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Merging Styles in a Victorian Outside Chicago, IL

by Garrett Fleming

Merging Styles in a Victorian Outside Chicago, IL, Design*Sponge

Opposites definitely attract when it comes to design. And when they do, oftentimes the results are stellar and surprising. In fact, some of the most eye-catching homes I’ve ever seen have been ones where two styles cohesively merge into one, causing me to wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” One couple who has famously done just this is artist and designer Mindy MacNeil and her finance-savvy husband Scott. With Mindy’s interior design expertise, and a little help from her friend/designer Shaleah Soliven during the construction phase, they’ve decked out their Victorian in a look that equally represents their respective sides of the design coin.

Located in the suburbs of Chicago, the 2,000-square-foot, century-old house boasts many historical details including original ceilings, wooden elements and hardware. Obviously, given the home’s bones, one approach to outfitting it was to lean into its character and amplify these vintage touches. Without a doubt, collector and flea-market regular Scott was down. Mindy, on the other hand, saw potential to modernize the home, adding sleek touches and bright accessories with a minimalist hand.

In order to satisfy them both, Mindy first designed a “curiosity room” to efficiently house her and Scott’s beautiful taxidermy and throwback mementos. Guarded by a glistening suit of armor, the museum-like space is transportive, the perfect place to read a book and beckons the couple to come inside and let life simmer for a bit. Secondly, she searched for accents to pepper throughout the home that would satisfy her desire to keep things streamlined but that also tiptoe the line between modern and retro. Turkish rugs, oil paintings and Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.’s offerings did the trick.

All in all, the process took a lot of time and quite a bit of creativity, but the compromise and collaboration that went into this project have definitely resulted in one house that’s very easy on the eyes. More importantly though, their efforts have resulted in a home where their daughter Isla can thrive. They say whenever she’s away for a bit, she always comes in and kisses the walls. Now that’s the ultimate seal of approval. Scroll down to check it out. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Canary LaneJamie and Eric Photography

Image above: Upon entering Mindy and Scott’s home, you’re greeted by a vintage rug and wooden accents in a wide range of tones. In some spaces this array of stains could appear haphazard, but under the watchful eye of Mindy the shades come together to turn the dial to “relaxing” and “laid back.”

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Mindy and Scott call this their "curiosity room" as it's filled with all types of treasures they've picked up at flea markets and while traveling near and far. "Yes, my husband has put on this suit of armor," Mindy tells us.
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Mindy and Scott have taken their two respective styles -- modern/clean and layered/storied -- and used them to amplify the structural details of their 1890s-era home.
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"Lightweight yet sturdy" bistro chairs have proven to be the perfect option for a tasteful couple with a messy kiddo because they are both easy to clean and easy on the eyes.
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Many mornings Mindy can be found reading the newspaper here in what her daughter calls "the rainforest." Its abundance of greenery wraps her in tranquility and helps her collect her thoughts before she starts each day.
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The walnut island's mineral-oil finish keeps it looking fresh and tidy even after the most hectic of days. Its vintage vibe pairs perfectly with the home's original beams (which Mindy updated with white paint).
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The kitchen owes most of its charm to these oversized pulls from Katonah Architectural Hardware and rug from Canary Lane.
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The family room's Gus* Modern sofa is perfect for parties as it can be reconfigured based on the room's layout.
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Curating collections in cohesive colors has been a great way for Mindy and Scott to merge their differing takes on decoration.
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Mindy absolutely loves how the big pattern she chose for her tiny powder room has uplifted the space, but she admits she'll never wallpaper a room solo again as the process was tedious and strenuous.
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It took some shuffling of rooms, but Mindy and Scott finally have their own home office, meaning their dining table is finally free from all of the stacks of papers that used to live there. The desk is from Scott's grandmother and holds many of his favorite thrifted finds. Since he was a little kid Scott has spent at least a bit of every weekend roaming various markets looking for a steal.
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"Scott loves these old paintings of merchants and rogues, but my favorite object is the pith helmet that was my Dad’s who has passed away," -- Mindy MacNeil
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Symmetrical design elements are what keep Mindy and Scott's bedroom feeling cohesive.
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Isla's ceiling was a compromise between her and pink-averse Mindy after her daughter asked specifically for a bubble-gum bedroom.
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"The thing I love most about my home is: every object tells a story," -- Mindy MacNeil
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Source List

Entryway

Rug – Canary Lane

Bench – Homegoods

Light fixture – Lamps Plus

 

Curiosity Room

Sofa, slipper chair, light fixture, side table, coffee table – West Elm

Bookcases – vintage

Wicker chair – IKEA

Rug – Canary Lane

Paint- Farrow and Ball “Railings”

 

Dining Room

Table, sconces – Restoration Hardware

End chairs – Pier One

Bistro chairs – Maison Midi

Barstools – World Market

Light fixture – One Kings Lane

Bar hardware – Bronzes de France

Bar cabinet mesh – Frank Allart & Co.

 

Kitchen

Rug – Canary Lane

Hardware – Katonah Architectural Hardware

Lighting – Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

 

Family Room

Lighting – Custom from Lamps Plus

Sofa – Gus Modern

Poof, coffee table – West Elm

Throw pillows – Marimekko and Target

 

Powder Room

Sink, toilet – Kohler

Wallpaper – Tempaper “Branches”

Light fixture – Shades of Light

Mirror – Pottery Barn

 

Office

Paint – Benjamin Moore “Galaxy”

Desk – vintage

Desk chair – West Elm

Cowhide rug – IKEA

Lamp – Homegoods

 

Scott and Mindy’s Bedroom

Bed, bedding – West Elm

Rug, throw pillows – Homegoods

Light fixture – Lamps Plus

Bench – Crate & Barrel

Rug – Canary Lane

 

Isla’s Bedroom

Bed, blanket, sheets, lamp, rug – Land of Nod

Duvet – Dwell Studio

Chandelier – Pottery Barn Kids

Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams “Loyal Blue”

Ceiling paint – Sherwin-Williams “Charming Pink”

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