Houzz Tour: 1970s Style Influences a Lakefront Home

Photos by Michael Alan Kaskel

House at a Glance
Who lives here: Lorie and John Fitzgibbon, their two teenagers and their two dogs
Location: Glenview, Illinois
Size: 4,800 square feet (446 square meters); four bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms
Designers: Rebekah Zaveloff of KitchenLab Interiors (interior design) andGTH Architects (architecture)

“My clients really lucked out. Their full-time home in the Chicago suburbs doubles as a lake house. And there’s a clubhouse with all sorts of amenities,” Zaveloff says.

The designer and Fitzgibbon go way back, having grown up together in the 1970s and early 1980s, a period that influenced their styles in similar ways. “I was basically raised by a bunch of teenage girls in my neighborhood, including Lorie, who was my babysitter,” Zaveloff says. “We both studied art in college and we share a similar love for late-1970s-early 1980s boho-meets-earthy-meets-glam looks.”

Another part of their shared background is that they both had stylish mothers whom they credit for their early interest in anything related to style, art and design. Fitzgibbon’s mother had been an art dealer, so she had a lot of amazing artwork for Zaveloff to help her place. In addition, both women love treasure hunting for vintage pieces. “We both love quirky style — when everyone else is going right, we both go left. And we didn’t want the house to feel like a brand-spanking-new build,” Zaveloff says. Using vintage pieces added patina and personality to the home.

“The house is basically a ranch with a walk-out basement,” Zaveloff says. “Lorie wanted a gunmetal color on the trim. It reads almost black inside, but outside it can look more blue-gray in the daylight.”

The designer had collaborated with GTH Architects many times and recommended them to her friends. “They came up with a great plan, I barely changed a thing,” she says.

Paint colors: Olympic Mountains (walls) and Deep Space (trim), both Benjamin Moore

The home’s exterior is a mix of stucco, stone and wood. Zaveloff took her clients to the stoneyard to pick just the right stone, and consulted on the colors, roof materials and stucco color. Adirondack chairs and funky planters make the front porch welcoming.
The couple already owned the carved console and artwork by Oscar Murillo that Zaveloff placed in the hallway. The flooring is a porcelain tile with a faux shagreen finish. “It balanced in a subtle modern sensibility,” Zaveloff says. “We used vintage rugs throughout the house because we didn’t want it to feel like a new build. They add so much character.”

Paint colors: Seapearl (walls) and White Dove (trim), both Benjamin Moore; floor tile: Artistic Tile

A pair of large Italian chandeliers suits the scale of the high vaulted ceiling above the dining and living areas. Wood beams add warmth, as do the engineered character-grade white oak floors. Character grade means the wood has more knots.

Zaveloff designed a custom banquette to fit the dining alcove. Then she placed artwork by Alex Katz and flanked it with two funky sconces that recall the 1970s. Also nodding to the era is a vintage Ethan Allen burled wood dining table with a brass pedestal. “It’s hard to find great pedestal tables and I always need them for banquettes,” Zaveloff says. “This one was a horrible color and Lorie was very nervous about it, but I promised her I could have the awful orange-brown stain stripped and she trusted me. It turned out to be perfect.” Chairs on brass bases lend a sexy ’70s glam look. Their mauve color is one the designer repeated throughout the home.

Wall color: Dove Wing, Benjamin Moore

“We were going to have our cabinetmaker custom-build cabinets here, but we were running out of time,” Zaveloff says. Instead she sourced a faceted wood console from a retail store and had the cabinetmaker replace the base. “It was so lucky, it was a perfect fit for the nook the architects designed,” she says. She also had the cabinetmaker add matching floating shelves. “Lorie started to collect the astrological figures when we started the project,” she says. “She gave me a Taurus — they are so cool.”
The large vintage coffee table was the first thing the women chose for the house. “It’s in the style of Karl Springer and it’s huge — 60 inches square. It is goat skin covered in high-gloss lacquer that had this great yellow patina,” Zaveloff says. “That coloring really jump-started the whole color palette — ambers, yellows, mauves, pinks and purples.”

Low-slung furniture lends a chic hotel lobby vibe and keeps the views to the lake open. The whole family refers to the leather lounge chairs as “the hot dog chairs.” The couple already had the leather sofa, but it was quite worn out. Zaveloff had it reupholstered and added a second sofa.

Silk chenille ikat pillows add bohemian patterns to the space. “The pillows in this room are so rich, exotic and very ’70s with the oranges and golds. They were a very big influence on the palette and also brought in these great purple-mauvey colors,” Zaveloff says.

The couple also had the carved African side table. The vintage rug adds amber and cream tones. “It had just the right subtle amount of the pinks and mauves in it to go with this room,” Zaveloff says. “I didn’t want a bold rug because I knew that would keep the living and dining areas from flowing together.”

To the left of a wide opening to the kitchen, Miró artwork hangs over a vintage console table. Zaveloff had the back kitchen wall tiled in a hand-painted terra-cotta tile from Tabarka Studio that has a brass inlay. “I had my eye on that tile from day one — it really set the tone of earthy, natural, imperfect and gorgeous glam,” she says. “And it was the perfect tile to connect the rooms.”

She designed a work triangle on the right, flanking the large range alcove with a fridge and freezer. “It’s so amazing what you can do with panel fronts these days — they don’t look like a fridge and freezer at all,” Zaveloff says. The range backsplash is porcelain that looks like marble.

Kitchen walls and hood color: Olympic Mountains, Benjamin Moore

Zaveloff found a beautiful vintage display cabinet for the kitchen that adds lots of character. She also knew she wanted to design a furniture-like island to add unique style. The counter stools are similar to the caned Cesca chairs both she and Fitzgibbon remember from their childhoods. She tied the various light fixtures together with their common oil-rubbed bronze and brass finishes.

A dining nook enjoys the water views. Zaveloff sourced vintage rattan chairs from McGuire and used Schumacher fabrics on their seats and on the banquette.

A walk-in pantry leads to a garage entry, landing zone and powder room. “We wanted to choose a tile that would work well with the kitchen but also be trend-proof,” Zaveloff says. This is a commercial-grade porcelain tile that has an updated ’70s look. The cabinetry matches the kitchen cabinets for a cohesive look.

This is the landing zone area off the garage entry. One of the homeowners’ two dogs, Henry, watches the goings-on. A chest and mirror on the right provide a place to drop items and do a last-minute appearance check.

Paint colors: Olympic Mountains (walls) and Deep Space (door), both Benjamin Moore

Portraits of the beloved dogs hang next to a built-in armoire. Grilles on the cabinet doors add a special touch.

The master bedroom is on the main level. Zaveloff reupholstered the homeowners’ existing headboard in a gray Schumacher fabric. The burled maple nightstand and whimsical brass lamp are vintage. “These lamps are so glam, they are crazy,” Zaveloff says.

Here are the family’s two dogs, Henry and Teddy. They fit right in with ’70s earthy glam, don’t they?

In the en suite bathroom, Zaveloff grounded the space in a marble floor tile with a porcelain inlay. “The trellis-like pattern is very ’70s,” she says. The octagonal brass mirrors and chandelier are vintage.

Zaveloff gave the custom white oak cabinets a furniture-like look by placing them atop feet and adding campaign-chest-style hardware.

Wall color: Seapearl, Benjamin Moore

Zaveloff found the aluminum staircase railings online and had them powder-coated in a brass color. Then she matched the handrail to the gunmetal paint used throughout the house. “We wanted the railing to make a statement without shouting, ‘Look at me!’ ” she says.

The lower level contains the kids’ bedrooms and bathrooms, a TV lounge, a wine room, a laundry room and a lake kitchen.

Wall color: Dove Wing, Benjamin Moore

“It’s more casual and colorful on the lower level,” Zaveloff says. This is the lake kitchen, so-called for its easy walk-out access to the lake. The backsplash tile was born from a favorite sample from Ann Sacks that the designer had held on to for 15 years. They custom made the tiles to match her old sample.

With so many expansive windows looking out at the lake, there wasn’t a lot of wall space for large pieces of art. “Lorie knew she wanted to hang this Stanley Casselman painting somewhere in the house, but there was nowhere else it would fit but here,” Zaveloff says.

“This vintage tabletop was in bad shape, but Lorie had the great idea to wrap it in raffia and have it lacquered like you’d see in the ’70s,” she says. The designer had gotten to know these funky tulip chairs at a friend’s house and knew how comfortable they were. So she knew they’d be just right for her friends. “Also, this table is lower than usual — 27 inches high — which is very ’70s,” she says.

In this teenager’s bedroom, a hanging chair adds a playful element. It’s hard to make out, but there’s a hammock that overlooks the lake on the other side of the window.

Wall color: Silver Cloud, Benjamin Moore

Colorful Mexican otomi pillows and a funky lamp from Jonathan Adler add more fun touches to the room. The bed is vintage and Fitzgibbon whitewashed it herself.

As their two children neared college age, this couple decided to make a change. They bought a lakeside home in the Chicago suburb of Glenview that they planned to renovate, and called up their longtime pal, interior designer Rebekah Zaveloff, to design the remodel for them. But after discovering extensive mold problems in the home, Zaveloff unexpectedly found herself designing her first new build. She worked with a frequent collaborator, GTH Architects, who created plans for the home. Working closely with homeowner Lorie Fitzgibbon, who shares her love of 1970s earthy and glam looks, Zaveloff designed the kitchens and bathrooms, chose finishes, fixtures, furnishings, lighting and casework, and consulted on the exterior materials.

This content was originally published here.

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