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Celadon vases from Thailand make a lovely still life on the countertop. Linda and Peter Krivkovich relax over coffee while their poodle, Zoe, rests nearby. :::Photo Gallery
That was probably the biggest change and challenge for the Krivkoviches, who were used to having all of their beloved objects on view all the time. With the help of the designers, they pared their collection and came up with a new approach—a rotating display, changeable any time the whim suits them. At the moment, a Moroccan door, a Russian balalaika, and an Indian sitar lean against the elegant library walls. In the master bedroom, antique Taoist portraits of a man and a woman hang over the head of the bed.
The dining room features the celebratory and the ceremonial—a 19th-century British campaign-era cocktail cabinet from Burma takes up one corner and a Chinese funeral urn atop a Moroccan console fills another. A Thai spirit house sits on the floor, silhouetted against the dining room’s magnificient views. “When people finish building their houses in Thailand they create a spirit house to thank the gods,” says Linda. “I love that concept.” The prize for most exotic piece probably goes to the enormous Japanese tansu, or cabinet, set in front of an oil-rubbed bronze wall that Lee designed to show it off.
“The things we collect are from different places and time periods,” says Linda. “But if you notice, the colors don’t change.” She says she and Peter love to live surrounded by deep jewel tones, specifically greens, reds, and golds. “Peter loves red,” says Lee. “He would have done the whole apartment red, but we didn’t take his color preferences literally.”
Lee points to the vermilion-flecked tigerwood library as an example—“It’s a modern version of the traditional English red lacquer library. To Peter it’s a red room, for us it’s ‘reddish,’ and everybody’s happy!” Lee says his team also had a spirited debate on the color of the Chicago sky. “We decided it’s not blue; it’s gray. So we treated the window wall like a blue-gray wall, bringing that color into the rooms and mixing it subtly with the deep reds and greens our client so loves.”
The resulting mash-up of modernist geometry with ancient forms carried over to the furniture as well. “Put this furniture in a different envelope and it might seem stuffy,” Lee says. He singles out the pair of elegant Deco chairs in the living room. “We wanted those chairs to be a statement. Their shapes are beautiful all the way around, and they’re so sexy in front of the windows.”
In fact, the setting makes all the furnishings look like works of art. By keeping the background as serene as a Shinto shrine, the designers gave individual pieces from the Krivkoviches’ collections real punch. And there’s always a fresh batch waiting in the wings.
photography: Alan Shortall, styling: Diane Ewing
2 weeks ago