(upbeat jazz music) – I live in Chicago, just a few blocks south of Wrigley Field. In an up and coming neighborhood, a lot of hustle and bustle, and a lot going on. I bought in 2014. So, it took me a while to find this place. It really had the bones of what I was looking for, the space is great, but your kind of cookie cutter, developer-grade everything. The original developer paint. The original developer light fixtures. So, there definitely were things that I wanted to do with it. – I was moving to Chicago from San Francisco where I was just in this tiny, little apartment.
When I moved to Chicago, I wanted to step up my game a little bit. I wanted to have a professional come in and give it a professional look. – I’ve had the pleasure to work with two incredible bachelors, two distinctly different projects with two distinctly different personalities. The bachelor client today has recognized good design and is becoming more educated and wants to live in the environment where design looks like you’re successful, you’re organized, and cohesive. – I had been doing everything on my own for three years and I got to the point where I’ve realized, first of all, I’m not qualified to do all this. I had been reaching out to friends every time I bought something. With three or five different options of a bar that I wanted. – What was really nice about Dustin was he was very open to anything. Because I think he was at the point where, he knew that he had bought some cool things but now he didn’t know where to go with it.
– I wanted to keep my reclaimed wood and steel coffee table, my concrete dining table, the bar. It’s a large bar but it’s a unique piece that I really like. And I also have a classic arcade game. I enjoy it and I think it’s fun and so, I wanted that to be worked in. I really wanted something that was a unique space and Anthony said to me, “I’m picturing a gentleman’s lounge. A moody, cigar bar, gentleman’s lounge.” And that made sense to me. And I hadn’t really thought about it. – So, one of the things here is we did a lot of paint treatments here. ‘Cause paint is gonna give you the most impact for change. So, adding the stripes, adding the drama, the height, the contrast of black and white. By giving this a horizontal look, what you do is you actually stretch the room and you’re allowing the mind to believe that the room is actually a little bit shorter but wider. – When Anthony met with me, he said, “Well, this is your wow factor. Not a lot of places have a foyer. Not a lot of places have this type of space to really, set the mood for the rest of your home.” He just got this idea to use my existing console table which is a kind of a wood-looking, console table that I had seen on Houzz and thought of creating a custom glass top.
– Adding lighting below that, it really made a statement. The art is actually mushroom caps. So, in keeping with the organic nature of the tree root, which is the actual base of the console, I thought it might be interesting to incorporate the mushroom caps, climbing up the wall in a more random approach. – The master bedroom, we’ve got a copper bed that I bought before Anthony came on to help me. Great copper lamps, copper and black art. The photo wall, that area, is really just closet space. Those are closet doors. – I wanted to show things that were milestones in his life or trips, friends, maybe even some college things. Things like that. – Those frames were only a few dollars each. Having a picture printed is only a dollar or so each. So, that’s something that we did that was really cost effective. As we were working and Anthony’s team was putting the designs together, he used the Houzz idea books to send over room by room design. It enabled real time sharing and collaboration. – I think that his personality showed through his Houzz idea book and with those elements between the idea book and between the initial meeting, I think we arrived at this.
– He really understood what I was going for and I really didn’t. I had pieces that I liked. But I didn’t have an overall theme or the ability to tie that together. – I find it fun to work with things like the Pac-Man machine, the Diver Dan bar, the tree root that he had in there. Dustin’s space, we had things to work with.
At Andrew’s space, we had nothing. My approach there was completely different. – When I first walked in, the place had a very pristine look to it. Lots of whites, which is nice, but it just wasn’t me. But it also had everything in the neighborhood I was looking for, it was really close to an L stop, really close to a really fun street where you could walk, lots of restaurants and bars, and cool little shops. My military background is a big part of my identity and so I wanted a style that would be able to incorporate a lot of the elements from that period of my life.
So, I was looking for a more rustic, masculine look. – In his Houzz idea book, he had put elements like, a Chesterfield sofa, which is very classic, very gentlemanly. There was a rug. But he also had a few mid-century modern pieces. That kind of gave me a good springboard. – The thing that jumped out to me about Anthony was, he immediately had a very bold vision for what he would want to do with the place. I didn’t want a designer who would just play it safe. I wanted a bold vision. I wanted someone who would take risks and have some flair to the place. – I said, “I want to do all the trim and doors in black. Then I want to reverse it in the lower level and go all black on the walls and white crisp trim.” Andrew’s like, “Well, I’ve gone with you this far, I might as well go with the program.” And when the painting was done and everything, he was like, “Oh my God what a difference.” The living room, I feel, is an updated traditional living room.
In the sense that we have the Chesterfield sofa, in distressed leather, so it feels very warm, very cozy, very inviting. A pair of interesting wing chairs flanking the fireplace. And then above the fireplace the engine molds. You don’t really know what they are or anything, so it’s a great conversation piece. – Anthony wanted to incorporate a lot of three-dimensional aspects to the design. The machinery as well as these really large boxing images. Those boxers are on a metal sheet, right? So, it’s not a painting. – At first he was like, “I don’t know about that.” So, I said, “You gotta trust me. They’re monumental, they’re gonna anchor the whole room.” I said, “They’re gonna fit the space perfectly.” – I wasn’t able to fully appreciate what that would do to my place until it was here and installed but it was a great example of how I trusted the vision of the designer. I have a lot of items from my military service. Whether it’s the saber from West Point, images from my service, things like that and I really wanted to bring those out in the design.
So, in the master bedroom there’s a great image from my deployment, it’s actually my platoon of artillery. Anthony was able to blow it up. It actually looks better as this grainy black and white image and it’s one of my favorite things in the design. For the master bedroom, he wanted to go really dark with it. Which was something that at first, I was a little skeptical about but it has this very calm feel to the bedroom. He had a few surprises for me that he was really proud of. I love the stars above the windows. He didn’t tell me about it, he just kind of did it. – We had an unusual little space that was right outside the powder room. I was looking at Houzz marketplace.
I came across a bench, this really cool map of London, and really nice rugs and they were great ’cause they shipped really quick, really fit the space nicely. – So, the media room, I wanted a place where you could just relax and watch a movie, play some card games. – We have a really deep sofa down there with chaise lounge. We have really nice C tables so you can work on your laptop.
We have some enlarged paintings that are so cool. They’re actually made with playing cards. If you were to look closely at them, it’s all cut up playing cards. Then we have another wall, ’cause he’s a sports fan. And we did all black and white, classic sports moments for the Chicago Bears. So, that was really cool. Then we have his vanity wall, which is behind there. And there’s a fabulous weathered metal cabinet, then all the awards and everything. – I have different uniform items that Anthony was also able to incorporate. Different head coverings for my uniforms, the parade hat, things like that. – So it really came out really beautiful. So, very happy with that. – I was envisioning a place that would inspire me. A place where I could come home after a long day of work and just feel proud of where I live and a place that would be relaxing. It’s well worth the money when you get a vision that’s delivered like what Anthony delivered here for me. – When you live in a cohesive environment and things are well put together, you actually have a sense of calm. You actually have a sense of order.
You also should have a sense of confidence. (calm electronic music) .