Dawn Cook Dawn Cook
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Luxurious fabrics and bold statements of black and white create a feeling of casual elegance in this modern, two-story Chesterland home. An executive at The Romo Group, the homeowner wanted the 6,000-square-foot house to reflect her personal style, but also be livable for her and her two teenage sons.

Dawn Cook, owner of Dawn Cook Design in Shaker Heights, reworked the space so it all felt pulled together and finished. The homeowner had created a great starting point in certain spaces with a lot of beautiful textural neutral fabrics from her company and pieces — specifically from Mexico — inspired by her international travels.

By using natural materials like raffia, leather, wood beading and caning, Cook achieved a sleek modern look. “My client loves things with a mix of California casual and New York chic,” Cook says. “She was definitely a partner in this process. We were able to use her ideas and take them to the next level.”

The renovation included the staircase, foyer, great room, conversation room, a guest suite and the boys’ two bedrooms and connecting bathroom.

The central staircase was totally redesigned including the wood, banisters and spindles to create a more modern look. The total staircase, rebuilt by Woodworks Designs, also featured handcrafted woodwork.

The cowhide rug in the foyer was enhanced with a cement table and woven rattan stools from McGuire, highlighting the layering of textures and materials. A soft flannel material from Romo covered the seats of the stools. The leather-strapping chandelier from Ngala Trading Co. references European high design and African tribal art. “The lighting is the jewelry in any space,” says Cook. “The foyer has so many great elements, but the leather chandelier is definitely the ‘wow’ in the room.”  

The great room was designed around the organic nature and color of a teak table in the room. A white wool rug and a driftwood mirror were added to the black and white chairs and slate blue sofa. “My client loves to entertain so we created a very modern, open concept bar featuring black and white porcelain that tied into the back wall,” says Cook. A black steel door stylishly separates the great room from the foyer and another from the great room to the conversation room.

Another wow-worthy moment is the NanaWall, a folding glass wall system in the great room, producing light-filled spaces and connecting the interior to the exterior. “She has a beautiful outdoor patio and wanted her house to match her level of entertaining,” says Cook “The NanaWall opens all the way up so you can go from the bar to the great room to the outdoor space.”  

The conversation room was created from a small room off the great room which had no purpose. The design centered around a black and white piece of linear art made from wooden sticks by local artist Joe Harcher. Natural-toned curved chairs, a sofa and square metal light fixture gave the room purpose with the black steel door adding a touch of drama.

“Layering is what pulls any design together,” says Cook “You can’t force a design. Whatever you put into these spaces, it has to look like it belongs there.” 

Meet The Designer: Dawn Cook is an award-winning residential and commercial designer. She and her business partner, Linda Mauck Smith of Blulens Design, jointly own BLDC Design Studio based in Shaker Heights. A busy mom of teens and pets, Cook is inspired by quiet moments of peace and finding beauty in all forms of art and design. She also believes all designs deserve a touch of black for balance and animal print for interest.   dawncookdesign  bldcdesign
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