Wendy Labrum Interiors

Labrum’s fondness for layered architectural envelopes and large-scale patterns, combined with her deft hand at mixing design genres and touches of mellow sheen, yields environments that are always comfy, classic and warm.

All photos by Heather Talbert

Why leave home when the wallpaper can bring the great outdoors to you? This sentiment must have been widely shared in 2020, at least among those lucky enough to live with scenic wallcoverings. In this intimate dining room on Chicago’s North Shore, the custom paper, from A New Wall, “really dictated the design direction for the entire space,” says Chicago-based designer Wendy Labrum. “Everything else is a contrasting or complementary element that plays off the paper.” These elements include a global selection of objects, from chairs in the style of Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh furniture to a bronze carriage lantern and a windowed cabinet — antiques sourced on 1stDibs. Labrum chose a pastoral theme and doubled down on it with rustic pottery in restful neutrals, all the better to let the mind wander.

“I love the juxtaposition of the formality inherent in the antique French style of the custom dining table and the organic tone of the Jeanneret-style chair, which had its origins in Chandigarh, India.”

Key design move?

“This project exhibits a more contemporary brand of traditionalism that so many people are craving. It has elements of formality and a lot of casual comfort, but assembled in a way that feels collected, unique and specific to them.”

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