before and after

Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover

by Annie Werbler

When a family of four city dwellers fell in love with the original horse stables and sprawling backyard of a historic home in Lake Forest, IL, it felt, to them, like being in the country so near to Chicago. They enlisted Claire Rose Staszak, an interior designer and blogger at Centered By Design, to help set up a 700-square-foot coach house as their own homestead during renovations of the main house. The 1919 structure, which will function as a guest house in the future, was built over a large garage, and includes a first-floor entry with a second-level porch, small kitchen, lounge, bathroom, and two bedrooms. Claire, who worked her magic in another Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, used local vendors and vintage finds to meet her tight, eight-week deadline. “The look we were trying to achieve was one part bohemian and one part modern,” she says, “With a dash of campy (think Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom).”

Claire went the semi-custom route by choosing several key pieces from MegMade‘s extensive warehouse of antique furniture, which were then altered to her specifications. She also commissioned reclaimed wood open kitchen shelving and a new bathroom cabinet from Foundre Made, which served to update the existing IKEA kitchen, for the time being. Finding appropriate lighting at the correct scale for the small coach house with its low ceilings proved to be a challenge, but sourcing from a mix of retail stores, Chairish vendors, and the Randolph Street Market turned up just the right fixtures. The custom kilim rug runner in the entry, the home’s most unique decorative feature, makes a bold statement about the relaxed retreat ahead as guests enter the space. Sourced from Alapash New Home, Claire had two very large rugs cut, and their edges serged and pieced together during installation, to create the look. “It was a bit of [a] giant puzzle,” she admits, “But everyone loves the results!” —Annie

Photography by Everyday Charming

Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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An existing Indian silk painting belonging to the homeowner set the stage for the lounge's eclectic decor. "I wanted the space to feel relaxed, yet still energizing," says Claire Rose Staszak of Centered By Design. "This was achieved with a mix of new and old items."
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A previously-owned sofa and media console found new spots in the long and low lounge. A sisal rug from Pottery Barn lightens the scene and adds texture, while an overhead light from Arteriors, pillows from Loloi Rugs, and wooden bookcase from Crate and Barrel fill the room with personality.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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In the corner, Claire assembled a vintage overdyed Turkish rug sourced from Canary Lane, Sarreid Ltd. brass chest from Amelia Jane Vintage, coordinating custom record player table from MegMade, and vintage accessories from Coyle & Herr.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A vintage turquoise metal bed served as the main inspiration for a little girl's colorful bedroom, with Anthropologie bedding, Serena & Lily draperies, and a vintage Guatemalan rug found at South Loop Loft. A custom-painted armoire from MegMade completes the room with much-needed storage space.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A quick bathroom facelift included adding a modern wooden box to house towels and toiletries from local woodworking company Foundre Made. A woven shade provides texture and light filtration.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A summer camp vibe in the grown-up bedroom, with Unison bedding, and a bed from CB2 with modern geometric lines in rustic wood. An overhead pendant light from Schoolhouse Electric is at once utilitarian and decorative.
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Another custom MegMade armoire adds a pop of blue in a custom finish with Amy Howard paint. A hand-painted paddle by Sanborn Canoe Co. is displayed beside it.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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Serena & Lily wall sconces flank modern desert photography above the bed.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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The existing IKEA kitchen was given a more modern and custom update with a woven shade and a fresh coat of paint. A counter-height CB2 table and West Elm light fixture are cheery additions, as is the blush-painted radiator in Farrow & Ball Cinder Rose.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A bay of cabinets was removed and replaced with custom reclaimed wood shelving by Foundre Made. Chrome hardware was swapped for black throughout the room.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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A cozy spot for reading, the porch contains layers of vintage items like the peacock chair from Modern Cooperative, rugs from Alapash New Home, and curtains by Saffron Marigold.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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"I wanted the entry to have major impact and let guests know they were in for a treat when staying at the coach house," Claire shares. A bright Benjamin Moore Vermilion-painted door and modern coat hooks from Schoolhouse Electric are some of the red accents in the space.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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Two vintage kilim rugs sourced from Alapash New Home were cut, patched together, and installed on the stairs to achieve a warm, bohemian look.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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Found artwork was mixed with travel treasures, illuminated by a Pottery Barn pendant light fixture.
Before & After: A Unique Homestead Coach House Makeover, on Design*Sponge
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The 1919 coach house on a historic five-acre property in Lake Forest, IL.
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This 700-square-foot guest house was built over a large garage, and includes a first-floor entry with living quarters above.

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Comments

    • Seriously Jay? The before looks like a sad grad student room. I love the transformation! But then, I lean bohemian, so I would.

  • Stunning transformation. Love being part of this project.
    Claire is such a talented lady and her attention to details blows my mind every time!

  • I love what you did with the stairs and the bedroom looks very calming. It must be an american thing but I cringe every time I see towels sitting over a toilet. We don’t do it here in Australia but see it done so often on styled shoots. Can anyone tell me do people actually use the towels? lol.

  • I like the record area. For a while I’ve wished for a way to take a good record player and vintage-ize it to look like a Crossley, but without the record damage. A vibrant, vintage table might be the more practical option. :)

  • People are quick to remove those ugly ceiling fans (as well as other features that now seem dated, like awnings). But in Lake Forest it’s going to be hot and muggy in the summer. Ceiling fans will make it a lot more comfortable without resorting to air conditioning; awnings keep the hot sun out and have the same effect. So, a challenge for designers in the face of global warming is to figure out how to cool houses and keep down electricity use if choosing to get rid of features like fans, which people don’t like.

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