Project Reveal: Northbrook New Construction Part I


It’s been a long, looooooooong time coming, but we are finally revealing the new construction house that we worked on in Northbrook. When I met these clients, this house was just a lot with an existing house pending demolition. This couple was building their dream home post-retirement and were sparing no detail when it came to the way they intended to entertain their huge family.


When we came on board, this Mediterranean style house was in the design development phase with Michael Hershenson Architects so we were able to collaborate on some of the final layout decisions, the great room built-in design and more. We were lucky to be involved in the design and material selections of both kitchens, the laundry room, all baths, two fireplaces, lighting and plumbing fixtures throughout as well as a portion of the furniture and interior and exterior paint selections.


Lots of thought went into designing the various open plan entertaining spaces. The clients have 5 adult children, some of which have their own growing families, plus a large extended family that lives locally. It’s not uncommon for them to host 20+ people for a casual Sunday supper, not to mention the high holidays.


A sectional to all cozy up on for TV time and a spot for the piano were essential requirements in the great room. This sectional clocks in at over 17 feet long!


The sectional seems crazy until you realize there’s seating for 32 people in the Dining Room and Sunroom combined. Both dining tables were custom designed and fabricated in collaboration with a local maker, complete with a gold resin detail on the solid walnut formal dining table.


The Sunroom serves as the secondary dining space when the family is entertaining. We wanted to keep this room light and bright with the stunning windows and french doors out to the patio and spa. We went with a whitewashed white oak dining table, an easy to maintain porcelain tile with a painted cement-style and limestone tile border around the table. The Murano blown glass chandelier is the icing on the cake.


Speaking of chandeliers, did we mention the clients have a thing for crystal and bling? Three chandeliers grace the Great Room, which flows into the kitchen.


The kitchen cabinetry is entirely custom, including the furniture-like second walnut island that doubles as a buffet. The perimeter and walnut island counters are Danby marble. The main island has a custom, high gloss wood top fabricated by the same makers as the tables.


We added an antiqued mirror detail and mimicked the cabinet muntins on the fridge and freezer panels. It breaks up what would have been a wall of white and reflects some of the great light from the windows to the backyard.


One of the goals of this first floor open concept space was to get the total seating over 40. Well 32 at the dining tables, 8 squeezed in at the custom breakfast banquette (and another Murano glass fixture) plus 3 at the island, we did it!


Not only do these clients entertain, but they COOK when they do. An 8-burner Miele range, 2 sets of double ovens, 2 dishwashers, 2 sinks, and a Kitchen-Aid lift hidden in the island manage the main kitchen.

A custom metal hood is the central sculptural piece anchoring all the areas.


Just adjacent to the kitchen, across from a walk-in pantry, the second kitchen resides with a set of appliances for extra cooking, Passover preparation, and a place to hide the mess when REALLY entertaining. Wipeable high gloss cabinets and quartz counters provide extra storage for all the entertaining accoutrement and make this a functional yet beautiful behind-the-scenes workhorse.


Last, but not least in the entertaining phase of our tour brings us to the powder room. This room started with the mirror from the hallway of the clients’ previous home. It ended with mirror on mirror on mirror over a marble mosaic tile.


The mother-of-pearl inlay sink is a little extra surprise for the guests! That wraps up Part I of this reveal, but check back soon for Part II, including the master suite!

UPDATE: View Part II here and Part III here!

Interior Design: Unpatterned

Architect: Michael Hershenson Architects

Builder: Highgate Builders

Photo Styling: Emily Ryan

Photography: Michael Kaskel

See a very different custom kitchen reveal here and a city entertaining space here.