Interior design is a science that few can master. It demands great skill and style, while balancing needs that vary by client. It’s a unique industry that allows professionals to have personal tastes that can be adapted to the tone set by their different projects. It makes for a world of exciting and diverse design.
Given the unique and eclectic essence of Chicago, it seems fitting that the most talented designers flock here to exhibit their talent. While the city has more than a few handfuls of interior designers itching to get their work featured in industry-respected publications, we’ve sorted through them all to find the 15 best interior designers in Chicago.
Emily Mackie - Emily Mackie leads the team at Inspired Interiors, a firm that ranks every year on Houzz.com for design and service. From award-winning penthouses to serene bathrooms, Emily has shown the range to tackle different types of projects in the home.
Meg Caswell - Here’s a famous Chicago face you might recognize. Meg Caswell was the season 6 winner of HGTV’s competition show Design Star and went on to host her own show called Meg’s Great Rooms. While Meg earned a degree in criminology, she knows how to please clients looking for incredible interior design.
Tiffany Brooks - Chicago interior designer Tiffany Brooks was the season 8 winner of HGTV Star. She boasts an impressive residential design portfolio, giving her the experience to create living spaces for even the finickiest of tastes. She and her team at You and Your Decor also run a successful blog all about “interiors, design and living a fabulous life.”
Julia Buckingham - Julia Buckingham runs a Chicago interior design firm and showroom that gets our award for Most Popular on Facebook. The Buckingham team regularly shares photos and progress of their impeccable and gorgeous designs; it’s no mystery why their content sees a lot of likes. Julia is also blogger with Material Girls, winner of Best Design Blog at the Design Bloggers Conference in LA last year, something of which she is “über proud!”.
M. Grace Sielaff - Well-known in the Chicago interior design circles, M. Grace Sielaff is a recipient of the prestigious ASIID Award in Design Excellence. However, there’s more to her career than awards and elegant design. M. Grace Sielaff also founded Gracious House, a design showcase event that finally supports Prevent Child Abuse America.
Summer Thornton - Summer Thornton’s undeniable aesthetic shines through no matter what project she’s tackling. With her lean and mean team at Summer Thornton Design, Summer’s expertise in residential interior design have lead her to projects nationwide. She has the style to create her own stamp on the Chicago design scene, and there’s no stopping her now.
Alexandra Kaehler - Instagram is an enormous opportunity for an interior designer to show off their work. Nobody takes advantage of this like Chicago’s Alexandra Kaehler – founder of Alexandra Kaehler Design and the lifestyle blog AK Studio. The power of the “before-and-after” pictures is strong, and Alexandra knows exactly what her audience wants to see.
Kara Mann - Kara Mann’s interior design prowess has an international reach. She has a knack for combining fashion with art, resulting in bold beautiful design. Kara is also one of those rare interior designers who are recognized by press outside of her industry, seeing features in fashion publications like InStyle and Vogue.
Susan Fredman - Industry veteran Susan Fredman has spent 40 years designing the best of the best in Chicago. Known for her work in the residential space, Susan has been featured in interior design publications around the nation. She’s the creative head behind Fredman Design Group, a team of designers who are active in the interior design world and constantly educating themselves and their peers on industry trends.
Brion R. Judge - When you’re talking about classical design done well, you’re talking about the bread and butter of B.R. Judge Design. Focused on creating liveable, traditional interiors for his clients, Brion guides his clients with this motto: “”Trends are measured in weeks, style in decades.”
David Kaufman and Tom Segal – This duo demonstrates its best work as a pair, so that’s why we’ve bundled these two designers and their award-winning firm together. Each with their own keen eye for design and impressive resume, David and Tom have seen success in both commercial and residential design. The team also dedicates an admirable amount of their time to volunteering with Chicago causes, lending their talent to those who really need it.
Gary Lee - Earlier this year, Gary was honored as one of the top 50 creatives who have shaped Chicago. It’s an easy vote considering Gary’s extended reach into all things design in the Windy City. Aside from his interior design firm Gary Lee Partners, Gary also manages an MBE firm called Gary Lee Studios and curates furniture and accessories for the Atelier Gary Lee showroom.
Paul Schulman - Experience in construction sets Paul Schulman apart from his peers. His firm, Paul Schulman Design, sets out to creatively combine interior design with construction, opening up a world of possibilities for its clients. Whether you’re completely renovating a space, or designing a room with a custom-built furniture piece in mind, Paul knows exactly how to guide you to the best design.
Suzanne Lovell - If you’re looking for an example of an interior designer who uses Pinterest well, look no further than Suzanne Lovell. By creating Boards in certain categories, she makes it easy for followers to grasp onto her style and depth of talent. Her interior design extends to diverse projects, meaning you can browse pin after pin and never get bored on her Pinterest page possible.
Donna Hall - Donna Hall is the creative lead of Savvy Interior Design. She’s an active member of several industry professional groups, so she can be trusted to be consistently on top of her game. Donna says she is inspired by the glamour of Old Hollywood, but even if that isn’t the taste of her clients, she manages to perfectly tailor designs to their needs. Donna has also been featured in many publications, including Better Homes and Garden.
Who is the best interior designer in the Windy City? Cast your vote below!