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Ivory Tower

Designer Brianne Bishop creates a new mood with a view of a Chicago icon.

Ivory Tower - Designer Brianne Bishop

The client fell in love with this sofa and C table from Holly Hunt, which found harmony with an ottoman and swivel chairs from A. Rudin, featuring fabric from ROMO and additional sofa pillow fabric from Zoffany. Flooring by Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.


Brianne Bishop’s clients were ready to make a change for the contemporary as they transitioned from an empty nest in the suburbs to a sleek new unit in The Renelle. “This was definitely a departure from their home,” Bishop explains.

Though they preserved certain pieces to re-incorporate, “we got rid of the Oriental rugs; we got rid of the reds, oranges, and yellows that they’ve lived with for 30 years; and gave them the opposite of that.” But the couple presented the Brianne Bishop Design team with a few non-negotiables: including showcasing a baby grand and a whopping wine collection—not to mention making the most of top-notch views of the Tribune Tower.

Ivory Tower - Designer Brianne Bishop

Bishop believes, architecturally, that the “wine wall” was originally intended as space for a buffet. Ultimately, rather than a second wine wall, the team installed a custom buffet opposite—offering added versatility for welcoming a crowd.

“One of my favorite memories of this project was actually shopping with our client in theMART,” Bishop recalls. They’d ended up at Holly Hunt, where the client announced he absolutely had to have both the spacious sofa and C table that now grace his living room. “He didn’t even want to get up!” Bishop recalls. The team complemented these choices with framed work from artist Cleveland Dean and additional seating. “The barrel chairs from A. Rudin are one of our secret weapons,” Bishops explains. “They’re so comfortable yet incredibly functional for a situation like this. It can be an area for conversation, or you can turn around for extra seating to watch TV. But they have a small, city footprint to them.”

“We got rid of the reds, oranges, and yellows they’ve lived with for 30 years; and gave them the opposite of that.” —Brianne Bishop

Around the corner—past the baby grand—is a dining room that offered a unique challenge. “You walk in, and this is what you see,” says Bishop, acknowledging the room’s proximity to the entrance. “We didn’t want to have anything that took away from the view.” So they chose a light fixture that narrows to slim, glass sticks. Yet even with the unobstructed view, it would be hard not to notice the room’s ample custom wine display— crafted to offer a beautiful, environment-controlled home to 370 bottles. “We did entertain doing the wine storage on both sides,” Bishop remembers, explaining that even this sizeable display still only holds about a tenth of the client’s collection.

The comestibles for this ultimate entertaining space make their way from a kitchen that boasts even more wine storage: a below counter wine refrigerator from Sub- Zero. Meanwhile, a cooktop, oven and microwave drawer from Wolf lend sizzle. Bishop focuses the space on a larger, dark island by highlighting it with overscaled lights while keeping the perimeter light and open.

Bishop’s feelings about light differ when it comes to the master bedroom. “I take sleep very seriously,” she explains. So, she encourages slumber with sumptuous textiles by ROMO and a velvety wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries. Meanwhile, wall-to-wall drapes from Holly Hunt “provide blackout when needed but then completely open up for that killer view of the Tribune Tower.”

Ivory Tower - Designer Brianne Bishop

Bishop added wow factor with overscaled lights but kept the glass clear so that they didn’t detract from the view. They shed light on a bright and ample culinary workspace that includes sleek cabinetry by Snaidero, refrigeration from Sub-Zero and appliances by Wolf.

Still, “the bedroom was just screaming for one of those items that lend a little touch of character,” Bishop remembers. “I found a vintage chair and we gave it a complete new life.” They lacquered its legs and arms and also added a “really wild, velvet print from Dedar.”

Like the master bedroom, the master bath offers another fabulous view of the Tribune Tower. “We wanted it to feel very clean and modern but also not take away from that view,” Bishop explains. Thus, aspects of the space—including Dornbracht fixtures (through K&B Galleries), and mirrors from Arteriors, through CAI Designs—reflect the Tower’s verticals. Also important: luxury. “We wanted it to feel like they were on a staycation,” Bishop says.

How do her clients feel about the results? “They love it,” Bishops says, pointing to a window where they often read while enjoying the view. And if they ever feel like toasting their new home, they don’t have to go far for a glass of wine.

Ivory Tower - Designer Brianne Bishop

Bishop’s recipe for a good night’s rest includes a Bernhardt bed available at J. Marshall Design, fabrics from ROMO and Jiun Ho through Holland & Sherry, Holly Hunt drapery, a chair reimagined with fabric from Dedar through Holly Hunt, wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries and a chandelier from Arteriors through CAI Designs.
Bottom right: “You can’t go wrong with Dornbracht,” Bishop says of the master bathroom faucets, available through K&B Galleries. They pair beautifully with A. Rudin sconces, mirrors from Arteriors through CAI Designs, and under the vanity, Snaidero cabinetry.