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Paul Stuart

Oak Street

Chicago, Illinois

Chain Store Age
Honorable Mention / 2008

Project PDF

Townhouse Reinvention on Chicago's Oak Street


Paul Stuart had been situated for 13 years in a 23,000-square-foot two-level location on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. With occupancy costs rising, it was time to downsize and find ways to increase efficiency. We were asked to assist in finding a new space and in reinventing its operations. When we found a 6,500-square-foot location on Oak Street, a street known for Chicago's best luxury brands, there was an opportunity to achieve a more efficient operation and a more intimate space. The new site had to be open in three months.


To meet the deadline, all design details were quickly prepared and distributed to the contractors in the required sequence of demolition and construction. We converted a residential-scaled former townhouse from the turn of the twentieth century into an intimate, personalized boutique shopping experience. All interior décor finishes, lighting, millwork, and fixtures were redone, and the exterior façade restored.

We widened the narrow scale of the space with an open panel approach. The millwork design includes a weave-pattern motif that is a traditional part of the Paul Stuart brand. We contrasted the millwork against the light-mustard tone of the walls and ceilings, and added deep-rust-colored area rugs and runners by Missoni with bound-leather edges on the restored travertine flooring. This townhouse aesthetic updated the Paul Stuart brand for a new generation. A classic elegance remains, along with the timelessness of genuine luxury. The efficient format allows for more personalized customer service and higher productivity.

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