In an Oak Brook home, the design team at Vincere creates an elegantly restrained palette.
When the owners of a 4,000-square-foot home in Oak Brook wanted a more peaceful palette, they turned to the design minds at Vincere. Principals Michael Stornello and Tom Konopiots were determined to keep the design lively by maximizing the impact of architecture, art pieces, and open space for big family gatherings. “We discussed an overall sensibility—light, neutral and inviting—that could have a sense of formality when needed, but still be lived in really comfortably on a daily basis,” explains Konopiots.
“I think the real kickoff for this was probably the living room because those ceilings go over 15 feet, so we knew there was a real chance for some dramatic effect,” Konopiots continues. “We play on that by taking curtains high on the wall, doing the etageres so that they would enhance the height, as well as hanging two substantial chandeliers that would take the eye up.”
Those walls also left plenty of room to showcase art. The designers started by recontextualizing pieces from the owners’ collection. “The Chagall prints were great, but they were framed extremely ornately before,” said Stornello. “We wanted to redeploy them in a way that sort of suited this slightly more laidback sensibility.”
And when it came to sourcing new pieces, they turned to theMART. “The Richard Norton Gallery is a really great gallery,” notes Konopiots. “The painting above the replace in the living room is from there, and that really was something that helped the room soar.”
Also soaring? The number of guests the homeowners can invite to dinner. “The dining table can accommodate—with the leaf—ten seated,” says Stornello. “And there is a sofa table that actually can be pulled out and it can accommodate another six.” But it will still feel spacious. “We took this grass-cloth style wallpaper up onto the tray to enhance that sense of space and height.”
When it came to the lady of the house’s office, it was time to take a risk. “We thought that this was a place for an unexpected departure into pattern,” said Konopiots. “The oral wallpaper is great because it has some coral and a little subtle mustard and silver, so it catches the light.”
It was a tough decision for the client. “We had a moment where she got cold feet again,” says Stornello. “We said, ‘You really, really have to trust us on this,’” Konopiots adds with a chuckle. “And then, of course, she loved it.”
The clients took another leap of faith in the bedroom. “Believe it or not, it was a bed that we found at retail, and we had a slipcover made with a Clarence House fabric,” said Stornello.
“The fabric is still Clarence House, so it’s somewhat budget friendly, but not inexpensive,” Konopiots elaborates. “And then the Rose Tarlow printed linen for the curtains. Those two were the things that really sort of pair beautifully together and set the tone for the room.”
Team Vincere also takes pride in decisions that added richness without drawing attention to themselves. “Sometimes builders do the minimum wall thickness, and those windows are always so difficult to treat,” says Konopiots. They recommended more substantial walls for the Oak Park home to allow for deep-set windows and richer treatments. “Details that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to point out are part of what draws you in and makes you feel good,” he adds.
But after tackling a restrained color scheme, Konopiots and Stornello seem excited for upcoming changes of pace, including a home in Lake View—which Stornello describes as having “lots of beautiful rich, deep, saturated, warm, inviting color throughout”—and a vibrant, office for a media executive Konopiots describes as seeking “a camera-ready background for her many, many online meetings.”