A Chicago Home By Soucie Horner Is A Serene Backdrop For Work And Play

As we know all too well these days, working from home has its upsides – more time with family, less time spent traveling to and fro – but those upsides can be wearing if there is no division between the workday and home life. Balance is the watchword, and finding a tranquil spot becomes top priority. When Martin Horner of Soucie Horner Ltd., took on this project for a busy Chicago family, the main brief was to create an elegant refuge, that would also serve as the headquarters of a lauded anti-aging skincare company, founded by the woman of the house. The challenge: to blend spaces seamlessly and provide a timeless, tranquil background for work, play, family. In short, life. Horner explains, “The clients only wanted spaces they’d truly live in. So instead of a formal living room, which they’d had in their previous home and never used, they wanted a room they could read books in with a glass of wine in front of a fire. That was a fun challenge for us – to create a uniquely livable space for unconstrained clients.”

To meld the dual functions the house serves, the workspaces are lavished with the same hallmarks that distinguish the family’s rooms: a focus on ease, an open-minded use of space, and an imaginative use of color that awakens the mostly neutral palette. Lavender, chartreuse, tangerine and steel blue add punch to the creamy base. Horner and his team reveal that what defines this downtown Chicago residence is the juxtaposition of comfort and calm with the functionality of the ultimate work-from-home situation. In the living room, chaise lounges nestle side by side, a welcoming place to read with a glass of wine, or simply gaze into the fire. In the kitchen, an upholstered banquette recalls the coziness of a corner table at a favorite boîte.

“The clients wanted dining in their kitchen to feel like more of an event than chairs alone would feel,” Horner shares. “With teens, the banquette makes it a breeze to squeeze one more dinner guest at the table at the last minute, and because it’s so cozy it has the added advantage of keeping them at the table longer.”

Ultimately, successful design is about making the clients feel at home. According to Horner, they achieved that special feeling. “The client loves her office and the way it allows her to work from home yet still be entirely separated from the family’s daily comings and goings. They love the way we incorporated their Hebru Brantley art and grandfather clock in the dining room, making it feel very personal and not decorated,” he explains. “And they love the third-floor bedroom suite which truly feels like a private refuge at the end of the day. All of these elements bring texture and a ‘collected over time’ feel to the house.”

Photography by Dustin Forest Halleck.

For more like this Chicago home by Soucie Horner, be sure to check out this serene loft situated against a dramatic city skyline.

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