First Time for Everything


Sawyers Design helps friends reimagine their first home together

Inside the new kitchen Leicht kitchen cabinets from Blue Plum SF house the Miele appliances. Photos by Michele Lee Willson.

“Concise, modern and warm defines just about every space I’ve ever done, and certainly this one,” says designer Kevin Sawyers on his design on a portion of this home in Clarendon Heights. “Even our most decked out and highly decorated projects tend to have a modern sensibility.”

Photos by Michele Lee Willson.

Friends of Sawyer, this is the first home the clients bought together so they enlisted the designer to help tailor the main spaces to their lifestyle. “The client wanted an open plan living space but also wanted to maintain the sense of a room for each of the individual functions of living, dining, cooking,” he notes. “There is still a sense of “come through” for the dining room. They wanted it to feel elevated, but be casual and livable.”

Now connected, the dining room, living room and kitchen pour into one another allowing for effortless entertaining while still offering unique areas of enjoyment. “The living room space plan was a challenge that’s somewhat standard for a room with a fireplace and the desire for a large TV,” he says. “We allowed the fireplace to take focus so the TV was a side note for late night wine drinking and music videos.”

Photos by Michele Lee Willson.

One of the standout details in the living room is a textured fire mantle that doubles as a piece of art. Sawyer’s client Alex Chen recalls, “We were inspired by the cherry blossoms we had recently seen on a trip to Kyoto and wanted to emulate that sparse organic feel of the tree branches.”

The tiles that dance down the fireplace mantle are from Walker Zanger. Photos by Michele Lee Willson.

While only 1,000-square-feet, the newly designed living spaces are exactly what the couple desired inside their new home. “Since these are close friends I see first hand how they move through and use the home,” Sawyers remarks. “It’s a joy to see them do it with ease.”