Introducing the Cornell Condo!

Hello 2018! Where has the year gone? I think I blinked maybe twice and now we’re into March. Time flies when you’re throwing hammers.

So, where has the time gone? We have been working diligently on the Hemingway Project, finally entering Finish Carpentry and watching a house start transforming into a home. Can’t wait for the final reveal folks!

We have also been working on a corporate interiors project downtown!

Then, of course, because it is Fall/Spring, we are being barraged with potential work that needs final pricing. We’ve got some really exciting projects coming up that will be fun to build.

There is also one more significant project that we’ve been working on: MY HOUSE! Well, condo actually…it feels like a house because it is a 2,200 square foot flat spanning half of a City block. My husband and I quickly learned that this is marriage bliss – if one of us is upset at the other, we have to walk HALF A BLOCK to get to the other person before communicating our misgivings. Although, since we have no kids, those misgivings are generally about dinner selection or laundry.

I digress.

Please allow me to formally introduce you to the Cornell Condo:

This 2,200 square foot flat is located in a 3-story masonry building, built in 1918. Located in Chicago’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood, this particular building was developed by the renown Paul Cornell. In the mid-19th century, Paul Cornell purchased 300 acres of land between 51st & 55th street in anticipation of a real estate boom following the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad. During that time, Hyde Park was a rural community boasting stunning views of Lake Michigan and a more temperate climate compared to downtown. The downtown area was located a significant distance from this picturesque neighborhood: an entire seven miles south (hey! That’s a long trip with a horse-drawn carriage!). Paul Cornell’s foresight paid dividends – within less than a decade, Hyde Park was incorporated as an independent township and became the premier resort destination for affluent Chicago residents. Basically, Hyde Park became the Hamptons of the midwest. The neighborhood experienced a real estate boom involving the construction of several lakeside hotels and even more condos serving as pied à terres for the wealthy. The Cornell Condo is one of those  pied à terres.

This project involves the restoration of the original wood mouldings, including an intricate fireplace mantel and solid oak doors. Oak flooring will be refinished to boast its original glory. The plaster walls will be repaired and restored in preparation for a luxury finish application. In addition, our scope incorporates the remodeling of two (2) existing bedroom closets into one Master Closet, the upgrade of the existing Main Hallway Closet into a Cedar Closet, and the installation of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the Living Room, custom designed to maintain the historical integrity of the space.

Here are the Before photos:


Foyer Mirror Circa 1918
Living Room Fireplace Circa 1918
Living Room
Dining Room
Dining Room
Dining Room Coffered Ceiling
Master Bedroom
Guest Bedroom
Master-Guest Bedroom Hallway

So, here we go! Join us on our journey to see how I deal with being on the other side of the Integro experience.

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!


Final Reveal: The Kenwood Kitchen!

Can you believe it? 2017 is coming to an end. What a year it has been!

Three designer bathrooms in Winnetka, an award-winning historical restoration in Hyde Park, a National Historic Landmark Firehouse, a Landscaping transformation in Oak Brook, a Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District Victorian…and the Kenwood Kitchen.

Built in 1903, this 3-story masonry structure features steep roof lines, a wrap-around porch, and showcases over 5,000 square feet of living space. Located in the historic Kenwood neighborhood, this property boasts the rich past – both ancient and recent – that Chicago’s south side has to offer.

Our scope for this project included the remodeling of the Kitchen including new cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and tile. We also upgraded an existing Butler’s Pantry as an extension to the Kitchen.

The interior finishes and woodwork have been immaculately maintained throughout the home so our Designer chose to work with the existing Kitchen footprint. Since this home was built over a century ago, the Kitchen is a small space compared to the scale of the residence. This is because the Kitchen was primarily intended for servants’ use.

The goal of this design was to use the existing space consisting of limited square footage to maximize impact. For this effort, we were fortunate to collaborate with the renown Beverly Hammel.

Upon starting the project, one of our priorities was to improve the temperature control of the space. As such, we intended to remove the plaster walls and install maximum-value insulation into the cavities between the studs.

“…Intended…” is the important word there – after starting to remove the plaster – SURPRISE! There are no studs!


We stood in confused silence for quite a while until it dawned on me – yes, of course! This room is COLD! It is COLD because the Kitchen was in the Basement! This was a COLD pantry! IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE COLD!

It totally messed up our intention to improve the comfort in the space – hey! at least we learned something about history, didn’t we?

The heat situation is another story, and in fact, another project. So, we will end the heat discussion there with that anecdote.

Other than that, we moved on without a hitch in our giddyup.

So, as a final high five to close out 2017, here are the Before & After photos for your (and our) enjoyment:






Thanks to The 606 Studio for our photography.

Thank you to Steve Zavodny and the Beverly Hammel team for providing us with a beautiful design to bring to life.

…and, of course, to our client. Your communication, your “can-do” attitude, your flexibility, your kindness during construction – we loved working with you on this. Kitchen renovations are the most difficult projects to live through and you did it with class, style, and collaboration. Thank you.

Here’s to 2018! We’ll see you all in the new year.

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!


Allyson invited to the Young Entrepreneur Council!

We are excited to announce that our very own Allyson Case has been invited to the Young Entrepreneur Council!

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

Allyson is now among peers such as Joe Fernandez (Klout), Jennifer Fleiss (Rent the Runway), Ryan Holmes (Hootesuite), Jake Nickell (Threadless), Dan Kim (Red Mango), Shane Snow (Contently), and Slava Rubin (Indiegogo).

To date, the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) has received more than 14,000 applications to join the group. Yet fewer than a thousand people can proudly carry the YEC member label.

We are humbled and honored that Integro is being welcomed into the YEC family.

Want to see our projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

Final Reveal: The Oak Brook Project Landscaping!

0 Blog Post Featured ImageWhat can I say? We all thought we’d be done a lot sooner. We started in April, were delayed by the Village until June, finished in August, and were delayed AGAIN by the Village until October…over bushes.

Yes, bushes.

Need to refresh your memory? Here’s a recap of our journey this spring!

So, back to the Village Manager we went for final approval of our…bushes.

Holy schmoly  – we’re not crazy without reason.

The project, itself? Totally awesome – we dug, we built, we planted, we lit. We were forced to do it all during the heat of the summer and we pulled it off. We had to replace some plants along the way; however, it wasn’t as bad as we had feared.

We followed up with some intense weekly watering and ended up with a beautiful fall photoshoot.

So, here we go folks. The Big Reveal:




















A huge thank you to Escapes Landscape Design and their team for our detailed design, your collaborative enthusiasm – literally, in the trenches – and your undeniable eye for beauty.

To our photographer: The 606 Studio. Thank you for bringing our Work into the light at dusk.

To our Clients: The reason for our existence and the passion behind our craft. Your kindness, your responsiveness, your flexibility, your patience – none of it went unnoticed. We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend another year with you. It is clients like you who remind us why we do what we do. Thank you.


Want to see the original Oak Brook Project? Check out the photos at Integro Rehab!

Introducing the Kenwood Kitchen!

What a blur it has been since September – we are so proud to have been recognized as one of the top 50 Remodeling Firms in the NATION by Remodeling Magazine. Looking back, it feels as though it has been ages and seconds since we began our journey. I am proud of what we have accomplished – I’m proud of our projects, I’m proud of our tenacity, and most of all, I’m proud of our team. I have the best team in the world and I couldn’t do any of this without them.

We have done a lot and we intend to do MORE! Specifically, more transformations and more giving back to our community. The best is yet to come.

So, in light of those objectives, I would now like to introduce you to the Kenwood Kitchen!


Built in 1903, this 3-story masonry structure features steep roof lines, a wrap-around porch, and showcases over 5,000 square feet of living space. Located in the historic Kenwood neighborhood, this property boasts the rich past – both ancient and recent – that Chicago’s south side has to offer.

I find this property intriguing because, at first glance, it immediately looks like a Queen Anne Victorian home; however, after further observation it becomes apparent that the building is brick. While the steep roof lines and bay windows lend themselves to the Victorian style of American homes, the masonry suggests an Italianate style which is also popular in the Kenwood/Hyde Park neighborhood among the mansions. Both of these styles reached the height of their popularity shortly before this home was built.

So, what is it? Your guess is as good as mine.

I digress.

Our scope for this project includes the remodeling of the Kitchen including new cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and tile. We are also upgrading an existing Butler’s Pantry. Since this home was built over a century ago, the Kitchen is a small space compared to the scale of the residence because the Kitchen was primarily intended for servants’ use. The interior finishes and woodwork have been immaculately maintained throughout the home so our Designer has chosen to work with the existing Kitchen footprint. This means that we are embarking on yet another historic project which uses limited space to maximize impact. For this effort, we are fortunate to be collaborating with the renown Beverly Hammel.

…don’t blink or you’ll miss this one! The holidays are coming so we need to move quickly.

Here are the Before Photos:



Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

Final Reveal: The Firehouse!

It has been a busy summer! We planted over 100 species of foliage in Oak Brook, we embarked on a 5,000 square home in the Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historical District in Oak Park, and now we have put the finishing touches on a National Historic Landmark: the Firehouse.

Built in 1899 as Engine Company 86, this Landmark building is the oldest surviving framed firehouse in Chicago. Typically, firehouses in Chicago were demolished in the 1930s and replaced with brick buildings; therefore, this iconic structure is unique to Chicago. Instead of being demolished, it was decommissioned in 1932 and later converted into a residence.

It is likely that this building was originally designed by Alfred Alschuler, Argyle E. Robinson, William Carbys Zimmerman, or Paul Gerhardt Jr., renown architects of their time. These original designs accommodated period-specific details including a stable for horse-drawn equipment where our 2-car garage now stands.

Our scope for this project consisted of the restoration of the 2nd floor including hardwood flooring, the addition of 2 bedrooms, upgrade of an existing Guest Bathroom, and the addition of a luxury Master Suite. In addition, a custom steel spiral staircase was designed and installed to reinvigorate this space and acknowledge its originality. Career architects and passionate about the built environment, our clients have owned this property for 15 years. The goal of this project was to prepare this building for marketable resale – to bring this space to life while restoring its original character and charm.


The big excitement this summer was the anticipation of the custom spiral staircase – there’s nothing quite like having to rely on email and phone conversations to confirm measurements…coordination like this takes hours off the end of my life…

So, we take our measurements, we discuss, we discuss again, we discuss again, we take more measurements, we confuse each other, we discuss again, then we take more photos with measuring tape in them, then we discuss, then we approve.

We wait, we wait, we wait.



Then, it arrives. Hooray! Yay for us! The final piece!

We bring in the troops.

Here are our carpenters on the first piece. In case you’re wondering, that face means “you’re crazy.”

“You’re crazy, Ally.”

Before long, it’s all coming together:


Up, up, up we go!


Until we get to the top to reap the glory of our construction.


…party foul!

Suddenly, all of those confusing discussions become clear and I am further validated that measuring across distances is bad for my health.

That’s okay, that’s okay…a cap piece and a 2-3/8″ return piece will solve all of our problems.

The End.

So, without further ado, here is what you have all been waiting for (right?)!


Living Room – BEFORE
Living Room – AFTER
Spiral Staircase – BEFORE
Spiral Staircase – AFTER
Master Bedroom – BEFORE
Master Bedroom – AFTER
Master Bedroom/Closet – AFTER
Master Bedroom/Closet – AFTER
Master Bathroom – BEFORE
Master Bathroom – AFTER
Master Bathroom – BEFORE
Master Bathroom – AFTER
Master Bathroom – AFTER
Main Hallway – BEFORE
Main Hallway – AFTER
2nd Bath Firehouse 1
Guest Bathroom – BEFORE
2nd Bath Firehouse
Guest Bathroom – BEFORE
Guest Bathroom – AFTER
Guest Bedrooms – BEFORE
Guest Bedrooms – AFTER
Main Staircase – BEFORE
Main Staircase – AFTER

…and there we have it, a new life for another old building.

Thanks to the 606 studio for bringing our project to life through photography.

Special thanks, of course, is credited to our clients – your beautiful aesthetic for this exceptional building created an inspiring transformation.

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

Integro Rehab named by Remodeling Magazine to its 2017 Big50 class of America’s Top Remodelers

Chicago, IL (September 12, 2017) – Integro Rehab has been selected by REMODELING magazine to join the REMODELING Big50. Each year since 1986, the REMODELING Big50 inducts 50 remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship, and impact in their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful, often growing, companies of various sizes that have taken the lead in raising industry standards.


“To give a sense of how unique this status is, consider there are roughly 92,000 remodeling firms in America with paid staff,” noted Craig Webb, REMODELING’s Editor-in-Chief. “ Since 1986, we have selected only about 1,550 firms. That’s 1.7% of all the remodeling businesses in the country.”

“We are honored to receive this distinction,” says Allyson Case, CEO of Integro Rehab. “ The award recognizes excellence and leadership, and we are privileged to be named to this select group of remodelers.”

REMODELING editors, columnists, industry leaders, and companies themselves make the nominations each year. Following a lengthy evaluation and interview process, the editors select the 50 companies who exemplify the best of the industry that year, and who have something to offer other remodelers in proven practices.

The Big50 selection process has become increasingly rigorous in recent years, and the result, REMODELING editors believe, is one of the strongest classes to date. “ Uniting the 2017 inductees are high standards and a determination to excel. They are taking the opportunity to build or adopt new efficiencies into their systems and processes— ensuring that they are poised to meet their sales, production, and customer-service goals and continue to thrive,” according to REMODELING. The Big50 awards will be presented at a dinner at the Remodelers Summit and Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in Minneapolis. The 2017 Big50 winners will be featured in the September issue of REMODELING, a national trade publication read by more than 150,000 professional remodeling contractors, with longer profiles of the winners posted on the REMODELING website,

REMODELING, published by Hanley Wood, is the leading publication in the home improvement industry. REMODELING has and continues to be the indispensable tool that remodelers cannot do without—delivering the business know-how, product and technical information that home improvement pros need to help make smart decisions that will shape their success.

Learn more about Integro Rehab here.

Final Reveal: The Hyde Park Condo!

We made it. 9 months of work, communicating across countries, coordinating across oceans, and operating over 20 stories high. Have you seen our progress video? Grab a beverage and check it out before continuing!

Before the final reveal, let’s recap our beloved project:

Hyde Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, boasting a rich history filled with classic architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Hyde Park Condo is no exception. Featuring over 2,500 square feet of space with sweeping views of Lake Michigan, this project is located in one of Hyde Park’s most prestigious high rise buildings. Built in 1928, this unit had undergone limited renovations over the past century. Currently residing abroad, our clients sought to retire from their careers in our world-class city of Chicago. The goal of this project was to create a home that our clients would enjoy for the decades to come – a space which would provide the history and visual interest that the fantastic architecture of Europe has afforded them for the majority of their lives.

Our scope included the gut rehabilitation of the entire unit, upgrade of the utilities, and installation of a high-velocity air conditioning system. Custom, plaster legacy mouldings throughout the unit were preserved and restored. A solid wood, custom arched entry door defining the Living Room and Dining Room was restored to serve its original purpose. Also original to the unit, wooden cornices and columns were revived and repurposed as focal points throughout the space.

The vision of this space was to pay homage to the classic architecture of the building, built in 1928, while incorporating contemporary pieces: Plaster crown moulding and black, Italian cabinetry; A cast iron soaking tub positioned on large format stone tiles; 6-piece wainscoting along the walls highlighting 10” planked hickory hardwood flooring… Hints of the past collaborating with nods to the future.

The primary challenge of this project was long-distance coordination. In addition to maintaining an aggressive schedule for completion, Integro worked remotely with our clients – providing weekly video blogs to showcase the progress of our ambitious undertaking. Understanding the physical limitations of managing a project abroad, Integro coordinated our project schedule to accommodate finish materials from across the globe. The majority of these items required significant lead times of up to 20 weeks and other portions of our Work were sequentially related to the delivery of these finishes – for example, the Italian cabinetry in the Kitchen was designed flush to the ceiling which provided no room for error in the floor height. This meant that we had to level the floors without raising their height and install our ¼” tiles with exactly ¼” of underlayment months after the cabinets were built and weeks prior to their arrival on site from Italy. The level of detail Integro contributed to this project is shown by the seamless transitions from classic to modern design throughout the rooms.

Our final product in the Hyde Park Condo provides a sensory experience throughout the space. Legacy mouldings grace the formal entry and guide your path to a recessed, oval ceiling custom built to invisibily accommodate the new HVAC system. Following dramatic views of Lake Michigan, the Living Room brings you to the fully restored arched entry into the Dining Room. No sooner is one inspired by the stately presence of century-old architecture, than the eye is briskly greeted by contemporary, black cabinetry complimenting professional-grade appliances in the Kitchen and a modern Powder Room showcasing a wall-mounted sink. The bedrooms, featuring built-in bookcases and polished copper radiators revived by the Integro team, lead directly into their private ensuite bathrooms accommodating luxurious soaking tubs, floating sinks, and sleek fixtures. Subtle and confident. Classic and contemporary. The Hyde Park Condo is now a space that has thoughtfully shaped an ambiance of elegant bravado.

BEFORE – Kitchen
AFTER – Kitchen
BEFORE – Kitchen
BEFORE – Kitchen
AFTER – Kitchen
BEFORE – Living Room/Library
BEFORE – Legacy Doorway
AFTER – Legacy Doorway/Living Room
BEFORE – Living Room/Library
AFTER – Living Room/Library
BEFORE – Library/Front Hallway
AFTER – Library/Front Hallway
BEFORE – Office/Guest Bedroom
AFTER – Office/Guest Bedroom
BEFORE – Master Bathroom
BEFORE – Master Bathroom
AFTER – Master Bathroom

Photo Credit: Tom Rossiter

Special thanks to SMNG-A Architects for their support, coordination, and design of this stunning space. We couldn’t have done it without you.

…and, of course, our deepest gratitude and appreciation to our clients – the homeowners of the Hyde Park Condo. Your collaborative enthusiasm, incredible diligence, and earnest commitment to our cause transformed our challenges into creative opportunity. You made this project great.

Thank you.

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!