Although only two-years-old, the house has a long-established feel aided by its Old World architecture—the multi-peaked, stone exterior, sturdy stand of mature trees and elegant landscaping. Una Bella Vista is set on five acres backing onto Lake Hawley about 35 miles northwest of Chicago. The property includes a tennis court and two-story coach house.
Formed in 1936 the Barrington Junior Women's Club's far-reaching philanthropic endeavors provide grants, scholarships and volunteer time to a spectrum of charitable organizations directly affecting women's issues, children and community needs. Its Showcase House is one of its two biggest fund-raising events. This year's proceeds will fund two merit scholarships and three community service scholarships for Barrington high school students.
Upon entering the home it becomes apparent where Una Bella Vista gets its name. Step beyond the entry and the great room rises the full two-story height with its opposite wall presenting an enormous window expanse with views of a series of terraces leading down to the lake.
To frame the window, designer Marsha Jones, Marsha Jones Interior Design, Wheaton, IL, chose a velvet fabric for the drapery panels to add weight and counterpoint to the room's open architecture and stonework. The sheer treatment was added to tame the sunlight pouring in from the western exposure while still allowing for spectacular views when pulled back using gold braid and tassels.
Jones selected a color palette of claret, cabernet and sage with russet and gold accents to express the room's Bohemian ambience. Rich fabrics and trims were added to the collection of accessories and art.
Adjacent to the kitchen and family room is the breakfast area, designed by Catherine Michiels, Decorating Connections, Inc., Barrington, IL. Like so many rooms of the house, this space also affords waterfront views of the property. Its multiple windows allow rays of sunlight to sparkle through the beaded valance trim. The depth of color from the window treatments to the hand-painted dining table balance the room and play against the soft-textured tone-on-tone wall coverings and a hand-distressed crown molding.
On the opposite side of the great room is the study designed by Adele L. Lampert, ASID; Linda Theis; and Janet Nichols of Page One Interiors, Barrington, IL. A high, beamed ceiling covered with decorative paintings by artists Meg Sier-Hood and Jim Marini of Sfumato Studios and book-lined cabinetry establish an elegant atmosphere. The room is flooded with natural light from an arched window draped in tassel-trimmed damask.
The first-floor master suite was designed by Christopher Michiels of Decorating Connections. Luxurious silk draperies were used in this soft and subtle sanctuary for their elegant look and complete light control option. When pulled back using the crystal tiebacks and pendants, light filters through metallic sheer panels without obscuring the views. Inviting velvet and chenille fabrics were chosen for their comfortable appeal.
Upstairs, a golden yellow, brick red, moss green and taupe color scheme throughout the 12-year-old girl's bedroom is highlighted with a botanic print from France in true Old World fashion. Designed by Kathleen O'Mara, Les Tissus Colbert, Barrington, IL, the room features a yellow tone-on-tone paint treatment on the walls by Jeanne Carroll along with a few antique furnishings and period reproductions
Although Una Bella Vista is filled with creative touches, artistic handwork is especially evident in two rooms, one being the boy's bedroom called the Urban Cowboy room by designers Gayle Veach Davis, Affiliate ASID; and Dixie Rogus, of Accumulations!inc., South Barrington, IL. The Southwest scenic mural sets the room's tone, which is further enhanced with a teepee made of copper plumbing pipe, canvas and leather and a hand-carved amoire. A Pendelton wool blanket on a pine log post bed adds a further masculine touch.