The online team arrived in Chicago on Tuesday. Our mission? To photograph every square inch of Urban Oasis 2011 and interview HGTV designer Vern Yip for the virtual apartment tour, scheduled to launch on August 1. I’ll admit that soaking up a bit of Chicago flavor was also on our checklist of to-dos. (I highly recommend Michael & Louise’s Hopleaf Bar if you’re ever in the Uptown area and yearning for a neighborhood atmosphere and new-fashioned comfort food).
You’re probably hoping for a few tidbits about the apartment. I can say this: Views are take-your-breath-away spectacular. Every time I peer out the floor-to-ceiling windows, my eyes lock on a new and distinct feature, whether a sailboat drifting along the Chicago River, neo-baroque spires atop an early 20th-century office building or the distant beam of the Chicago Harbor Light, a sight that commands attention as it stands sentry at the mouth of the Chicago River. This city is steeped in history and cultural diversity. I sense that a resident may only scratch its surface in the first few years of living here.
Vern Yip’s interior design celebrates the city’s architectural heritage (think Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie School and a focus on natural themes). Interiors are comfortable and welcoming − every nook, cranny and accessory has an interesting story of its own to tell.
We wrap up our shoot today. After a few rainy, cold days, the sun is re-emerging and summer temps are returning to the Windy City. I have to admit that I will be sad to leave, but look forward to sharing more details with you − including a Q&A with Vern − in the days to come.