We have a project that we need to get onto for 2021. It has long been on our to do list, and that is restoring the original knoll curtains that hang in most rooms of the Frost House. They have water stains, look like they need their hems dropped, and need some sewing to make the curtain hooks all hang at the same height. We have put it off as we can’t find someone that wants to touch them. We need to look further, and research a little harder. We are determined to get these looking refreshed in 2021.
Paul McCobb Built-ins
When we bought the house we were handed a Sales Brochure that described details about the designers behind Alside Homes. The Relator failed to mention in the listing some of these critical details, like the one where it states that the Interior Design was a collaboration between Paul McCobb and Knoll. Knoll were responsible for the curtains and furniture. Paul McCobb had designed all the built-ins including the kitchen cabinets, the vanities, the glass partitions and the glass itself, along with wardrobes and bookshelves. Here is a look through the house and all it’s different built-ins. As an FYI, Paul McCobbs designs have all been handed over to Form Portfolios – you can see what’s available here. Paul’s designs are highly sort after still to this day, and some have entered back into production.
So here we go with the listing of all the pieces he created for Alside. Starting in the main living room – here is his entertainment center. The styling of the shelves has evolved, these were taken not long after we moved into the house, and things had been shoved into a nook waiting for its final placement.
These are the glass partitions that separate the main living room from the front entry, and hide / hint at the ‘office’ writing desk.
And our favorite glass partitions can be found in the principal bedroom, dividing the dressing area from the sleeping area.
And we have to call out the vanities in the dressing area in the principle bedroom, they have an incredible golden glow in the evening. Slide to see the transition from a day to night look.
And just a few of the other rooms, the guest bathroom and the bunk room.
And there you have it a view into the world of built-ins by Paul McCobb for Alside Homes.
Visiting the Farnsworth house is on all design lovers list, and is often referred to as a pilgrimage. Having dinner at the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois is a religious experience (for design geeks). A few years ago we were invited to a dear friends birthday dinner celebration, we were beyond delighted, and we were going to move any engagements to make sure we could make it. The invitation was for dinner at the worlds most gorgeous floating glass box in the woods, it was at the one and only Farnsworth House, and is an event that will not be easily forgotten. A bus trip from downtown Chicago shuffled us from one Mies building to another, and to what is often called his masterpiece. We spent a beautiful Summer evening dining on the patio, and enjoying cocktails as we freely walked around and enjoyed the house. At one point, we found several of us piled into the bathroom having a conversation about all the details with a glass of wine in hand. We might have even cheekily called each other from the operating rotary phone in the bedroom. It was the night that the Frost House got to meet the Farnsworth House. We frequently joke that if IKEA was to make a version of the Farnsworth, it would likely be the Frost House.
This Summer, for a hot-minute we contemplated selling the Frost House and buying another house around the corner. An incredible Architect Designed home on our favorite street in Michigan City – Kenwood. It is filled with mid-century modern homes in a short stretch. All designed by one architect Ken Fryer. Our neighbors on Kenwood called us about selling their home. We went over for a tour. The house that was up for sale was the first berm house in Michigan City. It was originally built in the 1960s for Dr. William Hall (a Dentist), who later had his Architect son add a small addition to accommodate his in-home dental office. Anyway, the short of the story is, there was no room for a pool. So we passed on the idea, but we did let some other neighbors know about the home. We connected them with the owners and a sale was made. Lucky for us – we get to visit the house and cocktail in the sunken lounge. Here are some photos from the walk-thru that we did earlier in the Summer of 2020. We will share some updates, as soon as our neighbors are finished with the renovations. OH! And great news – you will be able to rent it for a weekend get away. Stay tuned … we will let you know when it is available.
This house is filled with loads of original features, and the new owners are preserving them. The Kitchen built in bench is a favorite. Along with the sunken lounge room, and that incredible custom fireplace. People this house is a stunner. It is essentially a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom home. There is a lovely space for a family TV room, and the dental office makes for a great home office. This is another fabulous gem in Michigan City and we are glad that it will be available for rent so people can experience it for themselves. They don’t make them like this anymore. I mean check out that sky-light.
In 2020 our backyard was our savior. It gave us sanity, and a place to socially distance safely with small groups of friends. With travel budgets not required we poured our cash into our garden, like many people. We spent the money on finally making the pool garden connect to the original garden and house. You see, our pool is on a separate lot. Dr. Frost purchased the land so he didn’t have to have a traditional home go up next to his modernist master piece. It sat empty all these years. The minute we realized it came with the house – we yelled ‘POOL’. The pool planning started immediately, we purchased the house in May 2016 and had found someone to install the pool a few months later come Spring the following year. By the following May 2017 we had a pool in the ground and were swimming. We worked with Julie DeLeon of Ground Work – Designs to pull the garden plan and pool placement together. Our budget was drained with all the fencing and landscaping that was required. We never went ahead with the original plans to have stairs to the pool added. The house garden abruptly ended, and it required you to walk across a sloping lawn to the pool deck. Well, we finally got the stairs installed in 2020, and the garden around the house finally connects to the pool. We can walk from the bedroom to the pool with no shoes on. Our mission is accomplished and we are please with how it turned out.
The plans were hotly debated on concrete, wood or stone. It took us forever to agree on the final materials. We really like how they turned out and can’t wait to see it next year once the trees, shrubs and ground cover have grown in. They were worth the wait. It has quickly become a favorite spot to cocktail or read in peace and quiet, with a seating spot for one.
A quick look back at the garden when we had no stairs. A big improvement don’t you think? Oh and yes – we keep adding to our Schultz outdoor furniture collection. We are thinking we might add a dining table under the maple and maybe a fire-pit? We will see what that unused area of lawn turns into. Stay tuned.
Frost House Wedding
The daughter of the Frost family (Patty) reached out to us and shared a few family photos recently. They are some snap shots from her wedding that took place at the Frost House. Apparently the ceremony was held in the living room, and it was followed by a reception at the local country club. We love that they not only show some history of the original occupants of the house, but they give a glimpse into the garden. We had heard, and we can see some remnants, that a Dogwood existed by the front door. These photos provide proof of the tree, and show what it looked like growing up through the black steel beams along the front walkway. Oh, and look – there is a peek at some yew hedges that are no longer there along the side of the house.