Moving from NYC to Chicago we were pleased to find a neighborhood that felt very New York in the Gold Coast. Giving up life in NYC was sad for us, but living in Chicago offered the opportunity of a larger apartment and this apartment specifically offered amazing views of Lake Michigan.
A virtual blank slate, the apartment had not been updated in over 30 years. Owned previously by a female publisher whose biography we later discovered, the book case filled apartment was used as her Chicago office and she floated between Chicago and Los Angeles. Upon inspection, the 8 burner, 3 oven Roper stove in the kitchen looked virtually unused as, she probably never had time for domestic things.
To modernize it we contacted a local designer. With her help we overcame our frustration over not being able to open it up to the greater living area. She ingeniously carved out space for dining nook by relocating an awkwardly placed refrigerator. It provides a nice landing space for our son to do homework, our family to have breakfast and my friends to hang out and drink wine while I'm putting the finishing touches on dinner.
Never having done a renovation of this expense, we relied heavily on our contractor for vendor recommendations. The best find was our cabinetmaker GK Woodwork. He ran a shop just outside of the city limits and invited us for a tour. It was a magical place covered in sawdust with artisans creating furniture from scratch! When asked what door style we had in mind, we just pointed to something on the floor and he made us just that. Every piece was custom, designed to maximize the space we had, but the cost was more competitive than the semi-custom big cabinet names.
Thank you, Michelle!