BJC Designs transforms a Tudor-style condo in the Gold Coast from traditional to trending.
The clients’ expansive art collection includes this pair of Young June Lew artworks, as well as a variety of photographs and objects.
When Yvette Cusack, founder and principal of Lake Forest-based firm BJC Designs LLC, was tapped to transform a Gold Coast condo in one of the city’s premier boutique properties, two things immediately stood out about the space: a sweeping, 1,000-square-foot terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and Lakeshore Park.
In the dining area are a Cattelan Italia sideboard and dining table and Costantini Pietro chairs.
The homeowners, who were transitioning from a single-family home, envisioned a relaxed, airy space fit for hosting casual gatherings with family and friends. “Since the client prefers simple and streamlined designs with a pop of color,” says Cusack, “I decided it would be best to begin with a monochrome theme and build on it.”
A work by fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene hangs in the entry.
Cusack rearranged the floor plan by closing off the dining room opening to the kitchen.
“Our clients wanted a modern yet cozy feel for their home,” Cusack shares. “So, the first order of business was to remove all the old moldings, which were overly ornate, and to add new ones for a clean floor-to-wall finish.” This was followed by a refinement of the wooden flooring, for which Cusack chose to use stained black, sourced from Apex Wood Floors, as a contrast to the glossy white walls.
Cusack says all pieces sourced from Altalia were customized, including this bed in white ecoleather.
The guest bedroom features a Fidel Rodriguez work and Jonathan Adler bench.
To embody her clients’ vision, Cusack and her team needed to tweak the original floor plan, which meant flipping the dining room and family room, creating a TV room and bringing the dining area out into an open space. There was a heavy focus on using neutral elements, as seen in the velvet tufted sofa (an update from the traditional Chesterfield style) and the Altalia Furniture coffee tables in the living room.
A work by artist Purvis Young hangs over an Altalia chaise in the primary bedroom.
Cusack also smartly integrate the husband-and-wife duo’s extensive art and photo collection, which includes an oil painting titled “Ordinary Saints” by Korean artist Young June Lew and an untitled work by fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene in the entryway.
The expansive terrace offers an alfresco escape with complete privacy. Cusack notes, “[It’s] one of the most special places in the home where the clients regularly entertain friends and family.”
Working on the terrace, which is undoubtedly a focal point in the home, proved to present the greatest obstacle of this project. It required significant renovation and landscaping, but nothing could be done until the rest of the condo was completed. “We had to drag mature trees, bushes and fencing through a newly remodeled home,” Cusack adds. Although the process was messy, the final result—a refined patio complete with a dining area and floral arrangements—made the effort worthwhile.
Upon completion, all traces of the old and ornate were wiped away, and in its place is a contemporary abode that precisely matches the clients’ vision. Their favorite new spot? The custom-designed Altalia chaise in the living room overlooking the city, Cusack reveals. These days, their morning routine includes sitting by the window, solving The New York Times crossword puzzle and basking in the rising sun in their chic new digs.