Homepolish designers Beth Partyka and Meg Sullivan of Charlotte Williams Interiors help a young family in the South Loop adjust to life with a baby and a puppy.
Photos by Dustin Halleck
Warmth is something designers reference often. It’s a quality laypeople don’t know how to define, let alone achieve. How do you create warmth from a blank slate? How do you add personality without creating a space that feels junky? And without creating a house too full for a new dog and baby?
Designers Beth Partyka and Meg Sullivan of Charlotte Williams interiors have a pretty good idea. They helped these Chicagoans turn their four-bedroom, four-bath, 1600-square-foot townhome into the perfect functional, friendly, and family-friendly abode. To start, they needed to balance the couple’s needs.
“The wife follows Homepolish on Instagram and felt that many of the spaces reflected her style,” Beth Partyka says. “She was really into textures and layers and open to color, and the husband preferred a more neutral palette.”
Luckily the designers were able to deftly balance both needs while ensuring the space was ultra-livable.
“The clients were expecting their first baby when we started working with them on the design and also brought home their first puppy during the process,” says Beth. “We used outdoor fabrics on the upholstery because it’s both durable and stain-resistant and then we used leather on other pieces because it wears really nicely. This way they don’t have to worry about the impact a growing family will have on their furniture. We didn’t want anything to be off-limits.”
When it comes to personality, the clients had it in spades—they just didn’t know how to display it.
“The clients had a lot of art so we made sure to incorporate this in each space as it’s a reflection of them, their families, and their travels,” explains Beth. “We used accessories for both function, as well as sources of color. We made it a point to add items that had a big impact aesthetically while also leaving blank space so the whites and wood tones were visible.”
That breath between accents is just part of how Beth and Meg style the perfect shelf.
“We find it’s really about the mix—books, art and objects, old items and new, and then really balancing the scale,” says Beth.
That mix comes together perfectly in the kitchen, where the designers turned a corner into the perfect casual dining spot.
“We really love the breakfast nook because it’s the perfect blend of clients’ existing pieces (the art which we used to layout the gallery wall) and new (banquette, textiles, and furnishings),” Beth says. “It’s such a great example of being able to work with clients to create something in their home that’s really unique to them.”
The duo designed the built-in banquette, as well as the fireplace shelving and cabinets in the living room.
“The home was new construction and the clients really wanted to do some things that differentiated it from what you typically find in a development,” Beth explains. “We designed the breakfast nook to really fill the space and maximize seating, plus the banquette base doubles as additional storage. We kept it white to keep the feeling bright and airy. We added custom cushions and pillows for comfort (of course) but also to add interest.”
In the living room, that mix of form and function continued with the fireplace.
“We sourced a vent-free option as the wall is shared with the unit next door and then for the mantel and built-ins we went with a raw looking oak finish,” Beth says. “The mantel is actually a piece of reclaimed wood we found on Etsy and the cabinet and floating shelves we designed ourselves. The finish really helps bring some warmth to the white space in this room and allowed for an opportunity to add accessories and display the clients’ abundant book collection. The tile surround is great because it’s neutral but the handmade terracotta tiles really add a lot of beauty.”
The tiles may add a lot of beauty, but we think our designers add a lot of brains.
Ready to work with a designer that takes a thoughtful approach to your space? Sign up for Homepolish today.