Bucktown House

A generic interior is transformed through the introduction of custom millwork, furniture, and commissioned artwork. Our intervention combines a quiet urbanity with intimate spaces, unexpected moments, and a close attention to detail. Wood clads the interior-exterior thresholds to articulate surface conditions while camouflaging functional storage and utilities. A spatial generosity emphasizes the exterior with decks on four levels, pocket gardens, and city views. The result is a carefully orchestrated sequence of living spaces and curated art that respond directly to the personalities of the inhabitants.

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White Oak paneling and cabinetry walls dominate the public areas and create a sense of cohesiveness from space to space. The solid, rabbeted Oak construction is detailed like veneer at its edges.

Dr. No Cabinet: reminiscent of the secret mechanisms in a Bond villain’s lair, the Dr. No Cabinet animates the dining room. The cabinet responds to functional needs: it conceals existing flues and adds privacy screening at a property-line window. An existing fireplace remains at one end, and a new steel built-in side table provides necessary storage for the dining room. At the push of a hidden button, a bright-orange liquor cabinet drops slowly from the top of the niche with all the ingredients for the perfect (shaken) martini.

Certain rooms deviate completely from the White Oak and white paint regime such as the glossy black exercise room, red wine cellar, the black, white, and chrome office, and this pink bedroom.

Vanity lighting shines through two-way mirror glass in the master bathroom.

Cleverly hidden storage and infrastructure sit behind the wood walls while hot-rolled steel animates fireplaces, niches, and shelving. White walls and white furniture with red accents fill the Oak-defined rooms.

Garapa wood, stained to match the interior White Oak, creates the appearance of continuity between inside and outside.

Basement Playroom deck: decks on 4 levels and pocket gardens provide outdoor spaces with city views or intimate spaces for contemplation.

Kitchen & Garage decks

Roof deck

Project Awards

2017 Interior Design Educators Council Award of Excellence, Best in Category: Design as Interior

2015 Residential Architect Design Awards, Citation

2015 Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, International Merit Award (collaboration with lighting designer Derek Porter Studio)

2015 AIA Central States Region Honor Award

2015 AIA Chicago, Interior Architecture Award, Citation of Merit

2015 AIA Nebraska Honor Award for Interior Architecture

2015 AIA San Francisco Citation Award for Interior Architecture

2015 AIA Nebraska Honor Award for Architectural Detail


Houzz.com, “Design Detail: An Architect Explains His Use of Slotted Cutouts”, by Mitchell Parker, May 13, 2019

Dwell Magazine, ‘Switch Over: A Strategic Rewire Enhances a Spec House’s Gut Renovation” by Winifred Bird, July/August2016

Revista Casa FOA, “Residencia Bucktown” by Debora Campos, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Año 4, #9, 2016

Chicago Architect, “Bucktown House,” November / December 2015

Interior Design, Design Insider, “Influence is Immortality: Sir John Soane Lives on Through Contemporary Interiors” by Fred A. Bernstein, October, 2015

Residential Architect, “Bucktown Residence” by Deane Madsen, Volume 2, 2015

Photography By Photographs by Paul Crosby
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