Set to debut in spring 2021, Parkline Chicago is a rarity for the city as both a new build in the Loop and a hybrid condo-apartment concept. Currently under construction at 60 East Randolph across from Millennium Park, the new residential building will have 24 condos and 190 apartments. Residences—located on floors 20 through 25—will feature Wolf, Sub-Zero and Cove appliances, Snaidero cabinetry, quartz countertops, and walk-in showers and soaking tubs. “Every home features gracious layouts with a balance of formal and informal living spaces and design elements that flow together to create an expansive feel, maximized by 10-foot ceiling heights and floor-to-ceiling windows,” says Thomas Roszak, founder and principal of Thomas Roszak Architecture, who’s collaborating with developer Moceri + Roszak. A 19th-floor amenity space exclusive to condo owners will have a private conference room with catering kitchen, a library and a sky terrace, while the fourth and 18th floors will have fitness and wellness facilities open to all residents. parklinechicago.com
James Huniford makes pulling off a neutral palette look easy. A prime example: the glass-wrapped Chelsea penthouse he designed as a vacation home for his clients, where views include those of New York’s celebrated landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Hudson River to The High Line’s manicured park. But Huniford’s elegant interiors–a composition of geometric furnishings in shades of white, cream, beige and gray–form their own sort of skyline, with the interior designer’s mix of tactile materials adding interest and nuance to the color scheme. After all, he says, “One texture would be boring.”
The couple, who called Huniford after seeing a model apartment he had designed, were looking for a new configuration for this penthouse, one that was equally ideal for a visit from their adult children, a dinner party for 15 or a quiet evening for two. “We were in sync with how they wanted to live,” Huniford says, “and they had a strong point of view about clean lines and a lot of white and sunlight.” One of the most important things Huniford had to consider was how the various groups of people might occupy the penthouse and how the layout could accommodate each scenario. Working with builder Mark Dobbin, he carved intimate spaces from the main living room that maintain an open sense of flow. “The goal was to use simple design elements without ornamentation,” he says. A floating fireplace set in angular cast concrete separates the casual family area from the formal living area, which shares space with the open kitchen and dining room.
The couple owns homes in many of their favorite locales around the world, and they wanted their Manhattan residence to be a place to retreat. “They love the idea of luxury and uniqueness,” says Huniford. As a result, much of the furniture is custom, and fabrics and rugs were sourced from specialty weavers. Window seats that Huniford designed, for example, feature cushions upholstered in a high-pile handwoven fabric from the venerable Nantucket Looms, while the rug in the entry hall is by Elizabeth Eakins. “I love working with these artisans who are making something that’s not mass produced,” he says. “That was important for these clients.”
Objects throughout the home reflect this same thoughtfulness. A fiber piece by artist Sally England hangs on the living room wall, and, on the dining table, a series of cast-concrete candelabra by Brooklyn-based Vonnegut/Kraft is brutalist, urban and entirely unusual.
Texture on the walls includes a pigmented plaster in the entry, where one stripe is flat and the next is waxed–“inspired by Agnes Martin,” reveals Huniford. “I love her work.” The den is wrapped in flat wood veneer paneling, and the master bedroom wallpaper is comprised of individual sheets of bark skin that are hand-applied. Drawing from the work of Billy Baldwin and Karl Springer, Huniford covered a console in painted grass cloth, while the kitchen’s polished concrete complements the fireplace.
The views from inside the penthouse are stunning, but the vistas from the balconies and the roof terrace “are magical,” Huniford remarks. He designed custom furniture for the terrace, including a mahogany sectional and boxes for plantings. “That kind of tailoring creates something very special,” he says. “Everywhere you turn, there’s something to see.”
It’s been said that originality flourishes within constraints, and with its subdued colors and thoughtful design, this vacation residence is a case study. “I love a client who knows what works for them,” says Huniford. “It helps me expand my creativity, and I can exceed their expectations.”
Luxe explores three new design-forward spaces from brands as stylish as their showrooms.
Denmark’s design-forward speaker company Bang & Olufsen tapped Tokyo-based Simplicity to create its new 2,200-square-foot flagship in SoHo (121 Spring St.). Blonde wood features almost exclusively throughout the various listening stations, resulting in Scandinavian minimalism crossed with New York’s monochrome industrialism. There’s also an enhanced listening room for experiencing new products like the Beosound Stage or the Beoplay E8 3rd Generation.
Uptown, the Jonathan Adler flagship (135 E. 65th St. and Lexington Ave.) encompasses 5,500 square feet of the furniture brand’s signature whimsy: funky lighting, curvaceous seating in bold colors, idiosyncratic ceramics, candles and pillows. The bi-level showroom features themed residential vignettes to provide inspiration and will roll out new merchandise before it lands in the brand’s eight other boutiques nationwide.
Temple Studio (51 E. 12th St.) is the hot newcomer for fabric, wallpaper and rug designs. Launched by Studio Four co-founder Kate Temple Reynolds, its airy 3,500-square-foot showroom in Greenwich Village artfully displays the works of the 19 designers it represents.
Please check the showroom websites for any changes in opening hours due to COVID-19.
A few things immediately stood out to the designer. Observing him, she noticed he was always in motion, so it was important that furnishings were able to “not only withstand his energy but encourage it,” she says. Adds Alex, “I’m a big pacer and rough on things.” Svenstrup also knew she had to acknowledge and celebrate her client’s passions, particularly mountaineering. Addressing his need for what they both cheekily call “an adult jungle gym,” the designer chose sturdy furnishings. “There is nothing fragile here,” she says. “I didn’t want him to be afraid of his home.” Her selections include a gnarled teak root coffee table (that’s strong enough to stand on) in the living room, a solid Chesterfield sofa, a generous Milo Baughman satellite chaise, and a curvy Pierre Paulin lounge chair. All upholstered in contract-grade fabrics, the blue on the Paulin and the purple on the chaise pay homage to two of Alex’s other great loves: the Cubs and Northwestern University.
For a client who admits he “likes to chill in weird ways,” Svenstrup took advantage of the window seats around the perimeter of the unit, making them into stylish perches. “There’s no point in sitting by the window when you can actually be in the window,” she points out. One of these spots even forms the seating area of an intimate dining space. “Alex was never into the idea of a dining table,” says the designer, “so I approached the room as one large great room. I wanted to provide the option of a dining area, but I didn’t want it to feel like one.”
Svenstrup cleverly wove in references to Alex’s life as a mountaineer in subtle and surprising ways. One of the first suggestions is a collection of nine 3D-printed sculptures just inside the main living area. On closer inspection, they represent the seven summits and North and South Poles that comprise the Explorers Grand Slam, which Alex just completed in June. Dark millwork meant to evoke the striations of a mountain in vertical form clads the wall housing the TV, and the hand-painted wallpaper on the ceiling suggests jagged peaks. A self-portrait of climber Cory Richards, shot just after he survived an avalanche, is a more explicit nod. “Alex wanted a monumental portrait that would encourage people to ask questions,” Svenstrup explains.
Alex’s demanding, risky pursuit informed Svenstrup’s approach to the bedroom. That’s where she hung certificates marking his accomplishments, so it’s a place for reflection–and a spot for him to recharge upon his return to sea level. “When I’m not on mountains, it’s hard to be home,” says Alex. “When I come back, it’s nice to go to a sanctuary where I can relax, but not be separate from the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done.” There, the designer hewed to a palette of grays infused with lush texture but eschewed the bold notes of color she used elsewhere. Instead, from the pewter-hued Venetian plaster on the walls to the perforated metallic draperies that allow in light but maintain privacy and the ruched charcoal fabric on the bed, the effect is soothing and cocoon-like.
Creating a home for an adventurer was an adventure in itself for Svenstrup. “I would dare to say it was the biggest one of my career,” she says. “He has been on a journey, and so have I.” And the final result isn’t just a home perfectly suited to Alex. The project allowed her to grow as a designer and businessperson. “I had his complete trust, and he embraced the design process, allowing me to curate his home,” she says. “I use him with other clients as an example of how I work and what happens when you’re on the same page.”
When the McCools hired designer Kim Layne to help update the vintage residence, they had no idea of the home’s history or its Hollywood connections. It was built by Marvin Davis, an oil mogul who once owned 20th Century Fox, Pebble Beach Resorts and the Beverly Hills Hotel, among other investments. Before moving to Los Angeles, Davis lived in the Denver house with his family.
For the design, Layne honored the home’s legacy while implementing the style her clients love. “We gave it a new life with a nod to the grand Hollywood Regency style Marvin established during his time here,” Layne says. “The home is still glamorous, but now with the clean, modern bent it was intended to have.” Jason agrees, adding, “We tried to walk a fine line between classy and comfortable.”
Inside, little was untouched, although the front closet with its 1970s wallpaper and green velvet-covered hanging rod remains just as it was in the Davis days. The parquet floor in the family room was also preserved and inspired the new, more clean-lined herringbone-wood floors elsewhere in the house. “Before, there was a lot of cream-and-beige marble everywhere,” says Layne. “We wanted to update things with new modern materials that make a similar impact.” These elements translate into a dramatic foyer with white Carrara marble and black Nero Marquina marble pieces cut into trapezoid shapes and laid to create a geometric, statement-making floor. Enhancing the impact is a round sofa with an animal print, black-lacquered chests and a contemporary crystal chandelier.
The marble floors–which begin with the black-and-white pattern in the foyer, then morph into oversize white squares in the rest of the home–proved tricky for general contractor Austin Schmidt. “We were trying to install almost 4,000 feet of marble tile and there were no level horizontal planes in the house,” he recalls. “We had to pour self-leveling concrete on two-thirds of the floor space, and then lay the stone.” Schmidt acknowledges other challenges as well, noting, “The way homes were built 50 years ago is so different from the way we build now.” He cites the master bathroom as a prime example. When constructed, this area was a warren of small, awkward spaces, including his-and-her bathing areas, three closets and a sauna. Layne reconfigured the space into one large room with a freestanding glass shower, but Schmidt says the complexity of the original layout required his team to “reframe that area a couple of times.”
The home’s color palette was inspired by a pair of stained-glass sidelights that once flanked the front door. The glass elements were composed of vibrant shades of teal, gold and blue, and although they had to be removed to make way for a new steel-and-glass entry door, their colors live on throughout the house. “We used those shades as an inspiration to ground the palette in what the home had been,” Layne says. “Especially the teal element, which we wove through most of the rooms.” This hue appears in the elegant living room curtains, the library millwork and bookshelves, the velvet-covered dining room chairs and the family room’s barstools. The blue-green shades are frequently accented with notes of polished brass (as in the legs of the barstools).
Truer blue tones appear in the family room, where the designer selected an oversize semicircular sofa in a bright cobalt hue that seems to embrace the fireplace. The fireplace wall now has a new lease on life, thanks to the designer’s fresh take on classic midcentury materials. Granite replaces ledgestone tile on the horizontal fireplace surround, and the tall, vertical volume is reclad in limestone. Layne covered the wall above the mantel with contemporary wooden squares outlined in raw steel–a twist on classic wood paneling. Across the room, a 1960s-style console wears an of-the-moment gilded honeycomb print and is flanked by chairs with a bold foo-dog pattern.
In the formal living room, Layne opted to reference the Hollywood Regency genre in a more direct way. The room’s paneled walls and niches are highlighted with shades of pale gray, cream and bright white, while the ceiling was painted a sky-blue hue. Low-backed sofas are upholstered in soft cream and teal shades, and the coffee table is crafted in a kidney shape. A California-cool note is struck with fine art photography showing The Beverly Hills Hotel, a pool in front of a midcentury house and a desert dotted with tall cacti.
Today, the McCools couldn’t be happier with their new home–so much so they are making the trek to Los Angeles less frequently. “We come here for the weekend, close the gate and never have to leave,” says Jason. “It’s a peaceful, modern retreat.”
“They’d been living there for about a year when we were brought in,” Brandt recalls. “They had some great pieces as well as some intriguing art, but there was no continuity. The place felt a little lifeless.” Adds Chelsea, “We listened to Barnes speak about the space and the furnishings, and it became clear that it needed more than a refresh.” They walked through the condo, sizing up the layout as well as the Ellises’ furniture. “Each piece was either too large, too tall, too complicated or had too many individual elements for a place with commanding views,” says Chelsea. “And although everything was neutral in tone, the colors clashed.” One room “mostly” worked: the master bedroom, which the owners had updated with a walnut-paneled wall.
To create the modern and inviting interior Barnes and Koi wanted, the designers took their cue from the architecture and the view. (The Kaemingks work closely on every job, with Brandt taking on the overall concept and handling the design of architectural details and custom pieces, while Chelsea sees to elements like color, surfaces, furnishings and fixtures.) In the living room, they introduced sculptural furnishings that are low in profile, adding interest with texture and natural materials such as steel, wood–walnut, in particular, to tie in with the paneled wall in the master–and stone. Covered in a sand-colored velvet, the modular sofa is an example. Its curvy, organic form is complemented by the pieces around it: a round coffee table with a smoky glass top on a marble base; blackened steel and marble floor lamps; a wood-framed lounge chair. The designers also reworked the fireplace, resurfacing it in blackened steel.
The living room’s tone-on-tone palette continues in the adjoining dining area, replete with clean-lined furniture and a large Eric Blum painting that the designers commissioned. “It’s practically the only color used other than neutrals throughout,” shares Brandt. “We loved the soft, organic nature of his work and thought it fit in beautifully with the design of the dining area, which can be viewed from the living room and kitchen.” The Blum work joins the Ellises’ collection of contemporary art by the likes of Udo Noger, Lee Kelly and Kristy Kun. “Art is subjective, and it’s not always easy to shop for someone else,” says Chelsea. “But Barnes and Koi were open to suggestions.” Adds Barnes: “We exchanged a lot of emails and photographs about various artists we liked, works we already owned and ideas for the space. It was a fun process.”
What was formerly a diminutive office was reframed as a reading room, with wraparound slatted-oak paneling and a settee flanked by French pole sconces. The designers finished the space with a custom credenza that fits snugly against one wall and a cylindrical ottoman that echoes the lines of the settee. “I wasn’t sure how the paneling would turn out,” Barnes admits, “but it’s now one of my favorite rooms. It’s intimate yet elegant, with a striking view of the river and the Fremont Bridge.”
Both the clients and designers agreed that the master bedroom was nearly there–it just needed some personality. “We felt that some editing and supplementing would make it shine,” says Chelsea. To balance the walnut paneling, Brandt designed a floating eight-foot walnut credenza with a dark soapstone top for the opposite wall. Above it, the designers hung a large, starkly abstract Noger work that had once occupied the dining room. The juxtaposition of the Noger and the credenza create the contrast that the designers believe is essential to any successful interior and one of many moments they devised throughout. “Although the resulting spaces have a light, soft, airy feel about them, we felt it necessary to add that tension with harder, almost commanding materials,” says Brandt. “Every material has a role to play in a space and when paired right, they can create harmony in the big picture.”
Talk about a match made in heaven. Lifestyle brand Mitchell Black, based in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, has rolled out a licensed wallpaper collection with photographer Gray Malin and home accessories brand The Blush Label. Featuring a total of 10 patterns, including four winter and six summer scenes, they capture the effortless luxury for which Malin is known. Luxe spoke with Malin to learn more.
You’re known for your beach prints. What was it like to design winter motifs?
It was great fun and such a different experience transforming my winter shots into wallpaper. The winter line illustrates the luxury of the destinations in the photos, such as St. Moritz and Aspen. I love how different textures shine through in these and how the vivid hues remind you of wintertime bliss.
How can wallpaper transform a room?
It can make a bare hallway more inviting and turn a blank wall into a focal point. Adding wallpaper to your space can make it more cozy, comfortable and, in my opinion, way more interesting. The right wallpaper will also complement other elements of your room you’ve already worked hard to design.
Tips for wallpaper newbies?
Don’t let it intimidate you. First, think about the type that will work best with your space: the sleek look of traditional paper; a smooth, easy-to-clean peel-and-stick paper; or vinyl, which can offer a sophisticated linen texture? Then consider using the wallpaper to accomplish the feel that you’d like the room to have.
“The husband was the most involved in the project, and he is an engineer by training, so he’s very engaged and interested in how things work,” notes Craig. “He has a strong sense of design and fashion and really enjoys being part of the conversation.” Most notably, he expressed a passion for wallcoverings, which developed as he traveled the world for work, discovering how rich patterns and textures had the power to transform a space. “He’s crazy about wallcoverings,” says the designer. “And not just in areas where one might expect to find them. He pushed us to use them in ways we never had before.” In the living room, for example, the client suggested “punching up” the look by finding one to use on the ceiling. This was uncharted territory for Craig and her team, who ultimately chose a chunky grass cloth with a metallic glaze. “I was nervous it would be too glitzy, but it ended up being perfect,” she notes. “When you walk in, you feel the glow and the energy of the city, but in a really soft way. The city almost levitates over the room.”
Breaking up the glamour is a giant photograph of a buffalo by Simen Johan, which holds a place of prominence along one wall of the room. The client found the piece mid-construction and a complete redesign of the millwork was required in order to accommodate it, a challenge that Craig, who worked with builder Matthew Ehrhard, of Hewitt Horn, Inc., welcomed. “We were excited to bring a little Texas attitude to Chicago,” she says.
To play off the light-filled living area, Craig decided to go dark in the dining room. “The high-contrast palette was our way of putting a contemporary spin on the Deco theme. We didn’t want to be too literal in terms of forms and profiles from that era,” she says, referring to the mostly sleek, modern lines of the furniture in the apartment, much of which is covered in luxe fabrics by Holly Hunt and Donghia.
For the dining room walls, Craig opted for an inky bamboo-print wallpaper by de Gournay, which she had coveted for years but never had the opportunity to use. “I loved that paper and really wanted to do a dark room with a little bit of metallic so at night you’d have lighting picking up glints of leaves,” she explains. “I’ve had that on my bucket list of things I wanted to bring to life at some point and was thrilled when our client agreed to use it.” A pearlescent Donghia fabric treatment on the ceiling, as well as a crystal chandelier and metallic Roman blinds, make the room feel luminous both day and night.
Meanwhile, another wallpaper holds more personal significance for Craig. In the guest room, the lush hand-painted willow tree wallpaper, also by de Gournay, is a nod to her childhood. “When I was a kid, we had a willow tree with leaves that went all the way down to the ground,” she recalls. “I called the space under the leaves ‘the beauty saloon’–I didn’t know the word for salon–and one afternoon I invited all the neighborhood kids into the ‘saloon’ and cut their hair. I got into major trouble, but I’ve had a thing for willows ever since.”
Completing the jewel-box effect are the apartment’s light fixtures, which Craig conceived with custom lighting designer Mark Figueredo. In the hallway, a row of pendants refracts light, casting shadows on the ceiling and walls. A show-stopping chandelier shimmers in the living area, which, in spite of its nod to Texas, ultimately feels like a love letter to Chicago. “When you enter the room and look outside, the lake is dark, dark, dark, and the city lights pop,” Craig says. “I wanted to bring that feeling of the skyline into this room. It’s pretty magical.”
Even in the dead of winter, Chicagoans can feel like they’re basking on the sun-kissed shores of Southern Europe (almost) during a meal at Kostali.
With a name that means “coast” in Maltese, this 68-seat restaurant helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian (of Brindille and the now-closed NAHA) opened inside The Gwen hotel in late 2019.
It’s a completely different concept from the chef’s previous restaurants, focusing on dishes from Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, with touches of the Middle East and North Africa. Tom Nahabedian, principal at Bureau | AD in Chicago and cousin to Carrie, designed Kostali to evoke feelings of relaxation, using vibrant shades of blue and gold paired with organic shapes and textures.
Tom differentiated the entrance of the fifth-floor space with brass-toned metal screens; inside, a nine-seat bar with an ocean-blue enamel lava stone top is a focal point, as are custom light fixtures of pale blue ribbed glass.
“These bold strokes are offset by the intimate scale of it all, along with simple and modern detailing and materiality throughout,” he says. “It’s a true transportation to the Italian Riviera.”
There’s something special about seeing your art come to life, and award-winning designer and artist Elizabeth Sutton is about to do just that on a citywide scale. In collaboration with leading paint provider Janovic, Sutton has created five distinct color palettes of Benjamin Moore paints.
Each one will live large in Janovic NYC stores, murals in Yorkville and Hell’s Kitchen, and vinyls in Chelsea and Long Island City. Inspired by Sutton’s experiences, the palettes have whimsical names like “Head in the Clouds” and “New York Goes to the Eden Rock, St. Barth’s,” a nod to Sutton’s partnership with the luxury hotel.
“All my designs are inspired by my love of color,” Sutton says. “I wanted to give my eye to Janovic customers, encouraging them to bring a splash of color to the special spaces in their homes, as I do in my own.”