The Chicago Residence Was Designed for Events. Then the Events Stopped.

As Britt Whitfield and Jacqui Scott started on the lookout for their subsequent residence in Chicago, they prioritized one factor above all else: “The power to throw a celebration was No. 1,” Ms. Whitfield mentioned.

And when Ms. Whitfield, 43, says “a celebration,” she doesn’t imply a comfy gathering with a number of associates. Because the chief govt of the Revel Group, a Chicago-based occasions firm, she spends her days overseeing blowout features with hundreds of visitors. Whereas her private gatherings are extra intimate, she nonetheless enjoys throwing bashes for giant teams of associates and colleagues.

The couple had renovated or constructed 5 earlier properties in Chicago, transferring each couple of years. However now they had been on the lookout for a spot to remain put. So along with serving as a celebration venue, the home wanted to be a household residence, the place their two youngsters — Cal, now 7, and Paton, 5 — could be snug rising up.

After they discovered a big neo-Georgian residence on an unusually large lot within the Logan Sq. neighborhood, it appeared excellent. Designed by the structure agency Worthmann & Steinbach and accomplished in 1905, the brick-and-limestone constructing had 8,000 sq. ft of inside house and intensive outside house.

And though it was in a densely constructed space, “it had a aspect yard, a yard and a entrance yard,” which had been excellent for events, play dates and operating their two canines, mentioned Ms. Scott, 42, a psychotherapist and teacher at Loyola College Chicago.

They purchased it for $1.66 million in June 2018, then referred to as in Filoramo Talsma Architecture and Project Interiors to renovate. Whereas the outside was in fine condition, the inside wanted a complete overhaul.

The earlier proprietor had labored on renovating the home for years however by no means completed, mentioned Chris Talsma, a founding father of Filoramo Talsma Structure, calling it “half taken aside, half rebuilt.”

“Aside from the shell, there wasn’t a lot value holding,” he mentioned.

With Ms. Whitfield serving as the final contractor, building started a few months later, and the group didn’t maintain again. They gutted your complete inside, aside from the paneled entrance lobby, and commenced rebuilding the house with options that blended modern city type with a wholesome dose of caprice.

“She’s actually within the enterprise of enjoyable,” defined Aimee Wertepny, the founding father of Venture Interiors, “so the concept of the place we may take this, the chances that this shopper and buddy could be open to, was the largest draw out of the gate.”

Lauren Warnock, who was the lead designer on the house for Venture Interiors however has since established her personal agency, Navy Black Studio, famous {that a} social gathering home and a house for younger youngsters and pets aren’t so totally different: Each must be welcoming, whereas resisting put on and tear.

“It needed to be kid- and dog-proof, and permit them to simply have enjoyable,” Ms. Warnock mentioned. “Nothing may very well be so treasured that they couldn’t simply get pleasure from life.”

In the lounge, the designers put in back-to-back tufted sofas beneath a ceiling embellished with diagonal molding and quatrefoil shapes. Within the adjoining eating room, they lined the ceiling with a wallcovering that mixes cork and gold foil, and put in a big customized eating desk by Lagomorph Design with a starburst wood-veneer prime. Heavy curtains open to a bar and library with a swooping banquette coated in snakeskin-patterned velvet.

The kitchen has seating and standing choices that may accommodate quiet household meals and animated cocktail evenings. On one aspect, the again of the island terminates at a squishy banquette, upholstered in hardwearing Xorel, close to a small breakfast desk; on the opposite, a bar-height counter with a live-edge walnut slab prime creates a spot for a bartender to serve visitors.

On the again, steps with built-in, stadium-style seating descend to the household room, in a brand new addition with folding aluminum-and-glass doorways that speak in confidence to the yard.

The work was largely full by September 2019, at a value of about $2 million. That fall, Ms. Whitfield and Ms. Scott welcomed almost 100 visitors for a housewarming social gathering. Then they hosted an occasion celebrating the tv collection “The L Phrase: Technology Q.”

A number of months later, the pandemic put a cease to all the pieces.

“The house has options and features to have the ability to have events, however that was kind of robbed from us instantly,” Ms. Whitfield mentioned. On the similar time, her occasions enterprise hit a wall: “I mainly didn’t have a job.”

Unable to share their Chicago home with associates as that they had deliberate, they started having second ideas about what that they had constructed.

“For these years of Covid, there was a little bit of me that was like, ‘Why aren’t we dwelling in a high-rise within the Gold Coast with somebody to valet our automobile and a spot that’s one-third the scale?’” Ms. Whitfield mentioned.

Ms. Scott added: “It simply felt like so much to handle.”

By August 2021, they had been prepared to maneuver on, and put the home in the marketplace for $5.399 million. It didn’t promote. That was lucky, as a result of when pandemic restrictions eased and other people started gathering in teams once more, they modified their minds.

The couple took the home off the market final March and discovered to adore it once more.

“We’ve amped it up within the final six months and have been entertaining extra,” Ms. Whitfield mentioned. And whereas there have been some low moments through the pandemic, she added, “I’m so glad we’re nonetheless right here.”

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