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Bright, White, and Inviting Family Home

A mostly white palette—clean, calming, and sophisticated

Written by Krissa Rossbund
  • Werner Straube

    Architect: Robert W. Kirk, Group A Architecture Inc., 1100 Landmeier Road, Suite 202, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007; 847/952-1100,
    Interior design: Gail Plechaty, Real Simple Design, 17405 E. Millburn Road, Old Mill Creek, IL 60083; 847/356-1111.
    Contractor: Matthew L. Pollack, Red Rock Custom Homes Inc., Red Rock Development, LLC, 1549 Stratford Road, Deerfield, IL 60015; 847/374-8820,


    Area rug: Stark Carpet, 212/752-9000,
    Mirror (antique); chandelier (antique); fauteuils (antique): owner’s collection.
    Fauteuil fabric (“Millerighe”/Antracite #1431-01): Dedar, 800/493-2209,
    Coffee table (antique); table at window (antique): Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Sofa (#52790); club chairs (#52728): Interior Crafts, 773/376-8160,
    Sofa fabric (“Picasso,” silk velvet): Fishman’s Fabrics, 312/922-7250,
    Pillows on sofa (“Hunt Damask”/Ivory); trim (“Tulip Fringe”): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Club-chair fabric (“Rigoletto”/Taupe #5568/2, by Rose Cumming): Dessin Fournier, 785/434-2777,
    Trim on club chairs (“Orsay”/Taupe #34607): Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000,
    Floor lamp (antique): Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Lamp shade: Lake Forest Lamp & Shade Co., 847/579-4499.
    Drapery (“Shangri-La”/Crème de la Crème #03): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Paint (“Greek Villa” #7551): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794,

  • Werner Straube

    Under the curvy staircase, an antique French table with worn painted wood was updated with a new marble top. A dark banister and steps provide striking contrast.

    Table (antique): Antiques on Old Plank Road, 773/278-4040,

    Sculpture: San Juan Ventures, 312/612-1054,
    Flooring (limestone): Chadwick’s SurfacesInt’l, 847/680-3222,
    Sconce in stairway (“Melissa” #MM-3001): Urban Electric Co., 843/723-8140,
    Rug (“Wigwam,” Tibetan, by Yardo??): Minasian Rug Co., 847/864-1010,
    Stair railing: Matthew L. Pollack, Red Rock Custom Homes Inc., 847/374-8820.

  • Werner Straube

    To define the perimeter in style, painted white wood floors are bordered in silver-leaf stripes.

    Chandelier (“Dupont”): Dennis & Leen, 310/652-0855, Available through Holly Hunt, 312/661-1900,

    Table (designed by Gail Plechaty): Real Simple Design, 847/356-1111.
    Chairs: owner’s collection.
    Fabric on chair front (“Paparazzi”/Diamond, by John Hutton, discontinued): David Sutherland, 312/205-7700,
    Chair-back fabric (“Seaton Stripe” #1161/06): Classic Cloth, 785/434-7200,
    Cabinet (Provence, c. 1910); mirror (Italian, 1930s); prints (antique): Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Wall covering (“Charleston Damask” #RK4134L79, by Ronald Redding): Area International, 312/644-0595,
    Hand-painted silver-leaf floor: Karen Nelson, 847/414-8081.

  • Werner Straube

    The dining room chandelier from Dennis & Leen is frosted with intricate beadwork, which sparkles in the light.

  • Werner Straube

    A Lucite desk provides transparency and allows attention to be focused on the silver-leaf harlequin pattern on the floor.

    Lucite base for desk; glass desktop: Real Simple Design, 847/356-1111.
    Hand-painted silver-leaf floor: Karen Nelson, 847/414-8081.
    Chairs (antique): Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Chair fabric (discontinued): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Drapery (“Academy” #36288-3): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Wall covering (“Raw Silk”/Smoked Silver): Maya Romanoff, 773/465-6909,
    Ceiling and trim paint (“Greek Villa” #7551): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794,

  • Werner Straube

    The contemporary tone of the breakfast area complements the streamlined kitchen. Leather armchairs from West Elm surround an oval table. Vintage French posters from the Covens’ art collection decorate the walls.

    Cabinetry: Binova, Through Haute Living, 312/329-9000,
    Countertop (“Blizzard” #2141): CaesarStone, 800/666-8201,
    Cooktop (by Wolf); refrigerator (by Sub-Zero): Sub-Zero/Wolf, 800/222-7820,
    Wall ovens: Gaggenau, 800/828-9165,
    Sink fixtures (by Kallista): Studio 41, 847/266-1900,
    Chandeliers (“Powder Room Chandelier”): Dennis & Leen, 310/652-0855, Available through Holly Hunt, 312/661-1900,
    Chairs (“Glooh Counter Stool” #SH62-100, by KFF): Haute Living, 312/329-9000,
    Flooring: white oak, custom stain.
    Table (by Barbara Barry): Kohler, 800/456-4537,
    Chairs (discontinued): West Elm, 866/428-6468,
    Chandelier (discontinued): Restoration Hardware, 800/910-9836,

  • Werner Straube

    Along with its black marble sink surround and painted black-framed mirror, the handsome powder room features a whimsical tree-patterned wallpaper.

    Vanity and sink (“Easton” #EAW506): Waterworks, 800/899-6757,
    Faucets (“Victorian Series, by Harrington Brass); toilet (by Toto): Studio 41, 847/266-1900,
    Mirror: Matthew Pollack, Red Rock Custom Homes, 847/374-8820.
    Wall covering (“Kurt”/Black on White, by Hinson & Co.): Donghia, 800/366-4442,
    Sconces (antique market find): owner’s collection.

  • Werner Straube

    The French-style Chicago home was built in 2010.

    Sconces: Sea Gull Lighting, 800/347-5483,  
    Hanging lantern (antique): Kimball & Bean, 815/444-9000,
    Urns: Trellis & Trugs, 847/784-6910,

  • Werner Straube

    My interiors can handle an old master just as easily as a modern abstract,” says designer Gail Plechaty.

  • Werner Straube

    Filled with furniture from the Covens’ former home, the family room demonstrates how pieces with classic lines can find purpose anywhere.

    Drapery (designed by Gail Plechaty): Real Simple Design, 847/356-1111.
    Drapery fabric (“Shangri-La”/Crème de la Crème; and “Shangri-La”/Marion): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Drapery hardware (Nostalgia Collection): Brimar, 800/274-1205,
    Sofa; chairs; benches: owner’s collection.
    Blue pillows (“Folio”/Turquoise #36283): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Patterned pillow fabric: owner’s collection.
    Chandelier (from auction): owner’s collection.
    Area rug: owner’s collection. 
    Mantel (custom): Red Rock Custom Homes Inc., 847/374-8820,
    Paint (“Greek Villa” #7551): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794,

  • Werner Straube

    The master suite is steps from nature, with a terrace accessible through French doors. “Whether my clients are inside in front of the fireplace or out on their terrace, they have plenty of private space where they can sit, talk, and read,” says Plechaty.

    Bed; settee; chairs: Real Simple Design, 847/356-1111.
    Fabric on headboard, footboard, and back of settee and chairs (“Millerighe”/ Antracite #1431-01): Dedar, 800/493-2209,
    Fabric for front of settee and chairs (“Folio” #36283-7): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Duvet and pillows: Scandia Down, 847/205-1010,
    Coverlet: Restoration Hardware, 800/910-9836,
    Pillows on settee (“Hunt Damask”/Ivory); trim (“Tulip”): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Drapery (“Shangri-La”/Creme de la Creme” #03): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361,
    Drapery hardware (Versailles Collection): Brimar, 800/274-1205,
    Table (antique): Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Area rug (#280758A): Stark Carpet, 212/752-9000,
    Chandelier (from auction); table lamp (from auction): owner’s collection.
    Paint (“Linen White” #912): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667,
    Flooring: white oak, painted.

  • Werner Straube

    Antique prints by Auguste Rodin frame a unique mirror in the master bedroom. The bench is upholstered in a creamy fabric by Nancy Corzine.

    Bench; mirror: Ivy & Co., 847/681-8003,
    Bench fabric (“Diamante”/Chalk): Nancy Corzine, 312/645-4500,
    Antique prints (by Auguste Rodin): owner’s collection.

  • Werner Straube

    Painted soft gray, the dressing room features mirrored doors and a stainless-topped island.

    Paint (“Timeless Grey” #8632W, discontinued, for similar “Talcum” #2351W) and (“European Grey” #8631W, discontinued, for similar “Ice Wine” #2352W): Color Guild, 614/231-1642, or for nearest location.
    Cabinetry (custom): Matthew Pollack, Red Rock Custom Homes, 847/374-8820.
    Cabinetry hardware (“Alno 22mm Crystal Knobs”): Studio 41, 847/266-1900,
    Chandelier (antique): owner’s collection.

  • Werner Straube

    Silk window panels, a crystal chandelier, and a framed charcoal drawing give the bathroom subtle opulence.

    Paint (“European Gray”): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667,
    Drapery (designed by Gail Plechaty): Real Simple Design, 847/356-1111.
    Drapery fabrics (“Venezia”/White, and “Venezia”/Celestria): Fishman’s Fabrics, 312/922-7250,
    Drapery hardware: Restoration Hardware, 800/910-9836,
    Cabinetry hardware (20mm crystal knob, by Alno Inc.); tub (by Kohler): Studio 41, 847/266-1900,
    Tub fixtures (Victorian Series): Harrington Brass Works, 201/818-1300, Through Studio 41, 847/266-1900,
    Free-standing towel bar: Waterworks, 800/899-6757,
    Chair (antique, from auction); chandelier (antique, from auction): owner’s colleciton.
    Chair fabric: Nancy Corzine, 312/645-4500,
    Art (by Francine Turk): Francine Turk Gallery, 312/674-1818,
    Flooring: Calcutta Mosaic.