Written by Krissa Rossbund
Photography by Werner Straube
Produced by Hilary Rose
Since 1985, the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens has featured the talents of area designers to raise more than $3 million for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. The 2013 showhouse—set in an Italianate mansion built in 1916 by prolific Chicago-area architect David Adler—is poised for stylish transformations by 26 design firms. Open April 27 through May 19. For information, visit lakeforestshowhouse.com.
Shown here, designer Gail Plechaty’s living room is dressy without apology. Its design—inspired by the famed salons of Paris—makes no attempt to relax the inherent formality of the chamber; rather, it enthusiastically celebrates its classical proportions and rich ornamentation.
But intimidate it does not. “I didn’t want traditional sofas and chairs centered around the fireplace,” Plechaty explains. “I wanted to expand traditional arrangements of furniture to create intimate gathering spaces.”
Plechaty was guided by symmetry as she placed appointments throughout the stately room. A grand presentation of botanical prints hangs between soaring windows dressed in luxurious silk panels. The coral color of the prints echoes the hue in the rug that grounds a marble-topped coffee table and a pair of Louis XVI chairs flanking a sofa slipcovered in ivory cotton.
See more from this room on the following slides.
Interior designer: Gail Plechaty, Real Simple Design, 17405 E. Millburn Rd., Old Mill Creek, IL 60083; 847/507-4000.
Sofa and fabric on oblong pillow (“Tamika Silks”/Pearl #3032): Harlequin, 201/339-0500, harlequin.uk.com. Through Nancy Corzine, 312/645-4500, nancycorzine.com.
Pillow trim (“Le Musée Silk Woven”/Putty Melange #977-27894-667): Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000, samuelandsons.com.
Side chairs (Louis XVI-style, custom): Elizabeth Dow, 631/267-3401, elizabethdow.com.
Chair fabric, front (“Cross Weave”/Ivory #NC0850-003): Nancy Corzine, 312/645-4500, nancycorzine.com.
Chair fabric, back (“Seaton Stripe”/Salt & Pepper #1161/06, by Classic Cloth): Dessin Fournir, 785/434-7200, dessinfournir.com.
Trim (“Le Musée Silk Gimp”/Putty Melange #982-28842-667): Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000, samuelandsons.com.
Coffee table (Louis XVI-style): custom.
Rug under coffee table (antique Ghiordes, 5x9 feet): Minasian Rug Co., 847/864-1010, minasian.com.
Sconces: original to house.
Framed coral prints: antique.
Grey drapery (“Academy Satin”/Grey #36288-003): Scalamandré, 800/932-4361, scalamandre.com.
Cream drapery (“Tamika Silks”/Pearl #3032): Harlequin, 201/339-0500, harlequin.uk.com. Through Nancy Corzine, 312/645-4500, nancycorzine.com.
Drapery hardware (Versailles Collection): Brimar, 800/274-1205, brimarinc.com.
Drapery trim (“Le Musée Silk Woven”/Putty Melange #977-27894-667): Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000, samuelandsons.com.
Paint (custom color): Socko Painting & Decorating, 847/854-8474, sockopainting.com.