Frequent entertainers with a large extended family realize their dream home in northwest suburb Lakewood with the help of bespoke cabinetry and design pros O’Brien Harris.
The kitchen is appointed with an iceberg quartzite backsplash slab and countertops, with an island handpainted by O’Brien Harris.
“While working on their previous home, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to pivot when one day, the client walked in to say, ‘Wrap it up—I just bought my childhood dream spot on Crystal Lake,’” explains interior designer Julie Novy of Crystal Lake-based JWN Designs. “I was hooked and anxious to help the dream come to life.” The clients are Rich and Muggs Waters, empty nesters in the wine industry; and the spot is a waterfront property along a cherished walking path on the lake. When it came time to design the abode, Novy and the clients brought in River North-based O’Brien Harris to work their magic on the kitchen and cabinetry design and fabrication.
The stainless steel kitchen hood is custom OBH.
In the primary bathroom, Visual Comfort lighting pairs with Presidio Classics window coverings.
With four children and 15 siblings between them, the Waters needed to be able to accommodate groups large and small. “We wanted our home to exude the feeling of a serene, casual, barefoot-friendly-home-meets-sophisticated-elegant-gathering place,” Muggs says. “Th e expectation for fun and laughter were imperative outcomes.” Th e design team’s mission was clear: bring the clients’ vision to fruition and creating a sanctuary for the next generation of their family.
Sleek dovetail drawers with walnut interiors maximize functionality.
Striped penny round flooring was custom designed by Novy for the laundry room, which can be closed off while entertaining with sliding barn doors courtesy of OBH.
In the heart of the home, the open-plan kitchen with two islands and custom-stained cabinets flows into the dining room and bar, making entertaining a cohesive experience. “It was important for the home to be approachable and comfortable while being highly functional,” adds Ann Stockard, OBH kitchen and cabinetry designer. “Every stored item was carefully thought through and assigned a home.” From a rising TV mechanism in the island stone top to a hidden liquor pullout at the dining room bar, OBH crafted a space that balances design and function—with a few features the clients were particularly excited about. “Our favorite stemware and wine bottles are displayed in backlit, temperature-controlled cabinets expertly engineered by O’Brien Harris,” says Muggs of one of her favorite design moments in the home. “We believe it was a challenge for O’Brien Harris, but it was accomplished with extreme attention to detail…We also appreciated that our cabinets were sourced and constructed locally.”
Designed and fabricated by OBH, the artful wine storage holds more than 150 bottles.
Equally important for frequent entertainers like the Waters is a space to retreat to when the guests go home. In the primary suite bathroom, OBH set a serene scene with sleek gray flannel cabinetry with a natural maple interior and polished stainless steel inlay at the door. Complemented by a Kohler Underscore rectangular tub topped with an Artistic Tile tub deck and sink cabinets with nickel banding, it’s a haven of relaxation. “Ann Stockard at O’Brien Harris rocked this cabinetry,” raves Novy. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
The guest closets features OBH cabinetry with RH hardware and a stool in Stroheim fabric.
It’s safe to say the space checks all of the clients’ boxes. “[It is] beyond my expectations,” Muggs says. “[It] still takes my breath away every day. We will be forever grateful for the unmatched professionalism of our team of designers.”