An intense palette and daring use of pattern elevates the mood in a Lincoln Park home by designer Jasmin Reese
Anything but white. Interior designer Jasmin Reese took that directive from her clients and unfurled a vivid spectrum into their Lincoln Park home. Transplants from California, the family of four wanted to add some personality and color to their new digs. Dizzying wallpaper prints, a chevron-patterned stair runner in multiple shades, and tiles the color of the ocean dominate. Ceilings and window treatments were all fair game. The front door is a riveting cobalt blue on the exterior. “Every room is a magical experience,” Reese laughs.
The bravado started from the ground up. Reese brought in an assortment of rugs so intense in color that the salesperson questioned whether her clients would really go for them. They did. It now sits in Laura and Mike Cohen’s family room and is matched in intensity by the green sofa from George Smith, a splurge, and a pair of orange ottomans from Jonathan Adler. Rounded-back chairs upholstered in an ombré velvet comingle merrily with the other furnishings like tipsy guests at a Christmas party. Citron drapery rests against white walls, which Reese conceded to for balance.
“The client was all in. she had no fear with color or pattern.”
“I think color can be so much fun and such a mood elevator,” Laura Cohen says, “and I find the lack of color to be an energy drain and a little anxiety inducing.” A design enthusiast, Cohen brought her own ideas to the table. She suggested a graphic Pierre Frey fabric to highlight the backs of a pair of Baker chairs in the living room. Coincidentally, Reese herself had chosen the same fabric to present to her client. “We were on the same wavelength for a lot of stuff,” Reese explains.
The periwinkle walls—Benjamin Moore’s Blue Porcelain—in the space were no exception. Two weeks of effort went into painting and sanding them repeatedly into a high-gloss finish. For a cohesive look, Reese dressed windows in the same hue. A mirrored coffee table in the living room bounces light around while a large-scale art the Cohens had in their collection offers a beautiful focal point. “We had some art that we wanted Jasmin to help us work with,” Cohen says. “We had several pieces we’ve picked up over the twenty-plus years we’ve been together that we still wanted to enjoy.”
“I think we surprised jasmin by not shying away from anything.”
Other pieces that worked just as beautifully in the new home include the family’s dining room table and chairs. They fit perfectly in their new space, to the clients’ and the designer’s delight. A glass chandelier from Currey & Co. was added to the mix, and it is paired with a Designers Guild wallpaper on the ceiling.
The Cohens’ love of color and pattern extended to the stairs, where where Missoni’s iconic chevron print leads the way to several bedrooms. Not interested in a somber space, the wife easily approved a wallcovering by Christian Lacroix for Osborne & Little for the primary bedroom headboard wall. A swirl of feathers in aubergine, pink, emerald and teal, the wall graciously hosts the walnut-and metal bed. Reese painted a built-in cabinet green and popped velvet trim onto the existing curtains. She painted the walls blush and added a gold-cork wallpaper from Thibaut on the ceiling.
The family, which includes two daughters and two French bulldogs, uses the third-floor sunroom to hang out and play games or read. A wet bar sits against a lively wallcovering, while a hand- painted mural—a sweet confection in pink, yellow, and blue painted by Reese and an interior architect on her team—enlivens the nearby lounge. It was inspired by a mural the Cohens fell in love with in France, so they asked Reese to replicate it. “I think we surprised Jasmin by not shying away from anything,” Laura Cohen says.
In the lowest level of the house, they embraced a palm tree paper by Thibaut that Reese selected to bring some joy to the basement. She added a rug from Stark in its iconic antelope print but not in an ordinary neutral—only blue would do. Monkey sconces frolic among brass shelves, backed in a wallcovering in the same Pierre Frey print as the living room chairs. An oversize flamingo print found on Etsy does its best to coax the homeowners to use the gym.
The house, formerly a builder-grade white box, is now a fully realized reflection of the family that lives there. “We came to Jasmin expecting the house to look like us,” Laura says. Reese gives props to the client for being open to a design kaleidoscope that veered far from neutrals. “The client was all in,” Reese said. “She had no fear with color or pattern.”