A Home That’s Luxe and Loungy
Their first two home makeovers played it safe. They were boring. Third time's a charm.
By 2018, Crystal Hinnant Ferguson and Jeff Ferguson were frustrated. They’d hired two design studios to help them warm up the 10,000-square-foot home in Country Club Hills they’d bought two years earlier as newlyweds. But it still didn’t feel right.
Although each firm had delivered what they’d asked for—traditional interiors to match the home’s classic stone façade—the results were a letdown. “We played it safe,” Crystal says. “It didn’t excite me. It didn’t feel authentic, but I didn’t know what ‘authentic’ was.”
Enter designer No. 3—Zoë Feldman, whose fearless aesthetic sensibilities and pattern play caught Crystal’s eye.
“Bigger houses can be challenging to have a cozy feel, and she wanted a more casual, sophisticated kind of L.A. vibe,” says Feldman, whose firm is based in D.C. “We tried to keep the integrity of the [four-level] home so it still felt cohesive between the spaces.”
Feldman’s team started by dialing up the colors and patterns on the top floor, transforming the space into a ladies’ lounge for Crystal—who during the course of the project became pregnant with the couple’s daughter.
“In spaces where you’re not living in them all the time, you feel more confident taking risks,” says the designer. Hot-pink sectional sofa? Check. Genuine cowhide poufs? Why not.
Fellow designer Tenley Masson created sketchy watercolors of female figures to create a gallery wall behind the pink sofa. Feldman designed a wet-bar area along an empty wall, lining it with a graphic wall-covering and adding a fridge—which, in non-Covid times, will be used to chill wine for Crystal’s girlfriends, but for the time being keeps the sippy cups cool for little Elle.
The aesthetic softens in the master bedroom, where tonal touches of blue silk wallpaper and a painted ceiling offset an antique Regency chest and mirror paired with a tiger-print chair.
“We love to sprinkle in organic patterns—an antelope rug, a dalmatian-print stair runner, leopard wallpaper in a powder room, and the tiger stripe on the chair in the master bedroom,” says designer Zach Stamatis. “It creates movement and it’s a great way to bring color into a space.”
On the main floor, Feldman gave the kitchen a face-lift with new backsplash tile and a dark coat of paint on the island (which previously was painted white). For material continuity in the open plan, she placed a custom plaster range hood on the kitchen side and a plaster fireplace surround on the opposite wall in the family room. An adjacent breakfast niche only needed the right wallpaper to make the family’s existing table, chairs and banquette shine.
The sprawling basement lounge, which includes a wet bar and billiards table, is Jeff’s domain—but it needed more definition to keep it from feeling cavernous. The solution: custom carpentry in the form of paneled walls, built-in seating and an elegant fireplace surround. An archway now frames an existing kitchenette to give it more presence. Feldman also added doors that separate the lounge space from a vestibule at the bottom of the stairs. “We tried to make it feel less like a basement,” she says, “and more like a proper room.”
At last, the Fergusons feel at home. “We love it so much more now, and it just feels right,” Crystal says. “I’ve not been able to host my girlfriends in my ladies’ lounge yet, but I do all my Zoom happy hours there!”