Search Modern Luxury

A Brazilian petrified tree stump and a pair of wicker stools add texture to the neutral palette.


Making Change

By Tate Gunnerson

Photography by Tony Soluri


Bold patterns, striking color and a rich stew of ethnic influences lie behind the double doors of this traditional residence on a leafy lot in Winnekta.

CHANGE ISN'T ALWAYS easy, at least at first. That’s what a trader and his wife, a stay-at-home mom of two young girls, experienced when they decided to swap their Lakeview condo for a new six-bedroom house on a roomy third-of-an-acre lot just steps away from Hubbard Woods in Winnetka. “I knew it was a smart decision, but I really wasn’t ready to move to the suburbs when we started building this house,” the wife confesses.

To help ease the transition, the couple commissioned Melissa Lewis and Cari Giannoulias of Lewis Giannoulias Interiors—the team was referred by their builder, Highgate Builders. A quick look at the wife’s online inspiration board helped set the direction. “We created a more transitional look, which is what the architecture of the home and the neighborhood called for,” Lewis says, “but they’re young and fun, so we wanted to make sure it wasn’t too stuffy.

A gray island plays off of the white perimeter cabinetry in the kitchen, which has been outfitted with stain-resistant porcelain countertops that resemble marble.

The kitchen island, for example, has been painted in a soft gray hue that distinguishes it from the white perimeter cabinets. It relates to both the subtle color lines in the porcelain countertops and also the textural fabric on the upholstered banquette in the breakfast nook, where an oversized spherical metal chandelier glows at night. “It really grounds the space and creates cool shadows,” Lewis explains. “The clients were open to embracing many varied and interesting bits.”

A graphic wallcovering and a multitiered beaded chandelier bring the bling to the elegant, formal dining room. There’s another wallcovering in the butler’s pantry—this one a deep shade of blue—that actually sparkles in the light. “If these walls were just painted, you wouldn’t get half of the wow factor,” Lewis says.

The wallcovering is just one of many blue hues that can be found throughout the interior. A plush sofa and a vibrant abstract painting by Ted Stanuga, for example, complement the bespoke gray-painted cabinetry in the husband’s office. And the color shows up in throws, pillows and treasured objects throughout.

“The color adds a little something-something,” Lewis explains. “It ties the whole thing together.”

The family can often be found cuddled up on the comfy sofa sectional in the family room, their legs outstretched on the round tufted ottoman. Open to the kitchen and breakfast nook, the comfortable gathering spot is just one of the many things they enjoy about their new abode. “This is such a beautiful place to be,” the wife says. “Once we had moved in, I wondered why I ever questioned the idea of living in the suburbs.”  

In the spacious master bathroom, marble from Materials Marketing creates a sense of elegance.