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Renovating This Old House

January 25, 2009

An 1884 House in Chicago gets a Second Lease on LifeI found this house renovation in Architectural Digest. We’ve had old houses, and made many improvements to them over the years, but never have we embarked upon the extensive renovation that a couple in Chicago did to this old house. Renovating a house from by gone days used to be a dream of mine, but at some point the reality became, well, too real. Circumstances stepped in, and eventually the moment passed us by. Still, I love to read about and look at the photos of a well done renovation.

The idea of taking something that was once beautiful and useful and bringing it back to life is very alluring. The difference is that I only look at great renovations from afar, but I always walk away with ideas that I can apply to my own house. Take a look at this beauty in Chicago.
Savory
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Click on photos to enlarge.

A mixed-media work by Linda Mieko Allen is in the living area.

Besides being unstable, the stair adjacent to the living area “didn’t allow the layout the clients wanted,” recalls the architect. “So we moved it toward the center.” More windows were installed to brighten the room. Glant sofa fabric. Chair fabric, Brunschwig & Fils.

“The furnishings were chosen for their interesting profiles and eclectic style—and to suit a family that enjoys entertaining,” says Gomez. Part of the first floor was reconfigured to create the dining and living areas. Baker dining chairs. Drapery sheer, Rogers & Goffigon.

The kitchen was transformed into a room for serious cooks, complete with a center island and a pizza oven. BDDW stools. Pendant lights, Urban Archaeology. Kallista faucet.

In the library, the team preserved an original stained-glass window. Its hues complement those of the carpet and stand out against the room’s new chestnut paneling. The painting is by Hung Liu. Wool drapery sheer, Rogers & Goffigon. Lamps from Yale R. Burge.

Renovation Architecture by William Massey, AIA/Interior Design by Mariette Himes Gomez, ASID
Text by Amanda Vaill/After Photography by Tony Soluri
Published February 2009
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