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
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.”