HOME A high-floor 3,500-square-foot River North condo
OTHER RESIDENCE Soriano lives in the Dominican Republic with his wife and children in the off-season.
WHY THIS PLACE? “He wanted to feel protected and secure,” explains Lauren Schreyer, the interior designer Soriano hired immediately after signing with the Chicago Cubs in November 2006. (Soriano declined to talk to us.) “I got a call from his real-estate agent, who knew about my work for other celebrity clients. He asked if I was available for a rush job. They wanted me to go through the property with him while he was in town to hear what he wanted.”
THE ASSIGNMENT “It was a new-construction condo that wasn’t finished, and everything had to be done by the time the season started in April. But by the time he bought the place and I got the okay to start, there was so little time that I couldn’t order anything. We had ten weeks, so it all had to be custom-made here in Chicago. Ultimately, that worked in our favor because he wanted everything extradeep and extrafirm or soft, depending on what it was. But I did take him to the Merchandise Mart to get a sense of what he liked.”
WHAT HE WANTED “He was extremely specific. He wanted a neutral palette with light furniture, dark woods, and dark walls. There had to be a trophy/media room with lots of screens so he could watch concurrent sporting events, and display cases for his awards. He had just gotten his fourth Silver Slugger award and become the fourth player in baseball history to be a member of the 40-40 Club [40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in one season], and he wanted all that to show. And he wanted to make the living room really warm and comfortable for entertaining. Family and friends are important to him.”
WHAT THEY DID “We went with clean-lined transitional pieces and used lots of silk dupioni from Kravet, sheer wool from J. Robert Scott, and Edelman leather. The walls are chocolate brown, but there are so many windows that the place is really bright. In the living room, we clad the hearth in limestone to give it more importance and turned a bay window into a little enclave for an outsize bar. Alfonso passed on barstools because he thinks they’re uncomfortable. We ended up putting four screens in the media room, but there are ten TVs throughout the apartment. And every window has privacy screens, many topped with sheers that drape, puddle, and break.”
Photograph: Nathan Kirkman