Color Theory: How Our Designer Went Bold in a Chicago Condo

Color Theory: How Our Designer Went Bold in a Chicago Condo

Color Theory: How Our Designer Went Bold in a Chicago Condo


Designer JoAnn Neenan coaches her life coach client Jacqueline Gould create a bold Chicago condo that's sure to inspire.

Photos by Dustin Halleck

When you’re working with a client whose job is to inspire others, the pressure is on to ensure her own home is also a major source of inspiration.

Thankfully, Homepolish designer JoAnn Neenan knew how to bring the wow-factor for her client, Jacqueline Gould, life coach and owner of Your Inner Babe, a company that works with women of all ages and backgrounds to help them find achieve self-love through self-discovery.

“Jacqueline advocates for positivity and love, and that’s conveyed in her design aesthetic—cheerful and saturated colors, inspiring art, and design that feels genuine and representative of herself,” says JoAnn. “She had such great energy and had a pretty good sense of what she wanted.”

That was a designer to help her combine her and her partner’s aesthetics while incorporating enough bold accents to create a home that feels authentic and fun. The result is a West Loop condo that reinvigorates some of her existing pieces with daring accessories like textiles, artwork, and interesting paint techniques. Here’s how they achieved the look.

Considered Colors

The trick to decorating with a multitude of rich colors is balance. “Jacqueline loves color, specifically saturated reds, pinks, and yellows,” explains JoAnn. To keep all those hues cohesive, they used paint to add hits of concentrated color in the smaller spaces like the bathrooms.

“With a gallon of paint, you can create a very impactful look,” JoAnn explains. “We wanted each bathroom to have its own distinct vibe so we decided to get creative with paint techniques.”

When paint wouldn’t do, JoAnn leaned on pattern. In one bathroom, a Cole & Son wallpaper provides subtle texture thanks to a simple tweed pattern in a punchy hue.

Don’t Only Go Big

While Jacqueline’s style was big and bold, she wanted to make sure her partner felt comfortable as well. At least she aimed as such according to her emails.

“In one of Jacqueline’s emails, she said: ‘I want it all to look crisp and clean and finished, but not too glam cause Daniel will kill me, but like glam meets wood meets color meets black and white,” JoAnn says. “I think we hit the nail on the head.”

To temper the technicolor moments, JoAnn kept the walls in the rest of the home stark white and limited the bold hues to artwork and accessories.

In the guest bedroom, Jacqueline’s existing pale green bed could have felt too precious or subtle, so JoAnn added blood orange, black, and a playful leopard bolster pillow for an edge. In the master bedroom, pale pink hues are sprinkled in, keeping the rest of the room fairly neutral. Layers of eye-catching metallics and interesting textures create a vibe that’s well-suited for a couple.

Bed: Restoration HardwareBedside tables: RH TeenRug: Crate and BarrelQuote art: Custom by JoAnn NeenanArt above the bed: Custom from Linda ColettaPillows: Little Design Company
Not all Art is Equal

But the real star of this design is the art. Personal pieces and striking accents set the color palette for the entire home. For JoAnn, the priority was including art that her client truly loved.

“The first items actually purchased for the space were 12 vintage butterfly prints torn from a vintage book,” she explains. “Butterflies hold a special place in Jacqueline’s heart, and when I saw these prints at the Kane County Flea Market, I knew I had to purchase them. We ended up using these to create a grid-like gallery wall in her hall.”

With so much art, JoAnn wanted to vary the scale and the way pieces were displayed. In the dining room, picture ledges allow for favorite images and prints to be layered and rearranged on a lark. Combined with an inviting round table and luxe velvet chairs that pull the artwork’s hues, the space feels sophisticated and super-comfortable.

The best collections feature a curated mix of high and low pieces. JoAnn deftly blended Slim Aarons and custom paintings with DIY pieces she created.

“The quote print in the master bedroom was actually taken from a poem Jacqueline’s brother wrote,” says Neenan. “I played around with the typography and layout, and had it blown up by a local frame shop. It makes my heart happy when clients are as invested in art as I am!”

Ready to work with a designer who can help you break bold boundaries? Sign up for Homepolish today.

You can see more images, including the stunning before-and-afters, and find crediting information in the gallery.