Open House: Karl, Dawn, Kitt and Kendall’s La Grange Life


Karl and Dawn knew they were tempting fate when the visual display merchandisers flaunted Marshall Field’s rules about dating co-workers, but their near instantaneous attraction could not be denied and a mere two shifts after meeting they were an item, hot and heavy.  Six weeks later they were engaged and one year later it was “I do,” “I do too,” and all that jazz.  Thankfully for all involved, Marshall Field’s quickly remedied this flagrant violation of company policy and transferred Karl from the classic State Street store to the less inspired Water Tower Place place.  Corporate crisis averted.

Visual display was a natural way for the artistic minded duo to make a living using their skills.  Karl’s an artist, a painter and sculptor who creates amazing large Cubist-influenced canvases, many of which reminiscent of the urban realism work produced during the WPA period.  You may recognize Karl’s work from the very cool Andersonville mid-century boutique Room ServiceClick here for a tour of Karl’s basement studio.

Karl’s bold use of color in his art contrasts nicely with the neutral colors in their traditional brick home, and the couple’s clean mid-century modern furniture, Karl’s sculptures and a few glam rock-and-roll touches close the deal.  It’s a far cry from how it looked when they bought the home, which was incognito, its wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpeting (even in the kitchen) the equivalent of a wig, trench coat and sunglasses.

Continued . . .


Karl and Dawn’s kids, Kitt, 12, and Kendall, 9, can be summed up by their rooms – Kitt’s thoughful, introspective and smart, his bedroom orderly, each of his belongings say something about him; Kendall is a force to be reckoned with, creative, energetic and soulfully spunky (one gets the sense she will develop an acute sense of irony as she grows up, breaks a bunch of hearts and eventually takes over the world).  “She has some sort of fairy dust she sprinkles when no one is looking,” says Dawn.  “Kitt is as good a kid as you will ever meet, truly kind hearted in a way boys rarely are.”

Hold on two seconds . . . sniff . . . ahhhhh . . . eyes watery . . . just tired.

OK, back to Dawn:

“Our house is filled with furniture, art and photographs that tell our stories.  I wanted our house to be colorful and creative and perhaps a little chaotic.  A place that does not so much speak to trend or style, but rather is a place that expresses us as we truly are.”

Thanks guys.  Mission accomplished; I really enjoyed hanging out with you.

Click here to read past Open House tours.














The finished basement is very schwing








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11 Responses to “Open House: Karl, Dawn, Kitt and Kendall’s La Grange Life”

  1. Nice house, great art, hey, where’s Kitt?

  2. Kristie Horton 26. Feb, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Beautiful home and lovely family!

  3. Hey! They are, both, incredibly talented. It is very fun to see it in their home.

  4. Marjie Anderson 26. Feb, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Your home is just beautiful! The Art work is so gorgeous.Now I know where your mom got her ideas for her house!!!! I should have guessed! Don’t you dare tell her I said so!

    I really enjoyed seeing your home and how nicely it is decorated.

    I missed seeing your handsome son!



  5. Carlos Camacho 26. Feb, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    WOW!!! How impressive!! I too, want to know where Kitt is?? Don’t be shy, Kitt. Show your face!!
    Now, whats this “Strange Closet” all about??

  6. Loved it. Thanks for sharing. I guess congratulations is in order. One powerful question. When can I come visit? Looks like a nice pad but I wanna see it up close and personal. Btw where is my main man KIT?

  7. I was thinking the same thing – where’s Kitt? BTW the house and all it’s artwork is FAB. Bravo to the owner of the clothes pile who didn’t see it necessary to straighten up for the photo shoot!!!

  8. Love the colorful decor! It is really full of life… great home Dawn. I could use your touch around my world!

  9. Love the art, layout , and decor, love the family, so happy to see what your home looks like. Great picture Kendall, and wish Kitt had been there. Kendall you are prettier than the tulips!

    Love , Julie

  10. I can see why she picked the only blond guy in the family portrait. “James Bond…” was one of the best, I wonder if the submarines will ever surface again… Home sweet home…