hen Francophiles Adam and Nicky Friedman stumbled upon a historic cottage in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago that had been gutted in a devastating fire, they saw a blank slate and bought it with the goal of creating a Parisian-style abode.
To bring their vision to life, the young couple hired designer Ilene Chase and architect John Anstadt. “We gathered pieces and materials from all over the world,” says Chase of the three-year renovation. “Adam and Nicky took everything a step deeper, more European, more vintage.”
A flickering gas lantern hanging alongside the front door of the restored-brick-and-wood-frame abode is one of the first signs that this is no ordinary renovation. Inside, Greek key wall moldings and reclaimed-wood flooring laid in a herringbone pattern evoke the feeling of a bygone era, while steel-framed windows and an exposed brick wall add an industrial sensibility that feels a bit more masculine. A mix of antiques and newer pieces covered in sumptuous fabrics complement the architecture and create the look that the owners dreamt about.
“The fabrics in the house read like a beautiful storybook,” Chase explains. “It feels like a charming European B&B.”
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