Exterior Love: Chicago

I came across this photo a while ago while surfing the internet, and put it away so I could look at it later.  This house exterior is a Chicago home designed by Vincere Design.  According to the portfolio bio, the house was inspired by many of the vintage co-op apartment buildings in the Chicago area.  The facade of this house is stunning, and detailed to an incredible level.  It seems almost imposing, with all the detail that runs along the vertical axis.  The charcoal accents that span two storeys high draw the eye up and up and up!  The effect of traditional severity is softened by the asymmetrical facade, however.  Setting the front entrance off to one side brings a casual element to the design that eases the impact this exterior might otherwise have.

The interiors are also a very finely balanced combination of formality with a hint of casual relaxation designed to create a warmth and comfort that might otherwise be lost with the high ceilings and super detailed molding.

The bright creamy tones of the walls are grounded by the warmth and depth of colour and texture in the hardwood floor.  The scale in the room is balanced by the horizontal molding detailing on the fireplace and the depth of the crown molding on the ceiling and the baseboard at the floor.  The heights of the interior trim create a sense of balance – high walls require tall trims.  Anything smaller than the crown in this interior just draws attention to how high the ceiling is by appearing unbalanced and out of proportion.

I also really appreciate the thought that went into detailing this kitchen.  Lots of stunning details make this kitchen welcoming and accessible, instead of overwhelming.  The crown molding is carried throughout the interior to bring continuity to the space.  The two doors on either side of the kitchen add visual interest – kind of like a sneak peek of what’s to come when you get through that passage.  I especially like the light that is reflected through them, as well as being able to see to a far window.  It reassures anyone standing at this point know what to expect (ah, there’s the end of this house), while still creating curiosity (I can only see a little bit of that next room, I wonder what it looks like?).  The professional appliance and marble countertops with solid piece backsplash is pure luxury, but the cabinets are kept at a reasonable height by the glass doors at the top.  It adds visual interest through detail and keeps the space usable on a human scale.

This home is truly a masterpiece of thoughtful detail, and is very well considered both in terms of creating that wow-factor through the luxurious materials and elements of design that are outside the human scale, but keeps it welcoming and functional by the use of those same details to bring the right elements of the design to the attention of anyone using the space.  Vincere has a great portfolio on their website, and is well worth checking out for their interesting and considered use of scale, texture and colour to create some really spectacular interior spaces!

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