It’s hard to imagine a more tranquil setting for a weekend retreat than this condo in Chicago’s storied Water Tower Place. Here, up above the bustle of the Miracle Mile, you can take views of Lake Michigan or the Chicago skyline.

It’s these views that attracted the homeowners to the property. Everything else, they realized, would have to go; with its dark brown floors and gold walls, the condo’s interior design was not only dark and dated, but also a serious distraction. Instead, they wanted a design that would showcase the setting as well as their extensive contemporary art collection.

With this brief in mind, the project designer created a backdrop of neutral tones that would allow the art and the view to shine. She then infused the condo with shades that reflect the scenery. In the kitchen, green marble countertops call to mind deep water, while in the living room a sofa by Jean Michele is the color of the lake on a cloudy day. In the master bedroom, two chairs in dusky pinks were inspired by the sunset — and turned out to be an ideal complement to the very first piece of art the homeowners had bought as a married couple.

In every room, items with a hand-made feel were added to offset the condo’s predominantly clean lines and contemporary finishes. Take the master bathroom, where a niche made up of dappled, bronze-colored glass tiles breaks up the porcelain grid, or the second bedroom, where a whimsically off-kilter vase by Dutch company Moooi is perched atop a custom nightstand

The living room holds another piece by Moooi, an elaborate light fixture that gives the impression of a giant, upside-down dandelion. It’s made all the more spectacular by the feat behind it. The condo’s heated ceilings meant that the designer had to come up with a clever solution to allow for overhead lighting. The answer? Soffits, which here converge in a X, just like those that adorn the neighboring John Hancock Tower. Once again, the view outside proved to be the perfect inspiration for a chic and thoughtful design.

Alise O’Brien Photography

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