Kelmscott Park tapped interior designer Cheryl Souder for the design of the model single-family home and common areas within the condominiums. Cheryl has an impressive background with projects and clients across the US, in Chicago and on the North Shore. Drawn to Chicago’s energy, architecture and art scene, Cheryl now spends most of her time in hospitality and residential design focusing in downtown Chicago, Evanston and the North Shore. We recently sat down with the designer to learn about her process and the inspiration behind her designs at Kelmscott Park.
How did you get into interior design?
Interactions with the natural world, shelter, and the arts continually intrigue me. Of particular interest is engaging with these through experiencing interiors of built spaces. Practicing interior design offers me the opportunity to appreciate the synthesis of these and other diverse fascinating elements.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love the process of discovery with my clients. Design projects have distinct timelines; but also flashes of perception, order, and collaboration among participants that are extremely rewarding.
What made you want to be part of this project?
Having worked with Focus on several projects I have seen their consistent commitment to quality design and construction that enhances the communities where they build. Together we have enjoyed a shared interest in creating inviting interiors that reflect the architecture and offer warm places of gathering for the people who will live there.
What was your vision and inspiration for designing the model single-family home at Kelmscott Park?
Focus and Booth Hansen chose the English Arts and Crafts movement as inspiration for Kelmscott Park. Artists and architects, craftsmen and publishers of the period provided a rich tradition of lifestyle and design that continue to enchant. This home has aspects of the period brought forth into 21st Century living. Outdoor views are framed to capture a lovely landscape. High-touch materials of wood, textiles, and ceramics are skillfully combined to recall customs of hand crafting. Spaces are arranged to share experiences among family and guests with the addition of furnishings styled to be traditional but relaxed and welcoming.
What interior design trends are you seeing in suburban new construction residences? How is that reflected in these homes?
- Living spaces are combined or directly adjacent allowing enhanced interaction.
- Greater window areas open interiors to day light and views to the outdoors.
- Technology through smart home automation and smart appliances make coordination easy.
How would you describe your design style?
Designs are curated to express the interaction of elegant forms, materials, and palettes that help express the interests and lifestyles of my clients. Though based upon the tenets of modern design my style has been influenced by exposure to other times from 17th Century America through contemporary French and Italian interiors.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Walking by water. A beautiful and lived in home. Traveling locally and abroad. Challenging painting. Music with that painting. Books of other times and places.
What design trends are you most excited about?
- Design blogs and Instagram posts can be overwhelming; however, they suggest new permutations and combinations. Judicious editing recommended!
- Light fixtures as fine-tuned lighting accents and sculptural forms bring depth to create layers in the interior.
- The use of color to create an entirely separate sense of place.
What is one piece of design advice you could give to the new homeowners at Kelmscott Park?
Homes are complex and loaded with meaning. They need layers and warmth. Bring communication, patience, and vision to your design process. Then enjoy the journey!