Even before this new house was built, it came with a decorative accessory that would have to be accommodated: Lake Michigan. The moment interior designer Victoria Hagan began her work on the rooms and just as architect Randy Correll started to draw the plans for what would be a new home on a lot in Winnetka, Illinois, they both knew that the great body of water on which the residence was sited would be a detail that dictated the design, inside and out. As Hagan emphasizes, “It’s not just the presence of the lake outside every window, but also the light off the lake that’s so special.” So pervasive is the hue of the water and the straight horizon line that draws across the land that those natural features had to become integral to how the house took shape.
The four-bedroom residence, designed by Correll, a partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, embodies what he calls the American Georgian style, whereby stone façades are combined with elements such as clapboard siding, Classical pillars, Palladian-style and mullioned eyebrow windows. “Although the style is rooted in the Northeast,” says Correll, “the suburban North Shore of Chicago, where this house is located, has many styles of houses, maybe every kind of style.” Indeed, that contiguous line of suburbs that runs from Evanston up to Lake Bluff, and which includes Winnetka, represents one of the best timelines and stylelines of American residential architecture. The challenge, if not also the benefit of this building site, was how to configure a house on a steep bluff overlooking the lake while fashioning a floor plan that would allow every room to have a view of the water.
The chosen palette for the rooms—neutral tones, interspersed with a variety of blues—is in response, of course, to the water views, but Hagan also emphasizes that the color scheme is what the homeowners wanted. “The colors are really a response to what my client prefers, which is what every project of mine is about. It’s about working with a palette that feels right for them, the people who live there. Yes, interior design is and always should be a collaboration, but I work in response to what the homeowners want.” And just as the clients’ wishes are the main agenda, with this house, it’s the lake that takes, as Hagen says, “center stage” in every room.
To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit Zinio.com to purchase this issue in digital format.
INTERIOR DESIGN BY VICTORIA HAGAN
ARCHITECTURE BY RANDY CORRELL, ROBERT A.M. STERN ARCHITECTS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY READ MCKENDREE/JBSA
WRITTEN BY DAVID MASELLO
This story appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of MILIEU.