“How do you want to live?“
Updating an apartment in a classic modernist highrise overlooking Lake Michigan

“We want to update a shag rug covered diamond-in-the-rough into the warm, relaxing and rejuvinating space it is”

Our client asked their landlord to remove the dingy carpeting in the 2 bedroom apartment they rented in the gorgeous lantern-like 21 story modernist high rise designed by Myron Schwatz on Lake Michigan. The landlord installed inexpensive bamboo hardwood floors. I brought in my trusted painter and transformed the walls from a dismal greige to a pasty white called mortar made by Sherwin Williams. Modern furniture family heirlooms and recently acquired pieces fill out the generous open plan living space in this modernist 1953 National Landmark. A standout piece is my  lounge chair and ottoman from the mountain room in a house on Saddleback Mountain in Arizona. (The chair’s original owner is credited for inventing the applause sign for radio soap operas in the 1930s.) The chair and ottomon are paired with a low, black-painted-oak Phoenix table acquired from the architecture firm Gensler's Chicago lobby for $400. An inexpensive new blue wool rug from Macy’s defines the the sitting area. A piece of 1990s vintage graffiti on an IKEA art rail provides the background for the lounge chair and ottoman. The Franco Albini designed table, purchased from Circa Modern in Wicker Park, anchors the dining area. The client needed dining room chairs that could match the Albini table’s elegance and beauty. The client encountered some beautiful Saarinen dining room chairs at a house sale, but, at $900 per chair, the asking price was too high. She felt that the Saarinen chairs were the most comfortable dining room chairs she had ever sat in. Six, year-old Saarinen chairs were for sale on craigslist in New York City for half the price of the ones at the house sale in Chicago.  The client met seller–a lawyer–on Sunday on 101st Street near Columbia University and bought the 6 chairs. They have the same gorgeous Rivington red fabric as the ones in Whitney Museum restaurant. The lawyer had originally purchased them for his Brooklyn office in February 2020 which the pandemic closed a month later. She returned to Chicago and put up a Laura Letinsky photograph she affectionately called “Martha Stewart’s Dead Picnic” and a painting of the Arizona night sky by the artist Lew Davis, by her family friend as backdrops and catalysts for dinner conversation. #dwell #chicagomodernarchitect #remodelista #apartmentherapy #circamodern #chicagoapartmentherapy #chicagomoderninteriordesign #chicagomoderninteriors #chicagomodernarchitecture 

Photographer: Michael Lipman