By Bryan Anthony; reposted with permission of Houzz.
A home that encourages quality family time was at the heart of interior designer Jodi Morton’s design for her family’s Prairie-style home in the suburbs of Chicago. Whether it involves curling up by the fire in deep, comfy sofas, breaking high scores on the Ms. Pacman arcade game or reading a good book in a swinging chair hung from the ceiling, this home encourages people to gather around and stay awhile in leisurely style
Who lives there: Jodi and David Morton and their three children
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Comfort — the melting-into-your-sofa, wrapped-in-a-blanket, roaring-fire-on-a-cold-winter-night kind of comfort, to be more precise — is at the heart of the living room’s design. “It’s a large room, so I used two oversized, deep sofas to make the space feel cozier,” Jodi says.
The fireplace mantel and ceiling beams, original to the 1890s home and built by well-known Chicagoland architect Ernest Mayo, received a fresh coat of stain. The mantel displays a collection of new and vintage finds and includes an oil painting of David’s grandfather in his World War I uniform.
For Jodi’s 40th birthday, her family bought her a vintage Ms. Pacman arcade game. “I’ve been a huge fan of the game since childhood,” she says. “You can find me honing my game most evenings.” An original piece from Chicago artist Roger Brown hangs above the game. It features the words “Mess Is Less” in neon lights.
Light, bright and all-white was the game plan for the kitchen. An 11-foot island topped with Calacatta gold marble is a popular spot for the Morton children and their friends. “We constantly have kids hanging out in the kitchen, and most of them just hop up and sit on the island. It’s really a great communal space,” Jodi says. Contemporary counter stools, traditional Shaker-style cabinets and modern takes on Chinese lanterns hung above the island make for a stylish transitional space.
A large desk running along one of the kitchen’s walls provides a space for paying bills, making grocery lists and doing homework in the heart of the home. The 15 framed, black-and-white drawings were cut out of a book that Jodi purchased at a comic book store in Berlin.
Jodi says she prefers to keep light spaces light and dark spaces dark. The breakfast room off the kitchen receives a lot of natural light, so the designer played up the brightness with light yellow paint on the walls. Brick tiles that replaced an old linoleum floor and a vintage farmhouse table and chairs contribute to what Jodi describes as a French country vibe.
The formal dining room is a mix of high and low furnishings. An antique English dining table is surrounded by an assortment of secondhand dining chairs, none costing more than $60. The original fireplace mantel and ceiling beams were painted white, and the walls were covered in a silver-sage paint from Restoration Hardware. “This is another room that gets a lot of natural light, so I wanted to embrace it with fresh, modern colors,” Jodi says.
One of Jodi’s favorite pieces in the house is the dining room’s burled walnut buffet, which she purchased from a Paris antique market. The piece is topped with antique decanters, liquor bottles and a pair of alabaster lamps.
Jodi played up the lack of natural light in the first floor’s windowless powder room by painting the walls a moody shade of gray. Splashes of brighter colors are provided by a 1970s shag-hook-rug tapestry that once graced the walls of Arnie’s — one of the many restaurants once owned by David’s father.
Three original lead glass windows are among the highlights of the master bedroom. The headboard is all that remains from a former four-poster bed. “I never liked the bed very much, so I got rid of everything but the headboard and hung it behind the bed like a piece of sculpture,” Jodi says.
In one of the daughters’ bedrooms is furniture from CB2, such as a candy-pink nightstand paired with a pillow covered in a suzani fabric. The artwork hanging above the bed, which reads “whatever,” adds an additional youthful touch.
Jodi says her daughter’s one request for the bedroom was to have a swinging chair hanging from the ceiling. It makes for a cool retro-inspired spot, perfect for catching up on a good book.