Deerfield Home Brings City Chic to the Suburbs

High ceilings, modern furnishings and bold pops of color create an urban, loft-like feel in this Deerfield home.

“I’ve always gravitated toward more modern homes, and the recipe here was to keep the interior very open with clean lines and not a lot of detail,” explains the owner of this five-bedroom home.

The two-story house’s straight lines and gray stucco exterior strike a much more contemporary pose than the more traditional neighboring homes. Inside, spacious rooms flow into one another and natural daylight streams in through a large expanse of windows that overlook the backyard.

In the family area, Thelen added a faux-fur area rug for texture and interest.

While the owners have come to appreciate life on the North Shore, they initially relocated with their children’s interests in mind. “The kids had been playing on concrete when we lived in the city, so they were ecstatic when we decided to move out here,” the wife explains, noting that she was looking for contemporary homes with a more urban, loft-like feel. The pickings were slim, so she and her husband decided to build their own.

To help her select finishes and furnishings, the owner hired art- ist and interior designer Linc Thelen. “They brought me in to project manage when it was still in the drywall stage,” says Thelen, who created a palette that would best showcase the owner’s collection of contemporary art. “The dark floors help define the architectural details throughout the home, and white walls best showcase the vibrant accent colors and artwork,” Thelen explains.


Indeed, one of the first things that visitors see is a large art installation featuring graphic hash marks that were hand-painted onto highly reflective vellum paper. “The dining room is right off the foyer and the wall spans 17 feet wide by 11 feet high, so it’s the perfect spot for something grand and thought provoking,” Thelen says.



The colors in the owner’s collection of modern art inspired Thelen to inject bold hues in unexpected places. On the second-floor loft, which was designed as a space for the children to hang out, there are bold pops of magenta, including a lacquered door.



In the family room, Thelen incorporated a red plywood Eames chair that stands out like a sculpture among the room’s neutral furnishings. “I look at furniture as any other object,” Thelen says. “What material is it made of, and how does it interact with the other materials in the space?”

The homeowner displays her collection of graphic coffee table books with the covers facing outward. “You can swap out the books at the drop of a hat and have a completely different room,” she says.

Although the owners loved living in the city, they have begun to realize the benefits of suburban life. The wife points to the backyard and recalls a recent party that she threw for the children and their friends. “We had a fire in the fire pit, the music was blaring and there were kids playing,” she says. “That’s what the suburbs are all about.”


Photos by James Tschetter