A Mod Twist on Classics

By Candice Graham
Photography by Med Dement

Interior Design: Jimmy Adams assisted by Kathryn McMahan, Nell’s Home, Gifts, and Interior Design


Working with an industrial shell, classic furniture, and traditional accessories, Jimmy Adams and his team were able to balance these aesthetics for a condo that oozes sophisticated style. “The homeowners had a larger home that was more traditional, and they wanted to downsize,” explains Kathryn McMahan, interior designer at Nell’s Home, Gifts, and Interior Design. “We kept everything clean-lined and simple, but we kept a lot of their original pieces.”

Keeping the homeowners’ vast collection of classic art, dating as far back as the 17th century, helped to balance and soften the industrial condo’s aesthetic. “We didn’t want to go too far one way or the other,” McMahan explains. “We wanted a nice balance.” The home’s distinctive vibe is evident right from the entrance. The tapered exterior wall has plenty of windows, providing views of the NorthShore as well as bountiful natural light. A clear acrylic bubble chair hangs from the ceiling near the windows, and on the opposite wall, art in mismatched frames adds color and personality.


In the kitchen, the goal was to keep the look clean and simple. With a monochromatic color scheme of gray, stainless steel, and stark white, the space is crisp and contemporary. Sleek white cabinets lack knobs or handles for a streamlined look. Marble countertops were honed to reduce shine and the possibility of etching. For the backsplash, stainless steel brick stack tiles were used.

“We went with stainless steel because otherwise we would have been introducing another element to the space. We wanted to keep it simple,” McMahan explains. Stainless steel appliances blend seamlessly with the backsplash, and four silver pendant lights hang above the bar space, resembling stacked silver bangles. Streams of warm light shine through their cracks and reflect against the metal backsplash.

mod twist

Adjoining the kitchen, the living room features wide windows flanked by billowy drapes. With a sheer fabric in front and a lining on the back, the drapes completely block out light when closed or have a light, airy look when left open. A richly toned antique Persian rug blanketing the oak wood floors is juxtaposed with a contemporary lucite coffee table. Cream-colored sofas are consistently subjected to natural light, so they are covered in outdoor Sunbrella fabric to reduce fading. Barrel-back swivel chairs provide a modern silhouette and a cocktail ottoman offers a place to display books. Turquoise lamp bases add a vibrant pop of color and chrome-based side tables with petrified wood tops hold beautiful potted white orchids. The fireplace surround is wrapped in mirrors, allowing natural light to be reflected, and an antique gold-framed mirror hanging on top adds to the fresh mix of old and new.

Stone Source.Web

In the dining room, another Persian rug with saturated tones of red and navy adds to the traditional feel while a unique and contemporary light fixture hangs overhead. Traditional artwork mixes with more modern pieces for a distinguished look. The dining table has a hammered chrome base with a rosewood top. Dining chairs with wool felt upholstery and nail heads add comfortable, stylish seating, while a chest with a crocodile motif provides plenty of storage space. “There’s a lot of character that comes from these funky pieces being mixed with their more traditional accessories,” McMahan says.


Simple linen draperies outfit the windows of the master bedroom. A small attached reading room pops with peacock turquoise leather chairs and a custom-made silver ottoman. Built-in bookshelves house the homeowners’ collection of books, and a cowhide rug adds warmth and texture to the cozy nook. The bedroom’s plush white bed is outfitted with Italian fine linens, and spa blue lamps add a relaxing tone. Modern artwork from Sun Valley, Idaho hangs above the bed, adding subtle color to the neutral space. A green hue on the wall provides a customizable palette.

“The wall color is neutral without being taupe,” McMahan explains. “It takes on different hues. Now it looks blue, but some days it looks green. It helps contrast with the blue lamps so they’re not up against a true blue wall.”

While concrete ceilings and wraparound windows make this condo an easy fit for uber-contemporary stylings, a masterful mix of the homeowners’ curated art collection and modern fixtures and furniture, make this stunning home a perfect marriage of old and new.

Home Suppliers:

Appliances: Ferguson

Cabinets: Norcia Fine Cabinetry

Countertops: Stone Source

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