Q&A with BGD&C’s Rodger Owen for American Lifestyle Magazine:
To focus on the Lincoln Park Transitional project: how did this project first come about and what were the overall goals?
The clients were originally looking at another development project when we met. We happened to have a 60’ lot available in Lincoln Park at the time and presented them the option to build custom with us. They ultimately decided the location was perfect (they happened to live close by) and that building with us was their best opportunity for getting the quality of home they wanted.
In terms of goals, first and foremost, the home owner wanted this to be a family home, which meant comfortable, easy living and plenty of kid- and family-friendly spaces. There were also specific requests for an abundance of natural light, and a spa-like indoor swimming pool the family could enjoy year-round.
Each room of the house is kind of its own world, but you’ve managed to maintain flow and consistency throughout the rooms, as well. What is your strategy in a home with such an open concept?
Good space planning and maintaining continuity throughout with materials and site lines creates a space that’s very pleasant and relaxing for the eye.
In the bathrooms and kitchens, specifically, you opted for longer pieces of furniture (countertops, shelving, etc.). What does this shape and style of furniture bring to a space visually, as opposed to taller pieces?
We worked closely with the clients and their interior designers to accommodate their design vision for each space, including furniture. I think the outcome visually opens up the space by creating these long horizontals that draw your eye through the rooms.
The stone accent wall in the pool area (with the hints of gold) is a really interesting focal point. What was the decision behind including this in that space?
This is a unique, custom-fabricated panel that is back lit with 100s of LED lights. It becomes a piece of art in the space and definitely has that ‘wow’ factor.
The children’s rooms are fun and whimsical, but still look very put together and sophisticated. What is your best piece of advice for people who want to bring energy and color into a room without making it look over the top or messy?
I like to see adequate and convenient storage that can accommodate different stages as children grow and their interests and needs change. Display areas for projects provide color and whimsy but help maintain a sense of order.
You went for a lot of natural wood finishes and accents in the Lincoln Transitional project. What can elements like this do for a space, especially in an urban setting?
The specific selection of the finishes was worked out with the homeowner and their interior designer, Steve Kadlec of Kadlec Architecture + Design, with the goal of creating a very organic and peaceful feeling home. I think this was absolutely achieved and the outcome is a city home that still feels very connected to the outdoors.
How does the environment of Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Gold Coast neighborhoods influence your work? Is there a style of design and architecture unique to this area?
The urban environment in general demands a more sophisticated outcome regardless of style. You will see many homes with much more interesting and costly exterior materials for example. We strive to uphold that level of quality and sophistication in everything we do.
What makes your firm stand out among other design or building firms in Chicago, and across the country?
I feel the main difference that sets us apart is that we only do custom homes, never spec projects. Which means our entire business is focused exclusively on our clients and providing them with unique homes that fulfil their needs and wants. We aren’t distracted by other projects that might take our time away from our main focus.
See this home in its’ entirety here.
- Architecture, Design + Construction: BGD&C
- Chicago Custom Home Builder: BGD&C
- Interior Design: Kadlec Architecture + Design
- Photography: Nathan Kirkman