In regard to the world of interiors, I am frequently asked “What is in?” And, I respond with the same answer I have given for years… “Everything!”

The appropriate components of a stylish interior depend upon so many factors that the result is always different – no two homes are ever the same. Our clients and their families have specific needs. The environment may be a minimalist penthouse in a luxury high-rise building, a vintage Castello in the DePaul neighborhood, or a grand walled estate in equatorial Africa. For each of these varied interiors, the furniture and furnishings we recommend to complete the design concepts are totally different.

Consider the following…

As the focal point for the gracious living room of a vintage Chicago building at 1420 N. Lake Shore Drive we selected a triptych that Les Ballets Rousses commissioned for the 1933 Chicago World Fair. Its framed panels feature the ballets The Firebird (based on a Russian fairy tale), Le Carnaval, and Scheherezade (1001 Arabian Nights).

Created not long after the 1929 completion of the handsome 19 story Gold Coast structure, the fluid beauty of the art and its unique provenance make it an obvious choice. This and the gold and silver leafed mirror cocktail table, combined with a cashmere Versace blanket, and leopard stenciled fur covering the seat cushion and pillows of the antique settee give this room style and drama – the John Robert Wiltgen Design signature.

Featuring classic pre-World War II architecture, the building’s restrained, timeless facade overlooks Lake Michigan and Oak Street Beach. The building offers two spacious 4,000 square foot residences per floor each with a gracefully arched entrance, ornately carved moldings, four bedrooms, four baths, hardwood floors, a library, formal dining room, full sized laundry and a kitchen with a butler’s pantry.

Our goal for this residence was to achieve a current look referenced by the past.

We took this unprecedented opportunity to blend authentic antique furnishings and accessories with contemporary, midcentury modern pieces and an inspired collection of art (both traditional and contemporary) to achieve a fresh sophisticated mood in a refined setting.

Note our versatility in the paneled library where Laurie Hogin’s untitled fantasy of fruit and fauna adds spirited interest above an international-style love seat, establishing marked contrast with the serious countenance of a 19th century carved oak partner’s desk and period style gilt floor lamp.

Kudu horns and a stylized Etruscan vase add interest to the timeless 19th century Italian ebony and inlaid ivory console anchoring the vestibule. Located between the foyer gallery and living room, an original lithograph by Rufino Tamayo is the perfect complement to the vestibule vignette.

Fresh cut flowers on French polished, faux bois, fluted pedestals add an Elsie de Wolfe touch to the dining room. We dramatized the setting with a larger than life 19th century Frederic Leighton painting and art deco Clement Rousseau-style dining chairs featuring shagreen back panels. The scale and subject matter of the painting The Rescue of Andromeda, and the brilliant crystal chandelier add to the room’s style and drama.

These are just a few new examples of what is “in” in the JRWD world of interiors. We are in the midst of completing several other projects which we will share with you in the near future. In the meantime, thank you for your continued interest and support of John Robert Wiltgen Design, Inc.

And we want to be among the first to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Yes, it will be here before we know it!!!