Transformation Tuesday Series – Raising the Roof

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Maple Makeover Before
After
Maple Makeover After
The interior of our Maple Makeover residence had all the charm of an Arts and Crafts home but was not functional for this growing family. The bracketed roof and window boxes, clapboard siding patterns and pergola entry were carefully designed to maintain an Arts and Crafts character. Reframing the roof provided two new bedrooms across the front of the second floor and a new master suite with a large walk-in closet and a bath with a large shower across the rear. A new third floor contains a guest suite and playroom. Now the home has the character and space our clients dreamed of.

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Millwork Monday Series – Built-In China Cabinets

Built In China Cabinets
These custom designed china cabinets at our Winnetka Residence have unique shaped shelves with projecting centers. The wood profiled edge adds beauty and stability while the glass shelving allows the integral lighting to highlight objects at every level.

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Spouse Spa – National Wife Appreciation Day

National Wife Appreciation Day
Gentlemen, does your wife have the luxurious master bathroom she deserves? This bathroom at our Winnetka Residence was designed just for the lady of the house with a freestanding marble tub (with lake views, of course), curved corner cabinetry with curtains to soften the space, separate sink and makeup vanities with mirrored door fronts and crystal knobs, light-up magnifying makeup mirrors, and a decidedly feminine oval shaped shower. What wife would not feel like the queen of her castle with this spa-like escape?

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Throwback Thursday Series – Northside Gem

Northside Gem
Family comfort and livability were the critical drivers to the design of our Greenview Residence, which provides four bedrooms on the second floor plus a guest bedroom suite on the third floor in this new 6,500 sq. ft. home in Chicago. The interiors are spacious with ‘rooms’ articulated by a series of arches that span the first floor, creating spaces that are defined yet open. Other family friendly features include a large mudroom at the rear entry with plenty of coat closets, cubbies for backpacks and a boot bench. The front porch with its inviting design provides a comfortable and sheltered respite to view sidewalk activities.

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Water Wednesday Series – Soaking Oasis

Soaking Oasis
The bathtub at the Villa Blanco is positioned in the bay windows, creating a focal point and an oasis for the homeowner to soak in the views and relax at the end of a hard day.

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Transformation Tuesday Series – Georgian Grandeur Goes Around Back

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Georgian Before
After
Georgian After
There was nothing grand about the rear façade of this Georgian restoration project so we added some. The previous addition on our Grove Residence was removed and replaced with a two-story structure that provided a new family room, kitchen, breakfast room, formal terrace, sunroom, mudroom, large master suite, laundry room, craft room, and a guest bedroom and bath. The interior renovation of the existing house included a new centrally-located grand staircase, library/home office, formal living and dining rooms, and two second floor bedrooms with a shared bath. A series of arched top French doors flanked by engaged columns provides the Grandeur this façade desperately needed.

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Sweet Dreams – National Make Your Bed Day

Sweet Dreams
We know this holiday was invented by a group of frustrated moms (or a very large group) but this kid’s bedroom at our Geothermal Gem was designed to make life better for kids and moms. With built-in shelves for books and toys, a large desk for getting homework done, and a built-in dresser to save floor space, even when the bed isn’t made there’s still plenty of room to get around!

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Millwork Monday Series – No Walls Required

No Walls Required
The living and dining rooms at our Geothermal Gem are defined and separated be partial height millwork flanked by columns that frame passage between the two spaces.

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Grandma and Grandpa Getaway – National Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day
Our clients wanted to expand and renovate their vacation home to accommodate their growing number of grandkids. Their rustic cabin was renovated and expanded to provide an ‘eat-at’ peninsula, a new breakfast room/sunroom, and an expansive screened-in porch providing indoor/outdoor space for their large family gatherings. Now Grandma and Grandpa can enjoy summertime game nights with all of their grandkids!

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Feature Friday – Crane-king Away

Crane-king Away
The crane makes fast work of getting trusses in place for the second floor at the Ligan Residence. The carpenters are ready and waiting to set them once the crane operator lowers them to the intended location.

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Throwback Thursday Series – Mixing it Up

Mixing It Up
Located on a primary thoroughfare in Lincoln Park, this award winning mixed-use building, offers 8,500 sq. ft. of retail space, a 6,000 sq. ft. spa on the first floor, 48 residential units above, and underground parking. Its façade is designed as a series of smaller components that are visually appropriate in proportion and scale. The brick structure with its masonry detailing and limestone base is reminiscent of many of the surrounding buildings built after the turn of the century. It also won the Project of the Year Award in the Mixed-Use category from the National Commercial Builders Council Awards of Excellence.

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Water Wednesday Series – Chain-ged Downspouts

Downspouts
Instead of traditional downspouts we added rain chains on the screened porch of our Minnesota Residence project. We designed custom copper scuppers with a silhouette of a fox head much to the homeowners’ excitement (since they live on Fox Street). The rain chains water the planter boxes making this an eco-friendly solution.

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Transformation Tuesday Series – Georgian Grandeur

Georgian Grandeur After
Georgian Grandeur Before
The distinctive Georgian character of the Grove Residence was meticulously restored and renewed through historically sensitive design solutions and finely crafted detailing. Shifting the entry foyer of the house, along with refinements to the landscape design help reinforce the symmetry of the front façade. The transformation instills this Georgian with the Grandeur it deserves.

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Labor Day – Grilling Day

Backyard Barbecue
We hope you have your grilling supplies for Labor Day! Our office will be closed on Monday for the holiday and we will be gathering with family and friends to enjoy some char-broiled goodness. If you are not quite prepared, check out the store we designed for the Backyard Barbecue in Wilmette. It’s a great space to hangout and browse to find all your grilling supplies, or just have a beer and watch some football.

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Feature Friday – No Lashes Required

No Lashes Required
The carpenters didn’t miss a blink by building these eyebrow dormers inside for the Ligan Residence. The dormers will be moved to their final locations once the roof framing is underway. There will be two on the front and two on the rear elevation. Watch the progress so you can see this eye catching detail once they are in their proper place.

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Throwback Thursday Series – Lake Views for All

Lake Views for All
This French Provincial residence on the bluff of Lake Michigan was creatively organized utilizing a linear circulation spine on the west side of the plan. This allows all seven bedrooms and living spaces at the Kenilworth Residence to have a direct view to the lake on the east side. The outdoor fireplace serves as a gathering space and a beacon from the shoreline.

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Water Wednesday Series – Tub Niche

Tub Niche
The bathtub at the Geothermal Gem anchored between the private water closet and shower offers views to the outdoors and is the focal point of this master bathroom suite. The interior window allows the three spaces to borrow daylight and have integral LED lighting at night.

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Transformation Tuesday Series – Modest to Magnifico

Before
Before
After
After
This 1920s’ estate on the shores of Lake Michigan underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to transform this modest home into an Italian villa worthy of the shores of Lake Como. Structural modifications to the Winnetka Residence allowed floors and ceilings to be raised and plan modifications were made to provide vistas with views from room to room and improve the circulation. Modern conveniences were also added to the house, including an underground garage that houses up to six cars, an elevator, his and her home offices and a home theater with full bar. The transformation is truly Magnifico!

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Millwork Monday Series – Built-In View

Built in View
A window is integrated into the built-in bookcase in our Geothermal Gem for a glimpse of the western sky. The bookcases flank the fireplace in the living room providing symmetry and balance while the integrated window provides daylight and whimsy.

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Pampered Pups – National Dog Day

National Dog Day
This built-in dog bed at the Minnesota Residence was designed to keep important members of the family in the heart of the action but out of the way. The owners are not the only ones who appreciate this built-in; it is one of our most saved images from our Houzz profile. If we had a tail it would be wagging because we are a part of so many idea books- So Save Away!

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Feature Friday – Slow and Steady

Slow and Steady
Slow and Steady is a good motto when working on intricately placed scaffolding to install stone.  However, the skilled masons at the Laurel Residence are making fast work of erecting this uniquely detailed stone chimney with an ornamental zinc pot.  Slate roof shingles and windows being installed is certainly helping our refined farmhouse come to life.

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Throwback Thursday Series – Sustainable Sanctuary

Geothermal Gem
This craftsman style single family home was designed utilizing many unique and creative sustainable methods, materials and systems. While the Geothermal Gem is jam packed with sustainable features, these elements work quietly in the background allowing the architecture and beautiful details to captivate the eye of the beholder. Some technical features including geothermal heating and cooling, rooftop micro weather station to anticipate climate changes and trigger mechanical systems to preemptively activate, daylight harvesting and passive heat relief make the home extremely energy efficient. This north facing terrace is off the living and dining rooms and is perfect for entertaining with views to the pond. We also designed around trees for shading and installed rain gardens, used indigenous plants that require no watering, and planted a food garden.

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Water Wednesday Series – Pending Plunge

Pending Plunge
The foundation is set for the infinity edge pool and spa at the Ligan residence. It’s designed to fill the rear yard with ambience. A waterfall will cascade into the spa and the pool’s infinity edge drops to a wading pool. And if that’s not enough of an aquatic splash all 3 are on an axis with dramatic views to Lake Michigan. The clients are looking forward to the day the get to take that first plunge!

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Transformation Tuesday Series – Lakefront Ranch Renovation

Lakefront Ranch After
Lakefront Ranch Before
The original 1960’s ranch at the Upper Straits residence was generically placed on this magnificent lakefront property. To improve the arrival sequence the garage was flipped to load from the opposite side allowing the asphalt to be replaced with a garden path. The post and beam structure protecting the front entrance as well as the cupola was designed as visual markers drawing visitors to the front door.

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Safety Glasses Not Just on the Jobsite

Eclipse
We had on different safety glasses to view the 2017 solar eclipse. Cloudy skies did not hinder us or the hundreds of others that were out at lunch time today to try to witness the eclipse. We hope your 2017 Solar Eclipse Day was SUNsational too!

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Millwork Monday Series – Crafty Computer Placement

Crafty Computer Placement
We designed the craft room of the Winnetka residence with generous built-in storage for art supplies and large flat drawers for wrapping paper and fabrics. The custom millwork has space for baskets as well as closed cabinet storage. The owner also wanted her desk millwork to hide the necessary components for the computer and only have the monitor visible.

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That Makes Two

That Makes Two
The second floor perimeter walls are up and roof trusses are starting to be installed at the Ligan Residence. The eyebrow dormers start to take shape against the hipped roof that will soon be clad in slate. If you look closely you can see stone samples are mocked up on site as well for approval. Lots of excitement as their lakefront dream home is coming together.

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Throwback Thursday Series – Award Winner

Award Winner
All the careful attention given to replicating this Tudor’s most vital features paid off with a Glencoe Historic Preservation Award for this addition to an Illinois landmark structure. No detail was overlooked at the Park residence, including the inset brick patterns and exposed timber frame. Through careful selection and blending of four types of brick, the transition from existing to new is almost indistinguishable. Similar attention was given to the slate roof and wood finial detail.

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Water Wednesday Series – Master Bath has a Feminine Side

Feminine Side
The ‘her’ portion of the master bath in the Minnesota residence includes a custom marble tub in a barrel vaulted alcove. Traditional painted inset cabinetry with marble countertops reflect the warmth of the natural light provided by the South facing windows. A daylight filled make-up vanity and soft arched ceiling provide a cheerful elegance to this master bath.

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Transformation Tuesday Series – Victorian Gem Gets a Makeover

Before
After
Our first project with this client was the Park Avenue Residence, to renovate and expand a turn-of-the-century Victorian home to make it more family friendly and improve its curb appeal. A two-story addition was added to the rear to include a kitchen, breakfast room, mudroom, two bedrooms on the second floor, a third floor office and studio, a new rear stair connects all the levels. The renovation/addition really enhanced the charm and character and transformed this simple Victorian into the Gem of the Neighborhood.

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