Five Star Treatment in River East

Blurb: This spacious River East townhome features stunning wood-toned cabinetry contrasted with gorgeous, timeless porcelain surfaces. Every corner of the dining space is lit beautifully, whether it be with overhead recessed lighting, under-cabinet task lighting, or decorative pendant lighting. The master bathroom of this remodel features similar design themes as well. The uses of porcelain and wooden continue in this space, enhanced by elegant brass hardware. The designer’s choice to use natural colors as accents throughout the home give it a comforting feel while remaining luxurious!

Learn more about how our designer, Ivana Stojanovska, transformed this townhome into a modern marvel.

Investment: $265,000-$300,000
Designer: Ivana Stojanovska
Photographer: Rayne Troxell
Location: River East, Chicago

When our team met with the client to come up with an estimate for this project, our team was very excited about the potential of the space. Located in River East, this modern townhouse was slightly outdated with dark, heavy wooden cabinets, earth-toned granite countertops, and a U-shaped layout that didn’t quite maximize the functionality of the space. Luckily, the space already contained top-of-the-line, stainless steel appliances that we were able to keep. The bathroom, while impressive in stature, was also shrouded in dark beiges and cherry wood tones that restricted the freedom of the space. Our in-house designer, Ivana Stojanovska, was tasked with bringing both luxury and light to this home, and she was able to do just that! Read below to find out the details of her incredible work.

Can you describe what the design process was like for this project?
Ivana: We wanted to keep the wooden elements that already existed in the space while also giving it a more modern, updated feel. The bones of the space were pretty solid, and while it had large windows throughout, the home itself is built in a way that feels narrow. Because of this, we were challenged with coming up with creative solutions for storage. I worked closely with the clients to figure out exactly what they needed/desired and tried to incorporate it all into the design in the smartest ways available.

Could you describe your design work on the kitchen?
Ivana: As I’ve stated, the previous kitchen contained a lot of wood. The flooring and cabinets carried the wood from floor to ceiling, and while this gave the space a dated feel, the wood did provide a feeling of warmth to the room. I decided to keep the warmth in the kitchen by doing the island in a rich walnut. To modernize the space, we went with a shaker door style in a clean, neutral white. We also did some custom cabinetry, built-in all the appliances, and updated the color of the flooring. For accent lighting, we chose these gorgeous black and wooden pendant lights to hang above the dining table and island. These work in tandem with the recessed and undercabinet lighting to really brighten up the space since the dining area doesn’t have natural lighting. A pot filler hangs between the professional grade gas stove and the custom built-in range hood for maximum functionality. We wanted to carry the white all the way up the wall, so we went with a beautiful porcelain backsplash. A hidden feature that this kitchen boasts is a refrigeration drawer in the island. This was included to make the best use of the space that we had available. There’s also a built-in wine fridge in the corner of the kitchen. The unique, custom details in the space really give it a luxurious feel while avoiding gaudiness.

What about the bathroom?
Ivana: Designing the bathroom was my favorite part. We wanted to go with a natural spa-like feel, which you can see in the wooden detail of the vanity, cabinetry, and shelving. We carried the calacatta tiling all the way up the shower wall, which adds so much height to the space while reflecting the light beautifully. We went with brass for all of the hardware in the bathroom, and of course, to add a touch of opulence to the space, we chose these gorgeous aged brass wall sconces. They were built into the mirror and used as accent lighting for the art in the room, so they served as task lighting while bringing luxury into the space. Last but certainly not least, a gigantic, freestanding soaking tub rests under a large window nestled in the far side of the bathroom. It is positioned under a round chandelier that mimics the rectangular shape of the wall sconces. It’s a bathroom fit for a king and queen, truly!

Are there any challenges you ran into when designing the kitchen?
Ivana: Yes, we did run into some. We didn’t have much space for storage in general, so we had to come up with some unique ways to get around this. One of the ways we created space was by hiding the pantry in a column. There is also cabinetry enclosing the fridge and microwave that not only provides ample storage, but also gives the kitchen a unique, one-of-a-kind look and feel. This is an example of marrying design and functionality in the most efficient way! We also did completely customized add-on storage for the client. One of the main jobs of designing a space, especially kitchens and bathrooms, is creating the maximum amount of space.

What was the most fun part of your work on this project?
Ivana: While coming up with solutions for storage in this space was quite the challenge, it was a fun challenge for me. Aside from having to maximize the storage in the kitchen, I also had to incorporate a dining space without taking away from any of the existing storage. We went with a four seat leaf table that has the ability to extend and accommodate six or even up to eight people. Creating two functional spaces out of one is always an interesting task for a designer. You never want to inhibit the flow of traffic or make the space feel fragmented in any way, but you always want to be sure to define each space and meet the needs of each specific client.

Any helpful design tips that you would like to share?
Ivana: Being meticulous about the accents in your space is what will really tie it all together and give it a cohesive, custom feel. In this kitchen space specifically, we added wooden detail into the lighting fixtures to compliment the beautiful walnut into the design. We also went with green details in the bar area for an exciting pop of color, as well as going with a brushed nickel faucet with a walnut neck. The devil is in the details!

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