Anna’s Centurian Chicago Home

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on February 14, 2020

When Anna Jane set out to redesign her 100-year-old wonder home, she knew she had her work cut out for her.

Just outside of Chicago lives a gorgeous, classic home that design enthusiast Anna calls her own. The house was new to Anna when she and her partner made the move, but it’s been around longer than both of them combined. Built in the early 1900s, the house has a unique character, but Anna desired to make the space feel like them.

“I wanted the space to feel fresh but classic,” she explains. “I want it to reflect my style…to feel elevated but homey.” Anna’s vision consisted of neutral tones and a few strategically-planned pops of color. As design guru herself, Anna had an image in mind, but freshening up a 100-year-old home is easier said than done. 

“When it comes to design, I always face the conundrum of knowing what I Iike but having trouble executing,” she explains. Anna’s frustrations bring a roadblock that many design lovers face to light. So, without leaving the comfort of her home, Anna sought the help of a Havenly interior designer.

Anna started with a blank canvas. She took the interior design quiz to uncover the nuances of her design taste. Then, Anna chose a designer, whose style aligned closely with her aesthetic. From there, the two collaborated virtually to refine Anna’s vision. Even though Anna had a strong design point of view, she was impressed with how her designer streamlined the process. “She gave me awesome ideas,” Anna exclaims, “she thought of textures I wouldn’t have!” 

To balance sophistication and approachable comfort, Anna’s designer honored the home’s Victorian character and opted for contemporary furnishings.

Rich textures like velvet and satin alongside a mix of soft pastels and metallic gold result in an opulent atmosphere. Calming neutrals are the perfect reason to inject pops of color into the space. Anna’s designer incorporated traditional navy blue with decor, like the reading books, candles, Chinoiserie vases, and lamps. One of Anna’s favorite parts of her home are the beautiful, bold opposing sofas in the living area.  Modeled after 1950s furniture silhouettes, the Hamilton-style sofas offer a fresh take on mid-century style.

Anna’s designer worked virtually with her to create the design of her dreams. As her designer shared concepts, Anna began to understand how her space would come to life without having to move a muscle (or, at least, a sofa). With the help of 3D renderings, Anna did not need to imagine what her living room would look like before purchasing furniture. “The ease of the process surprised me the most,” Anna elaborates.

Knowing that it was important to honor the home’s Victorian architecture, Anna’s designer specially selected several pieces of decor, for example silhouette prints and a metallic gold table tray. She modernized the space with elements like the bourg throw pillow, periwinkle pink accents, and unique burl wood coffee table.

Once the two went through the renderings and agreed on a finalized look, the only thing left to do was order the furniture. Since Anna’s designer had pre-selected each piece, it was easy for Anna to order everything to complete her new space. 

After Anna’s furniture arrived, she told her designer, “My space makes me feel so proud and excited. Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s mine!”

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Words by Morgan Hitz