With a child on the way and a long list of “must-haves” for their home, interior designer Amy Storm (owner and lead designer at Amy Storm & Company) had to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. Steve Poteraki of Studio 1 Architects, PJ Murphy of Patrick Murphy Builders, and Amy’s firm worked in harmony to bring their wish list to life. The home is simplistic and sophisticated, with bold details that will stand the test of time. Amy tells us more.
We’d love to know a bit about this home! Where is it, and what can you tell us about your clients?
Our clients found the perfect lot in the perfect neighborhood. With a child on the way and a list of wants, we worked with the builder and architect to make sure all their needs were met. We developed the design, as we learned about their passions for travel, well-being, and balance in their lives. They were also clear about their focuses around nutrition, organization, and cooking. The kitchen was the place where the detailed design was kick started. We worked to create a functional and thoughtful space that reflected their personalities and gave them a palette to create in, every day while using beautiful finishes that were timeless, but also reflective of their likes, rather than anything trendy. We used elements of this design and palette throughout the house, a beautiful mix of neutral finishes alongside exotic marbles, metals, and textural elements.
Style-wise, what were some of the main things the clients wished for?
Our clients were very excited about becoming parents. They had been on a long journey to get to this point, and they really create a home that would receive their family as it grew, but also demonstrate their priorities. The home needed to feel comfortable to live in, but also have an architecturally clean and minimalistic vibe. We used a simplistic and functional design approach and disguised the elements with exotic stones, warm woods, and layered neutrals. We repeated finishes and colors throughout the home and even incorporated them into the furniture pieces, as well.
You mention that the neighborhood is perfect. Where exactly is the property? Did the neighborhood influence the design?
This home is situated in a historic and beautiful neighborhood in the western suburbs of Chicago. With walking access to the downtown area, parks, local restaurants, train access to Chicago, the property location was ideal. It was crucial that we designed a home that reflected their personalities, but also fit into the neighborhood. We landed on an exterior that was a beautiful mix of a traditional brick with black painted vertical siding, bringing both priorities into one home.
It’s a massive project! What was your scope of work?
We designed the entire house, from top to bottom, including the outdoor spaces. Typically, we start in the kitchen, to kick start the details and design that will be repeated throughout the home. This ended up being one of our favorite spaces, because it had an open connection to the beautiful, functional pantry/scullery and visual connection to the back porch and pool area.
The space is all brand new but doesn’t feel too fussy. How did you find the right mix?
For this project, mixing in personal/found pieces and materials to create a comfortable yet refined space that really reflected our client’s personalities was top priority. Whether it was fixed cabinetry or loose furniture, everything in the house was selected to meet their objectives.
Did this project have any challenges?
Other than trying to construct this house quickly, so it was done before the baby came and during Covid, this was a relatively seamless process. It really helps when clients come to the table, knowing what is important to them and even sharing some visuals to kick start us in the right direction.
One tough detail that did take a lot of thinking, site meetings, collaboration was the stone shelf across the windows. It took a combination from many vendors to make sure the sizing was right, placed at a perfect height for the client, had enough support to function correctly and still looked pretty from the front and back since it spanned windows. Talking through details on site makes all the difference – getting everyone in the room nine or ten times is the way to create a solution and ensure everyone is on the same page, it saves everyone time and money!
Take a tour in the slideshow.