A cozy den was part of the update accomplished in a Chicago estate home by Central Ohio designer Leann Snyder and her partner, Beth Ault.

The result of this whole-house renovation was a Gold Key Award presented during the 44th annual presentation of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago.

The Chicago house involved was built by a wealthy industrialist in the 1950s but was empty for four years, prior to the recent update. The current owners have a child who attends an Ohio college; thus, their connection with Snyder.

“The house had sat empty for four years with a lot of people looking,” explains Snyder. “But none had vision or capital [required], because it needed extensive repair.” The home has an interior courtyard where Snyder and Ault installed a fountain and reflecting pool, in addition to several other rooms that were part of the project.

Snyder's work was honored after a panel of nine judges visited more than 100 homes that were entered into the competition. Judges included architects, builders and designers.