Press & Credits
Serene and sophisticated
Designers opt for understated elegance at French country estate.
By Deborah Donovan, Daily Herald Homes
and monochromatic describe the master sitting room designed by
Annika Christensen of Midnight Sun in Libertyville.
But those words
and even the color scheme – white and platinum – also apply to
other rooms in the French country estate that is the 2007 Lake
Forest Showhouse & Gardens. The Infant Welfare Society of
Chicago event will be open through May 20.
“Gustavus III in
the 1700s went to France and fell in love with French style and
brought it back to Sweden,” said Christensen, explaining how her
room fits the home so well.
buildings constructed as a summer retreat in 1929 for an heir of
the Swift meat-packing family cozy up to the Onwentsia Club.
her Scandinavian antiques – a classic painted white tall clock,
a pair of bergere chairs and what is called a bathtub sofa
because its wood-trimmed arms curve gently in to form a
protective feel – with the very contemporary.
include an oval Lucite coffee table and a Noguchi floor lamp
with an angled white paper shade.
The painting that
Christensen herself convinced Swedish artist Lennart Hall to
sell introduces a square of orange, which the designer repeats
The platinum linen
wrapping the sofa and chairs is new, too. And the timeless
white Flokati shag rug is perfect for a space off the bedroom.
grasscloth on the sitting room’s walls. You will also see a lot
of grasscloth and fabric on the walls in this home.
White is often
used by the 32 designers who decorated the showcase home –
sometimes with blues replacing Christensen’s platinum.
“The soft blues
and creamy whites in the house are of our time, but they are
soothing and fitting to the house,” she said.
29, 2007 Daily Herald Home & Garden News Paper
Master Sitting Room
A Whimsical Swedish touch is just what
every French country-style estate needs. And who better to
provide it than Swedish-born Annika Christensen, who moved to
the U.S. some 17 years ago and who for the past five years has
been stocking her Libertyville shop, Midnight Sun Antiques, with
containers full of Gustavian pieces imported directly from her
motherland? “Gustav the Third traveled to France in the 1700s
and fell in love with the style,” she explains. “He brought it
back to Sweden with him, but because the country was not as
wealthy as France, the style got simplified. Painted maple,
birch, and pine replaced the cherry and mahogany.” The favored
palette of the time was “creamy and grayish,” the same neutral
scheme Christensen chose for her room. She used textures,
including wool (the fluffy Flokati rug), linen (on the
carved-rose-motif 1850s Swedish bergere chairs), and grasscloth
(on the walls) as her “colors.” A glass and aluminum round side
table designed by Warren Platner and a Lucite table from Todd
Hase (not shown) add that bit of “tension between contemporary
and old” that Christensen loves. As for the quirky grandfather
clock, well, that is both timeless and quintessentially Swedish.
September / October 2007 Chicago Home &
Interiors - Rhonda Eleish & Edit Van Breems
With forewords by Albert
Hadley and Miguel Flores - Vianna
antiques and vintage furniture.