James and Blue’s (Not So) Traditional Home in Northfield

From the curb, James and Blue’s Northfield home, with its brick and siding exterior, looks like a lovely, traditional home. So I was surprised and delighted by the home’s global influences, peaceful energy and most importantly, its fascinating inhabitants who have decorated their home with pieces they’ve collected traveling the globe.

As an intuitive, Blue travels for continued education, adventure and when she’s called to give a reading. In South Africa, Blue sat and studied with Credo Mutwa, who she describes as the Dalai Lama of Africa.  She’s trekked through the Andes in Ecuador and ventured so deep into the Amazon rain forest that a plane provides the only transportation in or out.

As we talk, Blue shows me around her home.  As we enter the finished basement, she asks if I want her to give me a reading.  I nod, and she says she won’t get too personal, but I urge her to go ahead and tell me what she senses.

“You’re open,” she says approvingly.

Touch is one of the ways Blue reads energy, so she I give her my camera, and she closes her eyes.  She describes a woman named Cheryl, but I don’t know a Cheryl.  Cheryl has a tough energy, Blue says.  I can’t think of anybody who fits the description, so Blue moves on with her reading, impressively sensing the bad stomach pains I’d had the previous evening.  But for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about Cheryl.

We walk upstairs and out into her lush, peaceful and beautifully landscaped garden, which appears to melt into a canopy of trees where the deep lot ends.  That’s when it hits me that Blue wasn’t sensing Cheryl; she was talking about my friend Sharon, who is tough and who was the last person I’d photographed before visiting James and Blue’s home.

“That’s funny,” I say.  “I see an alley running behind your yard, but obviously it’s just trees . . . must be from living in the city.”

“Keep walking,” says Blue.  “I think you’re an intuitive, too.”

As I approach the back of the lot, I see that it slopes toward a creek, which runs parallel to the house much like an alley would.

While I did literally “see” something in my mind I could not see with my eyes, I’m not ready to give readings just yet. But if I did, I’d tell James and Blue I sense they’ll enjoy a fascinating life full of education, spirituality and new adventures.

A version of this post first appeared on Tate’s interiors blog Strange Closets. Visit Strange Closets for weekly home tours, reviews of Chicagoland’s coolest boutiques and interviews with designers and artists.