Open House: Chicago Tribute

February 26th 2015 Comments: 8 Topics: , ,

This is another entry in a series of posts titled “open house” in which we offer photographic tours of selected projects.
cecda98f73eba4ab92dc761db9ccc390Occasionally we’re offered a grand invitation – to design a house for another designer. This type of commission is one we always take with great gratitude and honor. Having another designer ask us to help create their own home always makes us step up our game; this is a unique opportunity to break new ground alongside a kindred spirit and try things we seldom would attempt with a “civilian.”

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


  1. Lynne Levy Daly says:

    Awesome AGAIN……

  2. I know the area and your creation is in my uneducated opinion a perfect fit! Loved learning how you create a story and house to go with it!

  3. The stone gives this home a feeling of being someplace in Europe. What a spectacular home and yet, so welcoming and warm. What a fun project for you.

  4. Willow Decor says:

    I love the unexpected interior small window in the family room with the yellow painting. I adore the subtle details of each and everyone of your designs. Truly gorgeous and beautifully decorated.

  5. Laura Short says:

    Stunning. I appreciate folk who break rules; they are difficult to find! Thank you for sharing this beautiful home.

  6. Too good! Homely harmony with panache.

  7. Bruce Fadem says:

    Just love the design of Rick and Denise Macy home. My brother saw it 5 years ago and said
    it was the last word.. My brother and I graduated from H.S. with Rick, great person!

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