Good Bones

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June Issue View more

Gay Lin and Tim Wons were drawn to the downtown Naperville location, which is within walking distance of restaurants and shopping. Built in 2014, the home already was “well made and well thought out,” designer Jessica Johnston says.

This redesign proves that it doesn’t take big changes to make a big impact.

Jessica Johnston, design director of Naperville-based Lauren Collander Interiors, was hired to help Gay Lin and Tim Wons personalize the five-bedroom, five-bath, 4,300-square-foot home they purchased in downtown Naperville. “The home already had good bones—interesting architectural elements and excellent craftsmanship,” Johnston says. “What they wanted to do was put their signature on the space.”

The redesign involved the addition of furnishings, wallpaper, artwork, and new lighting—as well as the subtraction of other things, such as some existing lighting fixtures and window treatments.

The couple, who have four adult children, wanted a home for their next chapter: a design that not only worked for their everyday lives but also could expand to accommodate gatherings with their full family. 

Johnston designed zones for living and rooms with multiple functions. With comfy furniture and a TV, the office, for example, also serves as an escape if the house gets too noisy. Tables can go from small to large, and furnishings are cozy, yet large enough for a crowd.

The timing—Johnston began the project in January 2020—turned out to be fortuitous, as the couple welcomed their children and significant others back home during the height of the pandemic. “This couple loves to be surrounded by family,” Johnston says. Wish granted. 

The addition of a handful of key elements helped personalize the kitchen. Upholstered stools invite visitors to take a seat. Mercury glass and bronze chain-mail lighting fixtures by Arteriors add polish and punctuate the contrasting island.

Johnston added wallpaper and swapped out the light fixture in the front entryway. She chose furniture with curves to complement the angular shapes found in the rug, front door, and sidelights.

Comfort was the main request for the well-used office; Johnston achieved this with a plush rug, cushy furniture, and places to relax after the workday. Built-ins provide additional desk space and storage as well as a convenient place to watch TV. A sophisticated cork-and-metallic wallpaper is by Phillip Jeffries.

Family-room seating can accommodate a crowd, but the room is also cozy just for one. The couple  likes to watch TV or work on their laptops from the comfort of the upholstered chairs, which swivel to take in the view. An oversize abstract artwork is from Zoe Bios Creative.

The front porch is a favorite fresh-air gathering spot for the family. Outdoor furniture by Palecek harmonizes with the blue exterior.

Photos courtesy of Picture Perfect House