Trad is Rad in Old School Chicago Townhouse

The only thing hotter than the weather in Chicago right now is this townhouse on North State Parkway in the Gold Coast. Yes, I've been radio silent for a little bit (moving out of my old place, many weddings, and then moving into our new place) BUT I do believe this old school greystone manse makes up for it. The interiors are rad, trad, and honestly just warming my little heart. So many people buy these kind of historic homes, tear out all the mouldings and details, and fill it with Eames stuff, that its nice to see someone just chintz it up.

 A stoic, greystone exterior masks the riot of preppiness within. Love the beautiful green garden and the black wrought iron fence.

Some buttery, almost-Nancy Lancaster yellow greets you in the stair hall. Look at all those bird paintings! That is one big ibis! The Octagonal newell post is lovely and I adore that antique round table topped with dainty ginger jars. You got stair niches? Yes, pop some topiaries in there, exactly.


A pistachio green colored library boasts gilt mouldings, and look at that crazy marble baseboard! Yes, big taffeta ribbons are my preferred way of hanging paintings if at all possible. And I see you pair of palm tree candlesticks on the table, don't think you have escaped my eye, you have not.

Red paneled library-office with red toile draperies is a classic choice, but what I'm all about is that bamboo dresser werkin' it as a bar. And the taxidermy birds! These people love their birds.

This is what a master suite should look like. Light blue, chintz, lots of pretty things, ribbons, you know, that kind of stuff. I actually just bought myself a pair of gold colored wooden corbels to put porcelain on for my own bedroom and rooms like this remind me why I did. Pop a sisal down on this guy and you're ready to go.

Here's the sitting area of the master bedroom. Loving that chintz being carried all the way through the suite. And are you seeing that balcony with the scalloped awning through those french doors??


I'm going to venture a guess and posit that this master suite has two bathrooms, and this is the husband's space. Strong play on the library-inspired look, and props for the monogrammed shade.

The daughter's bedroom is a pink french macaroon of a space complete with canopied four poster and yards of fluffy balloon shades. 

The corresponding bathroom is even more of a french fantasy. I cannot get over the caned Louis XVI chair fitted over the toilet. Like WHAT. That is literally the first time I've seen that in an American house. That is a straight Versailles-style comode.

The son's bedroom is just as wonderfully boy-ish as the daughter's room is delightfully girly. This deep Wedgewood blue is so handsome, and I love the continental combination of portraits, paintings, porcelain, that leather chair, and the marble mantle. This is basically. what I imagine Prince George's "big boy" room at Kensington Palace will look like.

Again, this striped and paneled bathroom with checkered floor tiles and framed soldier prints is totally Prince George. I mean that as a compliment too, obviously.


A forest green guest room is graced with more taxidermy. That pheasant clearly rules the roost in this space. These people have awesome taste in fancy linens and coverlets. Also, check out the fretwork on the stairs outside - awesome.

You knew this house was going to have a full toile (wall-to-wall-toile, as I like to say) room somewhere. Admit it, you were waiting for it to show up.

Happy, bright green walls with mouldings, and chairs and sofa upholstered in a cheery pink and green chintz is definitely a good recipe for a friendly, traditional family room. Love the framed prints, the antlers (which is not really my thing, but clearly hunting is important to this family, so its the personal nature that makes it a nice touch), and how they left the green bottle of Pellegrino on the desk in the corner.

Tented garden room.

Green tented garden room.

Green tented garden room with skirted table and a green tufted sofa with bullion fringe. 

And a black and white scalloped awning outside.

Its cool. I'll just be hyperventilating in and out of this paper bag over here if you need me.

For a super trad house, this upstairs "homework hangout" is actually really mod and fresh. The white floors and white walls combined with Parsons desks and tulip chairs give it some space age oomph, while tufted and welted window seat cushions, potted trees, and big ol' balloon shades make the space relate to the rest of the home. Very cool.

And the piece de la resistance -- SKIRTED PING PONG TABLE.

Yes, yes, a million times yes. Bringing over the white with red and green from the adjacent homework area, this ping pong palace is delightfully irreverent with its painted floor, be-ribboned convex mirror, and Wire Fox Terrier portrait. This is a great example of silly yet tasteful, good natured humor.

This fabulous, circa 1886 townhouse is for sale and you can find the listing here (which has even more pictures!) if you're so inclined.


As a lot of you who follow me on instagram (@jennybrewsterstyle) know, we been moving into a new apartment. Slowly but surely we've been installing furniture, wallpaper, window treatments, and everything else -- and I can't wait to share our progress with you all soon! To follow our project on instagram, search the hashtag #hudsonavebrewsterpad. Keep your eyes peeled for the reveal!