Giving a century-old Colonial in Winnetka a fresh new look was a family affair for interior designer Kristina Phillips, who completed a stunning domestic transformation for her sister’s family.
The family room features a sofa by Century Furniture and coffee table by Plexi-Craft.
Winnetka resident Stephanie Meyer knew the perfect person for the job when it came time to redesign her family’s elegant 1914 home, which they purchased in 2014: her sister Kristina Phillips, a Ridgewood, N.J.- based interior designer. Having both inherited Swedish antiques from their grandparents, the pair saw eye to eye when it came to making the already beautiful home feel like a perfect expression of Meyer’s clan.
The light-filled dining room enchants with chinoiserie wallpaper by The Mural Source.
Th e former solarium—now a charming breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling arched windows that overlook the front yard—embodies the approach taken with the whole house. “Brass hardware was custom made for the windows to match the original hardware throughout the house,” notes Phillips. “A modern, saturated ocean blue, Vardo from Farrow & Ball, was used on the walls to ground the bright, natural light. Vintage pieces such as the cane-back regencystyle chairs were painted and recovered by Stephanie, while colorful Swedish Dala horses inherited from our grandparents adorn the built-in shelving.”
Thibaut grasscloth wallcovering in Bankun Raffia adds texture to the formal living room, which also features Ethan Allen sofas, a coffee table by Wisteria and stunning artwork by Susan Jacoby from Vivid Art Gallery in Winnetka.
With so many beloved family heirlooms on hand—from the aforementioned Swedish antiques to various treasures Meyer’s husband collected while growing up in the area—Phillips’ primary challenge was editing and curating the pieces without giving off a stuffy museum vibe. The sisters share an eclectic, global taste (the result of growing up in the Bahamas, vacationing in Nantucket and visiting grandparents in Sweden), so when Meyer faced the daunting task of harmoniously melding her personal items and her own style with the essence of the historic home itself, she knew that Phillips would be up to the challenge.
Walls covered in Vardo paint by Farrow & Ball make the breakfast room pop.
Explains Phillips, “In the living room, the plaster molding and fireplace are all original. Darker grasscloth was chosen for the walls to bring some warmth to the sizable space. In the corner is our grandparents’ coffin-style piano (named so for the shape it makes when closed), which was made in Stockholm in 1866 and played by our great-grandmother, a concert pianist. This piano not only made the trip from Sweden to America, but from my to Stephanie’s as our spaces and needs changed. The formal dining space has a chinoiserie-style mural wallpaper and a brass bamboo motif chandelier that complements the mood and scale of the breakfast room. Peacock blue silk draperies frame the windows, and a vintage sideboard (that was custom lacquered) provides storage for stacks of collected china sets. But the dining room table, while not antique, is a special type of treasure: the first piece of furniture Stephanie and her husband ever bought together. Around it are Louis XVI-style chairs with simple but highly functional performance fabric meant to weather decades of family meals and holiday smorgasbords.”
Stephanie Meyer (at right) found the perfect designer for her Winnetka home project in sister Kristina Phillips
“It is no small task to incorporate tradition and antiques in a modern family home,” notes Meyer. “Having my sister on hand to determine just the right balance was such a gift—her ability to juxtapose both old and new, along with bespoke and budget finds, has truly made our home feel fresh and current, while still layered with our family’s history.”
A stunning 19th century piano (a family heirloom) draws the eye in the formal living room.
Kristina Phillips Interior Design kristinaphillipsinteriordesign.com
Family room sofa
Dining room table
THE MURAL SOURCE
Dining room wallpaper
Dining room art
Breakfast room and kitchen lighting