Sunny Outlook

Serene colors, sophisticated art and family friendly style drove decorator Tim Corrigan in the renovation of a 1930’s gardener’s cottage in Lake Forest, IL that is showcased in the June issue of Architectural Digest and I had the great pleasure of being part of it. Tim called on me for the custom window treatments throughout the home. Our client, an art collector with a modern sensibility and a ken design eye, veered off her contemporary design path by choosing to renovate a gardener’s cottage as a weekend home that was once part of a Van Doren Shaw designed estate. It was a dream project in many ways.

Every project has  it’s own personality and this one  is no exception- taking on the role of teacher, I learned many lessons. Often when you are in the middle of a project; the day- to- day details take over and it isn’t until it’s finished and you can step back that you get a new perspective. Tim agrees, “Working with the Hellers pushed me in a different direction, the project was less about pattern and strong color and more about paring down, about taking things down to their essence and Diane opened up to tones besides white and gray and tan; all of us stretched and grew.” So true! I learned that a great window treatment isn’t necessarily about being a visual feast, or stuffed with dressmaker details, but about a tightly edited, fabulously fabricated silhouette with good bones. I learned that design tension can be achieved without defaulting to strong contrasts. Finally, I learned you can still create drama and be subtle. Take a quick tour to check out th finished results.


The entry opens onto the greenhouse turned conservatory.


Sheers and draperies control light, protect the art and soften the room.


The master bath sheer rooms are reflected in the shower glass.


The guest room in yellow draws its inspiration from Lichtenstein’s Sweet Dreams Baby. Roman shades with valances finish off the windows.


The master bedroom’s serene and sophisticated palette is topped off by sheers and hand painted silk  draperies hung from custom painted rods to match the woodwork.





All images courtesy of Architectural Digest

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