Having outgrown their NYC apartment, a professional couple with a growing family upgrade to a luxe abode back home in Chicago with some seriously stylish assistance from Brynn Olson Design Group.
Parents to both a 3-year-old and a new baby, the couple, an ER surgeon and a counselor, knew their two-bedroom in Tribeca wasn’t going to cut it for much longer. The solution? A return to Chicago after a decade in New York. Having found the perfect house in the heart of Lincoln Park, the pair reached out to Brynn Olson Design Group (who had completed a new build for their friends years before), entrusting the team to oversee the design and management of the turnkey project—and find the perfect compromise between his preference for timeless, classic style and her love of color and all things unorthodox.
The family room beckons with sumptuous furnishings ranging from custom sofas and club chairs to navy grasscloth wallpaper by Schumacher that contrasts with the chic fireplace surround.
Most important to this project was the finishes, notes Olson. “The project was originally a spec home, and the client purchased it early enough in the process that we were able to customize the finishes. We had to work around the clock to stay on schedule.”
A Marquina quartzite countertop from Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies paired with Powell & Bonnell counter stools adds dramatic flair to the kitchen.
Meeting deadlines on the build proved challenging. “We’re always diligent about staying on budget,” says Olson, “but these clients really challenged us as they wanted to think outside the box and also to invest in interior architecture.
A series of 12 mixed media works by Josh Young (@jyoungdesignhouse) is a focal point of the study Photographed by Werner Straube
As a result, we were able to create some truly special elements when it came to details such as moldings, high-gloss paint, wallpaper, book-matched walls and tile. We also brought in unexpected materials like the metal strappings in the foyer. The entire process was an incredible experience for all of us.”
This gorgeous pair of vintage doors sourced from Paris by 1stDibs is one reason the entry is designer Brynn Olson’s favorite space in the home.
Sometimes the smallest spaces have the most outsize impact—and for Olson, that’s the foyer, possibly her favorite aspect of the project. “When we were brought on, it was too late to change the home’s layout. When you walk through the front door, you walk right into a pair of closet doors—which happens to be one of my design pet peeves.
Chester wool nickel wallpaper by Schumacher and a tiered leg console by Alfonso Marina highlight the entry.
To create a more interesting focal point, we sourced a pair of beautiful vintage doors from Paris and worked with the builder to resize the closet framing to accommodate the vintage doors. We enveloped the space in gray heathered wool and even papered the back of the doors since guests interact with the space. We also added Nanz hardware to the doors so that they were consistent with the other hardware in the house, then added brass strappings with rivets and wrapped the entire foyer with that added detail. The tiny vestibule was completely transformed.”
The primary bedroom exudes cozy vibes thanks to a white cobra marble fireplace surround designed by Brynn Olson Design Group.
Sums up Olson of the response of the clients (who have since welcomed a third child), “They were so pleased and grateful. It was a long road to create this forever home with them, and they were acutely attuned to all the special details and truly excited throughout the process. To see everything finally come together was a speechless moment for them and a special one for us as well.”
The powder room pops with Porcelanosa’s Minnesota Moka tile and linear bronze downlight sconces from 1stDibs.
A custom winged tufted headboard upholstered in Holly Hunt beige suede fabric and a Tilda chandelier by Arteriors give the room grandeur.
The expansive rooftop is decked out with a dining area featuring a table by Formations and chairs by Summer Classics, plus a seating area with swiveling lounge chairs by Century Furniture.
A weathered teak canopy daybed by RH is the foundation for an inviting alfresco nook.
Tim Kerins, Hastings Builders
Brynn Olson Design Group
Bona Fide Corporation
New Order Decorating
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Various furniture and accessories
Primary bedroom and dining room rugs
Primary bathtub and fixtures
TERRAZZO & MARBLE SUPPLY COMPANIES
All bathroom countertops
THE URBAN ELECTRIC CO.