Morlen Sinoway

Morlen Sinoway uses primary hues with black and natural wood tones to define spaces in a sprawling home on the North Side.

“We tried to use an artful approach while having some fun.”



A bathroom accented with bright red tile

How do you transform a boring all-white bathroom into a lively space that wakes you up in the morning? Bring in some vivid red tile. Sinoway did just that, and added other arresting touches in the form of a felted wool rug and black- and-white towels. Wooden “tractor seat” stools, a stone floor, and white walls and plumbing fixtures keep the look grounded and simple.



A dining area accented with black lacquered furniture and a bright grape green

“Color fields pull the eye in and make it stop where you want it to,” Sinoway says. His use of natural wood and black comes into play in the dining area, where black-lacquered Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs, paired with the natural maple table and original oak floors, bring down the color volume.


Photography: (Interiors) Lori Oelhafen; (headshot) Bjorn Kavanaugh


A living room decorated in black, white, and red

Black, white, and red are the stars of the living room, where a charcoal felted-wool sofa is piped with red and topped with geometric-patterned felt pillows. The mod look continues with a funky mushroom lamp by Vico Magistretti and an Eames surfboard coffee table. Low-slung red armchairs complete the picture.



Black, white, and red details in the living room

Fire-engine-red Eames chairs and a black-and-white hide rug provide drama. The pop of green in the corner is the top of a stack of It’s a Pill cushions (see “Get the Look”). The turned-oak stool between the chairs is Sinoway’s requisite touch of wood. With black-and-white prints by Harry Bouras above the Eames chairs, this space is not saturated with color, but plenty lively.




Get the Look

It’s a Pill stackable cushions, from $449 each (prices vary with fabric). The cushions, designed by Sinoway and made in Chicago, have recycled-cardboard cores and are available in three heights (10-, 15-, or 18-inch), either round or square. Carl Hansen–Hans J. Wegner CH28 chair in oiled oak with black leather uphol­stery, from $4,200. Felt­ed wool and alpaca bolster pillows, $275 each. Rina Menardi decorative ceramics, from $100 to $350 per piece. All at Morlen Sinoway Atelier (

Resources: See Buy Guide.


Photography: (Interior) Lori Oelhafen; (bolsters) Leonard Gertz