Kristina's Suburban Spare Traditional

House Tour

Name: Kristina & family (plus dogs, Scout and Hatchet)
Location: Lake Forest, Illinois
Size: 4,500 square feet
Years lived in: 6

When Kristina, her husband, and their three sons moved into this 1960's colonial in Lake Forest, the house was an odd mish-mash of renovations. Kristina immediately set about giving the house a cohesive style. After six years of renovations, she's finally feeling it all come together.

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Six years ago Kristina was living in what she considered the perfect house. Then, planning to move out of state, she sold that perfect house. When the plans to move changed at the last minute, it was too late to stop the sale. So Kristina had to start over creating a new perfect house.

This new house was in the right place at the right time but it left a lot to be desired. Looking past the awful renovations and envisioning this house as her new dream home must have seemed overwhelming at first. By updating this home with a classic tone and high end finishes, Kristina is finally able to see it as her dream house.

Kristina designed the house with a mix of functional, family-friendly spaces and a few formal rooms. The family room, with its big comfy couch under the oversized portrait of the family's pet pug, is a great space for the kids. The dining room off the kitchen and the mud room are also great spaces designed with the whole family in mind. The colorful powder room, however, is off-limits to the boys.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My/Our style: Spare traditional

Inspiration: Jeffrey Billhuber, Michael S. Smith

Favorite Element: The way the house greets the outdoors, rooms are big enough but still cozy/inviting.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to keep within budget with renovations; we wanted highest quality (e.g., true divided light windows, wideplank wood floors, stone, etc.).

Favorite Rooom: Powder room, family room and mud room.

Biggest Embarrassment: Having to paint our kitchen walls three times until I nailed the right color (the third time I finally did it because I couldn't ask my husband to pay for it again).

Proudest DIY: Drapes in master bedroom.

Biggest Indulgence: Photo of dog.

Best advice: You only cry once when you buy good quality.

Just got: 1920s antique modern kitchen chairs from Susanin's Auction House - bought six only to luck out and have a second set of six sold two auctions later.

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Resources: Expressions Custom Furniture for all upholstered furniture, Sawbridge Studios for custom built furniture, Tithof Tile and Marble and NuHaus for kitchen/bath design and finishes, Room and Board for kid's furniture, Susanin's Auction House for interesting finds at a great price, eBay

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(Thanks, Kristina!)

Images: Jason Loper

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