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Design Home Tour

Creating The Perfect Home For People Who Love Art

Jessica Lagrange Infuses A Pied-À-Terre On Chicago’s Gold Coast With Understated Elegance That Celebrates The Building’s Storied History

A Feast For The Senses

An embroidered wallcovering from Fromental through Holland & Sherry, vintage Karl Springer table and chairs, and a Harry Bertoia sculpture create a breathtaking design moment in the dining room.

Finding a pied-à-terre in Chicago’s sought-after Gold Coast is not an easy undertaking. But when a family snagged a spacious two-bedroom in a historic Rosario Candela–designed building—the example of his work in the Windy City—it was an excellent harbinger of what was to come. They tapped Jessica Lagrange to design the interiors, and she was thrilled to see that the original architectural details remained untouched decades after the luxury co-op building was first built—it just needed some modern updates.

A Feast For The Senses

Left: Vespa counter stools by Mattaliano through Holland & Sherry feature a textural hair-on-hide. Range from Wolf. The chandelier is a custom design by Lagrange.
Right: A Babe Shapiro artwork creates a gorgeous focal point. Custom draperies in a beautiful, bronze-hued taffeta from Schumacher frame the views of Lake Michigan.

“My clients are very involved in the arts and architecture— the wife has an extensive fashion background and is passionate about art—she acquired most of the artworks and was even a docent at The Art Institute of Chicago,” says Lagrange. “Equally significant is that the husband is an avid collector—he had accumulated a unique, curated assemblage of furniture pieces from various periods that we layered throughout the home.” The sensorial experience starts in the elevator vestibule. With the neighbors’ delighted approval, the designer enhanced the shared space’s original black-and-white checkerboard floor with a scene-stealing sepia wallcovering from Jim Thompson. A dazzling wrought-iron chandelier illuminates the silky rounded ceiling. The home’s foyer is also a study in drama—the wife chose a vibrant artwork by Jacob Hashimoto for the faux- parchment-lined walls that Lagrange and Rugo Raff Architects enriched with a stunning, custom terrazzo and bronze sunburst floor design that radiates out.

A Feast For The Senses

A 1940s French armchair received new life in a Smoke Topaz fabric from Jasper through John Rosselli & Associates, while
a neighboring armchair was upholstered in a richly-hued velvet from George Spencer through Wells Abbott. Artwork over the Arabescato Corchia marble fireplace is by Jan Maarten Voskuil.

With the private rooms clustered to the left of the foyer—the home was perfect for entertaining. Custom millwork in the library highlights the clients’ books and artifacts with a Caio Fonseca artwork taking pride of place. Directly underneath, a cozy seating area features a sofa dressed in a deep-blue silk velvet flanked by Gregorius Pineo lounge chairs in a tailored fabric from Mokum. Perfectly concealed behind the bookshelves lies a clandestine bar and powder room, the latter outfitted with a rare 18th-century Waterford mirror. A second seating area in the library features Untitled (Split Gong)—a hanging sculpture by Harry Bertoia—along with vintage chairs updated in hair-on-hide and draperies made of a luminous woven fabric from Dedar. A cast-glass fireplace by Mattaliano stuns.

A Feast For The Senses

The tufted bed’s silk velvet—from Rogers & Goffigon, through Cowtan & Tout—beautifully offsets the custom wallcovering by Brunschwig & Fils through Kravet. A vintage wash rug by Rosemary Hallgarten through Holland & Sherry adds a sense of luxury underfoot. A vanity chair was updated in New Wave fabric from Old World Weavers—available through Scalamandré.

A newly introduced arch leads to a voluminous living room and offers a dramatic look at a Babe Shapiro work. On one end, a vintage Vladimir Kagan sofa is paired with an abstract Zhou Brothers’ artwork and a bronze coffee table by Tuell and Reynolds. Nearby, Jan Maarten Voskuil’s Sliced Circle sits over the Arabescato Corchia marble fireplace. An additional seating area features views of Lake Michigan reflected in the high-gloss ceiling. A camel-hued sofa, terra cotta-toned bench, and a lounge chair in fabric from Cullman & Kravis along with draperies in Schumacher’s Masaccio Taffeta fabric are accented by Rock table lamps from Vaughan. An Art Deco-inspired rug layered over a flat weave, low-pile rug that encompasses the entire room adds a sense of cohesion.

A Feast For The Senses

Left: Artwork by David Burdeny, a tub and custom floor mosaic by Waterworks, and a Town Tub Filler by Michael Smith for Kallista offer a “wow” moment in the main bedroom’s en-suite bathroom. Custom paneling was added to keep to the home’s refined aesthetic.
Right: Jacob Hashimoto’s The Long Goodbye to the Solar System is composed of intricately patterned, colorful Japanese rice paper “kites” layered onto the canvas. Gerard sconces by Paul Ferrante.

Across from the living room is a gem of a dining room. “The husband had a beautiful parchment Karl Springer table and chairs that inspired the design of the space,” comments Lagrange. “Normally, you wouldn’t expect a 1960s piece in a 1920s sheath, but we married it with a more contemporary, embroidered cherry blossom wallcovering from Fromental and introduced unexpected elements such as a rock-crystal chandelier and a Bertoia sculpture that brought it all together.” New double doors lead to the ultra-sleek kitchen—where brilliant, glossy black cabinetry is beautifully juxtaposed with an Arabescato Corchia marble backsplash and countertops. The family room, meanwhile, presents a more subdued place to relax. Framed artwork by the wife, a 1950s counterbalanced ceiling light, Gregorius Pineo leather side chairs, and a plush sofa upholstered in Donghia’s Bark exude quiet luxury.

A Feast For The Senses

In the library, a sofa upholstered in Versailles silk velvet from Rogers & Goffigon through Cowtan & Tout sits directly underneath Caio Fonseca’s Fifth Street Painting, C02.31. Kensett lounge chairs by Gregorius Pineo are upholstered in Souk by Mokum—both available through Holly Hunt. Ottoman shows off Scalamandré’s Tigre pattern.

The bedrooms are equally gorgeous—the primary features a tufted bed in a luxurious silk velvet and a lavender floral wallpaper by Brunschwig & Fils. The bathroom—which Lagrange gutted—sparkles with faux-shagreen panels, a Kallista tub filler, and a custom floor mosaic and tub by Waterworks. The guest suite’s moody ambiance is enhanced by a Venetian plaster wallcovering that mimics shagreen and a mesmerizing Fornasetti wallpaper in the bathroom.

A Feast For The Senses

Untitled (Split Gong), a hanging sculpture by Harry Bertoia, sits between custom drapes in Reversi from Dedar through Holly Hunt. The custom glass fireplace surround is by Mattaliano.

“We wanted to be respectful of the envelope and the building’s architecture—even though we incorporated various periods and styles, it all belongs. It feels elevated and collected and it really reflects them and their place in life right now,” says Lagrange.