IT'S A SLIVER OF ELEGANCE SHIMMIED INTO THE STINGIEST OF SPACES.
You're just sure nothing could look that perfect. A Hyde Park townhouse whose proud Regency facade is as tantalizing as a dimunuitive blue box from Tiffany: Oh, to see what's inside! Well, it is indeed a jewel to behold; at every turn the luster of brilliance: Small spaces that pack a velvet punch.
The home is the brainchild of Robert and Kay Dean. They and a business partner spotted the forlorn 1920's duplex, home to a variety of critters and vagrants, back in 1979. No reason they couldn't transform their $35,000 investment into a tidy profit. But, after two years of transformation, to Robert's demanding standards, there was no market for the new, expensive gem; so, the Dean's made it home. And, it is concrete proof great taste, bridled by a small space, creates stunning results.
Only 22 feet wide and 38 feet deep, every inch had to count. And it does. Open the black laquered front door to the entrance hall/library/den, a dark, elegant space where the Deans also ingeniously squeezed in a staircase to the upstairs bedrooms, a powder room, and china/silver closet; all so cleverly don you're sure less is INDEED more, the space feeling intimate and inviting rather than cramped.
From there a wide opening leads to the dinging room/office, once again borrowing from space-challenged Manhattan apartments, pressing one room into many uses. To your left, pull on the middle of a large Italian Painting, set into a niche of mirrored storage cabinets, and the painting splits in two... double doors opening to the compact, white marble kitchen.
A columned passage from the dining room opens to a large, light-filled living room where Lucite and Louis XV rub shoulders like old soulmates. Floor to ceiling glass sliders take you to the rear courtyard, another surprise where small really is beautiful.
Here Robert nestled his French-style office into one corner, every square inch so brilliantly orchestrated the Deans have easily entertained a hundred guests in the unfolding enfilade of spaces.
Robert's Dad was an Illinois manager for GM, who commuted daily to the family's farm. Hard work was the norm, but beauty was always close by; Robert's mother set a mean table in a land where harvest moons, and vast fields nuzzling the horizon, made for ceaseless inspiration.
For Robert it all led to a career as a gifted designer. Now in his late eighties he has the energy of a man half his age and is still taking on commissions. OH WHAT A LIFE!