Besides learning about Brenner’s unique living room (you can find out about it and other things in the Philadelphia native’s home here), I got to know a very funny man who is also extremely grounded and knows to treasure the lessons life has thrown him along the way.
Tag Archives: design
Shortly after I shared a couple variations on Linda Summerfield Crispell’s summer-fireplace themes (see “Fireless fireplaces” post of July 7, 2009), I stumbled on this shimmery version thanks to blogger Tate Gunnerson, who writes the blog “Strange Closets.”
Tate found this silvery March of the Candlesticks in the pad of limey green-lovin’ Mikey and Brian, owners of the catering business Yo Soy. Check out their soulful-looking pup and their wall treatment above their fireplace. Cool!
(Oh, by the way, Strange Closets is where Tate features “weekly home tours, interviews with artists/designers and a guide to Chicago’s grooviest design shops.” In other words (gasp): The Snoopster’s competition! But friendly competition. It’s a big, beautiful, gloriously diverse design world out there!
~ Elaine Matsushita
We love it! You did too. But you also had some other suggestions for cool looks for this hot spot.
My friend Libby O’Dell not only suggested a fireplace candelabra, but she also sent us a picture of a lovely one from fireplacemall.com. It’s called the Spandrels Fireplace Candelabra. What do you think???
Who lives in this well-guarded Queen Anne in Wicker Park?
Knock, knock . . .
Who’s there: Nick and Carol Sommers, Chico, their Havanese pup, and two cats, Sasha and Peaches.
Funny, I was drawn to this Queen Anne because of its warm mustard paint, meticulous detailing, leaded-glass windows and eyelet-trimmed curtains. It wasn’t until I was walking through the front gate that I spotted the huge cannon in the front yard. Honest.
The 1912 artillery, still owned by the U.S. Navy, is a hint at one of this home’s several lives (it had been an American Legion hall from 1927 to 1972). The Sommers – a Renaissance man and woman in the truest sense — can tell you about each of these lives in fascinating, fact-filled detail. (Please don’t skip The Snoopster’s slide show at the end of this post!!)
But back to the home’s cannon-ization: In the late 1920s, Nick tells me, a Polish-American American Legion Post bought the house to serve as its Legion hall. The Post brought the cannon to its current roost in 1934, and there it has remained (except for a brief tour of duty at Navy Pier during World War II) ever since.
What’s inside this Highland Park home where birds always greet you and billiard balls bloom among greenery?
Knock, knock . . .
Who’s there? Collage artist Linda Summerfield Crispell and Gar Crispell and their beauteous offspring, the lovely Lulu (her nom de Web), and her delightful bro, Deke (ditto on the alias). Oh, and I must not forget their ever-obedient Mssr. Buddy.
Putting on a stoic front: The Crispells’ ivory-colored home with red-brick chimney of a spine and neat, black shutters tell only part of the story that unfolds inside. That part of the story is about strong foundations and handsome and serene backdrops to a colorful life filled with rich tales, creativity, collections (yes, the collections which, more than the house’s face, drew me to this house) and a lot of love.
Please read more…
When I was the editor of the House & Homes section of the Chicago Tribune, I had the nicest chat with Denise Vasi, who plays Randi Morgan on ABC’s “All My Children” and appears in a yet-to-be-released film starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel called “When in Rome.” She was sweet and sensitive. She told me all about her great Weimaraner named Blu. And she stopped me cold with two things she told me about her New York apartment: One was something she did not have in her bedroom; the other was something she did have in her living room. You’ll have to click here to read the interview as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune.