Bordeaux!! History, design and biodynamic wines. Oh, and the chance to appall the locals with our remedial high school French.
This post comes with a warning label – not about risk of electrical shock or sharp objects or toddler choking hazards, but instead concerning the (equally frightening) French you will see infused throughout. It’s bush league at best. Amateur, if we want to stick with the theme and go with a more French-sounding descriptor. Just […]
We’re the Storms. And we have fernweh. (Which led us to Iceland, so that’s cool.)
Fernweh is the German word for the need to see the world in all its far-flung-ness. It’s literally farsickness (as in the opposite of homesickness). The intense to desire to explore hither and yon, and all things between Hitherville and Yonland. And woooweeee, our family has it. Bad. In-a-good-way bad. Chill background vibe, fernweh […]
Times are a-changing and our storefront is too…
Running a business is one of the most rewarding and most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. More challenging than running it? Growing it.
Our Mod-Eclectic is your Mod-Eclectic. (Doesn’t roll off the tongue like the “mi casa/su casa” version. But the sentiment’s there.)
Our first post on this Chicago Golf Club stunner talked mostly about higher-level considerations like scale and vibe. Here, we’ll get more nuts-and-boltsy with details on the staircase, kitchen, primary suite, retro-mod basement and killer indoor/outdoor gathering spaces. But we’ll speak to the overall vibe again too, because we just can’t not – since this house gives “going to Grandpa and Grandma’s” a whooooole new meaning…
Thine home is thy castle. Or in this case, thy massive modern art gallery with pool and golf course views.
At a time of life when most couples are downsizing to a condo-type setup, this couple bucked that trend big-time with a sprawling Modern Eclectic on a massive lot backing up to the storied Chicago Golf Club. Empty nesters by definition, they realized their nest was rarely actually empty – often overflowing with visiting kids and grandkids – and wanted something big enough to comfortably house the whole crew or portions thereof. So ample square footage was at the top of the list.
Wild Thing, You Make Our Hearts Sing. Welcome to a basement like no other
A gas fireplace, custom cabinetry, and room to throw a baseball? You’ve never seen a basement like this.
Coach house and separate recording studio complete – annnnd, curtain. (Should we bow? There’s clapping. Feels like we should bow.)
Adding this coach house and recording studio(!) to our list of firsts. (Kinda hoping we can use it sometime to amuse ourselves with cartoon voices.) Coach house is a decidedly modest descriptor for this mini-me house next to the larger-scale main house. But this is not the “understudy” kind of coach house, sitting around, awaiting its turn in the spotlight. Nope.
When our minds wander, they pack bags. (Introducing our Raves & Roves Blog Series – and new travel books!)
We’ve discovered along the way, that as a crew, we share a diagnosable, possibly contagious and definitely incurable case of wanderlust, which could be one of the reasons we work so well together – that kindred spirit-ness. Particularly at this moment, after so many weeks of being housebound per the powers that be, there’s nothing we’d love more than to spin the globe, eyes closed – and point. And then go.
Post-fire kitchen rescue leads to cat-in-tree call. Wait. No. Actually: basement remodel.
We know, we know. What we do is downright cushy compared to reaaaal rescue workers. But we do like the idea of saving rooms from a dire state of out-of-date-ness. A few years back, we got a panicky 911 call about a Glen Ellyn kitchen fire. We were needed on the scene – stat. We […]
Lake house remodel for a client who’s really into metal. [Insert lame hair band joke here.]
Know those comparison-pics where you have to look really hard to find the thing that’s different? Yeah, these aren’t that.
There’s a certain era of architecture (talkin’ to you, 1970s) where dark wood, dark stone, small, unassuming kitchens and sunken family rooms were a thing. We’re not exactly sure when this particular lake home was built, but it defffffinitely felt like the kind of place where the Six Million Dollar Man might’ve had the Bionic Woman over for dinner.
Time for a rebrand? Mayhaps.
Rebrandifying Designstorms. Not a mid-life crisis per se, but definitely a Jack Handy-esque Deep Thoughts moment of introspectiveness. Like most (all?) small business owner/operators – for a verylongtime we’d been so busy small-step speed-running on that hamster-wheel of day-to-day have-to’s, we hadn’t put a lot of mental energy toward future planning and all that big-picture […]
Less post. More drumroll leading up to the next post.
Hey there. We have some biiiiiiig-big (like hippo-big) news that we can’t fully reveal yet because it’s still top secret for not-spoiling-the-surprise reasons. But as it means we’ll be ever-so-briefly closing the Storm Inspired shop for reno’s, we did want to let you know there are lots of new things in the works for our small-but-speedily-growing company.
This client spoke to us in feels. Thankfully, we’re fluent.
Some people talk in riddles (Hobbit fans? Anyone??). This client talks in far-less-puzzling descriptors.
So the new construction drill usually goes like such: Find lot. Line up architect and builder. Select interior designer. And finally (slow-crescendo drumroll please) – get started. But occasionally we run into freestylers, people who march to the beat of their own proverbial drummer. And in this case, the drummer kinda reminded us of Animal from the Muppets. (If you’re hazy on that one, Google it.) Ah, we jest. We appreciate the fact that they took that process bull by the horns and did things their own way. Especially because it meant choosing us first (clutch move) before pulling the trigger on the architect and builder. We like how they operate.
Affectionately called Elmhursting at the seams. Stay or Go?
There’s a fine line between cozy and cramped – and this family was feeling that line had been crossed. (Nothing a little floor plan rejiggery can’t fix.) We give our projects fun internal names partly to amuse ourselves and partly for more practical hashtag / search engine findability purposes. For this one, we decided to […]
Aronson Woodworks. Even Vern Yip bows down. (We’re with ya, man.)
Your coffee table needs this Vern Yip book.
Speaking of tables, have you seen what Aronson Woodworks does with the wood grain? (Sharp-inhale-gasp here, then breathe out with a slow ‘Whoaaaaa’). More on that in the book (!)…
A basement so party-perfect, we hereby declare them mandatory.
THIS POSH LOWER LEVEL REMODEL IS SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING IT PRACTICALLY NEEDS AN AGENT. (IF IT HAD LEGS, IT’D FO SHO CHALLENGE ANY RIVALS TO A WALK-OFF.)
Intimate European-inspired wine room with gold-flecked cork walls? But of course. Clubby, channel-backed banquette and…
Tile Part 2: If you’re not down with a whole lotta tile TLC, read and heed.
YEP, WE’RE STILLLLLL TALKIN’ TILE. SPECS, SEALER, GROUT – DID WE LOSE YOU AT GROUT? HEY, COME BACK. GROUT’S COOL. WELL, NOT COOL-COOL, BUT Y’KNOW – IMPORTANT. It’s time for our Tile Talk Part 2: maintenance and other minutia. Upkeep’s a bummer, but also a reality. Before you go all ostrich on us and bury […]
Tile Part 1: Tips that’ll save you years of poor-tile-choice therapy.
MODERATELY RIVETING EXCERPTS FROM THE HOPEFULLY HELPFUL TILE TALK WE GIVE OUR CLIENTS. (PART 1 OF A 2-PARTER.) Tile can be a beast. Even when you kinda/sorta know what you want, you realize there’s this whole universe of subsets to consider. Size, shape, color, finish, pattern, substrate – even grout color can change the whole look. […]
YOU CALL THAT A MUDROOM? WE’LL SHOW YOU A MUDROOM.
LAUNDRY. HOME OFFICE. PET SHOWER. THESE MUDROOMS GOT IT GOIN’ ONNNNN. Mudrooms are having a moment. They’re becoming a place families actively use vs just a dumping ground for backpacks and lacrosse sticks. They are evolving from humble keeper of coats and cleats, to Command Central in some cases – complete with desk and printer, […]
He looks like city-people. His basement remodel proves he’s farm-people.
A FAMILY-FARM INSPIRED BASEMENT, DONE JUST IN TIME FOR MOM’S 70TH B-DAY. THIS IS THE STUFF HALLMARK MOVIES ARE MADE OF. Poor basements. They almost always get the shaft when it comes to homeowner interest level in the design department. In most cases, by the time we start talking lower level, we have to practically […]
New chart topper on our list of Scope Creep’s Greatest Hits.
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. SORRY, BASEMENT. THE WHOLE FIRST FLOOR JUST CUT IN FRONT OF YOU. The problem (technically a non-problem) with waiting six months to start your basement remodel, is that it gives you a dangerous 180 days of ponder time to reconsider everything else – potentially leading to an entire rest-of-the-house remodel. Once you […]
How to rock range hoods. (Probably more than you wanted to know.)
THE DESIGNSTORMS GUIDE TO GOOD HOOD-ING. AN EXPLAINER. The combo of peak entertaining season and pending school mid-terms got us thinking a li’l Hooducation 101 may be worthwhile. A surprising number of parts and pieces have to come together for the hood scenario to work. And if they don’t, we end up in problem-ville – […]
Cringeworthy yearbook pics? You’re stuck with those. But bad master suite? THAT, we can fix.
SADLY, NOT EVERY STYLE MISSTEP FROM THE LATE 80S / EARLY 90S GETS THE CHANCE FOR A DO-OVER. BUT ON A HAPPIER NOTE, THIS WHEATON MASTER SUITE DID. There are things that make you miss the late 80s / early 90s – like certain breakdance moves or that iconic shot of John Cusack, boom box […]
Glen Ellyn home office, de-barnified, sexy-glam-ified and mid-century modernized.
BARN WOOD WALLS ARE AWESOME. ONNNN BARNS. BUT MAYBE NOT QUITE RIGHT FOR A SWANKY HOME OFFICE/LOUNGE SPACE. We can’t recall what we actually said when we first saw the “before” version of this Glen Ellyn home office remodel. But we can tell you what we were thinking. Something along the lines of “Wowww. That’s […]
When the homeowner’s day job is New Arcade Game Dreamer-Upper, you know the basement design is gonna be goooood.
Remember that crazy arcade basement we were talking about a few months back? Yeah? Well, we’re stilllllll talking about it. Yep, we’re back on the topic of THAT basement (see our previous blog post). Not because we’re obsessed. Ok, maybe a little. But now we have pics so you can fully appreciate that back bar […]
Dazzler of a do-over. Hinsdale kitchen remodel makes neighbor kitchens jealous.
WE’RE GOIN’ PUBLIC. SECRET CLIENT NO LONGER ON THE DL. We can finally quit it with the hush-hush stuff and stop talking in code. This jaw-dropper of a Hinsdale kitchen remodel is D-O-N-E done and we’re spilling the story here. Not to go all tabloid on you, but a few starbursts and exclamation points next […]
Wheaton Kitchen Remodel with Genius Seating Solve
BE GONE WITH THEE, REDDISH CHERRY FLOORS AND CABINETS. THY STYLE MOMENT HAS LONG, LONG GONE. Demo days are a festive affair, especially for a couple like this, who’d been waiting, waiting, waiting for the right time to set us loose on their Wheaton kitchen remodel. There’s something therapeutic about swinging a crowbar (or better […]
Modern transitional (lovingly dubbed: Mr. Green’s in Charge)
THE REQUEST? A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME FOR FIVE. NO WAIT – SIX. NOPE. ACTUALLY, MAKE THAT SEVEN. Foot-draggers we are not. As a matter of fact, our get-it-done-ness is one of our finer qualities. But there’s nothing quite like having a homeowners’ baby on the way to kick us into turbo mode. So we channeled […]
Lake Ellyn Coastal Eclectic Meets 80’s Basement Arcade – And it Works.
This project was biiiiig. A whopping 9,000+ finished square feet of new-build, all-details-considered, floorplan-to-final-furnishings big. Our role on this new construction in Glen Ellyn was what we’d call “the works.” We did it all. We’re talkin’ all-all. And while it did take two full years to complete, which sounds like an eee-terrrr-nity, it actually clipped […]
Old House Do-Over – Done!
When you’ve run into as many “suprises” as we have, you get verrry good at reconfigury. (Not a word, but we’ll use it anyway.) – As promised, a recent project! We wanted to share this home because, while yes, we have a very defined “typical” process – we also acknowledge that sometimes things take a turn […]
From bedroom floors and wobbly folding card tables, to actual desks. In an actual studio. (Are we big time yet? Feels borderline big time.) As we chatted about launching our blog, we batted around a few ideas, but landed on simply telling our how-we-got-where-we-are-so-far story. We get asked about it a lot, and the […]
Having a flair for stunning style and intuitive understanding of livability is one thing (a great thing). Comprehensive knowledge of the structural and architectural aspect of design is a whoooooole other (even better) thing.