Open House: Peter and Jan’s Oak Park Home + Garden

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Deadlines are part of life for Chicago Home + Garden editor Jan Parr, so she knew participating in South Oak Park Style’s recent house walk would motivate her to finally finish she and husband Peter Turek’s house projects.

“I would recommend anyone who wants to revamp their home to set a date for a big party or event,” says Parr.  “It forces you to really look at your home and get it into shape.”

The process also helped the newlyweds to finally integrate Turek’s things, many of which had languished in the basement since he moved in a year and a half earlier.

The couple met after Parr saw Turek’s photo in Karen Horgan Sullivan’s Chicago Magazine February 2007 article Are We There Yet?  Always the astute reporter, Parr realized Turek (pictured with his son Bo and daughter Eleanor) might be single and made a call to Sullivan, a friend who also writes for Chicago Home + Garden.

Continued . . .

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Peter Turek with his son Bo and daughter Eleanor from Chicago Magazine

As it turned out, Turek was Sullivan’s ex-brother-in-law, so the writer alerted Peter about Jan’s interest.  Impressed by her confidence, Peter called Jan, the two hit it off and said their “I do’s” less than a year later.

“Like my mother says, we make our own luck,” says Parr.  “I don’t know any other way.”

Like any good editor, Parr realized she’d need a second set of eyes to “proofread” the space before presenting it to the public, so she was happy that the South Oak Park Style folks provided each participant with their own home stager.  Parr and Turek were assigned Kelly + Olive owners Lauren Paradise and Courtney Davis who made small changes that made a big difference.

In the second bedroom, for example, the savvy stagers repositioned the desk in front of a large window, an idea that had never occurred to Parr.  Closing the window shutters and adding art not only created a dramatic and unexpected vignette but also improved the room’s flow.

Continued . . .

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The car that spawned a collection

While she loves the home’s open interior and high ceilings, it was the outdoor area that sold Parr on the home when she bought it 15 years ago.  She and Turek enjoy their home’s large, three season front porch and the extra wide back yard, which offers two mature pine trees, a large back deck and two large garages, perfect for storage and to house Parr’s classic VW convertible.  When preparing for the house walk, the love-struck couple hung a hammock between two trees in the back yard, and it’s proven to be quite a practical prop.

“I’m out in that thing almost every evening,” says Parr.  “It truly has improved our lives.”

Indoor or outdoor, design’s suppose to improve lives – just read any Chicago Home + Garden.  Thanks Peter and Jan!

Click here to subscribe to Chicago Home + Garden.

Click here to see some of the other homes on the South Oak Park Style house walk.

Click here to read past Strange Closets Open House tours.

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11 Responses to “Open House: Peter and Jan’s Oak Park Home + Garden”

  1. Hi, here is another of the fabulous Oak Park homes in which I could be truly comfortable. Please pass on to Peter and Jan my instructions for chalkboard care, if you would. Thanks.

  2. I really like this warm, comfortable home. Just what you’d expect in an area like Oak Park.

  3. Cutest house and cutest couple!

  4. Any home with an Eva Zeisel piece is fab in my book. But making Arts and Crafts feel truly fresh and modern? That’s an amazingly fabulous design feat.

  5. beautiful. where did those lovely leather armchairs in the living room come from?

  6. The chair by the lamp is from Field’s (yes, when it was Field’s)–I believe Ralph Lauren
    The other is a vintage Vante Mobler (Danish Modern) that Peter picked up at a sale many years ago. We had the leather restored by The Leather Solution at 6612 W. Irving Park.

  7. stanley & debby 29. Jul, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    We liked the clean, crisp look. The rooms were inviting and stylish. The designers are to be congratulated.

  8. Maria Meachum 02. Aug, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Jan,
    The pictures are amazing. Of course your house was always the most stylish on the block before but and now it is magazine worthy and I will never catch up! Instead of keeping up with the Jones, I have to work to keep up with the Parr-Tureks!

  9. Jan,
    I love the green wallpaper in the guest room/office. It’s amazing. Can you share your source?

  10. Oh, my, it’s been too long.. .I’m sorry but I don’t remember the wallpaper! Just two years ago I gave the leftovers to a friend for her dining room.

  11. Oy, I’ve looked everywhere. (My husband thinks I’m obsessed.) Any chance you remember what store you might have found it at?