This Home Proves "Grown Up" And "Kid Friendly" Can Coexist
LG Interiors expertly blends lush, inviting colors and subtle notes of glamour for a sophisticated retreat that welcomes the whole family.
If you believe the old saying — or the familiar decorative placard — the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather for casual weeknight dinners, where they cook together on holidays, where homework gets done, midnight snacks get snuck, and where every party guest winds up at the end of the night. If you discuss the subject with Midwest designers Cari Giannoulias and Melissa Lewis, however, you’ll likely walk away with a different pick for most valuable room.
"If you live in Chicago, you know a mudroom is key, especially with kids," says Lewis. As a transitional space that invites visitors from the often-frigid outdoors into the embrace of a cozy interior it has to make a stylish first impression. And, as the landing zone of every jacket, backpack, and pair of muddy soccer cleats, it needs to provide storage and near-magic tidying capabilities. It’s the ultimate test for blending form and function, a speciality of the design duo, and a very solid contender for always-pulsing, sometimes frantic, and ever-indispensable heart of the home.
For the residence of a young family in Lincoln Square, Giannoulias and Lewis took that ethos and applied it to every plain, white corner of a new construction property. The homeowners, Christos, an orthopedic surgeon, and Patricia, a board member of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, are relatives of Giannoulias'."Everyone says doing design work for family is difficult but we had a ball," the designer attests. Along with their two young children, Spiros and Kathleen, they’re a well-traveled, whip-smart, and endlessly busy crew, so they required a plan that was both undeniably stylish and kid friendly.
"It's so important that as designers we help create spaces that tell [our clients’] stories, relay their passions, and fulfill their aspirations," says Giannoulias. In addition to adding the mudroom-foyer hybrid that was missing from the original floor plan, they turned half of the attic space into a DIY room for Patricia and a spare bedroom into a masculine office for Christos. Everything in between received a lush, layered facelift complete with an exciting mix of neutral hues, rich textures, and durable yet elegant furnishings. "The style of the home is a cross between New American and Cape Cod," explains Lewis. "There’s an ease in both those styles and an unpretentiousness that makes you feel welcome."
The resulting blend of sophistication and comfort hits a mark so many homeowners are aiming for. In the living room, a pair of exuberant black-feather pillows rest atop streamlined neutral armchairs custom made by their firm, LG Interiors. Jewel-like light fixtures hang above the dining table and master bath’s tub. In that all important entryway, a Ro Sham Beaux pendant, a tufted ottoman in purple velvet, and a glimmering console table from Worlds Away, while beautiful, all play second fiddle to the space's star feature: a gallery wall filled with family photos, a constant reminder of more happy memories that will doubtless be made in their beautiful new home.