Mixcraft

Chicago Tribune
Practicing Mixcraft
By Tiffany Meyers

Author’s Note: For the Chicago Tribune’s HOME section, I caught up with Tricia Guild of the UK’s Designers Guild. The mere thought of mixing patterns can make some design aspirants weak at the knees with fear. So I asked Guild, who’s staked her whole enterprise on that eclectic look, to break it down for us.

Tricia Guild, founder and creative director of London-based Designers Guild, says there’s no reason to be afraid of mixing fabrics in the home. Clearly, she wasn’t there the time our window treatment of paisley jacquard and checked sateen made those small children cry. Not to mention the adults. So it’s probably more accurate to say that there’s nothing to be afraid of if you’re Tricia Guild.

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Architects Rescue a Renovation Gone Awry

Chicago Tribune
To the rescue: A botched renovation opens the door to a new family home
By Tiffany Meyers, July 12, 2009

It’s a story that starts, as any page-turner  should, with a moment of high drama. Thanksgiving weekend 2004: Elissa Morgante and Fred Wilson hear a knock on the door of their Wilmette home. It’s their neighbor.

He’s in over his head, he says. Way over. And he wants out. More specifically, he wants out of the renovation he has undertaken on his house across the street, a do-it-yourself gut job that has gone horribly wrong. The-whole-house-shakes-when-you-jump wrong. He wants to know: Can his architect neighbors think of anyone who might take it off his hands?

The founders of the award-winning, Evanston-based architecture and interior design firm Morgante Wilson Architecture, whose residential projects (there are eight on this block alone) range in style from Georgian to ultramodern, head across the street to survey the scene.

With the entire back wall removed, the home can’t be resuscitated. It’s nearly tipping over. But Morgante and Wilson know that a host of developers would be pleased to buy the land and throw up a new McEyesore in its place. And, from across the street, guess who would have the best view? The couple’s intervention seemed only natural.

What happens next, in this old house tale, has to do with reinvention and real life. Not to mention a love story.

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Artful Tension

Chicago Tribune
Artful Tension
By Tiffany Meyers, September 5, 2010

Every art lover knows: Creative expression, whether it’s museum-quality paintings or videos by Madonna, is sometimes about making you squirm. Hang a few provocative pieces on the walls of your home, and you’ve got a different kind of challenge — how to incorporate edgy artwork into an interior that’s welcoming and happy; and whether you should take down your precious paintings when mom and dad stop by for a visit.

For Jeanne Landolt Masel, owner of the online gallery shiftartgallery.com, the answers came easy. In the loft home she shares with husband Dennis Masel, she has created a space that puts the couple’s art collection center stage. And she wholeheartedly embraces the reactions from visitors. Masel’s eclectic collection includes work by emerging artists, African masks and contemporary urban art from the likes of Paul Insect, D*Face and Banksy, the British street artist whose identity remains unknown.

In terms of temperament, Masel doesn’t fit the profile of an iconoclast. She’s cheerful and outgoing. She has stuffed animals, for goodness’ sake. But the girl does enjoy a little indictment of contemporary culture. At a recent party, her piece by D*Face, which depicts the Statue of Liberty with a clown nose and makeup, sparked debate among friends, including one whose sense of patriotism it offended.

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