little quirky,” admits the wife. “And we were drawn to Andrea because, on the surface, her work looks fairly traditional, but look closer and there’s a wink.” But those clever moments would have to wait until the designer and her team, including project manager Troy Rivington, worked some magic on their new home–an ailing 1990s house.
Described by the wife as “an old-school Denver house with dark wood everywhere,” the initial budget didn’t match the laundry list of items required for a full transformation–“There wasn’t enough lipstick for all of that,” Schumacher laughs.
But what started as a kitchen and family room makeover quickly became a project of larger proportions. “When we saw what she was doing, we had to do the rest of the home,” says the husband who, along with his wife, signed on for a full-house remodel. “We wanted it to flow.”
And flow it does. The designer stained white-oak floors a deep espresso color and spiced up dated trim with dark gray-blue paint, tying the spaces together and establishing the backdrop. Schumacher’s team evened things out by replacing rough-textured, knockdown drywall with smooth surfaces in the living and dining rooms and grass cloth in the kitchen and family room.
The home’s youthful vibe is announced at the entry with the combination of a gold-leaf mirror, blue ceramic lamps with a midcentury vibe and wallpaper with a bronze abstract pattern. “We wanted whoever walks in to know this is the house of a young couple that likes to have fun,” says Schumacher, who punctuated the assemblage with a Balinese sculpture discovered by the owners on their travels.
Schumacher says she’s often inspired by fabric (“preferably one with three or four colors”), so she used colorful draperies with a floral, Asian feel as the driver in the living room. A pair of metal-framed Bernhardt chairs with azure velvet cushions and the gold-toned throw pillows on the sofa were a direct response to the blues and yellows that dominate, and the juxtaposition of a brass pulley light fixture on one side of the sofa and a crane lamp sporting a silk shade on the other is pure Schumacher. “I like to bring a little humor into the conversation,” says the designer, who went further for the wink by pairing a classic upholstered armchair with a side table supported by brass bird legs
A hint of pink on the curtains carries over to the dining room where the French Klismos chairs are upholstered in a similar shade, and a pink-and-green Sputnik light casts a glow on an oval wood table rimmed with bronze. From there it’s a glance away to the hammered-bronze coffee table and metal-trimmed side tables that sparkle in the family room. “I think brass and other warm-toned metals are here to stay, and they are fun, happy elements to weave throughout,” says Schumacher, who continued the shimmer in the kitchen with metal-framed barstools and a brushed-brass chandelier. Kitchen designer Kendall Lacroix selected the cabinetry in a soft gray-blue that lines the remodeled room, and the center island and leather barstool seats are matched to the darker steel-blue molding.
Fabric rules again in the master suite where Schumacher pulled colors from the vibrant draperies for the tomato-red pillows and the welt trim on the chair. The sculpted linen headboard is an elegant touch, brass lamps proved irresistible and, when the wife came home with a had-to-have Jonathan Adler floating star chandelier, no one objected.
“The designers really understood us,” enthuses the wife. “Andrea’s little jokes and quirky touches show lots of personality and are keeping with who we are.” The result is a mash-up perfectly tuned to the family.
Architect William Duff joined the couple for many backyard discussions, trying to figure out if it was possible to do their future life justice by merely reconfiguring their longtime home, which he describes as an “unremarkable” 1950s tract house. “Taking into consideration their wish list, we decided it would be best not to ‘Frankenstein’ the home by simply grafting new stuff onto it,” says Duff. All agreed it was better to tear down the old home and start from scratch.
Of the designs for the new house drafted by Duff and his team, architects Jim Westover and Michelle Liu, it was a three-level dwelling with a distinctive butterfly roof–a Le Corbusier hallmark of postwar American residential architecture–that resonated most with the homeowners. “That asymmetrical wing span is a very compelling way to give the home distinction, expression and energy,” says Duff.
But the design’s sentimental high note is the courtyard–an exalted version of the one found in the wife’s ancestral home in India, which also featured a solitary tree. “We both have immigrant backgrounds–my husband was born and raised in Ireland–and we wanted our home to integrate elements from our cultural heritages,” says the wife.
When the accordion glass walls enclosing the rooms flanking the central outdoor space–living room on one side, family room on the other–are folded away, the area becomes the heart of the home. “The landscape was designed to create a seamless transition from the indoors to the outdoor living spaces,” says landscape architect Richard Radford. “We blurred the lines between the two, and expanded the home’s living area into the garden environment.” On sunshine-drenched days, the family–who, by the time the house was completed, had added two children–moves effortlessly through this indoor-outdoor expanse, with ipe decking that’s nearly flush with the white-oak planks inside to make a smooth surface for tricycle wheels and small bare feet. At dusk, this area is particularly magical, thanks to Duff’s minimalist approach to illumination. A few strategically placed up-lights and recessed lighting are designed to let the pretty twilight take precedence over high wattage man-made lights. “I didn’t want anything distracting you from feeling the openness and cleanliness of the space,” says the architect.
When it came to the interiors, designer Robbie McMillan took a “less-is-more” strategy. “That meant incorporating fewer pieces of furniture, which are larger in scale, to anchor the rooms, as well as working with a range of textures and materials to provide an organic warmth and softness to each space,” he says. The concept is illustrated in the family room, where a low-backed sectional with strong lines and a chunky-wood coffee table are able to hold their own in the high-ceilinged space. “The rooms demand furniture groupings with clean lines and a sense of weight and volume to define themselves,” McMillan says. The designer opted for low seating to accommodate clear views to the backyard.
Dinner parties usually start in the living room, next to the fireplace that’s clad in lava stone slabs that jut out at different lengths and angles, both for textural interest (a counterpoint to the smooth floors and low, sleek profiles of the furniture) and visual drama (the shadows created when light washes on the surface of the hearth give the room’s otherwise quiet demeanor more expression). Since the formal dining room is adjacent, it’s just a few steps to the table, where guests have the choice of enjoying two compelling perspectives: Facing the naturalistic landscape of the drought-tolerant plantings by Radford or the modernist glass-and-metal staircase. “The staircase is a very sculptural–and at times kinetic–element that connects the spaces in the house,” says Duff. “You really see the stairs come to life when people are moving up and down them. You get a very pleasant, homey feeling when you see the house in motion, so to speak.”
It’s an easy thing to witness here, given the relaxed flow from one area to another. While natural materials take the edge off this modern floor plan, it’s the movement within the home that gives it true warmth. As the wife puts it, “Living out the story we imagined for our family and our life has been the home’s greatest gift to us.”
Icelandic-born, New York-based designer Hlynur Atlason has teamed up with Design Within Reach on two new seating solutions: the sleek, low-profile Rísa Recliner (above) and the sculptural, oval-shaped Lína Sofa (below). Atlason shared with Luxe the inspiration behind his designs.
What was your approach for the Rísa? The recliner archetype is quite dated, bulky and lacking in refinement, so I started by stripping away some of the unnecessary visual clutter while rethinking the overall construction. The silhouette is inspired by the floating upholstery that makes up the legs and armrests. I find the chair most interesting in full recline and seen from the side view where it starts to look like a modern chaise lounge.
How do you imagine people will use the Lína sofa? It can be dressed up or down, depending on the chosen upholstery, and given the context and desired impression. It’s a more refined, sculpted piece where the back is as interesting as the front.
You have an eclectic portfolio, from furniture to toothbrushes. How do you choose your commissions? I’ve always believed that a designer should be able to design (almost) anything. Those I admire from the past had a similar broad scope. Learning about people, solving problems and creating moments of joy through design is super exciting.
The couple jumped at the offer. Avid entertainers, the Rollos had always been intrigued by the home’s functionality: The living area, kitchen, entry and patio combined into one open layout ideal for mingling. The stone floors, brick walls, and black doors and windows created a vibe rooted in masculinity that appealed to them. But the couple also wanted to add drama and depth. So they turned to designer Jill Mitchell to do just that.
Originally designed by local architect Tor Stuart, the sprawling residence is perched atop a mountain on 10 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Floor-to-ceiling windows and wall-to-wall retractable doors evoke a floating sensation. “It’s a modern beauty,” says Mitchell, who used the indoor/outdoor architecture as the jumping-off point for Ian and Pedro’s request for a luxurious but livable design that functioned for both everyday life and entertaining.
A minimalist approach became Mitchell’s guiding mantra. “No matter what, we had to preserve the view,” she says. “By going minimal, we could effectively furnish the space while directing the eye outdoors.” In the living area, this meant two oversize, clean-lined custom sofas for ample seating; one of them backless to maintain the sightline outdoors. Clear glass lamps offer ambient light and visual read-through to both the mountain views as well as the landscaping by Chad Norris. “The sun paints incredible colors across the sky at dusk,” says Ian. “Maintaining unobstructed views allows that sunset to be experienced anywhere.”
To add depth and drama, Mitchell painted the walls white to contrast the dark stone and brick. And, because minimalist should never translate to cold, she counteracted the 15-foot ceilings by adding pieces with visual heft, such as the extra-large coffee table that anchors the living area. “Oversize pieces keep the space from feeling cavernous,” she says. Mitchell then utilized metallic accents to emphasize the stone’s warm golden tones. Bold textiles and materials—velvets, shagreen, burnished brass—as well as abstract patterns surprise against the furnishing’s clean lines. “I love mixing the old and the new, combining textiles, adding metals,” says Mitchell. “Each layer ensures that a space looks curated over time.”
It is a lesson in understated luxury, but Mitchell couldn’t forget the other half of the couple’s request: livability. Every piece Mitchell chose is anything but precious. “No one wants to live in a museum,” remarks Pedro. Performance fabrics on the seating defend against red wine spills and muddy paws from the Rollos’ four pooches—Walker, Winston, Watson and Sammy. Dark wool rugs add warmth to stone floors while combating heavy foot traffic.
The main floor is not the only space that’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. A downstairs guest suite, complete with its own living room and kitchenette, is more than just a place for guests to retire to—it’s also an additional entertainment area that nods to Pedro’s affinity for modern Italian furniture. A peacock-blue sofa and chaise pair with a cognac leather ottoman to break the neutral color scheme. Nearby, a shuffleboard begs for competition.
For all the carefully curated furnishings, perhaps the main bedroom is what hosts the pièce de résistance: a Poltrona Frau Volare canopy bed by Italian designer Roberto Lazzeroni. Pedro has pined for it since youth. “I’ve loved it forever, and I finally found its home,” says Pedro. “Being that it’s both framed and open, it reflects the bedroom’s indoor/outdoor vibe perfectly.”
That bedroom, like every space on the main floor looks out on the covered patio—the couple’s favorite space. Here, sheltered in the privacy of the canyon walls, Pedro and Ian dine alfresco, relax on the swings and swim in the infinity pool. The house is exactly what they thought it could be. Says Ian, “It’s our own little resort.”
So enticing was the prospect of waking up each day to the sight of the sand and waves that the couple decided to find a beachfront property and start again. When they did, they put together a dream design team: architect John Cooney and the couple’s longtime designer Bruce Palmer Coon, who together created a residence that satisfies the owners’ desire for an elegant and comfortable coastal abode that embraces the site’s views in every possible way—and fits right into its beachy environs without falling into seaside design tropes.
“[The owner] likes the West Indies-inspired, clean, tropical style,” Cooney says, “and he wanted me to get as many rooms on the view as possible.” The architect dreamed up a three-story concept with authentic detailing and materials: On the exterior, Cooney specified tabby shell stucco, mahogany windows and doors, and large overhangs with tongue-and-groove soffits and outrigger brackets and corbels. Even the gutters and downspouts—zinc-coated copper—align with the home’s distinctive style. Cooney prioritized the use of windows and sliding-glass doors; using as much glass as possible on the north and west elevations allows for ample views of the water and floods the interiors with natural light.
That sunlight illuminates exquisitely detailed interiors. The front door is at mezzanine level, splitting the difference between the exterior grade and the first habitable floor, and opens to a dramatic three-story-height entry. Coon designed a pair of handblown, Murano glass “sea bubble” chandeliers, one of which extends from the second-floor ceiling to the first floor, while the second fixture extends 31 feet through all three levels of the space. “We did countless drawings to ensure the space would be sufficient for what is, essentially, an art installation,” Coon says. “And we had to be sure the grandkids wouldn’t swing off of it,” he laughs.
The owners asked for main-floor living so they could reserve the second floor for those grandchildren and their parents, as well as a plan that fosters entertaining. Among the ways the design team delivered: the glowing dining room with a gorgeous pecky cypress ceiling treatment. “I’ve always loved pecky cypress, probably because it reminds me of Addison Mizner’s houses in Palm Beach. It’s very ‘old Florida,’ ” Coon says. To accommodate the HVAC grills and preserve the integrity of the ceiling’s design, Cooney worked with the mechanical engineer to create a hidden reveal—which appears as a shadow line in the ceiling details—behind which the ductwork resides. The room’s other elements, including gold-threaded grass cloth on the walls, sheer ombré curtains and a smoked-glass mirror, give the room an inviting feel.
This level of detail is omnipresent throughout. “The wood-clad walls, the millwork, the columns—it required a very high level of craftsmanship,” says builder Dave Rogers. His team, led by project supervisor Andy Warner, oversaw the installation of the architectural paneling and millwork that Coon specified throughout the home. In the living room, for example, paneled walls make a handsome backdrop for the coquina-limestone fireplace, and a silk Phillip Jeffries wallcovering defines the ceiling’s coffers. Even the powder room exudes elegance: Venetian-plaster wallpaper panels with a polished nickel trim complement a single-slab marble floor.
The interior beauty is matched, of course, only by its site on the Gulf. Cooney designed expansive outdoor, west-facing living spaces on each level, which provide privacy from beach-goers and protection from the afternoon sun. Landscape architect Koby Kirwin nestled the pool below the dune so the owners “have unobstructed views of the water breaking on the shore,” he says, “and the pool is protected from the winter winds off the Gulf.” To landscape the property, he used a small plant palette inspired by the site’s coastal setback, including native sea grape and clusia, railroad vine and coastal grasses; a wall of Sylvester palms and hedging gives some privacy from the public beach access. “The owners invested in the view and in a home that embraces it,” he says. “We all just wanted to give them a place that they never want to leave.”
Enjoy delicious bites and drinks at the V Lounge at the Vinland.
Just a short drive from Santa Barbara, California, a pair of stylish hotels has opened in Solvang, a delightful Danish village where visitors can try traditional pastries like aebleskiver, buy a unique cuckoo clock, and explore the region’s spectacular wineries and vineyards. The sister properties, both by Highway West Vacations, embody different aesthetics, offering something for every taste.
Solvang’s historic Old Mill Clock Tower has been reimagined as The Winston, an intimate boutique hotel that marries the building’s old-world charm with fresh, bohemian decor. Each of the 14 guest rooms and suites is unique, with vibrantly colored walls, oversize upholstered headboards, and furnishings and accessories thoughtfully curated from around the world.
Lovers of clean, modern design will want to book the Vinland Hotel & Lounge, situated in the heart of Solvang’s Mission Drive. After a full day of exploring, pillow-top beds and luxurious bedding promise a restful slumber. Guests will soon get to enjoy fresh Californian fare with a Danish flair at the hotel’s swanky V Lounge. Those who book the top suites get exclusive perks and experiences at nearby wineries.
Enjoy a stay at The Winston.
PHOTOS COURTESY THE WINSTON AND VINLAND HOTEL & LOUNGE
Designer Kara Hebert, who led the project, spent her childhood in Jupiter riding her bicycle to the beach and taking family boating trips to the Bahamas–idyllic experiences that have “influenced my work and my lifestyle,” she says. Her latest endeavor is no exception: Hebert incorporated variations of soft blue throughout every room, creating a soothing atmosphere in the home by residential designer Dennis Rainho and general contractor Michael Maxwell. To ensure the pervasive primary color is subdued yet engaging, she incorporated shades of white and gray, introduced prints and presented varying hues and textures. The result is a seamless, calming getaway.
The residence’s restful tone is established in the entry courtesy of an abstract ocean watercolor, pale blue lamps and a chandelier made of white shells. From there, the great room takes over as the wide-open heart of the home, encompassing the kitchen, living area and dining area as well as leading to a family room and patio. Comfortable seating includes an approachable white sofa and four light blue chairs, two of which swivel–so during gatherings, occupants can turn toward any conversation. “Strong furniture and art placement in the great room were crucial,” Hebert says. “The space has a high ceiling and an abundance of natural light from windows and glass doors, a signature of Maxwell homes.” Clear handblown glass pendants allow unobstructed views from the living area to the kitchen’s focal shiplap wall, with the family room and patio on the right side and a stunning marble-walled laundry room on the left. “This sight line is my favorite view and probably the most interesting in the house,” the designer says. “It shows a layered effect, which is so important when using a singular color palette.”
To create more visual interest, Hebert selected a subtle patterned fabric for the living area’s swivel chairs and topped the sofa with throw pillows that add pops of blues and grays. For texture, she maintained wood as the main material for various tables, including round washed-mango-wood end tables, a square gray washed-wood coffee table and, in the dining area, a solid wood table surrounded by slate-colored upholstered chairs. “Because you can see into almost every space from the great room, I wanted a visual treat everywhere you looked,” Hebert says. Wooden elements reappear in the family room, where a lattice-back chair and a round drum coffee table retain the coastal vibe. Here, darker gray walls and a powder-blue linen sectional add to the cozy feel for movie nights and lounging. “This is the owners’ favorite room in the house,” Hebert says.
While much of the home gives a nod to the ocean, the master bedroom, where the wife requested a “cloud-like” feel, points toward the sky. Hebert combined a white custom rug, white linen draperies trimmed in seafoam and a comfy bed upholstered in the same powder-blue fabric as a nearby chaise. White linen bedside chests further soften the room, as do the cotton-sateen linens the designer acquired to outfit each bed in the house. The pampering continues in the spa-like master bathroom, where pale sky linen draperies frame a soaking tub. A dramatic wood bead chandelier and walls lined in horizontal shiplap reintroduce the beachy presence.
The restful spaces are more than what they seem: To stand up to the owners’ rescue dogs and visiting family members, Hebert incorporated performance materials throughout the home–notably Crypton fabrics on nearly all the upholstered pieces, including the living area sofa, the family room sectional, the dining chairs and even the master bedroom headboard and chaise. All of the countertops are engineered quartz, known for its durability. And there is not a carpet to be found: Rather, indoor-outdoor area rugs and durable tile that mimics wood provide proper footing for scampering feet. “I wouldn’t want to design a house that will stress someone out,” Hebert says. “I always tell my clients, I want their home to reflect their family and the way they live.”
It’s safe to say Hebert hit her mark: According to the wife, guests say their blood pressure drops in the peaceful environment. “So much of the gratification I get out of my job is making sure clients are comfortable in their home,” the designer says. “To me, that’s the best result.”
Spreading love through flowers is Elaine Muller’s goal, and she has done just that with her Naples-based shop, Jardin Floral Design, for the past five years.
Not a big follower of trends, Muller’s arrangements draw their inspiration from European style, particularly modern Victorian paintings, which she says are “great inspiration for flowers, colors and movement.” But trend follower or not, she does let the seasons dictate the blooms she selects for her arrangements.
With the change of season, she has been focusing on mixing year-round favorites like roses and hydrangeas with popular winter blooms such as boldly colored amaranth and daisy-like anemones. “I personally love the magnificence of cymbidium orchids balanced with the simplicity of hellebores,” Muller says.