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Publication Date: 2015-03-13

House Tours

Illinois Home in Navy and Indigo

Bespoke walnut moldings, French antiques, and fabulous fabrics are just a few of the features interior designer Megan Winters tapped to transform a Lake Forest, Illinois, builder’s spec house into a home rich with character.

Photography: Werner Straube

Thanks to the designer’s cool confidence, homeowner Julie’s beloved blue-and-white palette connects every room—from the foyer’s color blocks of navy and white linen covering antique seating to the living room’s ikat and Chinese jar-patterned fabrics. “Julie loves every iteration of blue,” notes Winters, who strayed slightly from the predominant navies and indigos to a lighter yet still rich variation for the living room’s grass-cloth walls. “It’s a hard color to describe, but it makes the walls sing,” she says.

Photography: Werner Straube

Grass cloth is a theme replayed throughout the spaces. “Before, there wasn’t a single wallcovering. Nothing but paint,” says Winters. “I told them the house needed texture. They learned a lot about layering.”

A Ralph Lauren “Acacia Grass” wallcovering in French blue enriches the room, along with shades fabricated in a Travers linen with a pattern of Chinese export vases, which the homeowners collect. Chair pillows are covered in “Les Touches” by Brunschwig & Fils. Accent fabric on the vintage Jansen bergères is “Saphia” by Designers Guild.

Photography: Werner Straube

“I’m big on rooms flowing together,” Winters says. “An easy, economical way to get that is with sisal rugs and runners. In this home, they serve as a response to the smoothness and formality of the new moldings.”

Benjamin Moore’s “Super White” brightens walls in the breakfast room. The comfy chairs are from RH, and the handsome nickel-and-leather chandelier is by Ralph Lauren.

Photography: Werner Straube

Homeowner Michael, CEO of a global interactive display manufacturer, got plenty of perks in the design. “He’s the family chef, and he wanted a cook’s kitchen,” says Winters, who reconfigured the space with a more efficient work triangle and replaced the “big block” island with a more navigable one that allows the family to gather as Michael cooks. Throughout the Eckerts’ home, total accessibility for a trio of children is paramount.

A marble backsplash and countertops boast white veins that contrast against the rich tones of the kitchen's bar area.

Photography: Werner Straube

In the master bedroom—which actually was one of the two rooms Winters was initially retained to design—the designer lightened up the look with a sandy-hued grass cloth on the walls. White bed linens and white window shades reinforce the clean look, featuring only a smidgeon of navy blue accents on the bed’s monogrammed pillows and the trim defining the shades.

Schumacher’s “Sachi Root” in multi-tan brings texture to walls. Winters stood her ground for the antique Baccarat crystal chandelier, which the couple now agrees is the room’s pièce de résistance. Yves Delorme bed pillows are monogrammed with navy stitching.

See more of this home on

Written by Candace Ord Manroe

Interior design: Megan Winters, project manager: Kimberly Dahl, Megan Winters Atelier and Maison, 675 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, IL 60045; 847/295-1675,

Photography: Werner Straube


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