Ellen Hurst, Managing Director For Boffi Chicago, Shares Hew Own Home Renovation Project

Laura Hine | April 1, 2020 | Home & Real Estate

As we're spending more time in our homes these days, it may be time for some new digs for your space. Ellen Hurst, managing director for Boffi Chicago, had a wealth of options to help transform her Old Town townhome into a design dream, and shares her renovation process here.

ELLENHBCHHurst07HIGHRESPE.jpgEllen Hurst in her gorgeous Boffi kitchen, which sets the black-and-white palette for the condo she shares with her husband and baby.

How was it to have yourself as a client?
It was actually great. I knew we would appreciate all of the little details that we designers [Hurst’s husband, Scott, is the design director for Gensler] typically obsess over. And now that it’s complete, we really do appreciate those details. However, we had no shortage of opinions. When we needed a tiebreaker, we called on our dog.

EllenHurstLivingRoom002a.jpgThe condo’s main living area includes iconic pieces like the Circle Chair by Hans Wegner and Eames molded plywood chairs. The built-ins are by Boffi; in the master, the walnut bed is by Pfeifer Studio, the suspended light fixture is the Hot Achille by Ingo Maurer and the painting was Scott’s grandmother’s.

What was your goal with this renovation?
We wanted to maximize the space. We started with a small but efficient floor plan, and then tried to create volume. We took down unnecessary walls to open up the space and added closed storage everywhere to eliminate clutter.

EllenHurstDining003.jpgIn the master, the walnut bed is by Pfeifer Studio, the suspended light fixture is the Hot Achille by Ingo Maurer and the painting was Scott’s grandmother’s.

What did you learn that you can apply to client projects? Don’t be afraid to invest in the things that you touch every day. Your home is your sanctuary and should bring you peace and joy, and not add to the stress of daily life. It’s worth taking the time to get the details right.

Anything you wish you had done differently? We phased the project by priority, which was from the bottom floor on up. In hindsight, we should have gone from the fourth floor down. Drywall dust is literally the worst!

EllenHurst011.jpgThe dining room light fixture is by Serge Mouille, and the table is Saarinen with a white Carrara marble top. The art is a photo Ellen took in Milan.

Biggest triumph? The house is elegant yet casual, minimal but warm. It manages to blend both our styles and influences into something that feels coherent and timeless.



Photography by: Portrait by Katrina Wittkamp; Interiors photographed by Marc Woodcock