(page 1 of 5)
SIZE 1,400 square feet
TYPE Loft kitchen/living area
INTERIOR DESIGNER Alison Victoria Gramenos
THE CHALLENGE Interior designer Alison Victoria Gramenos of Alison Victoria Interiors found herself biting her tongue when she went to see this circa-2000 converted loft space in Wicker Park with her client before he bought it. “The seller was there, and he was so proud of the work he’d done on it,” she says. The main living area had a dinky, dated, builder-standard kitchen shoved into one corner, with a gigantic wine storage unit clumsily tacked onto it; overpowering colors on the walls (made even more jarring by bright white moldings); and an awkwardly positioned fireplace to which the owner had added a space-invading mantel. “The second he walked out of the room,” she recalls, “I was like, ‘We’re ripping it all out.’”
THE SOLUTION To oblige her globetrotting young client’s desire for a layout that is easy to entertain in, Gramenos opened up the kitchen, more than doubling the size of the island. She unified the large space by using the same materials in more than one spot—zebrawood veneer and white laminate for cabinetry in the kitchen and also for floating storage units in the TV area, stainless steel on appliances and also on the fireplace. Furniture is versatile: Faux-leather swivel chairs can be turned to face the TV, the island, or the dining nook—depending on where the party is. And the space has an overall loungy, sexy feel that’s just right for the 30-year-old bachelor who moved into it.
Photograph: Alan Shortall