This Classic Chicago Home is Pretty in Pink for the Holidays
Like many long-distance relationships, this one began online. Shanna and Tim Derry, building a home in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Illinois, found Nashville designer Lori Paranjape on Instagram. "I was attracted to her fresh perspective and use of color," Shanna says. "If a room is gray and monotone, I keep scrolling."
An email and phone courtship led to a proposal. Shanna was smitten by how Paranjape totally got the couple's desire to both entertain elegantly and live with kids.
"When we first spoke over the phone, she told me her design philosophy was 'a black cocktail dress from Target with Jimmy Choo heels.' I loved that not everything had to be so expensive, and we could find a mix of high and low. We wanted the rooms to have a wow factor but without super-expensive fabrics that my kids would stain."
The home's Colonial Revival exterior blends right in with Hinsdale's charming early 1900s architectural styles. "I wanted something fresh and modern but still using traditional elements, like large classic moldings," Shanna says. "I always joke that I like a 'dash of granny' thrown into the design."
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Inside, the house has a tuxedo-style color palette that's easy to accessorize for any occasion. "The black and white is the DNA of the house. It carries into every room," Paranjape says.
In the formal sitting room, reserved (mostly) for guests, Paranjape turned a plaid fabric into wallpaper. She and the Derrys love plaid and used it as an accent in several places. "We called the house Mad About Plaid," Paranjape says.
The family room has a similar look, but it's softer, cozier and more about real life, Shanna explains: "Our family room is anything goes. We have toys and board games stored in the side cabinets, and every streaming service available to cuddle up and watch movies or binge a new or old show."
Scenes like that tell Paranjape her design fits the Derrys perfectly. "It's much more about creating spaces for the family to live in," she says, "than simply creating beautiful spaces to look at."
In the breakfast room, a built-in banquette supplies ample seating for the young family (and their visitors) that's also easy to wipe down after meals.
When the Derrys entertain, the party often starts on the main floor and moves down to a basement bar and rec area. A floating double vanity with a storage shelf allows the Derrys to stow extra linens and accessories for guests within reach.
Upstairs, the primary suite features a bright and spacious sitting area. As the pandemic led them to work at home more, Shanna and Tim turned adjacent walk-in closets into comfy "cloffices."
Layers upon layers of lightly patterned neutrals create a serene, textural effect in the primary suite.
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