Located in the Chicago Landmark District, the newly constructed home was a welcome addition to the existing neighborhood, harmoniously blending in with significant architectural features of the surrounding houses.
The house was designed with a limestone foundation, brick facade, and zinc sheet metal cornices to resemble the idea of ornamental metal design that began to surface in the late 1800s within the Italianate style. The street facade was designed with a formal front, but the back courtyard with a water feature and winding paths provided a break from the home's rectilinear lines.
The interior was designed with some traditionally exterior building elements which created an interesting dynamic within the space. Interior elements such as refined wood paneling, and reclaimed-wood ceiling beams were designed next to steel stairway balustrades and exposed brick. The feeling evoked was of an enclosed outdoor room set in a casual ambiance.
Although the vacation home was newly constructed, it was designed to achieve the look and feel of an old cottage. Nestled in the woods on a bluff, overlooking Lake Michigan, the house employs many design solutions to achieve the weathered look.
For the exterior, the brown cedar shingles were stained with an accelerating formula that changed the color to a dull gray. Trellises were added to encourage plant growth along the walls.
To create a rustic interior, classic building materials like painted or stained wood were chosen for paneling, white tile was used for backsplash and surfaces, hardwood floors were installed, and river rock was used for fireplace and chimney facings. These design decisions were tied together by a collection of vintage furnishings that help create a low-tech environment.
Three generations of a Chicago area family live on the family compound, which encompasses three hundred sixty acres and includes a working horse farm. This new house sits on the edge of their private lake.
Our client, a family of six, would much prefer to live in a warmer climate, but the heads of the household are committed to their Chicago-based family businesses. Therefore, their challenge to us was to embrace the outdoors and stunning views as much as possible, while creating an enduring, heirloom home.
We allowed natural light to pour in with the use of skylights, transoms, and sixteen pairs of French doors. We designed architectural elements that further tie interior spaces to the outside spaces such as pergolas, Master Bedroom balcony and a screen porch.
The house’s most-used spaces are oriented toward the beautiful lake vistas. We paired those elements with a traditional architectural style and natural building materials, creating a timeless home that will last another three generations.