For more than two decades, Kim Flashner has been helping to transform luxury interiors throughout the North Shore. Trained at The Harrington Institute of Design in Chicago, Flashner approaches every project as an artist approaches an easel, with a vision to craft and create elegant settings for her clients.
So, when Kelly and Kathryn Mangel at @Properties approached her about a one-of-a-kind condominium property in Wilmette last year, she was thrilled to take on the challenge. The client had just relocated to the late 20th century high-rise and was eager to better enjoy a sprawling patio and views of Lake Michigan.
With three bedrooms, plus office, three full baths and one half bath, there was a lot of space to work with. However, before Flashner could begin the transformation, she needed a blank canvas.
“The space was old and dated so we tore everything out from floor to ceiling. There was a large wall and fireplace which enclosed the original kitchen. We took the wall out to expose the whole first floor to the lake,” explains Flashner, whose Hubbard Woods-based Kim Flashner Interior Design Group takes on everything from modest homes to big-scale overhaul projects. “There was also a four-season room that we incorporated into the living space to give the homeowner a place to play cards while viewing the pool and lake.”
A bar area was added to that space for entertaining, a must for the busy executive. The master bedroom and bathroom were also completely gutted and reconfigured.
“The homeowner’s only request is that he wanted something comfortable and a space you could feel at home in,” explains Flashner, who says work started in October 2016 with Dolby Development and continued through May of this year. “The colors are very tranquil and help create a feeling of being on the ocean. That and the lakefront location guided many of my design choices. We wanted to emphasize lake views, which are available from every angle of the condo and the long pool side terrace. It really is a unique space.”
One of the most dramatic parts of the makeover was the kitchen. In addition to the walls being removed to open the cook space to the rest of the living and entertaining area, Elizabeth Lovelace of Innovative Kitchen Design in Highland Park was brought in to help design cabinetry in the kitchen and throughout the condo.
“We used Crystal Custom Cabinetry throughout the home, creating a beautiful open kitchen with a semi-gloss finish to give the perimeter a more transitional feel—all while keeping traditional elements such as mullion doors and the wood hood,” explains Lovelace. “We specifically created a seating area at the end of the island, facing east, so the homeowner can enjoy the beautiful Lake Michigan views.”
One of Lovelace and Flashner’s favorite design elements are smoked mirrored doors in the wet bar, which allow everyone at the dining room table to reflect on the lakefront vista. Another special touch that also helps personalize the space was Flashner’s idea to re-frame the homeowner’s beloved art collection with new contemporary silver frames that match polished nickel fixtures throughout the home.
“I love being able to see a project from the initial raw stage through to the finished project,” says Flashner, thanking her devoted team of subcontractors and craftspeople. “I am a frustrated painter so this is like my canvas. I am completely in love with how this all turned out. The homeowner is also thrilled so that is the ultimate testament.”
Kim Flashner Interior Design Group is located at 874 Green Bay Road in Winnetka. For more information, call 847-208-5411 or visit kimflashnerinteriorsgroup.com. For more information about Elizabeth Lovelace, call 312-543-2918 or visit innovativekd.com.