Don’t even try to give Bill and Giuliana Rancic the old line that you can’t go home again. This is one couple who write their own script—and Chicago is definitely their kind of town. It’s where Bill grew up and where family and friends roll out a red carpet that’s very different from the ones that Giuliana frequents in her role as an anchor for “E! Live From the Red Carpet” specials.
When an 1880s brownstone went on the market in the Windy City’s Gold Coast neighborhood—where the couple once lived part-time—Bill and Giuliana jumped at the chance to purchase it and call Chicago home again.
Doing it all in their work lives meant they could use a hand when it came to reinventing their new house. Giuliana knew exactly who she wanted for the role: Lonni Paul, the designer behind the welcoming interiors of their home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The designer needed a cohesive flow to suit the house: The main level streams from living room to dining room to kitchen, then elevates to the family room and outdoor patio, all within the sight line from the entry foyer.
Paul’s solution was to reinterpret the couple’s beloved blue color scheme to suit the sometimes-cloudy Chicago weather, so unlike the L.A. sunshine that the Rancics were accustomed to.
Paul chose pale blue and ivory in the living room with fabrics including a floral linen by Lee Jofa used to make window panels, and a Vervain stripe on the ottoman. The chandelier is from Circa, and the rug is from Stark.
In the adjacent dining room, the blues intensify to cobalt and indigo. A dynamic damask pattern wraps the walls above classic white wainscoting. Dining chairs covered in rich blue velvet team with a patterned floral rug underfoot to support the color theme, which sees the blues fade away as it goes to gleaming all-white in the adjoining kitchen.
Artwork by Hunt Slonem features bunnies that are painted on a base of indigo-colored diamond dust. The piece adds shimmer to the room and nods to the grand sparkle of a floating chandelier from Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting.
A built-in banquette provides seating on one side of the kitchen table, while a pair of versatile ottomans on the other side can be moved to suit different functions in the space.
For the artwork in the master bedroom, architecture teams up with technology—and represents the fully charged, plugged-in activity of this social-media-savvy couple’s existence. Digital photographs, taken by Kevin Lynch and intended to be hung horizontally, were cropped and stretched to fit vertical insets that flank the white fireplace. The oceanic hue of the images complements the luxe blue silk wallcovering.
Pink wallpaper from Mary McDonald for Schumacher departs from the home’s blue theme. “This pink has a masculinity to it and reads as the color of a gentleman’s shirt, not a party dress for a little girl,” Paul says.