This large, single-family home is located in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. It was originally built in 1907 and had endured many different renovations and iterations over the years. “The Greystone beauty had recently been converted back to a single-family home–unfortunately without any of the original character or charm of the exterior or surrounding neighborhood,” designer Gil Melott of Studio 6F says. “The neighborhood was clearly historic, but not burdened by cliches, it embodied families of all kinds and it welcomed newcomers. Those were definitely things we could intuit into our design.”

The client, a partner in a global services company, is a self-described late-thirtysomething executive with clients around the world and no place to call her own. “That is until she happened across this home,” Gil recalls. “She had ambitions of creating a place for herself, her extended family and friends, most importantly a sophisticated yet incredibly comfortable respite from the day to day.” Her wish list was simple but ambitious: add back charm in a clever way, a black kitchen, a fireplace that made an inviting statement, and plenty of local art.

Gil’s inspiration for the home’s overall style came from an unexpected place. “I have a habit of shaking a person’s hand and noticing their shoes, it’s often an indication of their attention to detail,” he tells us. “Our client was wearing these Dior sling back pumps. Saying it out loud makes me laugh, but I knew she understood her own personal style and we just needed to bring that to her home. Simply put, the look is tailored comfort with an edgy wink.”

As Gil explains it, a homeowner’s life determines how the house should breathe and move and feel. “Our client likes to entertain her friends when she’s not on an airplane, but she also likes quiet Sunday mornings with the New York Times and design magazines,” he says. “So, we created subtle moments that allowed those things to happen in different ways thought the day.”

From concept to walkthrough, they took a full four months to complete the project. Working directly with the client, Gil and his team helped to jumpstart her art collection and make efficient decisions about what she loved and wanted in her home. “One thing our client has said that resonates with me about this project is that through the process she learned about design but equally learned about herself which was an incredible reward she wasn’t expecting,” the designer concludes.