Apartment of Tina Kourasis '96 and Nicholas Pavlidis '98 Profiled in Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine
For an interior designer, being asked to complete a half-finished project that was started by another decorator with a very different aesthetic is a bit like asking Mark Rothko to finish the Sistine Chapel. But that's the challenge that interior designer Marshall Erb faced when he took over the design of Nicholas Pavlidis and Tina Kourasis' Chicago apartment after their first designer, Marija Stephens, a friend of Kourasis' since high school, was killed in an automobile accident. "Most of our projects are ground-up new construction or complete remodels and we're able to do the interior architectural work prior to the furnishings," says Erb. "This was a decorating job. Even the painting had been completed."
Living with a half-empty living room, two young sons (Alex, 7, and Luke, 3) and an unfinished nursery, Kourasis felt she had no choice but to hire another designer to complete the project. At the same time, she wanted to honor Stephens' work. "If you're going to tell me you want to change everything, don't take the project," Kourasis recalls telling Erb. Kourasis and her husband's own aesthetic differences added yet another wrinkle to the project. "My husband likes that Ralph Lauren clubby look. I'm very much a minimalist. It's hard to combine those looks," Kourasis says.
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