In Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Elske Restaurant is known for its New American cuisine with Danish flare. The founders and chefs at the restaurant, David and Anna Posey, had selected the former meat-packing facility and woodworking shop to create the ideal cozy atmosphere – with soft lighting, wide plank flooring, and rustic tables – to showcase their culinary vision. The restaurant occupies the first floor, the private event space the second floor, and their personal home is located on the third. They hired designer Erin Boone, of Boone Interiors, to transform the industrial 2500 square-foot space into their ideal retreat to relax from their hectic days at the restaurant. 

“The third floor had most recently been used as part restaurant office and part commercial men’s and women’s toilets in the center of the space to serve the first and second floors,” Erin said. The stripped it down completely to rebuild their ideal home. “David and Anna requested a light, airy palette with the use of natural materials throughout, as well as to keep the space as open as possible while allowing for at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms.” The main focus, however, as chefs, was to design the ultimate kitchen that would sit prominently in the living area. It had to be professionally appointed and high performing to service the two chefs’ cooking and entertaining needs. “The kitchen countertops are honed soapstone –  we were drawn to the character of natural stone and chose soapstone due to it’s organic/rustic appearance, heat resistance, and overall hardworking character,” the designer said. “We chose oiled butcher block for the island since the couple wanted to be able to work directly on this surface, rather than using cutting boards.” Erin designed the cabinets to include a special enclosed shelf to display the couple’s treasured cookbooks.

The gem of the kitchen, however, is a custom pantry that Erin designed for them that featured a reeded glass encasing to add a luxurious look while shielding the interior contents from view. They also added a custom fabricated divided light system that is reminiscent of an early American factory aesthetic. “The system was expensive and time-consuming, but really paid off,” she said. “The corner is a lovely place to read a book or enjoy a cocktail.”

Finally, because of David Posey’s Danish background, the rest of the home was infused with Scandinavian influences and design. They selected 5” in wide plank flooring with a matte white finish, a Gräshoppa Lamp by GubiEjvind Johannsen J64 dining chairs, a Muuto Oslo Lounge Chair, and a Bolia sectional sofa. Besides, David’s Danish heritage, the couple had gotten engaged in Copenhagen, so bringing in Nordic influences were important to them. The building’s original exposed brick walls, timber ceilings, and load-bearing columns were all given a wash of white paint to give a clean yet warm feel to the industrial bones of their apartment.

“The Poseys were involved every step of the way, making site visits coming to and from work,” Erin shared. “They’ve remarked that their home is too cozy to leave…a compliment we’ll gladly take.”