Text: Bruna Nessif | August 6, 2015
Wish you could get a glimpse into Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s lavish home? Well, wish no more, friend, because we’ve got you covered.
The couple’s chic Chicago home is featured in the latest issue of Traditional Home magazine (on newsstands Aug. 11), and E! News has the exclusive sneak peek and details behind what went into creating the perfect Midwest manor for the famous duo and their son Duke Rancic.
With the help of interior designer Lonni Paul, who previously put her expertise to work on their Brentwood, Calif., home, and contractor Bert Connelly, Giuliana and Bill were able to make this 1880s brownstone in the Windy City’s Gold Coast neighborhood their own.
But where do you even start?! “Bill and I decide on how to decorate our home based on a feeling,” Giuliana tells E! News. “In this particular instance we were designing a home in downtown Chicago and wanted to stay true to a city feel, but still have a home that would wrap its arms around us and was a comfortable environment to raise our son.
“We believe we achieved this by creating an atmosphere that was cool and chic yet inviting and cozy.”
And since the pair have worked with Paul before, it was that much easier to accomplish the right feel in their home. “I’ve worked with Giuliana for years, so I really do understand her design aesthetic and she doesn’t need to use inspiration photos for us to be on the same page,” Lonni tells us.
“She loves traditional lines but always wants something unique and different. What I love as a designer is that she allows the space to indicate the direction of the design but always wants to add something bold and unexpected. One thing people may not know is that Giuliana has an incredible eye for contemporary art and is quite the art aficionado.”
Regardless, some rooms were harder to complete than others. “As a fashion designer and fashionista, Giuliana was passionate from the start that she wanted the dining room to have a bold wall covering and be a real jewel in the home. We went through dozens of wall coverings until we found this one and she absolutely fell in love with it. Giuliana loved the fact that it was feminine yet still masculine enough to appeal to Bill and knew it would make the dining room a fashionable focal point in their home.”
Speaking of fashion, Giuliana’s closet is quite the masterpiece itself. In fact, her clothing quarters was designed by the same visionary behind Khloe Kardashian’s insane fitness closet!
However, G’s closet isn’t her favorite room in the house (although, to be fair, it’s kinda part of her favorite room).
“I absolutely love every inch of the house but if I had to choose one I would say our master bedroom,” Rancic explains. “It is a soothing shade of blue and the cathedral ceilings are absolutely incredible. Every time I open my eyes in the morning in that room I just smile and know I’m going to have a good day and I’m where I am meant to be.”
And although the master holds a special place in her heart, y’all already know the kitchen had to be decked out to the fullest.
“Growing up in an Italian family and having Mama DePandi as a mother, who’s an amazing chef, I certainly made the kitchen a priority. Bill is also a great cook and he designed the kitchen to have a beautiful, big island where family and friends can convene and eat our meals together. We cook every night or bring in food from one of our two restaurants, RPM Italian and RPM Steak, and have a big feast on the island!”
Along with being a great cook, Bill has an eye for decorating, too. Oh yes, this stud was very hands-on when it came to helping bring this two-year project to completion.
“Bill has impeccable taste and was the driving force behind the project,” Paul tells E! News. “He has a keen eye and loves high quality which is apparent in the home’s appliances and fixtures. He certainly is not one to cut corners in any the homes he builds so he hand-picked the Sub Zero refrigerators and Wolf range, which are perfect in the gorgeous kitchen.
“Bill also loves functionality and cutting edge technology. He chose the Hans Grohe Rain Brain system which lets you customize your shower temperature and pressure. They each have their own settings. So cool!”
Uh, yeah! What better way to reflect on your day (or the past 10 years of your life) than under perfectly-temperatured shower water?
“We always work with materials that are indigenous to the region,” Giuliana says when describing the difference between west coast and Midwest style in the home.
“In Los Angeles, our home is by the water so we use a lot of ocean and water references in our decor. In Chicago, the homes are built primarily of brick and stone and look gorgeous with molding and wide plank wood floors. But no matter what city we are living in, one thing remains the same, we always strive for chic and cozy.”
Paul also gushes about her client, mentioning that working with Giuliana is pretty breezy. “Giuliana is one of the easiest, if not the easiest client I have worked with in all the years I’ve been designing homes. She absolutely loves the design process from beginning to end. She is open to ideas and suggestions which, of course, I love as a designer. And she has the most gracious way of saying she doesn’t like something and I love her for it!”
And for those of you who are dipping your toes into home décor, Paul offers this piece of advice: “A home should be a reflection of the people who live there. Personal style, quality and a sense of humor make a house a home.”
For more on Bill and Giuliana’s Chicago pad, pick up a copy of Traditional Home on Aug. 11.