The Residences: Restoring a Century-Old House For Modern Comfort

When renovating period homes, there must always be a balance between introducing contemporary luxuries and staying true to the house’s character. This is precisely what Illinois-based interior designer Kate Marker accomplished when she restored their historic century-old family home.

“The space is inviting and warm while honouring the vintage details of the home,” Kate shares. “The property consists of very large rooms, so I wanted a light and bright neutral palette to be soothing and cohesive as the spaces flow into each other.”

She adds, “The textures and details provided by the home’s original architecture, such as the detailed plaster crown moulding, bluestone floors, and lead steel windows, provide authenticity, yet allow for modern comfort that a family home today desires – 100 years after the home was built.”

Take a peek inside Kate’s beautiful home that reflects her signature style: Classic interiors with a fresh, modern feel.


To achieve a timeless style, Kate believes in layering and juxtaposing classic pieces with modern silhouettes and adding a curated selection of decor and accessories. “To me, timeless style means a mix of old and new… spaces become dated if they channel the trends of one time,” the interior designer shares.

For the kitchen, painted cabinets became the ideal backdrop for showcasing luxury brass cabinet hardware. Featuring Armac Martin’s Washwood Knob with Backplate and Washwood Pull in a polished brass unlacquered finish, the golden hardware gleams beautifully against the dark green palette.

Paired with chic decor, the kitchen looks exquisite but still welcoming. Striking hand-glazed tiles from the designer’s Kate Marker Homes collection, in collaboration with The Fine Line Tile Showroom, adds a touch of opulence to the area. “We spend most of our time in the kitchen; it is adjacent to our family room and breakfast nook, so we start and end our days in this open concept room.”

Coffee Bar

In one corner of the kitchen is this stunning coffee bar. The painted sage cabinets and polished brass from Armac Martin’s Washwood collection mirror the rest of the space, but it opens to reveal a unique nook and clever storage that holds the coffee essentials and coffee machine. It even includes a mini sink!


This stylish en-suite is brimming with personality with the addition of modern wallpaper by Hygge and West. Shades of white and grey keep the look clean and create a bright, open space. To complement the statement wallpaper, Kate chose marble surfaces and a hint of rattan panelling on the vanity, accentuated by the Latchford Knob in polished nickel by Armac Martin.

Dressing area and closet

To make a house feel like a home, Kate says consideration should be given to rugs, window treatments, and artwork as much as furnishings, hardware, and finishes. “These items are often overlooked but truly bring the personalisation and warmth to a room,” the designer shares.

Kate utilised this beautifully curved archway for her closet to serve as the entrance. She kept it immaculately white and polished and added texture using Chevron cabinets, jewel tones, and polished brass hardware like Armac Martin’s Leebank Knob.

Like her closet, Kate’s dressing area is also minimalist and refined. The polished brass gleams beautifully when the sun hits, adding a hint of luxury to the room. She chose a corner bathed in natural light to make getting ready easier.

Reimagining old residences into modern living spaces might be tricky but well worth the effort. For inspiration, check out An Elegant Update to a 1920s Weatherboard Home by Carla Salsone, Rebuilding a 1970s House into A Stylish, Modern, Abode, and The Old Rectory. Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss out on the latest from Gregory Croxford Living.