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Off the Beaten Path

An Industrial Modern Urban Oasis Pied A Terre

Lakeview, Chicago, Illinois

Located in the heart of Lakeview, this was the ultimate blank slate: raw concrete ceilings and columns, exposed piping, huge windows that let in plenty of natural light and urban views.


My client is a young Google Techie who had recently relocated to Chicago from San Francisco and wanted to settle in and create his first "nice home."


Our challenge was the compact 980 sf foot print where we wanted to create a rich program complete with an inviting  lounge, a dining area, office space, kitchen island bar seating and movable bar cart for hosting. With a few clever moves in the furniture arrangement and choices, we were able to zone this open plan to create intimate seating vignettes which serve various functions, while maintaining an airy flow throughout.


Our next challenge was the lack of sufficient lighting and inability to add J-boxes in the existing exposed concrete ceiling. Our solution was to introduce plug-in ceiling lights, hidden uplights along the perimeter to brighten the walls and carefully placed floor and table lamps.


Our final challenge was the preset industrial style for a client that was leaning towards a more refined aesthetic. Our solution was to utilize materials and furnishings with plush fabrics, rich textures and attention to craftmanship that would stand out against the raw concrete interior. 

An image of Cappadocia (one of his favorite travel destinations) and one of a Guanaco living wild and free in the Argentinean landscape became the inspiration and drivers for the interior design and palette.



We kept the palette minimal and introduced warmth through natural materials such as rich woods, luxurious rich fabrics and mixed metals complemented by pops of color


The interior had to feel comfortable and inviting while exuding of professional sophistication. Given the new work-from-home culture, every meeting is an invitation into his home, and this Product Manager wanted to be a professional virtual host. We envisioned a contemporary interior with clean yet cozy lines, with attention to detail and craftmanship such as the stitching pattern in the leather chairs, the carving detail in the credenza and the natural rings of the live edge walnut table. 


We wanted the space to feel like an urban oasis that embodied his love of backpacking off-the-beaten path, through exotic untouched locations, with a nod to his Argentinean roots. This resulted in an earthy neutral palette accented by a few bright pops of color.

The natural live edge walnut dining table complemented by luxurious velvety dining tables is the hot spot to gather with a few friends and play games and also enjoy a meal overlooking a vibrant streetscape. Adjacent to it, is the work from home office with a height adjustable desk and ergonomic chair. And anchoring the entire space is a lounge consisting of a modular sofa, storage coffee table, carved wood entertainment center and a plush wool rug.

It might be compact living, however this home was able to accomplish its long wishlist and more and we are grateful for the opportunity to have helped make this happen! 

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