Katherine Elizabeth Designs Brings the Spirit of the 20’s to a Modern Music Room

Katherine Elizabeth Designs Brings the Spirit of the 20’s to a Modern Music Room

After an invitation to participate in the Adler Showhouse for charity, Katie Wozniak and Kathleen Glynn, AIA were presented with an opportunity to create a whimsical, yet sophisticated design for this architectural landmark.


“Showhouses are many things: One of which is a fun way to allow yourself to design in different directions." says Kathleen about the project. 

This historic, landmark property was designed by renowned architect David Adler as a home for the cultural society of Chicago. Today, it is open to the public after a years long restoration project.

At the heart of the KED approach to design is a belief that every home and every project should be uniquely personal to the client. In the case of Adler, Kathleen and Katie created a fictional heroine as inspiration, a young lady ideally suited to the spirit of the home.

A story was built around this fictional client, an elegant, cultivated young musician with the need for a one of a kind music room for both rehearsal and reprieve. The use of bright cheerful colors, rich wood tones, soft metallics and playful patterns makes this space fitting for a young adult with a large imagination. Her space includes a perfectly sized music room, bathroom and vestibule that connect this space to the rest of the home.

Magical moments and creative inspiration came together to bring this room to fruition; the first being a call from a local client who had a baby grand antique piano they no longer needed. Serendipity! This unusual piece was hand-crafted by a German piano maker in Chicago in the 1920’s and after a careful restoration, the decorative art deco carvings and rich wood tones is what inspired the unique choices of patterns, shapes, and forms throughout the room.

Look up! The ceiling is covered in an intricate faux finish, created with thousands of glass beads and crystals. An art deco chandelier throws a 20’s inspired starburst of light across the ceiling.

Adler on the Park Music Room

The pink walls balanced with edgy fabrics and the rich deep raspberry red of the daybed adds a bold and striking element to this sweet room. The team partnered with The Vale of London fabrics designed by Melinda Marquardt. As described by her website the fabrics are, “an effortless blend of traditional and modern, masculine and feminine, sophisticated and edgy,– an accurate reflection of its founder – American-born, London-bred, global-minded, Melinda Marquardt.  The KED team designed a series of pillows for the bed, each one more unique than the next. 



The details of the room cannot be overlooked. An 18th century conductor stand adds architectural interest, while a collection of antique and modern mirrors are layered together in a way that is both functional for the practicing musicians and visually stunning. 

The floral rug offsets all the color and injects a modern feel to the room, while the handcrafted ottoman, which was personally designed by the KED team provides youthful comfort to the space.

Each wall features pieces of art, such as a wall-length, ombre fiber piece by artist Lauren Williams commissioned for this project. A modern take on the art of Josef Ablers delivers a hint of the Bauhaus movement to the room, inserting a contemporary study of color. Stephen Wilson’s handcrafted embroidery pieces feature the bold brands of modern haute couture.

The feminine aesthetic is showcased in the bathroom. The hot pink and light blue Amy Haywood painting that hangs over the toilet is meant to draw the public into this space to discover the beautiful colors, flowered branches, and intricate details that made this space magical. The bathroom is painted in soft pink cherry blossoms with a silver background. The blossoms curl throughout the room and create a whimsical yet lady-like ambience.

The vestibule also sparkles. A faux finish of silver beaded crystals was in-cased within the original molding of the space, which twinkle under an antique chandelier our team restored themselves.

Katie, Kathleen, and Isabella, together with the KED team, are thrilled with the results of this project. We'd love to invite you to experience in person. Adler on the Park has been extended into June 2022. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Many of the items used to furnish this space are available for purchase. Shop the Adler on the Park Collection.


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