Project Asia

January 2019 View more

Eschewing extravagance, a Naperville couple instead focuses on personality

Although its quaint exterior blends beautifully with others near the historic district, the unique interior decor of Peter and Dotsie Poli’s new home reflects 12 years spent abroad. A painting from Vietnam, a table from Singapore, and a statue from Cambodia provide both visual interest and personal meaning in the couple’s newly refurbished Dutch modern home.

“I wanted something that had character,” Dotsie, an international education consultant, says about their home search after moving back from Singapore in 2017. Instead of building, the couple worked with architect Thomas J. Ryan, builder C.T. Schillerstrom, and interior designer Angela Graefenhain to gut a 1950s square ranch that Dotsie says “had great bones.”—MD

The Circles of Love oil painting by Angela Graefenhain “represents how we are all interconnected with each other,” says the artist.

An ornate glass and wood table from India sits atop a contemporary American rug (Verve rug, midnight, $599, West Elm), blending East and West.

The shape of the Tango LED Pendant in gold leaf by Modern Forms ($629, mimics the round glass table below.

This corner accent piece was purchased at A Chair Affair, the annual fundraiser for Bridge Communities.

The Polis collected artwork throughout their travels in Asia, including this painting from Vietnam that now hangs in Dotsie’s home office. “Peter went out to grab breakfast one morning,” she says, “and he came back with this giant rolled canvas.”

When purchased, the rooms in the Poli home were much more segmented, says Graefenhain. “The goal was to open up the space and have one large room, which is very inviting and cozy.” A door panel from India provides interesting detail under the glass of a dining table purchased in Singapore. “I love that you can see through it visually,” says the designer. “It gives it so much character and warmth.” Streamlined, modern furniture from Room and Board fits the scale of the narrow family room.

The repeated shape of a hexagon creates design unity, which can be found in bathroom sinks and tiles as well as the kitchen backsplash that really pops against the blue cabinets and grout. “The hex is very classic, but it has a modern aesthetic,” says Graefenhain. “I just love that backsplash. It’s really fun.”

Photos by Rory Mcfadden