In the dining room, “Flower Series #25” by Dennis Wojtkiewicz plays well with the vintage dining room chairs.
When a current Wilmette couple lived in San Francisco, the wife was ready for a career change, so she started a design certificate program and worked at Martha Angus—a well-known Bay Area designer—where Marli Jones had worked. “Marli had already moved back to Chicago when I started, but I saw a lot of her projects and got a sense of her aesthetic, which I loved,” the wife says. When she and her husband also moved back to the Chicago suburbs, they called Jones to see if she could bring a California vibe to a new-construction home. “We had bought a property in Wilmette and we needed someone who could guide us through the somewhat overwhelming process of designing a home from the ground up.”
The sophisticated living room includes swivel chairs from South Loop Loft.
The team got to work quickly since the homeowners already had a floor plan. “It’s a very open house,” Jones says. “They’re constantly entertaining because they have family just down the street, so it was important that it be warm and inviting.”
A monochrome painting by Santiago Parra provides a focal point, while the lacquered ceiling by DiVinci Painters adds an overhead sheen.
The home’s design includes paired rooms at the front of the house—a deeply colored study and a light, bright living room—plus a chic dining room and an open kitchen. The downstairs includes a visible wine cellar fronted by a bar for entertaining and a lounge area for TV viewing.
The John Pomp Infinity chandelier was a surprise splurge gift for the breakfast nook; in the color-saturated study.
For her part, the homeowner enjoyed the chance to dip her toe back into the design world without the demands of a client, and with a pro backing her up. “Marli gave us some ideas I wouldn’t have thought of,” she says. “She gave us things that were unexpected and a little out of my comfort zone.” One gorgeous example is the Infinity chandelier in the breakfast nook. “I fell in love with it, but after seeing the price, I was like, ‘Oh well…’” she says. Unbeknownst to the wife, the husband wanted to surprise her, so he contacted Jones and gave the go-ahead for the beyond-the-budget fixture. “It’s pretty phenomenal and sets the intention for the entire room,” Jones says. “You can see it from just about every angle.” That one light fixture seems to be symbolic of the entire project’s willingness to take some risks and swing for the fences with the design. “I love how the entire home turned out,” says the wife. “It’s really a house where we can live our lives.”
Dark Floral II wallpaper by Ellie Cashman Design in black desaturated gives drama to the powder room.
Steve Munson, Munson Architects
S/H Builders, sh-builders.com
Marli Jones, Rebel House Interior Design, rebelhousedesign.com
Coffee table in living room and dining chairs
Custom fireplace and kitchen countertops
Sectional in family room and love seat in living room
The Rug Company
Living room rug
The Urban Electric Co.
Pendants in study and entry
Photography by: Aimée Mazzenga