Francesco's Well-Curated Flat

Francesco's Well-Curated Flat

Janel Laban
Aug 17, 2009

Name: Francesco Bilotto
Location: East Lakeview, Chicago
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 7 months

When we first heard from Francesco, he said that his mission statement when it comes to designing his home (and his clients spaces) is "Curate ...don't decorate" - in other words, edit, edit, edit. He took his own advice, paring down the color story and focusing in on a few key big ideas to make his space unique.

One of the memorable design ideas from Francesco's home is the impressive wall of framed mirrors - arranging them in a grid is a simple idea, but he's taken to the limit in terms of scale, turning it into a dramatic decor statement. His headboard DIY is another rich looking but budget friendly inspiration. These are due to Francesco's style of thinking out of the box - as he explains below, he "moves in" to his place each season, looking at the rooms and items anew and switching things up and improving them as needed - his way of keepng the "curating" happening.

AT Survey:

My style: Eclectic - Paris flat meets Chicago standard with a little touch of soft global finds.

Inspiration: Things I like in other homes I visit.

Favorite Element: Mirrors

Biggest Challenge: The living room off the dining room has a huge fire place, I needed to make it less "offensive" when sitting in there, so I painted it black which reflects in the panels of mirrors across. I like it much better now.

What Friends Say: WOW I love the mirrors on the wall... I laugh of course when they say " are you vain, why so many mirrors". My reason is that, mirrors help reflect everyday life which to me is art and always changing. not to mention gives a chic shimmer to any space.

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen

Proudest DIY: The head board in the bedroom. It is a door from Home Depot, $20 and some left over brown and black paint. I mounted it on the wall... ta da! I recently stayed at the DANIA hotel and was inspired by clean lines in the bedrooms.

Biggest Indulgence: Wall art , sculptures, fresh floral every week... cocktail parties.

Best advice: It's better to have nothing than the wrong thing. Give you home a "space lift" once in a while . I "move in" to my place every season. I limit items on surfaces in the spring and summer, get new white towels etc, then in the fall, I rearrange furniture, art etc... shop within the home and pretend that I am moving in for the first time... It sounds crazy but it helps me think outside of the box.

Dream source: Local designer friends that hand over items they can't use on a project!

All stores in Andersonville
Omaha and Columbus Nebraska Antique shops (worth the drive,better items at half the cost)
Zeeba showroom located at Merchandise Mart
Z Gallerie
Praha Chicago
World Market
Home Depot
Antique shops when I travel
and my secret ... The Room Place

(Thanks, Francesco!)

Images: Evan Thomas

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