4 Design Rules Every Modernist Should Live By

Furnishings mogul Holly Hunt’s Chicago apartment is a lesson in contemporary style

Text by Jennifer Fernandez – Photography by Pieter Estersohn – Posted April 8, 2016

 

It only takes one look at Holly Hunt’s home on Chicago’s Gold Coast to know that the furnishings mogul is a modernist at heart. After a gut renovation in which she removed traditional crown molding and baseboards and reconfigured the floor plan to accommodate more space in the private areas, her 4,600-square-foot co-op is a contemporary design lover’s dream, complete with sculptural lighting, museum-quality furniture pieces, and a world-class art collection. Yet far from the look of a showroom, Hunt’s home establishes a high-brow sense of style while maintaining a warm and lived-in atmosphere. Love the look? Here, four things to consider to achieve the ideal modernist home.

Rethink expected furnishings In a classic breakfast nook off the kitchen, Hunt broke with tradition and opted for an avant-garde table wrapped in painted cotton cord by Christian Astuguevieille. The effect gives an otherwise ordinary furniture item the feel of an experimental art piece.

 

Rethink expected furnishings In a classic breakfast nook off the kitchen, Hunt broke with tradition and opted for an avant-garde table wrapped in painted cotton cord by Christian Astuguevieille. The effect gives an otherwise ordinary furniture item the feel of an experimental art piece.

 

Adopt a curator’s mentality The modernist’s mantra: A home is only as good as the art in it. In a corridor, Hunt coated the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Intense White and displayed a Jean Dubuffet canvas, two David Smith works, and a mixed-media piece by Olga de Amaral.

 

Adopt a curator’s mentality The modernist’s mantra: A home is only as good as the art in it. In a corridor, Hunt coated the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Intense White and displayed a Jean Dubuffet canvas, two David Smith works, and a mixed-media piece by Olga de Amaral.

 

Choose a neutral color palette If black and white feels too stark—which is a rare problem—consider incorporating subtle shades of gray, tan, or beige. Here, Hunt creates warmth in a formal dining room with leather-covered chairs and a matching table, as well as stained hardwood floors.

 

Choose a neutral color palette If black and white feels too stark—which is a rare problem—consider incorporating subtle shades of gray, tan, or beige. Here, Hunt creates warmth in a formal dining room with leather-covered chairs and a matching table, as well as stained hardwood floors.

 

Shine on Lacquered surfaces and metallic accents add dimension and sleek texture to the modernist home. Case in point: Hunt’s library, where cozy fur throw pillows and rough-hewn Giacometti-esque Gene Summers bronze club chairs are offset by a slick Christian Liaigre cocktail table. Related: What Is Your Design Personality? Great Design: Home Decor Ideas and Inspiration for Every Style

 

Shine on Lacquered surfaces and metallic accents add dimension and sleek texture to the modernist home. Case in point: Hunt’s library, where cozy fur throw pillows and rough-hewn Giacometti-esque Gene Summers bronze club chairs are offset by a slick Christian Liaigre cocktail table.

 

 

David Ray

About David Ray

David provides viable solutions for sellers, buyers, real estate agents and investors. His areas of expertise include residential, commercial, business and land development. The latest solution is helping sellers with "dated" houses renovate the property for zero cost. Through this solution the seller, the buyer and the community all benefit. After each project is completed, he helps provide thousands of meals to the local food bank.

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