When Britt Whitfield and Jacqui Scott began searching for their next home in Chicago, they prioritized one thing above all else: “Having a celebration was #1,” said Mrs. Whitfield.
And when Whitfield, 43, says “party,” she doesn’t suggest a comfortable get-together with a couple of friends. As general director of Revel Group, a Chicago-based event organization company, spends its days overseeing events with hundreds of guests. Although her personal gatherings are more intimate, she still enjoys throwing parties for big groups of friends and colleagues.
The couple renovated or built five previous homes in Chicago, moving every few years. But now they were searching for a spot to remain. So, along with serving as a celebration venue, the home needed to be a family home where their two children — now 7-year-old Cal and 5-year-old Paton — would feel comfortable growing up.
When they found a big neo-Georgian house on an unusually wide lot within the Logan Square neighborhood, it looked perfect. Designed by the architectural firm Worthmann & Steinbach and accomplished in 1905, the brick and limestone constructing had 8,000 square feet of interior space and extensive exterior space.
And while it was in a densely built-up area, it “had a side yard, backyard and front yard” that was perfect for parties, dates and their two dogs to run, said Scott, 42, a psychotherapist and instructor at Loyola University of Chicago.
They bought it for $1.66 million in June 2018 after which called Architecture of Filoramo Talsma and Design interiors to be renewed. While the outside was in good condition, the inside needed a significant overhaul.
The previous owner worked to renovate the home for years but never accomplished it, said Chris Talsma, founding father of Filoramo Talsma Architecture, calling it “half demolished, half rebuilt”.
“Apart from the shells, there was little price preserving,” he said.
With Mrs. Whitfield as general contractor, construction began a couple of months later and the team didn’t hold back. They gutted the whole interior aside from the paneled entrance hall and commenced remodeling the home with elements that combined contemporary urban style with a healthy dose of fantasy.
“She’s literally into fun,” explained Aimee Wertepny, founding father of Project Interiors, “so the concept of where we could take it, the chances this client and friend can be open to, was the most important draw with the gate.”
Lauren Warnock, who was the lead home designer for Project Interiors but has since began her own firm, Navy blue black studionoticed that a celebration house and a house for babies and pets usually are not so different: each must be friendly while being wear-resistant at the identical time.
“It needed to be child and dog proof and just allow them to have a good time,” said Ms Warnock. “Nothing could be so invaluable that they cannot just enjoy life.”
In the lounge, designers installed back-to-back quilted sofas under a ceiling decorated with diagonal moldings and four-leaf shapes. In the adjoining dining room, they lined the ceiling with wallcovering that mixes cork and gold foil, and installed a big custom dining table by Lagomorph Design with a star-shaped veneer tabletop. Heavy curtains open onto the bar and library with a drooping banquet covered in snakeskin velvet.
The kitchen has seating and seating options to accommodate leisurely family meals and animated cocktail nights. On one side, the back of the island ends in a spongy banquet, upholstered in heavy-duty Xorel fabric, near a small breakfast table; however, a bar-height counter with a live-edged walnut top creates space for the bartender to serve guests.
At the rear, a staircase with built-in stadium-style seating descends to the family room, in a recent addition with aluminum and glass folding doors that open onto the courtyard.
The work was mostly accomplished by September 2019 at a price of roughly $2 million. This fall, Mrs. Whitfield and Mrs. Scott welcomed nearly 100 guests to a housewarming party. They then held an event for the TV series “The L Word: Generation Q”.
A number of months later, the pandemic put an end to the whole lot.
“The house has the features and functions to host parties, but that was robbed from us straight away,” said Ms Whitfield. At the identical time, her event activity hit a wall: “I mainly had no job.”
Unable to share their home in Chicago with friends as that they had planned, they began to query what that they had built.
“Through the years of Covid, there was a component of me that thought, ‘Why don’t we live in a high-rise on the Gold Coast with someone to service our automobile and a spot that is a 3rd smaller? said Mrs. Whitfield.
Ms Scott added: “It gave the impression of loads to administer.”
By August 2021, they were able to move on and put the home up on the market for $5.399 million. It didn’t sell. Fortunately, because when the pandemic restrictions eased and other people began gathering again, they modified their minds.
The couple took the home off the market last March and learned to like it all yet again.
“We’ve turned it up during the last six months and we’re making it more entertaining,” said Ms Whitfield. And while there have been worse moments in the course of the pandemic, she added: “I’m so glad we’re still here.”
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