Open House: Stu and Cecilia’s Edgewater flat (a Johnson / Soler project)

Last fall, I received an e-mail from Rebecca Otto, a designer at Johnson / Soler, about one of the firm’s recent projects, a kitchen / dining renovation in a vintage Edgewater condo. Hey, that’s my neighborhood, I thought. The attached photos revealed a sleek, chic and stylish entertainment area that makes good use of a vintage condo’s layout by combining the small kitchen and dining areas into a larger, more open space. What most grabbed my attention was a delightful Ingo Maurer chandelier that seems to float above a beautiful Danish modern walnut dining table. Last summer I was inspired to publish a post about a whimsical Maurer chandelier that I saw hanging in an apartment window during one of my evening strolls and I wondered if the Ingo Maurer chandelier at Rebecca’s project might be the same one that had so captivated me? But what are the odds? As it turns out, the odds are pretty good, because they are indeed the same piece. As magical as coincidences might seem, I suspect they’re inevitable in a world where billions of people have gazillions of interactions. Nonetheless, I pondered the seeming synchronicity by the glow of my Via Condotti candle (aka the official scent of my den). As I continued browsing through the jpegs in Rebecca’s e-mail, I also noticed a familiar-looking pair of mid-century modern wing chairs upholstered in vintage American Airlines seat fabric that I had also featured on Strange Closets (in a post about the amazing Grand Avenue shop, Post 27).

The kitchen was in pretty dismal shape when Stu and Cecilia first purchased the condo in 1995. The unattractive ceramic floor tile had been laid directly over the plywood sub-floor, the 60’s-era counter tops looked the part, and a drop ceiling had reduced the height in the small kitchen. “The old kitchen didn’t feel spacious at all,” Stu says. In July, 2009, Stu and Cecilia finally hired Johnson / Soler to help them renovate. In the space created by removing the wall separating the formerly separate spaces, Johnson / Soler designed a cooktop island, which also makes a discreet home for the dishwasher and provides extra storage and counter space to boot. To make the best use of Stu and Cecilia’s tight budget, they selected inexpensive white Ikea cabinets, although they splurged on high-end hardware. “Spend your money on the things people actually touch and interact with,” Johnson / Soler co-founder Sarah Soler says. A red lacquer cabinet over the sink adds some zing to the sophisticated but simple space. The designers decided to incorporate the bold red after they noticed the hue in art and accessories throughout the rest of the condo. “We look for cues throughout the entire home,” Rebecca says when describing Johnson / Soler’s design process. Stu and Cecilia are very happy with the results, and they’ve begun to talk with their design team about renovating the rest of their home. Thanks to homeowners Stu and Cecilia and Johnson / Soler designers Rebecca and Sarah!

Click here for past Open House posts. Click here for Jeff and Keelin’s Open House (an oldie but a goodie), which features (at least) two amazing Ingo Maurer chandeliers.

Please also check out Johnson / Soler’s sister company, Pushpin Revolution, which offers online design services at budget-friendly price points.

I heart that red cabinet.

No blue line? Ouch!

It was nice to see them again, and I’m glad they found such a nice home.

Sarah, Stu and Rebecca.

I also particularly like Johnson / Soler’s office. Click here for more info about Johnson / Soler.

The End

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6 Responses to “Open House: Stu and Cecilia’s Edgewater flat (a Johnson / Soler project)”

  1. What a lovely house, lovely post, lovely photographs . . . I particularly like the detail of the chandelier.

    You seem to be posting less often, Tate, and that makes me sad. Post more. Also, I’ve finally started a blog of my own–a sort of mix of things–and I’d be honored if you gave it a peek. I’m sure I’ll give you a shoutout on it one of these days.

  2. Would love to see before pics. Great airy space to have a party or dinner. Love the pop of the red cabinet and the cubes within the nooks – what a great use of space. Makes me want to break down some walls!

    I too miss your postings Tate.

  3. Thank you Tasha. This might be one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me, and I really appreciate it. It’s been a busy time, but I’m planning to post more often during the coming weeks. BTW, thanks for the heads up about your blog. I really like it. Check it out folks:

  4. This brand is a true inspiration to us all at Delightfull from day one. It’s the uniqueness and quality in all their products that drives us when creating new pieces such as the ones.We will be showing at Maison & Object Paris from 21st to 25th January.