Inside Summer Thornton Design’s Chicago Renovation

Given carte blanche by a trusting client, designer Summer Thornton transforms a dreary Gold Coast co-op into a modern second home with serious wow factor.

Summer Thornton Drake Tower Living Room
An eye-catching bamboo silk lapis rug from The Rug Company adds stylish pop to the living room.


Aiming to create a chic pied-à-terre downtown to enjoy with their two young sons, a successful pair of entrepreneurs in their mid-30s turned to star designer Summer Thornton to create a modern take on a classic co-op.

Summer Thornton Drake Tower Boys RoomThe sons’ bedroom is a vision of verdant green thanks to upholstery and Raphaël wallpaper by Scalamandré and carpeting by Stark.


“They wanted something urban, chic and more colorful than what they live with in their primary residence—a design fantasy,” notes Thornton. “They allowed us to take that and translate what that meant.”

Summer Thornton Drake Tower Kitchen“I’m obsessed with the kitchen,” raves interior designer Summer Thornton, noting its incredible spaciousness and daring lacquered red inset cabinets and crimson range.


The kitchen’s original location—smack in the middle of the apartment—meant a lost opportunity to capture the space’s stunning lake view. Thornton’s solution? Moving the kitchen to the front of the apartment, more than tripling its size and opening

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Start planning now for your summer garden

Along with federal income tax forms, seed catalogs arrive in some of the first mail of the new year. And 2021 might be a year when gardeners will want to consider ordering their seeds as soon as possible to avoid potential shortages.

a man sitting in front of a window: Mike Hogan

Mike Hogan

In 2020, consumers saw spikes and shortages throughout many sectors of the economy, including home gardening. Interest in all types of home gardening skyrocketed last year, with sales of seeds and other gardening supplies hitting record highs.

Those items sold out quickly in some areas. Gardeners often found it difficult to locate certain seeds, particularly at retail outlets.

a close up of a pepper: Columbus-based Livingston Seed is prepared for a surge in demand in 2021.

© photo provided by Livingston Seed and they granted permission to publish
Columbus-based Livingston Seed is prepared for a surge in demand in 2021.

Seed companies have increased production capacity to meet an expected increase in demand for 2021. 

Columbus-based Livingston Seed saw an unprecedented spike in packet sales in 2020, and it is poised to respond to increased demand in 2021, said David Sborden, vice president for sales.

Jamie Mattikow, CEO and president of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., one of the largest suppliers of vegetable seeds for home gardeners in the United

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