Jeannie Balsam’s Clean Modern Tradition with Contemporary Wool Rugs

Jeannie Balsam was selected from among Chicago’s leading interior designers to be showcased in the Merchandise Mart’s DreamHOME. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, the 2007 and 2010 Winnetka Woman’s Club Housewalks, and the 2009 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens. Today we learn how Jeannie updates Traditional design by mixing contemporary wool rugs with traditional furniture and patterned fabrics in an elegant sunny residence in Winnetka, Illinois.

Red textured oriental rug, Jeannie Balsam interior design

Jeannie Balsam gave this traditional living room a fresh and clean look by selecting a contemporary wool rug to anchor the traditional furniture, fabrics and a 19th century landscape painting. The color in this room comes from the red contemporary wool rug which shimmers in the sun light giving the room a warm glow. The upholstered chair has been placed so the sunny window is behind, making it a perfect place to settle down with a book. The cream sofa has a great view of the garden and both the sofa and the chair are warmed by the fireplace on chilly winter evenings. The two upholstered chairs can be pulled closer to the sofa to form a more intimate conversational grouping.

Small scale geometric rug, Jeannie Balsam interior design

The Family room again mixes traditional furniture with a contemporary wool rug in a small scale geometric pattern. The mix of traditional and contemporary works once again to give this room a clean and fresh look. Sun light streaming in from windows on two sides and the red traditional fabric on the armchair give this room a warm and inviting feeling. The red armchair has again been placed to make a great place to read in natural light. It can be easily moved to be closer to the fireplace or to the sofas for a more intimate conversational grouping.

Red pattrened fabric on neutral geometric rug, Jeannie Balsam interior design dining room

The dining room is also warmed by natural light from two sides- it is open to the living room and it’s windows to the right of this picture. The patterned red traditional fabric on the upholstered host and hostess chairs and the solid red fabric on the dining chair seats sit on a beige contemporary wool rug in a small scale geometric pattern. This room feels colorful, warm, airy, clean, calm, elegant and fashionable. It is a tribute to Jeannie Balsam’s genius that these rooms have so many qualities.

red fabric on neutral gemetric rug in breakfast room, Jeannie Balsam interior design

This wonderful Breakfast area is a part of the large well lighted kitchen (see below) and is deftly nestled in a cozy alcove with windows on three sides. One cannot imagine a more beautiful and enlivening setting to start the day. It is tasteful, comfortable and feels very inviting. There is a well thought out continuity through all the rooms by the use of red as the warming color and natural sun light being used to best advantage.

Kitchen with breakfast area by the windows, Jeannie Balsam

The breakfast area can be seen at the far side of the kitchen.

Red contemporary wool rug, Asmara Safari rug

Safari contemporary wool rug is handmade with hand spun wool yarn and silk with multiple shades of red with highlights of beige and gold.

Beige, gold geometric contemporary wool rug, Asmara Sigma Capri rug

The Sigma Contemporary wool oriental rug in gold and beige is handmade with hand spun yarn.

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