In the 1920s the countryside some 35 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, IL, was home to a budding commercial town settled along a main Midwest rail line. It also became the weekend and summer playground for many of Chicago’s wealthiest industrialists. It was an affluent time wedged between a World War and the Great Depression.
In 1928, Stag’s Crest was built, a four-bedroom, Colonial-style
country manor on a five-acre estate. Earlier this year, the property
became the latest designer showhouse for the Barrington (IL) Junior
Women’s Club, Inc., a philanthropic organization that provides
grants, scholarships and volunteer time to a spectrum of charitable
organizations throughout the area. This year’s proceeds will
benefit Joyful Hands, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity,
among other causes. “Our goal is to make a dynamic impact on
not-for-profit organizations that directly affect women and children,
seniors, the abused and the underprivileged,” says Terri Votanek,
A massive staircase that rises three stories is the centerpiece
of this vintage home, which features classic details such as shell
carvings, dentil moldings and wall niches. There’s even a telephone
room, harkening back to a time when privileged households had one,
centrally located, hard-wired telephone receiver. In all, more than
25 professional interior designers worked on this year’s project.
GRANDEUR AND STYLE
Immediately to the left of the entry foyer and stairwell is the
Grand Tour Salon designed by Adele Lampert, ASID; Janet Nichols
and Linda Theis, Page One Interiors. The room recalls a time when
homes often showcased accessories and furnishings collected on European
tours. A Wedgewod blue was selected for the walls, which are highlighted
by a hand painted leaf and fleur-de-lis pattern above the French
doors leading out to the veranda.
To the right of the fireplace is a music area complete with grand
piano. This space leads directly to the bright and cheery morning
room, designed by Rod Maxwell and Debbie Weber, r.a. maxell, inc.
Almost a garden unto itself, the room features a floral fabric in
a brilliant green, which is matched on the floor and built-in bookcases.
Ferns and potted orchids complete the scene.
Down the hall, the dining room transports visitors to an 18th-century
chateau. Designers Lori Lennon, ASID; Dick Whittington, ASID; and
Jack Grein, Lori Lennon & Associates, chose azure blue and alabaster
for the walls, richly decorated in trompe l’oeil panels featuring
neoclassic patterns. French doors lead to the veranda and to a screened
Romance and glamour from a bygone era were recreated by Mary Susan
Bicicchi, ASID, Interiors by Mary Susan, Inc., for the master bedroom
suite. Behind the upholstered bed is a wall of pleated fabric that
matches the draperies created by Davis Design. The matching quilted
bedspread and cornices complete the ensemble with Swarovski crystals
adding a sparkle to the cornices. Additional seating is provided
in the adjoining sunroom whose three walls of windows overlook the
home’s formal garden. Here heirloom china and French deco chairs
add even more elegance and glamour.
Elegant comfort in a Mediterranean style was the motif for the guest
bedroom designed by Jane Irvine, ASID, Jane Irvine Interior Design,
Inc. Soft, warm hues of blue and brown set the tone, which is followed
through to the draperies, upholstered bed, bed coverings and pillows.
The hand painted wall coverings were a special treat in this room.
The third-floor boy’s bedroom, designed by Marietta Calas,
HIDA, and Sandra Gaddis-Dzurisin, Expressive Interiors, Inc., became
a castle chamber complete with a drawbridge bed. Wood salvaged from
a 100-year-old barn was turned into shutters with heavy, black iron
hardware. Wood blocks cut into stone shapes were placed around the
windows to add to the medieval atmosphere of the room. Faux paintings
of a bookcase and fireplace hide drawers and doors that lead into
storage space under the home’s roof.
Down the long, narrow hall is a room fit for and meant for a princess.
The fairy tale nursery, created by Evalyn R. Ashmore, ASID, Design
Era, Inc., was designed for a newborn, but its color and style easily
will see a young one into her middle childhood. The room features
a canopy crib and decorative painted furniture by Martin Wood, Kips,
which includes a teacart that was converted into a changing table.
Wood limb-and-leaf patterned screens cover the lower portions of
Late in the game, the Interior Design Department of the College
of DuPage, supervised by Pat Bailey, ASID, took on the dark, neglected
basement family room beginning in the stairwell from the salon.
Students uncovered a large book-matched marble fireplace surround
that became the centerpiece of the room. The dark wood paneling
was faux painted by Interior Illusions, Inc. to brighten the room,
which took on an Art Deco feel with a pair of Erte prints and a
glass-block bar erected at the far end of the room. Behind the bar,
what once was a walk-in safe became a wine cellar.