NS Modern Luxury
NS Modern Luxury
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When Leslie Martin was invited to tour the Howard Van Doren Shaw-designed estate that would be used for this year's Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens, she thought that the event organizers had made a mistake. She and her partner, Kim Meardon, had just launched their Kenilworth-based M and M Interior Design Consultants last year and were surprised to be invited to work on the highly respected biennial benefit presented by the Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago.
"We showed up with a portfolio thinking this would be an interesting experience, but not expecting much out of it," Martin said. "We would have been happy doing a broom closet."
The duo picked three of the smallest rooms in the house, built in 1922, and turned around a proposal to decorate them the next day. But instead of getting a bathroom they were offered the kitchen and a sitting area.
"I think the kitchen is interesting since it's one of the only rooms that had a number of restrictions," Martin said. "The homeowner really didn't want anything done structurally. It's really more of a staging job. It wasn't like we were ripping things out. They also gave us this blank canvas next to it, the sitting area, so it was the best of both worlds for us."
Martin and Meardon are among a group of local designers who have been transforming the house, and thousands of people from the Chicago area, Wisconsin and even farther afield are expected to see their work during tours offered from April 29 to May 21.
"We're so honored to participate and be among such talented designers," Martin said. "Just getting to know them has been a fun part of it. It's really interesting to be in a space where other designers are working."
The showhouse fundraiser has been running since 1985. Every two years the Lake Forest IWS chapter locates an unoccupied home of architectural and historic interest, then invites local interior and garden designers to submit designs...
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