Tour Giuliana & Bill Rancic’s Beautiful Chicago Brownstone

When I read that E! host, Giuliana Rancic, was leaving the E! show and moving to Chicago where she and husband, Bill, currently own two restaurants (RPM Italian and RPM Steak) I wondered what kind of home they would choose. Their last home was decorated in a fairly traditional style so I couldn’t wait to see what Giuliana had in mind for her new home. The Rancic’s chose a wonderful old brownstone dating back to 1880 and asked designer, Lonni Paul to help with the interior.

Giuliana & Bill Rancic

 

A brownstone home can sometimes feel dark since they are often sandwiched in between other brownstones which prevents having windows down either side. To keep things light and bright during the cold rainy Chicago winters, Giuliana and her designer went with a light palette for the interior, combining linen fabrics in soft blue with lots of white. The draperies are linen with a light, blue floral pattern.

There’s a lot of symmetry going on in this room with matching wall sconces, windowpane wingback chairs and urns for the fireplace mantel. You’ll see a lot of contemporary art as we tour the home. It creates a fun contrast with the traditional furnishings.

Giuliana & Bill Rancic Living Room in Chicago Home

 

The kitchen is beautiful with gorgeous Calcutta marble for the countertops and backsplash. You know right now this kitchen will never feel dated or out-of-style. This is a timeless design that will look great in twenty years.

I see a pot filler over their Wolf range, so convenient! I wonder if that’s a wine cooler or sub-zero glass-front refrigerator to the right of stove? As close together as the shelves are inside, I’m guessing it may be a wine cooler. I wonder where the refrigerator is…must be out-of-view in this picture. Oh, I see the breakfast room there in the distance; let’s go check it out!

Giuliana & Bill Rancic's Kitchen in Chicago Home

 

A built in banquette was added to the breakfast area. This is a nice spot for breakfast with lots of great wake-you-up sunshine streaming in.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Home Breakfast Room

 

Giuliana and Bill enjoy collecting art and chose a mix of eclectic pieces for their home. I think I would have preferred a grouping for this wall above the sofa. This piece seems to mimic the shape/length of the sofa too much, it just doesn’t feel right to me. I can envision a beautiful arrangement of paintings or prints above the sofa or maybe a mix of family photos. What do you think? Do you like the limo print here?

Love the ottoman coffee table. I saw one that looked so much like this in Marshalls a few months ago and the price was a steal. I was so tempted to buy it, but I resisted since I really had no place for it.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Art in Chicago Breakfast Sitting Area

 

I’m crazy about the damask pattern they chose for the wall! At first I thought it was wallpaper but the information I found doesn’t say if it’s wallpaper or hand-painted. I’m leaning toward wallpaper because the pattern is so regular and consistent. What do you think?

One of the things I love about the design is it feels wonderfully old, like a paper that could have been original to the home and was uncovered during a restoration. The beautiful chandelier is from Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting.

Giuliana & Bill Rancic's Blue Wallpapered Dining Room in Chicago Home

 

The Rancics added a cozy library to their brownstone.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Home Library

 

The blue pallet we saw in the living room continues here in the master bedroom with silk wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries. The wood and iron bed is from Bernhardt, as are the side tables.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Master Bedroom

 

The master bedroom also has a sitting area.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Master Bedroom Sitting Area

 

Their bathroom and master closet is two stories tall! I’ve never seen a design like this. The bathroom is huge and what a fabulous shower. Their designer, Lonni Paul, created the tile design seen on the shower wall.

Giuliana & Bill Rancic's Chicago Master Bath

 

The upstairs has additional closet space and storage. If they wanted to keep this area open to the downstairs, I wonder why they didn’t glass in that section of the floor so you could walk across it. I’ve seen that done before in some of the “extreme” homes showcased on HGTV. They either used a really strong glass or plexiglass, something like that, and you could walk right on it. Has anyone else seen that done?

This just seems like so much wasted space, having it walled off this way. I probably would have just kept it closed and put a big island with drawers, etc… in the middle, but then I’m super practical when it comes to closets. I’m sure they wanted the extra light streaming into the bathroom below from the skylight above.

Giuliana and Bill Rancic's 2 story bath and closet

 

Duke’s nursery/bedroom is adorable! He must really be into planes. So cute!

Giuliana & Bill Ranci Son Duke's Bedroom Nursery in Chicago

 

Duke has his own playroom, too!

Giuliana Rancic Son's Playroom in Chicago Home

 

The guest room has a feminine feel and is soft and serene with pink wallpaper from Mary McDonald for Schumacher..

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Guest Room in Chicago Home

 

The media room includes a pair of chaise lounges for comfortable movie watching.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Media Room

 

The back of the Rancic’s home was designed for entertaining. Look at those great lanterns! Wouldn’t it be awesome if they were electrified and automatically came on in the evening. Wouldn’t be surprised!

Giuliana Rancic's Chicago Patio for Entertaining

 

I love the combination for the red brick and wood in this space. I wonder if they have a grassed backyard behind this area. Since it’s not open at all to the back, it may not face out onto a yard. It looks like that back wall may have been designed to block the view of whatever is behind it.

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Deck Oudoor Room in Chicago

 

Heat lamps were installed in the ceiling so this area can be used even during the cold Chicago winters. Amazing!

Giuliana & Bill Ranci's Chicago Home Patio & Deck

 

You can see more of this beautiful home and read more about its design at Traditional Home where these pictures were found.




 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 



Comments

  1. I agree that the limo picture seems out of place. Overall I loved how the home is decorated and the kitchen is to die for! Vikki in VA.

  2. I love just about every single thing in the beautiful home. I watched their show and was so excited to see the house in Chicago being renovated. I was hoping they would show the house done and here it is!! Thanks so much for sharing,
    Kathysue

  3. The house is beautiful, no doubt. But doesn’t it seem like all these celebrity homes follow a formula? How often have we seen a variation of that kitchen in every decorating magazine? I really love the houses, cottages, and porches of “real” people you show us…that have the owners’ personalities shining in every room. (With ideas we can copy!!!). But I did enjoy the tour.

  4. Well, it’s absolutely gorgeous….however, I too do not like the limo picture above the couch…everything else; the couch the ottoman etc were lovely but the picture just doesn’t go….thanks for sharing this tour but it’s WAAYYYY out of my league for trying to incorporate in to my little home…LOL….It’s fun to see how celebrities live though…

  5. Waaaay too ulta modern decor for me. I don’t care for white, let alone in a kitchen, although I know that some people do. The dining room wasn’t bad however; I did like the blue wallpaper.

  6. It’s very nice. That said, is there any color used besides blue being used in homes currently?? I cannot tell one house from another. It’s like grown up version of peer pressure in high school, I won’t be cool unless I have blue!

    • Is that the “in” color these days? I remember when gray was…didn’t realize it had moved to blue. 🙂

    • Regality (aka The Quing) says:

      We are in an era of what I call “6B decorating”: black, beige, brown, blue, blanc, and blah. It’s easy (read “lazy”) decorating. Everything goes with everything else. It takes little thought. And yet, ask anyone what their favorite color is, you’ll get the full range of colors that nature has gifted us with. Why don’t they surround themselves with those colors?

      The best I can say for 6B is that it is relaxing (boring). For those in high pressure jobs, this is a plus. For me, I’d fall asleep the instant I walked through the front door.

      Do you get the feeling this is one of my major pet peeves? LOL

      • lol I have to remember that…6B decorating. 🙂 I was watching a very old video on You Tube the other day. It was one I’d seen before but I got sucked in again and couldn’t resist watching it. Mario Buatta was being interviewed and judging how young he looked and the hairstyle/clothing of the woman who was interviewing him, it must have taken place during the 70’s or early 80’s. Anyway, she was asking him questions about his process when someone hires him to do their home and he was hilarious. I can’t remember now exactly how he worded it but he basically said that he is a mess in the beginning and that it takes him a while to get his bearings and figure out what he’s doing. He can be so self-deprecating! But he sounded like he meant it and it reminded me of how I am when I’m trying to decorate a room from scratch. It was funny to hear Mario Buatta saying that, though! 🙂 Anyway, your comment just reminded me of how complicated his rooms are. There are always so many fabrics, trim, accessories, etc.. So much going on, which I love…and it takes a very talented decorator/designer to pull all that together. You don’t see that many designers doing those type rooms anymore, maybe because it’s just not what folks want. I wouldn’t want my whole house to be that way, but I do love his over-the-top bedrooms.

  7. Charlotte says:

    Loved the dining room, and the wallpaper is gorgeous. Also loved the entertaining area, and how it can be used in the winter. Enjoyed the tour as always, but this home is far from a favorite!

  8. I haven’t watched their show for a while but I always wondered where they would ultimately decide to live since Bill loved Chicago and Giuliana loved LA. I guess they finally made their choice.

  9. I could fit half my house in their bathroom or kitchen. Anyone can make a big house beautiful, it is the small house that is a challenge and a joy to create.

  10. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I liked some of the rooms and others were a little sterile,but a lot of people like the contemporary style and this was a little of that. The colors were okay they flowed all through the house,but they were very warm.The childs room was adorable. Everyone has their own style and your home should resemble who you are so, i guess that’s who they are. Thanks for the tour.

  11. Entertaining area is nice – the rest, cookie-cutter.

  12. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I think it is a little too contemporary for me but, the little boys room was really cut. Thanks Susan for the tour.

  13. Hi Susan,

    Totally agree with you on the glass “wall” in the closet. I’m thinking for some reason they wanted the bathroom to feel more spacious hence the high glass ceiling – otherwise why would they have done that? Like you said, you could put a glass floor that could be walked on…..like they do in the South Pacific or boats when they want you to be able to see the ocean floor. That would have also enabled the light from the skylight to flow into the bathroom below. Also agree on the limo lithograph above the sofa. Don’t care for it. Other than that….a GREAT space/home.

    Trish

  14. I love almost everything about the house. Perhaps the limo picture looks better in person. I love the colors in it. Also, Susan, you wonder why they didn’t floor the upper bathroom opening with plexiglass. Think about how it would scratch if you walked on it after time. I would not want it floored either. You would lose that wonderful light!

    • I’ve seen homes on HGTV that had entire hallways done in glass. I don’t think it was plexiglass, though. I believe it was real glass made especially for that so it was really heavy duty. It was pretty amazing and I remember they said it took some getting used to…walking on glass. lol It may have been on that show about extreme homes.

  15. Well, I guess everyone has their own taste, this isn’t for me. Too modern and kinda sterile looking. I love houses that show the owners personality. Love the entertaining area though. Would not like having to go upstairs to that closet, instead of the glass floor, why not a stairway, or better yet, an elevator!!!! Go big or go home:):):)

  16. I think that when you have to decorate an entire home at one time it always looks too decorated. We all live in homes that have evolved over time with bits and pieces of ourselves, our family and our friends as well as memories of trips and vacations. I would like to see this home in 5 years, after the family has had time to put their personality on display and not just the decorator’s shopping trip. How long do you think it will be before those poofs in the breakfast room turn into comfortable chairs? I can see those relocated to the closet.

    • Exactly! I so agree! I would love to see it in a few years, too…after they’ve had time to really make it their own. I do love houses that have evolved, where things don’t “match” but somehow all work great together. That’s probably why I’m drawn to English Country style so much. It always has that “collected” look…or at least it does in older homes.

  17. I love it. Althpough it looks ‘just made’ to order. Yes, I too would love to see it warmer where it shows personal things all over the house.
    The décor of a home evolves through the years and it shows your personality to it’s best! I know, cause ours is such a difference from photos of twenty years ago. Still I really enjoyed the tour.
    Thank you so much sweet Susan.
    Hugs,
    FABBY

  18. Wow what a stunning tour! They have fabulous taste…each room just kept getting better and better. I have to say though I was not feeling the artwork.

  19. I thought the renovation fit them and were still a reflection in a contemporary way of this old home. It is not easy to do! I loved the dining room and kitchen. I would have enjoyed seeing more personal touches in the less public rooms. It wouldn’t surprise me if those were there when photographers weren’t.

  20. Do you happen to know the paint color names?

    • Joyce, I didn’t notice that being mentioned in the article, but click on that link for Traditional Home at the end of the post and you may see it mentioned. I just didn’t see it when I was reading about the house, but I may have missed it.

  21. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Except some of the art, which is gauche. The limo, anyway. Not fond of the arrow painting either. That house deserves so much better.

  22. I just read the article in my TH yesterday…and their home is so beautiful…I so love the blues that they incorporated in their design!

  23. Looks like a wonderful home and respite from the busy city life. I actually don’t know who they are but it looks like they’re living the life! I recognized those lanterns- they are from Restoration hardware and I’m guessing the candles have timers so they can run automatically. That upstairs closet is very interesting. I bet they created that glass enclosure just for the purpose of natural light but it does seem odd how they did it.

  24. Dear God Suzan lol – It was almost too much beauty at one time – I don’t even know where to start here but every one of the photos just kept getting better – stunning home – thanks so much for sharing – off to pin !
    xxx

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!

*