Mike Shively, principal of an eponymous architectural practice, is the owner of this three-story remodel in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. By lowering the second story ceiling and making room for a livable attic, Shively almost doubled the home's size from 800 to 1,400 square feet. The building now accommodates a single-family rental unit below his own. “I knew the rules, and what conventions I wanted to break before I found this building," says Shively, adding "By the time I found the perfect building, I already had the sketch mapped out and just had to apply it to the particular conditions.”
Wherever possible, Shively looked to work with local craftsmen. For example, all of the cabinetry was made by Lambright Woodworking, an Amish company in Indiana, and custom doors and trim were made by Jarzab Construction, a team of local Polish carpenters.
In Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, a one-story bowstring commercial building was adapted and extended vertically as a loft residence by architect John Ronan for a photographer/artist couple. The existing structure was hollowed out for living space and a two-pronged studio, and bedrooms were hoisted into a three-story volume clad in metal siding with a scattershot of windows. The vertical massing preserves a healthy share of the site for courtyard—a seasonal extension of living space.
A new skylight regulates the living room’s natural light. Ronan set up great contrasts in the space with the bone white walls and ceiling, black wall unit with built-in fireplace, and the crisply framed courtyard. The owners enhanced the space further with vibrant photography and furnishings.
The twin towers of Marina City, designed by modernist master Bertrand Goldberg, are closing in on landmark protection—something most Chicagoans probably assumed they already had. When Jean Dufresne of Space Architects + Planners embarked on a gut renovation of a Loop- and lake-facing two-bedroom unit for a new owner. The space presented as it did upon the towers’ completion in 1964: shag carpeting, a mint green bathroom, metal cabinets, and laminate counters being the currency of the day. “It all sounds cool and retro, but it had not been maintained,” says Dufresne. “The view, now that was amazing.” The client, a single dad, wanted an exhilarating space that fully capitalized on that vantage point.
The all-new eat-in kitchen has an island with a Silestone quartz surface, comfortably seating six. To free up even more living space, an entertainment center is integrated into the back wall, adjacent to a seating nook.
In Chicago’s Buena Park, dSPACE Studio transformed a disorganized 1978 home into a bright retreat that revolves around an expanded atrium. SoCo pendant lights by Tech Lighting draw the eye up to the double-height light well.
For chef Lisa Santos and her husband, Joel, converting a 100-year-old switching station in Chicago to their home was made easier with the help of a team from local firm Beaux Bo Properties, who had already divided the building into condominiums.
Downstairs, century-old subway tile and copper windows keep the new kitchen gritty; it gained a stainless-steel island, new appliances, and a wall of IKEA storage.