The Art House in Chicago, IL
When designing a new residence in a suburb of Chicago, careful attention was paid to the selection of vibrant stones
A new two-story residence was recently built in Hinsdale, IL, which was designed to highlight unique natural stone elements in nearly every room. Known as the “Art House” by the homeowners and its creators, the home was built with an open first floor plan that required thoughtful material selection in order to maintain a cohesive design.
“I would define the design as contemporary, artistic and organic,” said Teresa Fister, owner of Blue Pearl Stone in LaGrange, IL, which completed the stone fabrication and installation. “The artistic elements of this project are bold and create clear focal points. We spent time looking for unique and luxurious materials to integrate with the wood, steel and tile used throughout the house. The owners, who are highly successful in the fields of art and steel manufacturing, were not afraid to mix and layer patterns and colors, and had a lot of input in the selections.”
With the assistance of a local builder, J. Jordan Homes, and architect, CVG Architects, as well as Blue Pearl Stone’s material selection specialist, Alma Flores, a modern design was implemented throughout the main areas — from the kitchen and dining room to the master suite and bathroom. “The striking kitchen island bar is made from a single, oversized, one-of-a-kind slab of Dalamata dolomite,” explained Fister. “The uniqueness of the dolomite is showcased with a book-matched mitered waterfall [edge] and deep overhang for seating. The dramatic, large-scale black-and-white veins can be seen from almost every vantage point on the first floor. The perimeter of the kitchen supports the design of the island with a complementary single-toned Absolute Black granite honed countertop and matching handmade under mount granite prep sink.”
The adjacent dining area is made semi-private by way of a partition wall constructed of Patagonia White granite. The distinctive granite has a significant amount of translucent quartz and other neutral-colored mineral deposits that accent the dark wood and steel in the surrounding space. “This dynamic feature wall becomes a framed piece of art exhibited in front of the dining table,” said Fister. “The floating artwork is structurally supported by a solid steel frame several feet off of the floor which was designed and manufactured by the owner.”
This piece of “natural art” required seven setters to lift and place. “A wooden accent frame was added to achieve and complete the gallery effect,” said Fister.
To complement the partition, an elegant lighted bar was created within the dining area, with a countertop crafted from White Shadow marble. “Blue Pearl has an integrated approach of computerized technology and hand-finishing to achieve precision and natural-looking stone fabrication/installation,” said Fister.
In the master bathroom, the owners took a more neutral approach. Identical twin vanities are constructed of wood and stone, with a large free-standing tub and window separating them. Wooden cabinetry complements sunken sinks crafted of Opal Calcite, a highly polished semi-translucent white stone. “The master vanity was meticulously constructed by Yobany Guadarrama of Blue Pearl Stone who hand-built multi-level counters, with low perimeter fronts, and high back walls for plumbing fixtures and splash guards,” said Fister.
The powder room, located off of the foyer, features similar cabinetry, with a slightly more eclectic selection of stone and tile. “This room is a gem that holds its own,” said Fister. “The front facing marble waterfall and center top with vessel sink is constructed from Calacatta Black marble from Italy. The soft flowing black veins are contrasted by a colorful, geometric floor-to-ceiling porcelain wall tile.”
The various waterfall edges seen throughout the home are trademarks of the builder and architect, according to Fister. “Blue Pearl has an advanced matching system for building waterfalls that maximizes the continuity of the veins and markings to create seamless end-matched and book-matched looks,” she added.
The entire design took about one year, with more than one dozen installers required to complete all aspects of the stone installation. Since its completion, the Art House has received widespread recognition. It was also awarded the grand prize for the “Residential Stone” category at this year’s Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards, a program that honors outstanding design and installation of tile and stone.
“People are amazed at how warm a contemporary house can be,” said Fister. “They love all of the details and unusual uses of material like featuring a stone slab as art on a feature wall.”
Architect: CVG Architects, Naperville, IL