Friday, June 26, 2009

Modern Meandering Through South Oak Park

Artichokes in Orange Heath Ceramic Bowl

Oak Park may have found it's claim to fame as the setting where Frank Lloyd Wright set up shop and developed what would become to be known as the Prairie style, and while there's an abundance of "prairie" here, by and large, there's very little what you might call "modern" going on in Chicago's first suburb these days. Not unless of course you peel back the façades of some of Oak Park's residences where adventurous homeowners have decided to break out of the confines of Art & Crafts and Victorian aesthetics in favor of something a little more timely and livable.

Southeast Oak Park Home with Ipe Band Siding
East Avenue home staged by STUDY

The 2nd annual South Oak Park Style Housewalk provided STUDY with the opportunity to stage one such bungalow located on East Ave. in Southeast Oak Park. Home to two full-time working parents and their five year-old daughter, the residence was originally built in the early 1920's and was recently updated with a second floor master suite and exterior ipe band siding. Visually the structure sits distinctly apart from similar bungalows in the area and modern touches are echoed throughout: a custom-built cherry console sits beneath front-facing windows and a matching cherry bookcase flanks the fireplace, giving the home a warm and organized feel.

Collage of Before Photos from Southeast Oak Park Home
From top left: Living room, dining room facing north, dining room facing south, kitchen

Southeast Oak Park Home Living Room
Living room facing southwest

Southeast Oak Park Home Living Room
Living room facing northeast

The staged living room features key pieces from Chicago's Thos. Moser showroom including the Vita Chair in brown leather and the Edo Cantilevered Side Table. Other pieces featured include a Red Molded Plywood Eames Lounge Chair paired with found driftwood, an Artemide Tolemeo lamp and an orange Heath Ceramics bowl.

Red Eames lounge chair

Living room with Moser side table and Heath ceramic bowl

Thanks to some careful planning on the part of the homeowners and their architect, audio/visual equipment is tastefully tucked away behind two doors at the center of the built-in bookcase. But with any A/V system worth it's weight in Monster cables there's going to be at least one element that peaks it head out and in this case it was a subwoofer behind the sofa. Crisis averted, however, with the help of a Chinese Altar Table, driftwood and various fauna courtesy of Moss Modern Flowers in Forest Park, IL.

Antique Chinese altar table with vintage hatbox and shoe shine stand

Along the low lying bookshelves beneath the living room windows, objects include building blocks courtesy of the homeowners' daughter, an antique Chinese horn brush courtesy of Moss, vintage baci balls, and a Bladon Conner box with yellow top from Scout in Andersonville.

Custom built cherry console

The residence's dining room is where traditional themes are most thoroughly expressed through the use of original crown molding, built-in mirrored hutch and warm red wall coloring. Sitting just off the living room, STUDY took the opportunity to celebrate the dining room's old-school charm vis-à-vis the living room's updated modernity by mixing the clean lines of an Asian-inspired table runner and an antique Tibetan tea table with cloches featuring ferns and antique task lighting.

Dining room featuring plants by Moss Modern Flowers

Vintage side chair with variegated eggplants

Wine case with mid-century Italian lamp from Amazing Space in Oak Park

Antique Tibetan tea table with lychees

Thos. Moser Vita Museum Bench in black leather with handmade felt pillow from Fly Bird

While staging a home that's currently occupied is always a tenuous process, it's made vastly easier when you have residents who are not only excited by the process and willing to pretty much let you have free reign, but when said residents have an extensive art collection featuring some of Chicago's finest local artists... well then you really can't ask for more.

The homeowners' devotion to supporting local artists is visible in literally every room of their house. Among other artists, works from Juan Angel Chávez and Jay Ryan pepper both floors of the home and in particular, Chávez's lightbox pieces are featured in both the little girl's room and the master suite, tying visual and emotional threads together throughout.

Master bedroom (top) and first floor bedroom (bottom) with lightbox works by Juan Angel Chávez

Using the homeowners' vintage stadium seats from the original Soldier Field as a jumping off point, the first floor guest bedroom was crafted as a masculine room for an adolescent with a taste for the eclectic.

First floor guest room featuring Jonathan Adler Kensington bedding

Vintage pewter and wood tray, book and horn magnifying glass

Vintage Soldier Field seating with Jonathan Adler Kensington bedding

Antique sewing machine featuring works by contemporary Chicago artists

Across the hallway, the first floor bedroom currently being occupied by the homeowners' young daughter is stylistically all their own. Though we'd like to take ownership for staging this adorable space, it truly is an organic and inspired room that was perfect as-is.

First floor bedroom facing southwest

First floor bedroom facing northeast

Updated in the early 2000's, the kitchen is built for utility and features a stainless steel gas-top range along with honed absolute black granite counters.

Pantry with Bladon Conner upholstered chair in vintage tweed

Honed absolute black granite counters with arrangement courtesy Moss Modern Flowers

Vintage pewter and wood tray with demitasse cups and mid-century English buscuit container

Pewter urn with Asian pears and lychees

Stairwell to second floor master suite

Room and Board slipper chairs with mid-century brass reading lamp and Jefferson Electric clock

Mid-century Jefferson Electric clock with hosta leaves

STUDY would like to thank all the wonderful attendees and committee members who made this year's South Oak Park Style Housewalk such a joy to work on, but most of all, thanks to our enthusiastic homeowners who were willing spare a Saturday to help us present their modern aesthetic to the neighborhood.

See More Photos and Stagers Here:
- Strange Closets
- kelly + olive