1 Chocolate brown and citrus-green make an elegant combination in this East Lake View condo. By going dark on the walls, the owner created instant intimacy. What better continuation of this theme than two matching silk love seats and romantic vintage portraits on the walls?
2 Interior decorator Blaine Johnson of JP Interiors chose floor-to-ceiling red (Benjamin Moore Poppy) for a library in a Beaux Arts condo on Astor Street. The effect is both dramatic and classic. It also deflects the visual cacophony of all the objects on the shelves.
3 Interior designer Sasha Adler of Nate Berkus Associates used color to modernize what could have been a very traditional grouping of furniture in the bedroom of her River North condo. A yellow velvet headboard replaced a drab one; black lacquer updated an 18th-century writing table, and gray walls (Benjamin Moore Whale Gray) provided a crisp, clean background.
Photography: (1) Matthew Gilson; (2) Alan Shortall; (3) Andreas Larsson
4 In Glen Ellyn, primary colors make a statement in a sparsely furnished sitting room. A wood floor painted black provides a streamlined foundation (no wood grain to interfere with the color scheme), a white-painted fireplace takes center stage, and an edited mix of bold color-on-white fabrics seals the deal.
5 Blue and gold is a classic combination; here (in the same home as the red library), the soothing colors, repeated in various tones and textures, create a cohesiveness throughout the bedroom.
6 A stationery designer celebrates her love of color and patterns by piling them on in her living room. Why does it work? She basically stuck to four colors—brown, hot pink, black, and white—and from there, had at it with all matter of patterns and textures.
Photography: (4) Matthew Gilson; (5) Alan Shortall; (6) Katrina Wittkamp
7 A charming finished attic in Edgewater is brightened with lime green paint, a pleasantly surprising background for Oriental rugs and Mission-style furniture.
8 A Lake View foyer painted pink and furnished with an endearing mix of modern and pretty pieces expresses its owner’s personality in the most compelling way—right at the front door.
9 In a Beaux Arts apartment on the Gold Coast, the designers at Hudson Home turned a utilitarian hallway separating public spaces from private into a dramatic focal point by converting it into a warm gray library (Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal); the portrait, with its dominant white and red tones, is striking against this background.
Photography: (7) Alan Shortall; (8) Matthew Gilson; (9) Nathan Kirkman