A queen-size, four-poster bed commands attention in a space designed as an escape from chilly Chicago days. “I thought it had a lot of character but was very clean-lined,” says interior designer Vern Yip.
Dramatic (and space-saving) resin wall sconces, designed by Barbara Cosgrove, add an exotic element. “I love the idea of having sconces on the wall for bedside lamps rather than taking up real estate on bedside tables,” says Vern.
A custom cotton sateen duvet and shams, designed by Vern, are piped in rich chocolate trim. Reversible items can be changed up each season.
The tapestry of textures in the master bedroom includes a long-haired Mongolian lambskin pillow, a cuddly bed topper.
Both the headboard and bed panels are upholstered in a soft, neutral-toned cotton chenille.
A vintage candelabra, placed atop a sewing table-turned-nightstand, adds visual interest. “It was my tribute to the Swedish population of Chicago,” says Vern.
Walls are hand-painted by fine artist Michael Boudreault, who worked in conjunction with Vern to perfect the size and scale of the design, inspired by iconic Chicago architecture. "When you look at the Carson Scott Pirie Building, you see all these beautiful organic forms, these curves and counter curves," says Vern. "I wanted to take that rich pattern and abstract it on our walls."
Low-pile, recyclable area rugs section off the bedroom into sleeping and seating areas.
Vintage Baker dressers in walnut offer 12 drawers of storage. “I needed to have plenty of drawer space because Michigan Avenue is stocked with some of the best stores in the country,” says Vern.
A walk-in closet, at the entry to the master bedroom, features both shelf space and hanging rods. Interior walls share the living room’s vibrant paint color.
Extra-plush bath robes lend spa style to the master suite.
Vintage Japanese woodblock prints that grace the entrance to the master bedroom reference the Prairie School. "Frank Lloyd Wright was so inspired by Japanese design that he became one of the country's largest collectors of Japanese woodblock prints," says Vern.
A trip to the annual Chicago Botanic Garden Antiques & Garden Fair produced two garden cloches, one filled with birdwing butterflies and one filled with antique game-bird eggs. “Again, it’s a reference back to Chicago’s tie with nature,” says Vern.
Cast-cement garden sprites stand sentry atop custom-built mahogany pedestals. The figures are reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original designs for Chicago's Midway Gardens.
A rosewood secretary houses a collection of books, an antique toolbox and an Ingraham self-starting mantel clock, salvaged from a Chicago ice cream parlor.
Storytelling is paramount to Vern’s design scheme. “I always look at HGTV Urban Oasis as being a celebration of all the things that are special and unique about that particular city,” says Vern.
An aluminum and mango wood, milking-stool-style side table doubles as a pedestal to display a postcard-filled trinket box. "It’s fun to open the box up and read what somebody wrote years ago and look at this old image of Chicago," says Vern.
The bedroom window overlooks Chicago’s Riverwalk. From April through November, visitors board Chicago’s First Lady at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge to enjoy the city’s famed Architecture Foundation River Cruise.
A twin sleeper sofa, upholstered in performance velvet, accommodates an overnight guest. An air mattress stowed in the foyer closet provides space for one additional guest.
Motorized window blinds, controlled via a remote, allow the user to control light and solar gain throughout the day.
Millennium Park, Opening Night, Downtown Chicago, an aerial photograph by famed Chicago artist photographer Terry Evans, commands attention in its spot above the sofette. "I wanted to have that special moment really captured in that photography," says Vern.
The sofette is customized with lattice-print pillows that echo the design of the bed duvet.
The room’s second framed photograph — the work by aerial photographer Alex MacLean — showcases Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain. "The common thread that ties those pieces of art together is capturing special Chicago moments, and the Buckingham Fountain is such a Chicago icon," says Vern.