FOR DECADES THE SUBURBS HAVE BEEN THE SOFT, GOOEY CENTER OF AN OBVIOUS JOKE.
Lambasted for their predictability, an easy taunt by the urban court jester, they have been unfairly dismissed as
beige-on-beige interior design with a polite smile and ample parking. Still, some of design’s most rousing moments
don’t live in brownstones with karate-chopped pillows, or in the high-octane media rooms of downtown penthouses.
Chicago designer Aimee Wertepny unleashed her refined rebellion on the archetype, showcasing an alluring
rendition of suburban living that is strikingly at odds with the ho-hum.
“The whole concept of working in a monochromatic palette and working with highs and lows and different
textures versus colors, that’s what makes me feel good, that’s where my first aesthetic lies,” Wertepny says from her
Wicker Park studio PROjECT Interiors, established in 2005. Layered and captivatingly tactile, the designer’s vibe fires
on an unconventional classicism. It’s a look friend and fellow designer Lauren Warnock brilliantly refers to as “an
organic kind of grit”—where an obedient wooden side table is vamped up with hand-hammered studs, or a set of
foyer doors is inset with rows of vintage leather belts.