A Modern Traditional

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July Issue View more

The tale of this Glen Ellyn remodel reads a little bit like a classic children’s story: The young family—a husband and wife with a son and daughter—had purchased a home that wasn’t quite their style. They were looking for something that wasn’t too modern. Not too traditional. Something just right.

“The home they bought had a modern European feel that wasn’t really their thing,” says Leah Phillips, designer and owner of Leah Phillips Interiors, who worked with the family to complete a remodel that finds that balance. “They favor a bit more traditional style with some modern touches. That’s definitely in my wheelhouse.” Phillips helped the couple find the right decor to fit their style: elements such as a chair with tufted detailing and contemporary lines, classic light fixtures, and traditional moldings juxtaposed with a modern console. 

Maximizing storage was also a priority. Additional cabinetry and pantry space make the narrow kitchen more convenient. Refrigerated drawers in the bar area are a welcome feature for holding drinks. 

The couple are longtime clients who have worked on several projects with Phillips, including a primary bedroom redo, a basement build-out, and an entryway and staircase refresh. For this latest installment, Phillips redesigned a kitchen, dining area, family room, and mudroom.

The advantage of working in stages, Phillips says, was that the clients never had to leave their home while redoing most of their 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath space.

And, at the end of the day, they have a home that’s just right.

One of the homeowners fell in love with this blue-green mohair chair by Maiden Home, which expertly mixes styles. “The tufting is traditional, but the lines are all modern,” says Leah Phillips, the remodel designer. The family’s dog, Winnie, seems to approve.

Paneling in the family room mirrors the design of the entryway and hits a traditional note that juxtaposes with the modern console by Four Hands. 

Wooden beams draw attention to the kitchen’s dramatic ceiling and the unusual shape of the fireplace. Phillips left the island open at the end to add an airy feel and extra room for seating. Custom cabinetry is by Hinckley-based Matthew James & Company. 

Phillips kept the family’s existing dining room table but swapped out upholstered chairs for wooden versions that are easier to clean after meals. The chandelier, by Arteriors, is constructed of wooden rods that stretch toward the ceiling. 

 Phillips chose a leather sectional by Maiden Home, envisioning a place where the young family could pile up and watch movies on Friday nights. Plants provide an organic element.


Photos courtesy of Margaret Rajic (Photographer). Interior sTyling: Jenny Officer. Builder: Tite Construction