Green Tour: Lisa and Ron's Sustainable Town House

Green Tour: Lisa and Ron's Sustainable Town House

Name: Lisa & Ron Elkins, 2 Point Perspective, inc.
Location: 2120 N. Bissell Street, Chicago IL 60614
Size: 1800 sq/ft
Years lived in: 4, Owned

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We were tipped off about this home/office by one of our readers, and are super excited to share this peak into a sustainable Chicago rehab with you. Lisa & Ron have done a wonderful job in transforming the home and it obviously reflects their passion in design and sustainability. Built in 1883, their home tells the story of its era, with an interior updated to tell the story of how they live today.


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Ron and Lisa Elkins, the husband and wife principals of 2 Point Perspective, renovated a 19th century town house in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Feeling that the typical new housing stock in Chicago is not built to the quality standards of the homes constructed in the past, the couple chose an older home with the intent of making it greener. The Elkin's have made sustainability their main focus with all their design, whether it's their custom made furniture, art or architecture: "As architects, if we are not pushing projects to respect the environment, then we are a huge part of the problem. In designing our own home, we took this to heart."

Ron & Lisa wanted their aesthetic to be 'fresh', but functional. Many of the custom built furnishings double as art and function. The home is adorned with bamboo elements that give the space an extra dimension of detail. The kitchen, designed specifically to be the focal point of the house, features a bamboo backsplash that wraps behind the stove, up along the ceiling, and is illuminated with LED cove lighting.

Green improvements include water saving systems for their shower and toilets, energy saving denim insulation, and EnergyStar appliances. Much of the artwork throughout the home is theirs, as well as the custom made bamboo and reclaimed wood furniture.

Their home presently serves as a live/work space, but the couple plans to move their office out of the house and into the currently under construction mega-green complex, The Green Exchange. Fun fact – the house was featured on Planet Green's Renovation Nation! Keep your eyes peeled for a repeat...

AT Survey
Our Style: We think of our style as 'Modern with Meaning'. We have a personal connection to many pieces in our home. Either we created the pieces (furniture + paintings) or we know the artists.

Inspiration: Travel. We love to visit new places and get new perspectives on life. And of course, we love to look for creative design solutions that different cultures have created over the years.

Favorite Element: The desk system in the den. Our project files are right at our fingertips now, and the shelves are pulled off the wall slightly to conceal loads of storage- for all those unsightly Architectural Code books.

Favorite Green Element: The 'Gilasi' recycled glass counter tops.

Biggest Challenge: Running our office in the space while construction was underway… our 2 Point team members were very patient!

What Friends Say: Entertaining is much better now with the new kitchen arrangement!

Biggest Embarrassment: We were so busy with work this summer that we didn't turn our new range on for the first three months it was installed. (Don't tell my mother!)

Proudest DIY/Element: We relocated the base cabinets ourselves to keep them out of a landfill. Then we had our millworker make new doors to freshen them up.

Biggest Indulgence: The bamboo millwork- but it really makes the project… especially the vertical kitchen element.

Dream Source: A green version of London's Habitat store.

Best Advice Received: Keep the finishes.

Best advice you'd give to anyone trying to green their home: Go to eco-focused stores and showrooms that have already done the 'leg-work' for you!

Future Goals: Moving the office out, thus reclaiming our home- we are excited to relocate 2 Point to the Green Exchange when it opens in the spring.

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Resources
Appliances: Highly efficient Bosch refrigerator, Jenn Air downdraft range to eliminate the need for a hood.

Furniture: Many pieces that we have designed! (All of our furniture pieces are named after Chicago neighborhoods)

• LOOP coffee table- living room
• Ravenswood bench- made of Hackberry wood- bedroom
• Edgewater credenza-bamboo + scraps of marble- near studio

Accessories: Wine bottles cut and polished to be vases & carafes

Lighting: Kitchen: LED puck lights and rope light, the pendants are low voltage.

Rugs and Carpets: Living room rug is from interface FLOR - this company started the eco-carpet revolution.

Tiles and Stone: Kitchen tiles were over-orders from another job.

Window Treatments: Original wood shutters from the 1880's in the master bedroom.

Artwork: Lisa- paintings at fireplace and in dining room; Ron- photography in master bedroom; Both- mini travel photos at stair. We buy a special piece of art each time we travel, so our home becomes a reminder of our experiences.

Paint: Benjamin Moore Aura

(Thanks, Lisa & Ron!)

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