Classic Update

September 2020 View more

When seeing their clients’ vintage chinoiserie vases and plates, Rachel Alcorn and Bryn Wulf of Two Hands Interiors knew they were onto something in Anne Thar and Kevin Cuff’s Western Springs home. The inspiration set the stage for the soft blues in the color palette of a 2019 remodel. “Rachel and Bryn really tried to get my style,” says Anne. “They went through the first floor and nailed what I wanted. The wallpaper in the bathroom (shown far right) is the first sample they submitted—I immediately loved it.”

Quartz countertops—a manmade and durable material meant to mimic marble—have been finished with an ogee edge to give them a traditional feel. “A lot of the manmade products out there look fake,” says Alcorn, “so you have to do a high-end quartz to get the proper feel.”

The soffits were removed in this 2019 kitchen renovation to make way for cabinets that run to the ceiling. Classic millwork that wraps around the vent keeps a soft, feminine, and classic look—not industrial—despite the restaurant-quality appliances.

Two Hands softened up the blues in the color palette to appeal to the potential buyers down the road. “We may sell in three years when I retire,” says Thar, “so I was always mindful to have something that I would love to live in but also would be good for resale.”

Two Hands often selects fabric options first for a design. A textile, rug, or piece of art sets the tone for a new design, and the rest of the room is built around it.

Homeowners Anne Thar and Kevin Cuff came by their stoneware collection naturally—both of their mothers also had a variety of the blue and white Asian-inspired dishes; a portion is seen here on the dinette off the kitchen. “I really love blue and white pottery,” says Thar. “We have glass cabinets in the kitchen that have teapots and Spode plates that were my husband’s grandmother. I found some in resale shops, but my mom also collected it—she loved ginger jars.”

Thar fell in love with the powder room’s chinoiserie-inspired wallpaper. “Everybody who sees it just goes nuts,” she says. Today’s patterns are a far cry from the florals of the ’80s. “Wallpaper is having such a comeback,” says Alcorn, “and Thibaut makes a lot of gorgeous patterns at a pretty accessible price point.”