Belden-Stratford Project Highlight in Chicago, Illinois | MermetUSA
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Project Highlights

Historic Belden-Stratford Building Installation

Read about this exciting restorative project featuring Mermet E Screen™ Pearl/Grey!

Vintage accents and clean, modern lines featured in each unit of the Belden-Stratford.

Fabric E Screen™ Pearl/Grey
Room Type Apartments
Fabricator Hunter Douglas Architectural
Architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Location Chicago, Illinois
Photo Credits Jim Hamel Photography, Inc.
Digital Sample Card

1920’s glitz and glamor turned luxe apartments - now THAT’S the dream. What once was a hotel in the heart of Chicago has been restored and repurposed into high-end multi-family housing. The mix of 1920’s charm and contemporary residential style makes it one of the most unique apartment buildings in Chicago. With a structure this grand, the windows must measure up, right?


We spoke with Katherine Mills at Green Street Collaborative and Caron Christy at Hunter Douglas Architectural to learn more about the shading installation in the windows of this building. “The vibe is soft, upscale residential.” This means clean lines and a light, bright space to make the units look roomy and grand while adding a level of comfort. The shading system selected for this project, RB 500+ roller shades by Hunter Douglas Architectural, gives that sleek profile while simultaneously enhancing the functionality of the windows in the space. How could you ask for more?


Now for choosing the fabric to go in the shading system, the immediate thought was to select a decorative fabric, like Mermet M Screen™ or T Screen Deco™. But with all the historic and charming accents, you wouldn’t want to distract from the already eclectic accents of the building. Ultimately,  Mermet E Screen™ in Pearl/Grey proved to be the best selection for the installation. This fabric gives classic simplicity while adding texture to the space - a perfect complement to the overall vibe of the historic building.


We spoke with the Design Architect on the project, Jennifer Kleckner of the Solomon Cordwell Buenz firm, to delve deeper into the process of redesigning the building to bring its interiors back to life. SCB (Solomon Cordwell Buenz) partnered with historic architecture firm, Vinci Hamp, to gentrify the building back to its original 1920’s grandeur. “The interior design narrative originated with our muse, Gloria Swanson. This starlet of the silent movie era had once called the Belden-Stratford home. Known for her over-the-top glamor and provocative fashion sense, Gloria inspired us by her choice of jewelry and embellishments as we selected rich fabrics, lace-inspired accents and jewel-like faceted light fixtures that imbue the space with grandeur, drama, and romantic appeal.” The 1920’s style and fashion provided the perfect inspiration for the design elements of the newly restored Belden-Stratford. 


Moreover, Jennifer informed us that the owner of the building especially enjoys the modern minimalism style. “Our goal was to create a distinctive luxury living experience that captures the storied elegance of the Belden-Stratford while providing best in class amenities and the comforts of home with modern finishes at the residences,” Jennifer told us. The style of the space is the perfect transition between old-world and new, incorporating modern design elements into a retro structure. This can especially be seen in the kitchens of the units, featuring a new tile backsplash and shaker cabinets; the light gray color of the cabinets being the inspiration for the roller shade fabric color selection.


Privacy also proved to be an important factor in selecting the fabric for the windows in each unit of the Belden-Stratford. While the living space doesn’t call for quite as much privacy and focuses more on view through, the bedroom needs a more private selection of fabric to ensure the most comfortable living experience. Choosing an openness of 3% for the living rooms and 1% for the bedrooms was the natural course of action in this circumstance, and will protect the valuable privacy of each tenant. 

The selection of Mermet fabric in the windows of each unit has contributed even further to the overall grandeur of this elaborate project. Mermet is honored to now be a part of the long-standing history and character of the Belden-Stratford building. To learn more about the project, please visit here. To discover in detail the shading system used to raise and lower our E Screen™ fabric, please visit here.