Design Dose House Tour: Susan Brunstrum, Sweet Peas Design

Susan Brunstrum recently downsized—stylishly—into a 1920 bungalow in Libertyville, not far from her design studio, Sweet Peas. She sent us some photos, and we talked to her about some of the main features.

Den “The two chaise longues are always being used to watch TV, read a magazine, or book, or for laptop time,” Brunstrum says. She chose one-armed pieces for easy in and easy out. “The open shelving is perfect for this small, cozy room.“ Nancy Schnell designed the custom burlap walls. Each strip is a varying width and the ends were pulled to look like fringe. Soft roman shades are provide texture, but, as Brunstrum says, “ the wool banding breaks up the walls and window treatments so they do not compete for attention but instead coexist peacefully.”

Kitchen “I love gray; it’s so soothing yet has depth and works well with most any other color. The wow factor is definitely the combination of the gray cabinets and the Lumix quartzite slabs for the countertop. Dynamite!” She deliberately kept the tile low-key so as to let the countertops and cabinets shine.

Exterior The gardens in front of Brunstrum’s 1920s bungalow were planted with perennials and bushes from her previous home. She describes her look as “the fuller and more lush the better. Not too manicured or landscaped- more English garden like with a variety of grasses and hostas. The garden was blah and straight-lined before; I like curves and lots of different plants, leaves, and colors. Plus I need to have something in bloom in all seasons.”

Master Bedroom We love the sexy makeup table in the master bedroom; the flokati throws on the Lucite chair and the bed soften the whole room.

Living room Putting dressers in front of the windows is one of the master strokes that occurs only to design pros. Together with the drapes, shades, and lamps, they divert attention from the view of another brick wall right outside, but still let in some light.