Clean lines and simple colors bring calm to a city apartment

Moving from a traditional suburban home to an apartment in a downtown high-rise condominium building was the perfect opportunity to change up the interior style. The building dates from the 1990s, but was updated in 2020, when this apartment was added.

The new owners of the apartment wanted to sound off the changes from their old home and were looking for a much more contemporary clean look. The results of its recent overhaul truly make this apartment one of the the best houses in the worldwith stunning views over Chicago to Lake Michigan.

The new interior fittings, for Design by Bruce Fox (opens in a new tab), have created serene and calm spaces that allow owners to enjoy the best of contemporary high-rise living. Take a look and find out how this stylish look was achieved.

Entrance hall

Entrance hall with floral jade wall covering and sideboard with round mirror and large rectangular ceiling light

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

Looking for hallway ideas make a strong opening statement? Designer Bruce Fox’s choices for the Chicago apartment’s entryway do just that.

“The creative wall covering in the entryway really created a wow moment as soon as you enter the apartment,” says Bruce.

In the hall, as elsewhere in the apartment, there is a harmonious mix of modern and retro pieces. However, to achieve the clean look the homeowners wanted, it was important to choose the right antiques. Bruce therefore chose classic pieces with simple profiles.

Fromental’s elegant silk wall covering, an ebonised three-door Art Deco sideboard topped with vintage lamps, the space sets the tone for the apartment – especially its stylish lighting solutions. Here in the foyer, the custom light sculpture is by John Wigmore.

Reading corner

sofa with bookcase behind with pale green textured wall covering and dark wood flooring with small round coffee table

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

Just off the lobby is a small antechamber, with a custom Bruce Fox Design sofa, built-in book niche, and upholstered wall panels. Textured walls add an extra layer of interest to this compact space, making it a cozy place to curl up with a book. The stool is by Alison Berger at Holly Hunt.

Kitchen and breakfast room

Rectangular wooden table with pale leather chairs large pendant light and dark gray kitchen cabinets and modern art behind

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

kitchen ideas for this apartment included a dedicated breakfast table. This part of the room faces north, making it a cozy place to start the day. The custom sofa is by McLaughlin with Fortuny pillows. The table is from Troscan Design and the chairs are from Christian Liaigre. Another bold lamp, also by Liaigre, illuminates the table for informal meals.

Living room… with a view

living room with neutral walls and large artwork with taupe sofas and glass coffee table view of the dining room

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

A die living room ideas of which Bruce Fox is most proud is the Venetian plaster finish of the walls.

‘Venetian plaster is one of my favorite elements. It has a very appealing softness and tactile quality. I love the living room with the oversized couch and the amazing view of the city and the lake,” he says. The clients choice of a striking contemporary diptych is the perfect finishing touch for the space.

living room with armchair and small coffee table with retro pouf floor lamp window and view of the city and the lake

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

On the other side of the living room, a large window offers a spectacular view over the streets of Chicago towards Lake Michigan. A 1950s TH Robsjohn Gibbings slipper, with its clean lines, is a design classic that fits into the contemporary space despite its advanced age.

Dining room

Round dining table in dark wood paneled room with multi pendant glass chandelier

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

Round dining table with multi-pendant chandelier above and window behind

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

by Bruce dining room ideas included the addition of bold architectural details to create this smart entertainment space at the heart of the apartment. Custom mahogany millwork panels are arranged in an asymmetrical pattern designed to anchor the piece and provide the backdrop for a stunning Alison Berger chandelier. The bedroom window faces east to the Palmolive Building and Lake Michigan. The Marci rosewood table is from Troscan Designs, the chairs are from the Terra design of Christian Liaigre. The stools are by Warren Platner for Knoll.


neutral bedroom with simple and modern canopy bed

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

Designer Bruce chose to include the Venetian plaster wall finish in his bedroom ideas for the master bedroom of the apartment. He designed a zen-like space with a soothing green rug made from silk and wool from Hokanson. The contemporary canopy bed is by Christian Liaigre and its understated simplicity makes it the perfect pick for this no-frills space. The table lamps are made of vintage Murano glass.

It’s only natural that the bedroom is the quietest space in the apartment, but Bruce Fox has ensured that the entire footprint of the property has a serenity that makes it the perfect urban retreat for its new owners. “The clients and I are extremely pleased with the results and the apartment stands the test of time,” says Bruce. “It really was a dream come true for the clients and they love their new urban lifestyle.”

Interior design: Bruce Fox Designs

Photographs: Eric Piasecki; and styling: Anita Sarsidi

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