Such was the case with the talented interior designer, Denise Macey. Denise approached us a few years ago to design her new family home in Winnetka, Illinois. Winnetka, a suburb north of Chicago, is a charming 1920s suburb with curbless, winding and narrow streets peppered with charming estates of all sizes and styles. Issuing us full creative control, Denise challenged us to come up with a house envisioned especially for her; she only asked we stretch our design muscles and break some rules.
Sometimes in designing a house, we like to create a story: an imagined history is concocted. We saw this house as an historic one room stone farm house that had been added onto and expanded over time. The “original” stone building was designed to house the grand salon. Adjacent rambling additions grew and meandered to accommodate other needed functions: cooking, sleeping chambers, cars, etc. The entrance to the house became an enclosed drive-thru which serves as a staging ground for ever-changing beautiful objects (every interior designer always seems to have a cache of rotating stock). We conceived the kitchen as a renovated glassy conservatory with a plaster barrel vaulted ceiling flanked by fireplaces. Only a fearless designer like Denise would allow us to create a kitchen with absolutely no recessed lighting; the vaulted ceiling was deemed sacred and therefore left unspoiled by the usual array of overhead clutter. The master bed became a floating element in the center of a room. Every wild or nonconformist notion we threw at Denise was eagerly caught and held aloft.
Thanks, Denise for entrusting your home to us. The inspired collaboration elevated us all.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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