Take a Tour of Alison Victoria's Beautiful Kitchen In Chicago
Alison Victoria has designed 172 kitchens, so she knows a thing or two. Her latest reno (her own!), featured in HGTV Magazine, is loaded with cool stuff and creative ideas.
Every Chicago home Alison Victoria revives on her show Windy City Rehab gets serious attention, including this one. The project involved knocking down the original house and starting from scratch. But about 10 months into the build of the new 4,500-square-foot place, she decided she didn’t want to sell it—she wanted to move in.
“I had been incorporating more and more of my favorite vintage finds, and then I couldn’t walk away from them,” says Alison. Those finds include several pieces of architectural salvage and sconces she scored at a Paris flea market that now hang above the banquette in the kitchen, the room that really stole her heart. As she says, “It’s filled with design moves that I know make me happy, from years of experience—and they work.”
You can’t go wrong with a banquette. “They maximize seating, which is key in smaller spaces,” says Alison. The cushions are covered in durable distressed faux leather.
Keep the flow going with flooring. “Having all the same kind on the first floor helps a kitchen feel like part of the living space,” says Alison.
Make sure your barstools are comfy.“I do a lot of work in my kitchen, so I need stools with back support that swivel,” says Alison. These, from Baker Furniture, check both boxes.
Hide your outlets. For the most seamless backsplash, have an electrician install a strip for plugs beneath the upper cabinets.
Go for pendants with a view. Glass ones, like these by Circa Lighting, don’t obstruct the line of sight to the showpiece hood.
Love marble, love its imperfections. Alison considers the inevitable stains and etching part of the patina, and worth it for the pretty veining. As well, consider counter tricks.
And that’s not really a thick slab of marble on the island. It’s a countertop with mitered edges, a smart way to fake the look that involves joining together thinner pieces of stone. The waterfall edges on either side make it look even more luxe.
Architectural details are always a good thing. The coffered ceiling in the living room creates drama. Another way to add something extra: installing decorative beams.
Under-counter wine storage comes in handy. “It keeps your main fridge from getting too crowded, you can set it to the perfect temp, and it helps with resale value,” says Alison.
Balance pristine cabinets with a touch of roughness. The coffee bar counter is a salvaged piece of 200-year-old walnut—it even has a lead bullet from a musket in it.
Where there’s no history, bring it in. Alison framed the nook with an arch and antique corbels, which date back to the early 1900s, so the new build feels like it’s been around forever.