Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group Inc.

Monthly Archives: January 2012

2012 Color Trends for Interior Design

As a designer, I eagerly await the color trends that Pantone releases once a year.  This forecast predicts colors that will be popular in fashion & design for the year.

2012 colors are warm & inviting.   “Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Take a look at our projects below and how we used these big, beautiful and bold colors.

Check out pantone’s color trend page for more details of the 2012  Trends.


Tangerine Tango

Our City Beach House features Tangerine

Sodalite Blue


The Master Bedroom of our City Beach House features Sodalite Blue




Lake Forest Coachhouse features Cockatoo & Cabaret

Remodeling in the Ancient World

While touring Ephesus, I was struck by the beauty of the frescoes and the incredible embellishments these ancient people put into their homes.  These paintings are so expressive, colorful and festive.  What is fascinating is that in some areas, chipping paint reveals other frescoes underneath the outer paintings.

We know that even primitive man would carve and paint drawings on to cave walls, perhaps as decoration, perhaps as a way of recording history (or both).  It is interesting to think about people thousands of years ago and how similar they are to modern man.  Even then, the fashion in home decor changed and the people who could afford to remodel changed their homes according to the latest design trends.

In my blog tomorrow, I will discuss the newest trends in colors according to Pantone.  From the photos below, we can see that the colors and trends of the time included beautiful reds, greens, golds and browns with hints of bright blue.

The Frescoes at Ephesus. Underneath one layer of paint you can see another fresco from previous decor.

Another shot of the beautiful frescoes

These frescoes, found on a Church in France, show a drastic change in decor


Happy Chinese New Year!

It is no secret that my design aesthetic often includes Asian and Indian inspired designs filled with antiques and beautiful carved, painted and lacquered furniture.  It is fascinating to learn not only about the history of these pieces, but also the culture of the vendors and tradespeople I work with from day to day.  I recently purchased a beautiful Chinese coffer for a client and wanted to send it to my refinisher to have it clear lacquer coated to protect the original finish from the elements created by the modern family it was going to.

Beautiful Handpainted Asian Coffer, also known as a Mongolian Cabinet. Dating back to roughly 1800, this cabinet features scenes most likely taken from the literature of the time. Something interesting to note is that although it is most likely from the Northern Areas of China, the scenes all depict architecture from Southern China.

I received a response that he is a traditional lion dancer and is therefore in great demand during the new year festivities and my refinishing needs would have to wait.  This seemed funny to me until I realized the importance of the holiday and how significant his role was.  The Chinese new year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday.  In China, it is known as the spring festival, since the Spring begins at the beginning of the Chinese calendar year.  The new year is celebrated with similar excitement and fanfare to Christmas in America, with families and friends gathering to celebrate, exchanging gifts, having delicious feasts and decorating their homes and communities with bright, colorful decorations. Many Chinese also do a thorough cleaning of their homes to help wash away any ill fortune and make room for luck and good fortune.   The lion dance is performed by a person or people in a costume resembling a lion.  The dance is comprised of many movements similar to that of a lion.  This is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the dragon dance.

Chicago's New Years parade will take place Sunday, January 29 at 1:00 PM in Chinatown at Wentworth from 24th to Cermak. Stay for some delicious food at Moon Palace or Lao You Ju!

An example of the decorative lion dance costumes used in traditional parades and Chinese festivities.

An example of the decorative lion dance costumes used in traditional parades and Chinese festivities.

People rejoice and dance in the parade

Beautiful lanterns and lit-up scenes to celebrate the new year

This is the smaller cabinet for the same client. We are having it lightly restored on top and then clear coated to protect the finish from the damaging effects of children, food and environmental elements.

It is the year of the Dragon. Legends say that the dragon brings prosperity and that babies born in the year of the dragon will be extra successful. Experts predict a baby boom in China for the upcoming year.

A Design Treasure, Chicago Cultural Center

When I began compiling ideas for my new Monday blog series “Everything Old is New Again“, I thought about the spaces around me in my city, sweet home Chicago.  One building that instantly came to mind is the magnificent Chicago Cultural Center, sometimes called “the people’s palace“.

The Cultural Center was originally build in 1897 to be a public library.  Designed in the neo-classical style, this impressive granite and limestone building features a stunning Tiffany glass dome and sparkling mosaics.  As the needs of the library continued to grow, it became clear that the building either needed to be torn down and a larger, modern library needed to open instead or the library had to move.  Eleanor Daley, wife of Mayor Richard J. Daley, strongly believed the building should remain and encouraged her husband to save the building.  He began a committee to determine the fate of the building and it was decided it would be saved.   In the 1970s, the Chicago architecture firm of Holabird and Root were commissioned to remodel the incredible space, giving it a second life.

The cultural center is now an incredible space for the community featuring programs, musical performances, exhibitions and a private event space to host elegant weddings and other formal events.  It is a must see whether visiting from out of town or just wandering the streets of this amazing city.   Here are some shots of the amazing interior of this grand building.


A stunning shot of the stone and mosaic columns and a bit of the sparkling glass dome. Photo credit: Andrew Collings.

Beautiful stained glass dome in the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda


The stunning Tiffany glass dome is valued at over $35M

Check out the stunning multi-story windows and incredible carved ceilings.

Even the stairwell is a thing of beauty featuring stunning archways, beautiful mosaics and incredible moldings throughout the railings.

Another shot of the beautiful stairwell

Wonderful mosaic tile in a Greek Key pattern

More amazing mosaic work featuring a quote by Francis Bacon


Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop

High Tech for Your Kitchen Design!

In 2012, some of the most popular products in home design are technology.  At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group we love integrating the newest technology in our designs.

This the Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop was introduced at International CES this month.

Induction technology has been well recived by the public, as well as professional chefs.

This technology is comparable in quality to a gas cooktop, but since the heat only operates when it is the cooktop is connected with a induction pan it is a a safer option for that busy family unit!

This induction cookccktop goes beyond previously released models, this technology knows where your pots are and at what temperature they are currently at.  This gives you the freedom to move pots/pans (yes while cooking) and they will pick up at the exact same temperature they were moved from.  The Freedom Cooktop also fetures a 6-inch touch screen that visuall shows the pots size & location, while allowing operation of cook temperature from this screen.

Thermador Induction Freedom Cooktop

Thermador’s flagship Freedom surface is due in stores in Jul 2012 for an sound about $4949.

Watch this video for a full demonstration, presented by Forbes:



Everything Old is New Again, Our New Monday Blog!

On a recent cruise to Italy, Greece and Turkey, I was struck by not only the unbelievable beauty of the Mediterranean scenery and incredible architecture, but also by just how much we have taken from the innovations of the people who lived there thousands of years ago.

Ephesus tile floors
These beautiful marble and mosaic floors were created over 2000 years ago in Ephesus, located on the west coast of Asia minor in Selcuk, Turkey, a town that has been both Greek and Roman occupied. Ephesus was home to the Artemesium, a colossal Ionic temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility, Artemis, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

It got me thinking about the concept of original designs and ideas.  As a designer, my designs become my intellectual property, belonging to not just the home owner, but to me, for I created it.   I use furniture, colors, textures and materials together in a way that is fresh and original so my designs are unique to me and so each client gets their own special space.  Even so, I am constantly using products inspired by the designs of my ancient counterparts. If you walk through the showrooms at the merchandise mart today, you will find hundreds of different mosaic tiles, stone floors, bronze chandeliers, colorful woven rugs and intricately carved furniture.  Although these pieces are new, the modern designers had some help from the ancient Romans, Greeks and Turks.  For the next few weeks I will show you the beautiful pictures from my trip and how the ancient cultures influenced our modern design sensibilities.  Stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some pictures of the stunning architecture both created by, and influenced by ancient man.

More amazing mosaic floors at Ephesus

Hagia Sophia

The domed ceiling of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.



Integrity Sink by Silestone: Perfect Fixture for your Kitchen Design!

Silestone by Cosentino is known for their solid surface countertops.  These surfaces are made with quartz for extra durability and come in a wide range of colors.

The Integrity Sink is an innovative design intended to incorporate all of the advantages of Silestone while offering complete unity, functionality and sophisticated style to any kitchen or bath.

This sink is made from one piece of silestone and available in a single bowl (one) or a double bowl (due). This solid piece design is easy maintenance & cleaning, silestone never has to be sealed – because it is not porous.

This sink is available currently in these Silestone colors.

  • White Zeus
  • Capri Limestone
  • Grey Expo
  • Grey Amazon
  • Bianco River.

This clean-lined design is ideal for your kitchen design!  Please contact Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group for more information.



Custom Console Table for Mid America Club Library

A recent project for the Mid America Club Library on the 80th floor of the Aon Building was featured in last weeks blog.

The focal point for this library, was a amazing custom designed console piece.  This console was a collaboration between Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group and the skilled craftsmen of The Golden Triangle.

The basis of the design started with two tree trunk bases of Ma Ka wood from Tailand, unique in shape.
A custom wood black base was created to not only give a foundation & visual balance  but to create a level surface for a black absolute granite top (115″ long) to sit on top.

The piece took months to fine tune the design including a custom stain applied to each piece of Ma Ka wood.

It took three men to assemble the piece on-site! Which was executed with precision of the finest craftsmen.

Design for Custom Console Table

Console without Granite Top

Assembling the Console On-Site

Home Improvements: That Will Pay-Off for Resale

If you are getting ready to sell your home, or will sell your home in the future here are some great tips.  Maintenance to your home and some upgrades will greatly improve your resale value as well as saleability. Having a updated home is crucial in the current real estate market, especially since we are still in a recovery state.

“2012 shows signs of an improving housing market as the U.S. economy continues its forward-moving yet slow road to recovery. Although there are economists projecting housing prices will decline further, aided by distressed property sales that sell at a greater discount, these prices are expected to rebound considerably later in the year and continue into 2013.” – Keller Williams Realty

Here are some suggested improvements from Real Simple magazine that do & don’t pay off for resale.

Improvements that do pay-off:

  • Painting (Interior & Exterior)
  • Adding Siding
  • Building a deck or patio
  • Updating a kitchen
  • Replacing windows
  • Modifying a bathroom
  • Landscaping
  • Installing central-air
  • Remodeling a basement

Home Improvements that DO NOT pay off:

  • Home office (if you convert a bedroom to an office)
  • Concrete patio
  • Bold counter-tops (such as green marble or granite)
  • Tennis & basketball courts
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting

Please contact us at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group for advise on your home remodeling project.  Having a trained professional will help get the most out of your remodeling project.

Updating a kitchen can get up to 83% return on investment. Although we do recommend advise from a profession interior designer or kitchen designer, to get the most value from your remodel. Project featured, Streeterville Condo.


Updating your drafty windows, will not only save you money on energy bills but have a better re-sale value, around a 81% return (depending on expense).

Upgrading a bathroom can be a 63-73% return. Although, your design should focus on a time-less look & not anything too trendy. Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group can help you with your bathroom remodel.

Recent Project: Mid America Club Library in Aon Building

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, recently completed a project for The Mid America Club on the 80th floor of the Aon Building in downtown Chicago.

The Library of this private club is a multi-function room for the members as well as its guests.  Events & cocktail parties are held in this room for larger groups. It also serves as a lounge for the members where they can come and play cards on one of the game tables or have a place to work quietly on their laptops.

None of the paint, carpet, wallpaper or wood finishes where changed so furniture was specified that would be in harmony with the existing finishes and be congruent with the furniture with the rest of the club.  With so much wood from the fireplace and flanking shelves adding some modern elements to this room kept the design updated & fresh.

  • Asian artifacts (timeless but one-of a kind)
  • Chrome accents
  • Clean-lined furniture in classic designs
  • Luxurious upholstery with much wear for a hospitality use

A custom console was the centerpiece of this room (which will be the topic of next weeks blog).  Please check back to see the process & craftsmanship that went into this magnificent piece.



Furniture Plan for Mid America Club Library

After: Modern Vinyl Chairs, Sofa in Mohair Fabric & Double Ottoman in"Theme" Fabic

Lounge Chair: Vinyl Seat & Mohair Fabric

After: Seating Area by Fireplace

Fabricut Introduces a New Line by Charlotte Moss

If you are feeling the winter blues – post holiday season, Charlotte Moss’s new fabric line for Fabricut will brighten your spirits.  This colorful line pulls from nature as Moss incorporates plants & flowers mixed with bold colors. Bringing the outside indoors!

Featured in Architectural Digest, Moss encourages mixing of patterns in unexpected ways, “People are often afraid of mixing patterns for fear the result will look too busy…but I love the conversation that the layering of fabric creates.”

These patterns & color pallete will remind you of spring and help heal those winter blues!

Contact us at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group for pricing and additional information for this fabulous line.



Charlotte Moss for Fabricut

Caroline Current

Fanny Delft

Freya Dawn Mist

Bath Design Product: Flushmount Shower by Moen

Moen’s flushmount shower body fixtures sleek, clean lined design seamlessly blend into tile & are perfect for your shower design.  This product won the 2011 KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) silver award for best Bath Design product.

An adjustable spray face allows you to pivot the water flow (up to 20 degrees in any direction), allowing for more efficiently targeted water and full body coverage.  Combines with Moen’s innovative Immersion® rainshower technology.

These fixtures are also more efficient for installation & repair (which will save money):

  • body sprays allow for simple installation
  • adjustable mounting bracket ensures easy alignment
  • can be serviced from the wall instead of behind the wall (like most fixtures)


Flushmount Body Spray in Brushed Nickel

Flushmount Body spray in Brushed Nickel

Moen Flush Mount Body Sprays

Moen Flush Mount Fixtures


Bath Design Product: Whist Glass Sink by Kohler

Kohler recently revealed its new Whist Glass Sink.

Featuring serene colors and a concentric line pattern reminiscent of waves, this sink would be perfect not only for a spa-inspired bathroom, but in any bathroom where you want to add a touch of glamour and affordable luxury.

Aside from their aesthetic value, these sinks provide several wonderful features:

  • Painted back color conceals personal items within the vanity
  • Durable and easy to clean allowing for ease of care
  • Works well with most faucet styles and standard sizing fits most vanities
  • Available in 3 colorways; Dusk (a blue gray), Dew (a blue green) and Doe (a warm gray) or in an unpainted clear glass option
  • Affordable luxury ranging from $231-$301


Shown in the Doe and Dusk Colors