Contemporary Beaux Arts Penthouse: Jessica Lagrange
Today’s residence is a full-floor penthouse apartment on Chicago’s Gold Coast with Contemporary Beaux Arts interiors created by Jessica Lagrange. The designer created a contemporary interpretation of the classic, opulent French style for modern-day luxury living. The interiors of this home are the source of our design inspiration for today. Come along and see!
The home sits at the top of a premier residential tower with 19th-century French detailing. The 26-story building features a limestone façade with a zinc-clad mansard roof and a corner turret topped with an illuminated lantern. Architect Lucien Lagrange designed the tower in the fashionable Streeterville neighborhood on Lake Shore Drive overlooking Lake Michigan.
Initially, the apartment consisted of just under 5,000-square-feet, from which Lagrange created a two-bedroom unit with plenty of formal space. It would serve as a second home for the owners to entertain. The main design idea was to capture the feel of the Beaux Arts apartments in Paris. The owners prefer elegant formal rooms and traditional style. The designer commissioned custom mill-work and architectural detailing complete with custom finishes. Intricate herringbone wood floors give each room distinctive presence. Great care went into finishing the apartment with a high level of bespoke details and exacting luxurious finish.
The owners loved their new Contemporary Beaux Arts pied-a-terre. They loved it so much, when the second half of the floor became available, they purchased it. This doubled their space, now 9,000-square-feet, and allowed them to transform it into a full-time residence.
The designer and her team returned to connect the units seamlessly and to continue the Contemporary Beaux Arts style created in the first into the new, on an even grander scale. This lead to the creation of a 3rd bedroom suite, a billiards room, media room, exercise room, a wine storage hall, and a gift-wrapping room.
In the formal living room, the designer combines classic French design with Modern. The glazed paneled walls show a patina that typically comes with age. Views of the lake and parks throughout inspired the use of watery blues and greens. The furnishings gather on a Tabriz rug from Hokanson, centered with a Louis XIV oak console and Kathleen Blackshear’s Dancing Along the Bridge. A pair of Rose Tarlow Melrose covered wing chairs from Dennis and Leen flank the marble fireplace, topped by Julio de Diego’s Vamba.
The open yet formal plan lends itself especially to elegant entertaining with style, providing plenty of places to mingle. The entire home radiates from a central hallway, punctuated at each end with a rotunda. Extensive mill-work and custom detailing on the walls and ceilings feature throughout all the public rooms. Every detail received careful consideration.
The formal dining room occupies the round space created within the turret of the building. Tailored draperies frame the floor-to-ceiling windows that line the outer walls and provide unobstructed panoramic views. A Randolph & Hein table with the ability to sit as many as 26 gathers with Gretchen Bellinger upholstered dining chairs backed with Hermes leather suede. A magnificent Gilbert Poillerat inspired chandelier suspends in the center of the room.
For the kitchen, the designer collaborated with de Giulio Kitchen Design to create a traditional “old estate” look. Limestone set in a large basket-weave design covers the floors. The counter-top is also limestone. Cream-colored subway tile lines the wall behind the La Cornue ranges and cabinets. The bar stools are custom from Paul Ferrante.
The home’s cozy wood-paneled library layers warm chocolate and caramel tones to create a warm, inviting haven of comfort.
The designer assembled this brilliant vignette along the central hallway where the private elevator foyer intersects. The herringbone floors and paneled walls continue the full length of the hall. Those chairs are perfection!
Lagrange commissioned LA-based artist Scott Waterman to create murals in each of the homes rotundas. She custom designed the table and chandelier for this space. Note the intricate design of the handset inlaid floors.
The opposite end of the hall holds a custom wine storage area. Bespoke designed 24-karat gold leaf backed temperature-controlled cabinets line the walls. An antique Persian (circa 1890) rug runs through the center. You can see the other rotunda just beyond, and the end of the passageway marked with the owners Bertoia resting on a custom stand by Soane.
Here we have one of the most exquisite powder rooms in the city. It sparkles like a jewel with its silver and gold leafing, glazing, and mirror effects, made perfect with those crystal sconces.
The billiards room’s handsome finishes include hand-glazed wall paneling, coffered ceilings, and hand-waxed oak floors. A full bar by Parenti & Raffaelli pairs with Nancy Corzine’s Waldorf bar stools. The chairs are by John Boone, and the ottoman is custom from ACM Furniture.
Here we have the homes theater room complete with plush velvet sofas and ottomans. The video and acoustics equipment remain carefully concealed.
The master bedroom and sitting area form a serene haven of luxury design. Colors and features soften in the private rooms. The St. George bed is from Lewis Mittman, dressed in hand-embroidered French linens. J. Robert Scott’s Super Kidskin leather covers the Niermann Weeks Elysee chaise. Jeffrey Grant’s Michigan Avenue hangs above the marble fireplace mantle. An antique rug from Oscar Isberlan defines the sitting area which includes a vintage French table and a Regency Sabre-leg armchair by Rose Tarlow Melrose House.
The master bedroom suite features a separate bath and dressing area on either side of the room so both can have their own. This one has antiqued mirror vanities with marble tops and marble floors. The glamorous bathroom also includes a soaking tub and a private balcony.
The other bathroom features rich dark woods and a dome ceiling. The dome’s design repeats in the mosaic design of the marble floor below.
The guest bedroom suite is equally comfortable and tranquil in soft shades of green and lilac, with a cozy bed dressed in French linens. The guest suite’s bathroom includes a soaking tub and a separate shower. Embroidered silk drapery panels frame the large bathroom windows. The dressing vanity sits deep in the window to take full advantage of the natural light.
Of course, the owners enjoy all the amenities provided by the building including 24-hour service, a doorman, and all the perks afforded by its great location. Jessica Lagrange’s Contemporary Beaux Arts design marries the classic style of the Parisian apartments with modern elements and adds all the amenities for today’s luxury lifestyle. She tailored old world grandeur into timeless elegance perfected for contemporary living.
For more Classic inspired interiors designed for contemporary luxury living, be sure to see:
Contemporary Beaux Arts Design in Chicago Conclusion
That concludes our design inspiration for today, my friend. I hope you enjoyed the luxe interiors of this fabulous Chicago penthouse. What do you think? Let me hear from you in the comments. I look forward to it!
Interior design: Jessica Lagrange Interiors
Photography: Tony Soluri
Luxe Interiors + Design: Double Take
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