Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group Inc.

Interior Design for the Individual: Incorporating the Client’s Lifestyle

Interior Design for the Individual: Incorporating the Client’s Lifestyle

Our client asked us to design a masculine man-cave to provide more comfort and function. For Joe, this meant highlighting his love of hunting. We took this former pool table room and added a seated bar, TV, and comfortable seating with indoor/outdoor fabric making it dog-friendly.

Before Photos:

Before photo: bar area

Before photo: bar area

Before photo: pool table area

Before photo: pool table area

A bedroom was created in the adjoining room and a new lounge allowed for entertaining and relaxation. Our design team (with a skilled general contractor) added a custom bar for seating and in doing so, added more storage and function. We then eliminated the top cabinets for a more open feel.

After Photos:

After photo: custom mill work with red top cabinets

After photo: custom mill work with red top cabinets

After photo: pool table area converted into lounge

After photo: pool table area converted into lounge

Get a virtual tour of Joe’s man-cave designed by Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group through our feature on Open House or read the full article in Modern Luxury Interiors.

Unique Individuals, Unique Spaces: 6th Floor City Beach House

Unique Individuals, Unique Spaces: 6th Floor City Beach House

“What does comfort look like?”

To this jet-setting family, comfort looks like a place to get away without having to head to the airport again, a vacation home in their home town. Comfort was key; this needed to be place you could kick off your shoes after a long week but also luxurious enough to ‘wow’ out of town guests, and practical enough to stand up to teenage sleepovers.

TCW image


What does style look like?

With it’s mix of elegant materials, fun pops of color, comfortable upholstered seating , this home reflects both the relaxed yet upscale atmosphere the homeowners desired.  Indian inspired art and accents reference the family’s heritage.  It’s a home that truly reflects who they are and how they live.


This project was featured in TCW magazine’s June 2013 issue. Check out even more pics from this urban retreat here. 

Unique personalities, unique spaces: Interior design with the individual in mind

Unique personalities, unique spaces: Interior design with the individual in mind

What does comfort look like?

To a sophisticated urban bachelor who divides his time between the worlds of finance, international travel, and outdoor adventuring, comfort looks like a home that reflects his luxurious tastes while being squarely focused on relaxation and refuge.

What does style look like?

It’s a space where he can be surrounded by antiques collected during his world travels but where the dog is still welcome on the sofa, a careful mix of hearty materials and luxury details.  It’s a home that reflects his lifestyle and his personality.

“This is where Joe can be Joe.”


Grab the Fall edition of Modern Luxury Interiors for a close-up tour of this Streeterville townhome designed by Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group.

Stay tuned for another great piece of press on a Deb Reinhart project, from the clients needs, the designers challenge to the finish product!

Indoor/outdoor fabric for interior upholstery; kid-friendly, pet-friendly, style friendly!

Indoor/outdoor fabric for interior upholstery; kid-friendly, pet-friendly, style friendly!

When presented with the challenge of creating a space that can stand up to the demands of an active family with five children or a bachelor with a love for labrador retreivers, we don’t sweat. At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group we want the spaces we design to be both stylish and livable.

Over the past few years the availability of designer indoor/outdoor fabrics has exploded and the quality has become so great, they’re comparable to luxury  interior fabrics. Those old stiff coated cottons of the past have been replaced with acrylic fabrics with the look and feel of plush boucle, elegant linen plus tons of on-trend patterns.

A white sofa with kids? Look to indoor/outdoor upholstery options!


Feel free snuggling up to your pups on this striking sofa…


And don’t fret if pasta sauce drips on these dining chairs.


In these living spaces our clients asked for functionality without sacrificing style. We know that thanks to new jacquard weaving techniques, innovative yarns, and advanced finishes durable no longer has to mean utilitarian and chose to upholster these pieces, which are used everyday, with indoor/outdoor velvet.  The quality of these new fabrics is so excellent, no one needs know our little secret.

Earlier this summer our team attended the launch of Holly Hunts new collaboration with Sunbrella, one of the oldest and most trusted names in outdoor fabric. We were wowed by the new collection, especially the loopy boucle Breathe Easy and the plush, almost shaggy Lionheart.

Durable and cozy can now go hand in hand.

The line also features classic nautical stripes and geometric patterns in shades of on-trend teals, blues and grays…on fabrics of course, and for this special launch printed on cookies!

Designing Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

Designing Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

This humble unfinished basement is about to undergo a massive transformation. What is now storage, utility access and empty space will soon become a contemporary, comfortable basement for a family of four to include:

  • home office
  • art studio
  • theater
  • wine cellar
  • poker and ping-pong area
  • full kitchen and bar all with easy flow to a landscaped backyard and patio.

It’s a major project that will dramatically change how they live in their home! Where do we start with such a large undertaking?

Our team is developing a space plan and supplying CAD drawings that will carve out rooms in this vast open space, as well as designing all bathrooms, the kitchen, and built-in cabinetry, and selecting materials, furniture and accessories.


The clients mandate was for the design of a comfortable and welcoming space for family and friends that appeals to both adults and teenagers, is easy to maintain and has a unique and stylish look. In order that we create a space that’s not only beautiful but functional, there were some space planning challenges we need to solve.

  •  The art studio needs natural light, which means it has to be placed on an outside wall.
  • The homeowner was concerned about noise from the television drifting up to the first floor master bedroom so we’ll be creating a state of the art home theater that’s placed on an inner wall far from the bedroom. Since it doesn’t need light, this was a natural choice.
  • A big focus on this project is creating a unified indoor/outdoor living space. The double doors above will be eliminated and a new entrance will be created where the bay window is now. That new entrance will lead from the bar to the outside dining space, creating the perfect flow for entertaining.

In addition to overseeing all aspects of the decor and installation of the finished basement, we’re thrilled to be working with the client, their builder and the designers at Chicago landscaper company Christy Webber to plan the ultimate in family-friendly indoor/outdoor living space. The client property features and large yard and they’ve asked for an easy to maintain landscape plan as well as a screened-in porch, hot tub, and patio with an outdoor kitchen, dining and lounge space.

This past week we took a trip to Christy Webber’s headquarters on Chicago’s west side to review the landscape designers master plan with the client. Since we want to create a unified space, communication and collaboration with landscape designer is vital. It’s a pleasure to be working with their renowned team of designers. Not only are they behind some of the cities most beautiful residential and civic spaces but their own headquarters is an award winning, LEED-platinum certified marvel that  has yielded numerous awards for it’s design and commitment to sustainable design, recycling and reuse of materials.

Our library is full of paint and fabric samples. Christy Webber’s has tons of stone, gravel and sand. And vintage bottles dug up while excavating city gardens!

We’re thrilled to be working with Christy Webber to create a cohesive indoor/outdoor design and help our client achieve their landscaping dreams.

Be sure to check in as well be keeping you updated as this massive project develops. The next step…designing a full kitchen that works on its own and as an extension of the outdoor living space.

Contemporary wood wallpaper

Contemporary wood wallpaper

We love when clients present us with unique challenges. In this case, it’s a young Chicago professional who wants a media room that reflects his love of hunting, nature and the outdoors while fitting with his modern urban home. No overt hunting lodges or folksy cabins here. The look is to be upscale, contemporary and comfortable with subtle winks towards that more rustic aesthetic.

Wood wall coverings are a perfect material for this challenge. Not panels!  This is not your 1970′s basement wood panelling! Modern wood-look wall coverings and wallpapers are made of phthalate-free vinyl with the grain of real wood. They’re amazingly realistic and versatile, ranging from sleek finishes that work beautifully to emphasize architecture to more rustic styles full of grooves and knots and color variation. The samples above are from Innovations USA Hudson line but we also love….


the Renaissance line from Concertex which comes in a variety of stains and grains…


and Maya Romanoff’s Ajira collection which comes in grain patterns like the Ajira Chevron above.

Stay tuned as this project develops! It’s such a fun concept, the final product is going to be amazing!

Patterned roman shades, bringing your windows to life!

Patterned roman shades, bringing your windows to life!

A good dose of pattern is vital to any space. It adds detail and texture and energy to a room, so when choosing fabrics for custom window treatments, we love to pick patterned shades over something solid. Even a subtle tone-on-tone or small scale pattern on a shade or drapery panel just adds an extra bit of life.  (But you can see, we’re not afraid of putting big bright pattern on window treatments!)

When installation day finally arrived at the home of these Evanston interior design clients were so pleased with the difference these shades made in the space. In the living room, the large scale trellis pattern from Candice Olsen’s Kravet line is bold and fresh, while the limited palette of ivory, tan and taupe with a subtle metallic sheen keep it in line with this comfortable yet elegant home.

A row of burgundy silk pom-poms is an fun, unexpected addition that ties it into the rich reddish accents through out the space.


Let’s zoom in for a close-up!


Since the dining room is across the hall and the home has an open plan, we used a similar style roman shade and color palette but this time chose a smaller scale pattern, a woven honeycomb in metallic taupe and two rows of wood teardrop beads…a more sophisticated, but no less unique, look for this formal space.



Accenting the ceiling with unique materials: Part 2

Accenting the ceiling with unique materials: Part 2

Let’s peek into the kitchen of our luxury Chicago bachelor pad. And like last time, we’re focusing on the ceiling. (Clearly, we love ceilings around here!)

Before: A stainless steel hood over the range and contemporary track lighting. Not the worst, just not right.

We chose to replace the hood with an updraft (which can do the job just as well and, in this home of a bachelor with little interest in cooking, the ‘gourmet kitchen’ didn’t fit with his lifestyle) surrounded by a soffit and inset lighting that shows off this beautiful antique carved panel.

Looking up!

Just like a chandelier over a dining table, this panel grounds the space…plus the slight drop of the soffit and the warm detail of the panel creates a more intimate feeling space, a special nook rather than just kitchen overflow.

 It’s architectural detail, visual art and functionality all in one! Ceilings can be wonderful things!

Accenting the ceiling with unique materials

Accenting the ceiling with unique materials

Poor old ceilings. They’re so often neglected in the design of a room.  There’s no quicker way to take a space from “Oh, that’s pretty” to “Wow!” than to add detail to the ceiling. After all, it is the 5th wall of any room!

The cove ceiling with in-laid wood panel, recessed and pendant lighting adds architectural detail to this otherwise plain hall.

Let’s take a trip back in time and look at some pics of this Chicago condo (whose powder room was featured on the blog last week) before we got our hands on it.

It’s a great space… a big fireplace focal point, tall windows looking out onto the Chicago River, and thirteen foot ceilings.

Everyone loves high ceilings. It’s open and airy and grand, no doubt there. But there are challenges when dealing with all that height. The large volume of empty space created by high ceilings can dwarf furnishings and just feel cavernous. Add to that the special challenges of this room…the small footprint which made that  height feel out of balance, and the raised dining room and kitchen to the left, whose view of the river ran right through the vast emptiness above the living room, and we knew we needed to address the ceiling.

We began by building out a rectangular soffit, mirroring the shape of the room and defining the living area from the rest of the open plan first floor.


The view on installation day. You can really see how high the ceiling is here.


Already, it’s looking better.

Since the goal was a warm, textured room full of art and artifacts and beautiful details, additional detail was needed to bring the ceiling up to snuff. Four beautiful wood panels were installed in the soffit with recessed lighting glowing softly behind and can lights around the perimeter for flexibility.


Now the rich wood draws the eye up and pulls the “5th wall” down, allowing it to become a part of the composed space. As Deb said, “We could’ve fill this room with treasures and you would never know. They’d be swallowed up.”

Now the ceiling itself is a treasure.

Beauty and the Feast: DIFFA’s Dining by Design

Beauty and the Feast: DIFFA’s Dining by Design

Thursday evening, we were lucky enough to attend Jenn-Air’s Chef’s Table event held at the World of Whirlpool flagship office. This wonderful benefit was a celebration of CS Magazine’s July restaurant issue and the kick-off fundraiser for DIFFA’s (Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids) Dining by Design series. Great food, great people, and a great cause!

The penthouse level of the Murdoch building, where World of Whirlpool is located and where the event was held, is so chic and was beautifully decorated, not only with flowers but with edible art like this chocolate sculpture resembling coral. (We got the scoop on how it was made…fill a bowl with ice and pour melted chocolate over the top. The chocolate will flow over the ice and harden. Then once the ice melts, this craggy shape is what’s left. Very cool.)

Sorry for the blurry pic. We were probably just rushing forward to grab those berries.

As expected, the food was amazing. How could it not be when chefs such as Jacques Torres, Chris Macchia, Mindy Segal, and others are doing the cooking! Deb was particularly enamored of this artichoke and shrimp tortelli by Federico Comacchio of Coco Pazzo.


But even with all that, our favorite part was the herb garden. The Whirlpool/Jenn-Air staff grows a huge variety of herbs on the rooftop deck!

Jenn-Air chef Ender Oktayuren used rooftop garden herbs in his dish. Talk about fresh!


Through fundraising events like Chef’s Table, DIFFA has granted over $40 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide and DIFFA/Chicago itself has awarded almost $4 million. It was a pleasure attending the Chef’s Table and we look forward to more DIFFA events. Thanks to Jenn-Air, CS Magazine, all the planners, chefs, and sponsors!

Replacing a vanity with an antique chest

Replacing a vanity with an antique chest

Goodbye boring, dated vanity.

Earlier this year, one of our long standing Chicago clients came to us with a challenge… replace this boring builder grade vanity with something special, something that added character and personality to this small powder room. But there was a catch. Don’t mess with the wallpaper. The homeowner had added it years ago and still loved it, so no cutting open the walls for plumbing or electrical, and no mill work that would mess with the walls in any way.

Oh, and also, can you do it ASAP?

Instead of building custom cabinetry (too time consuming and would likely damage the walls) or plopping in a new vanity (too bland, too expected), we took our cues from the homeowner’s style and the rooms we had worked on together in the past, which have a pronounced Asian influence, as well as extensive use of antiques.

The solution was found at one of our favorite retailers Golden Triangle, a Chicago-based boutique specializing in Asian artifacts, antiques and architectural salvage.

Hello beautiful.

This early 1800′s carved Yang wood chest from the Shanxi Province of China had the look we wanted but, at 47 inches wide, was just too big for the space.  However with a few careful cuts eliminating the overhang of the top, we were able to get it down to the perfect width and slide it right in.

Swap the glass vessel sink with this brass piece with a rich finish that will age over time, a great match for the antique finish of the vanity, and this bathroom is a true beauty.

From run-of the mill to one of a kind! Stay tuned for updates on this awesome space. Our next challenge…the top to bottom re-design of the media room incorporating a huge (and already installed) wall-mounted TV and audio system. We have our thinking caps on for this one.

The Design Team at the Circa Lighting Opening in Chicago

The Design Team at the Circa Lighting Opening in Chicago

Our Design team was able to attend the opening for the new Circa Lighting showroom. Located at 444 North Wells Street, right in the heart of Chicago’s Merchandise District, this showroom was filled to the top with unique handcrafted top of the line fixtures. Some of the Designers pieces we were able to “awe” over were legends such as Sandy Chapman, Thomas O’Brien, Alexa Hampton, Barbara Barry, Suzanne Kasler, Eric Cohler, Clodagh, J. Randall Powers, and an extensive studio line.

Along with Circa’s stunning fixtures in their showroom, it  also featured a number of unique characteristics. Clients will find innovative merchandising displayed and meeting spaces to help keep the designers creative juices flowing.

Circa Lighting – David Easton, Snow Mass Double Sconce

Circa Lighting -Sandy Chapman Spherical Cube Pendant

Most all of these gorgeous pieces can be offered in a variety of finishes. This is great for meeting our clients needs, I know I hate when I fall in love with a piece for a client and cant get the right finish. We also found out they can have some pieces made to be customizable so you can get the proper length, height etc… how unique!

Brooke Hubbuch, CS Interiors; Gale Singer, Principal of Circa Lighting; Allison Cooke, CS Interiors

Look at this beautiful display they have in the back of the showroom. What a great place to bring clients as well see one of Circa Lighting’s chandeliers in use.

Overall, we are so excited for this new location and cant wait to find new exciting trends through this showroom. Congrats on a successful event.

Metal kitchen countertops, a great granite alternative

Metal kitchen countertops, a great granite alternative

While most designers would agree that you can never go wrong with a gorgeous granite countertop, it is always refreshing to see unique alternatives for counters and tabletops.

I recently came across a great resource for zinc and copper countertops, which aside from looking cool, offer some great properties like a natural anti-microbial property which makes them easy to keep sanitary.  The suggested cleaning method for these counters is just a simple soap and water wash.  This malleable metal also can be done with extremely unique and special edge details, different from their stone counterparts.  This adds another level of customization and another cool textural element to a space.

This gorgeous edge detail adds a fabulous textural element to the countertops


Trash to Treasure: Home Goods Made From Recycled Materials

Trash to Treasure: Home Goods Made From Recycled Materials

With our world rapidly depleting our natural resources, a new emphasis is being placed on green building products.  While many of these products use processes that are lower in chemicals and pollutants, many still use a large percentage of new products.  Some innovative companies have come out with products made entirely of previously used materials (i.e. trash).

One amazing example is graypants, a remarkable lighting and furniture company based out of Seattle.  The brain child of architects Seth Grizzle, Jonathan Junker and Jon Gentry, graypants was founded in 2008, when the guys realized they missed designing and building useful things.  In their spare time, they started collecting various discarded materials and experimenting to see what they could come up with.  Soon after, their scrap lights were born- unique shapes made from stacked corrugated cardboard.  After several years, they have expanded their line to include many different shapes and sizes of lights as well as unique furniture.

Check out some pictures of their amazing lights!

This amazing collection of lights has an example of many of their different shapes and sizes.

Love these amazing pendants!

Love the way they staggered these cool rock shaped pendants over the bar!

The Closet Re-Imagined

The Closet Re-Imagined

If you look back at the architecture of the past, you will notice that there was often less concealed storage (much to the chagrin of modern home buyers) and more room for display pieces.  Today’s modern real estate developers try to get the most storage they can possibly squeeze into a space because closets help sell homes.  However, too often we see odd, small closets cluttering up otherwise lovely walls.  These tiny closets are hardly helping solve storage solutions and can be really distracting from the aesthetic of a room.  The solution?  Built ins!

I love to create built in display and storage nooks from small, somewhat useless closets.  By removing the doors and frames and simply adding in some cabinetry and shelving, the boring becomes beautiful!

Check out some great examples….

This built in replaces a closet for a gorgeous effect (and still lots of storage)!


Gorgeous New Fall Colors!

Gorgeous New Fall Colors!

Pantone, a standardized color system and a world renowned authority on color trends, recently released their hot colors for fall 2012.  While some are the typical fall standards such as the gorgeous dark brown “French Roast”, warm “Honey Gold” and the 2012 colors of the year “Tangerine Tango”, they also included in the mix some unexpected colors.  I am loving the beautiful “Bright Chartreuse”, “Olympian Blue” and “Pink Flambe”.

Pantone's hot colors for Fall 2012

These bold and beautiful colors are not only making the fall fashions pop, but can be used in the home to give your spaces that WOW impact!

Wondering how to use these colors in your home?  Check out some great installation shots below!

Olympian Blue on the walls may sound a little intense, but paired with bright neutrals and other blue accents, this room is bold and fun! Photo courtesy

I used a beautiful chartreuse, pink and ultramarine color scheme in the Lake Forest Coach House and the combination was delightful!

By mixing the bold chartreuse, pink and teal colors together with neutrals, I brought in a pop of color without overwhelming the space.

This fun chartreuse accent adds a bright pop of color without feeling overwhelming. Notice the blue, gold and ultramarine accents as well.

By mixing the fun pink with tangerine tones and neutrals, this room uses the beautiful fall colors in a way that doesn't make this room feel overwhelming.  Photo courtesy

So, are you ready to add some color to your life?

Red, Glorious Red

Red, Glorious Red

When designing a space, the decision of color is extremely important as it dictates the mood of the space.  Color theorists as early as the ancient Greeks have been assigning meanings and symbolism to different colors.  White is perceived as pure, yellow as soothing, purple as royal.

No color is as widely interpreted as red.  To many Eastern cultures, red symbolizes good luck.  Red is the color assigned to passion, romance, love and excitement.  It is also often the color associated with evil or danger.

Red is one of my favorite colors to use in a space.  While some people shy away from it, there are many ways to use it, whether as an accent or a dominant color, in a way that is calming, fun and just plain gorgeous!

I used red as a major accent in this bedroom. The color, while bold, is not overpowering and this room is still soothing and comfortable.


Athletic Abodes- A Sneak Peak Into Olympic Village

Athletic Abodes- A Sneak Peak Into Olympic Village

With Olympic fever sweeping the world, I got curious about what kind of housing the athletes had at the 2012 Olympics in London.   Here are some neat photographs of the Olympic Village.  Notice that while the dormitories are given very simple and somewhat utilitarian decor, the recreation and leisure areas are filled with fun kitsch and a mix of traditional and modern furnishings.  It was fun to see what kinds of details were included in the village, such as a spa, bar, performance space, lounges and more.  Check it out and don’t forget to cheer on our teams to the gold!

Olympic Village features modern "apartments" for the world athletes to use throughout the duration of the games. Large green spaces are available for lounging.


Lovely Landscapes

Lovely Landscapes

My recent feature on got me thinking about landscape art and the impact it can have in a space.  Even the most indoorsy person can’t argue that the natural world offers some of the most beautiful imagery and magnificent colors around.

Landscapes can range from photorealistic paintings to abstract art using various mediums. In my French country estate, I used abstract landscapes to anchor the bedside tables. These used colors such as black and metallic leaf to create a landscape, but even when using an abstract approach, it is unmistakably a landscape.

These contemporary landscapes anchor the bedside tables and bring elegance and drama to the room.

Traditional landscape paintings are often seen in libraries and traditional settings, which may lead people to believe that they only belong in traditional rooms.  See the gallery below of landscapes used in many different settings, all to beautiful results!

This traditional library uses a landscape painting as a beautiful compliment to the wood tones.

This beautiful landscape was used in this eclectic living room by Nate Berkus Interiors

A lovely landscape painting was the perfect compliment to the fun floral prints in my Lakeforest Coach House

This is a very cool use of a huge landscape- sectioned and individually framed it creates much more drama and a more contemporary feel than hanging the art alone.

This large landscape above the sofa brings a serene beauty to this modern room. Design by Tjasa Owen.

Are you ready to bring nature into your home?

Funky Furnishings

Funky Furnishings

The world of interior design is constantly stretching and crossing barriers to come up with the coolest, most innovative home furnishings.  Sometimes this is by means of using unique materials such as shagreen, bold colors or even taking us to great heights.

Los Angeles based HStudio, creates funky furnishings by incorporating all of the above!  Their unique furniture plays with scale, color and materials.

Founder Shlomi Haziza got his start in the art world at a young age by painting found rocks.  His painted rocks were so extraordinary that he began selling them and soon had a large following.  Over the years he has worked with many mediums, including recycled Levis jeans.  He is well known for his mastery of the difficult material acrylic.  Through his acrylic art, Haziza found the furniture world.

What makes his furnishings so unique is not just the shapes of the pieces, but also the scale.  By supersizing a cool lounge chair, he creates a special bench.  By raising the back of an arm chair, the simple becomes exciting.

Check out some of his amazing work below!

What appears to be just a cool lounge chair is actually a bench! The model really helps show the scale of this unique piece.


Ikea Opens Pop Up Lounge in Paris Airport

Ikea Opens Pop Up Lounge in Paris Airport

Everyone knows that traveling, even under the best circumstances, involves a lot of waiting around.  Swedish design company, IKEA, has come up with a solution to help create a comfortable wait by opening a pop-up lounge in Paris’s Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Located in terminal 3 from July 13- August 5, 2012, that 220 meter lounge is set up like a house with nine bedrooms, lounge areas and even a kids play zone.  There are sofas set up with tvs to provide comfortable entertainment during the wait.

Here are some pics of the cool lounge areas!  Here’s hoping they open one at O’Hare or Midway next!

The cool looking lounge creates a great area for passengers to unwind


Gorgeous Shagreen!

Gorgeous Shagreen!

Much like croc and snake skin to the fashion world, the interior design industry has its luxe materials like bone, goat parchment and shagreen.

Real shagreen, much like leather, is the skin of a pearl ray.  The rough, granular surface of the skin is often dyed to highlight its unique texture.  Shagreen can also refer to a leather that is imprinted to create a shagreen-like surface.  The rays are not large and therefore yield small amounts of skin, making shagreen one of the most expensive materials on earth.

Due to its popularity, many furniture and home decor manufacturers have created beautiful faux products that emulate the original so closely, they are a great alternative to the lower budget client.

This beautiful coffee table from Made Goods features a faux shagreen cover and is available in a variety of colors.

This cabinet has a gorgeous faux shagreen lining and inset on the macassar ebony doors.

This amazing material can even be seen in Ann Sacks new “shagreen” tile.  Each tile emulates a panel like those that would be used in real shagreen.  Now this luxe look can be used in wet locations like bathrooms and kitchens.

Cool tiles from Ann Sacks emulate a shagreen panel

Don’t have room in your home for new tile or furnishings?   Check out madegoods for their full accessory lines featuring beautiful faux shagreen!


Whirlpool Brings New Life to A Historic Building

Whirlpool Brings New Life to A Historic Building

In a time when many old buildings are being torn down to make room for newer, modern buildings, it is always great to see a historic space repurposed to give new life to an old space.

Whirlpool’s new space in the historic Reid Murdoch Center, is a beautiful example of this adaptive reuse, giving the penthouse of the Murdoch Center a gorgeous new identity.

The designers from Valerio Dewalt Train Associates chose to integrate the brands of Whirlpool, Jenn-Air, Maytag and KitchenAid by creating a series of vignettes connected by a white plaster cove that spans the entire width of the building.

The showroom

The designers of this space did a beautiful job of merging the old, beautiful space with new, modern designs.  Check out some great shots of the space!

The inside of the historic clock tower

Beautiful Kitchen

The beautiful new showroom shows the newest kitchen technology in beautiful kitchen settings

Check out the cool, angled range hood and the beautiful onyx slab backsplash!

The conference room is bright with sunlight streaming in through the large windows


Generations Divides Highlighted in Home Design Part 2

Generations Divides Highlighted in Home Design Part 2

The next demographic of people highlighted in the UNcontained exhibit is “Forever Fit”, featuring “the Zoomers”.  Zoomers are defined as people in the baby boomer generation who are nearing retirement age but still live active lifestyles.  The zoomers want their homes to not only look cool and be highly designed, but also allow them to age in place.

The forever fit pod showcases the active and trendy lifestyle of the "Zoomer" generation


Generational Divides Highlighted In Home Design Part 1

Generational Divides Highlighted In Home Design Part 1

Never before have so many generations been alive and in the work place simultaneously, each with such distinct needs and personalities.  The generational divide is evident in nearly every aspect of our society, including how we design our homes, and really, how we live in our homes.

At the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, we learned not just about cool new products but also about the needs of the different generations of consumers.  In an exhibit entitled UNcontained, they displayed five “containers” each designed with a distinct type of consumer in mind.  This education is an important tool to getting into the psyche of our clients and helping to give them the kind of home they seek.  We will show you each of these distinct containers in five different blog posts- stay tuned!

The first, entitled “New Hip Home” reflected the style of a recent college grad (part of their “GEN NOW” generation 18-34): Single, living alone for the first time, needing a little parental support and working in his first job.

HIP New Home

Recent studies showed that 88% of those in “Gen Now” want to live in Urban areas.  This urban population tends to like loft style and open concept homes with less defined boundaries for rooms.  They want to purchase furnishings that can come with them from place to place.  This consumer is also different in that they are immersed in information such as blogs, HGTV and even Pinterest, which gives them inspiration and helps them have a better understanding of design.  They are early adopters of cool new trends and technology and aren’t afraid to be a little adventurous.  Sounds like a fun client!

Next up: Forever Fit.

Spring Into a Bright New Look

Spring Into a Bright New Look

As the weather in Chicago turns from gray skies to bright, vibrant colors, we can take inspiration from the cues of nature to add some joyful color to our own homes.  Depending on your level of commitment to adding color to your home, there are several ways to do this.

The first way is to add colorful accents like pillows, floral arrangements and bold, colorful art.  Many people believe that once you have completed a room that it should never be changed, but art and accessories can rotate seasonally to reflect the weather, similar to how holiday decorations add a festive feeling.  Check out our One room, two seasons page to see how Deb transformed a room for different seasons.

One great place to add some bold pops of color and pattern is in a powder room.  We love bold powder rooms- they are the perfect canvas for interesting textures and cool wall treatments.  Even a home that is all neutral can add some colorful sophistication in this small room.

This fun wallpaper and decorative mirror spruce up a simple powder room and because it is such a small room, it isn't overwhelming.


Exquisite Powder Rooms

Exquisite Powder Rooms

People often ask me as a designer what they should do to add a unique touch to their homes when they are nervous to use bold colors or wall treatments in their spaces.  The answer- the powder room.

Powder rooms are typically small spaces so they are a perfect place to test out an exciting wallpaper, a bright color and a bold vanity.  Because they are always defined with their own door, powder rooms do not need to match the rest of the rooms in the house.

Take a look at some cool powder rooms we love.  Maybe it will help you to get some inspiration for your home!

The antique chest turned vanity with cool metal vessel sink and wall mounted faucet make our City Beach House powder room really pop.


Hot New Trends in Bathroom Design

Hot New Trends in Bathroom Design

This past week we had the privilege of attending the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.  It was great to see the hot new trends in plumbing, tile and cabinetry.  We saw everything from 3D tiles from Ann Sacks, to amazing new quartz products from Cambria.

Cool 3D tiles from Ann Sacks

Cambria quartz slabs look like granite- some of the newest patterns now look so much like natural stone it is nearly impossible to tell they are man made!


Designing Cool Kid’s Spaces That Parents Will Love

Designing Cool Kid’s Spaces That Parents Will Love

One of the big challenges in the interior design world is designing gorgeous spaces in homes that are occupied by young children.  Between sticky fingers, crayons and markers, and messy spills, it is hard enough to design grown up spaces the whole family can enjoy.  For many the design savvy client, good design must continue into kid’s only zones like playrooms and bedrooms.  So many of the kid-focused products on the market are cheesy and too childish or colorful for a sophisticated home.  So what is a design minded person to do?

Cedarworks, a custom wood playground company located in Rockport, Maine, has come up with the perfect solution with their rhapsody line of products.  Featuring indoor playgrounds, play houses and cool beds that double as interactive play areas, these are sure to be loved by children.  The natural wood, beautiful carvings and whimsical designs will appeal to their stylish parents. By incorporating slides, artist easels, chalk boards and educational toys into the design of these wood pieces, there is no need for the brightly colored plastic products.

Check out some of the fun options!

A sweet playhouse for the elegant, traditional home.


“Hot” Fireplace Designs!

“Hot” Fireplace Designs!

As a designer, I get emails from vendors trying to sell me their wares on a daily basis.  Much of what I see are different versions of the same thing, but once in awhile something very special and unique comes through that I have to share.  Today, I received an email from Focus Contemporary Fireplaces showcasing their incredibly special and unique fireplaces.  Focus is the brainchild of Dominique Imbert, a French chef, ethnologist and literature professor turned sculptor and fireplace designer.  After many different career attempts, Imbert settled on designing these unique pieces after he created a fireplace for himself and quickly received commissions to create more.

I have seen tons of cool fireplaces that are made to look like art or that seem to defy gravity; but while they all use an electric or gas flame, many of these are actually wood burning!

Check out the wonderful images of these amazing fireplaces.

This fireplace was Imbert's original design, created in 1968. It is wood burning (with a gas option) and is designed to swivel 360 degrees so it can be seen from any vantage point in the room.


Celebrating Incredible Artistry

Celebrating Incredible Artistry

Last night I attended a party at the magnificent Waldorf Astoria Chicago hotel to showcase the incredible works of R&B Faux Studio, Inc.  The artists Renata and Bozena create magnificent faux finishes using cool textures, bold colors and great finishes.  Below are some pics of the party as well as some of my favorite boards. Enjoy!


This finish was created using different textures and building up patterns around various stencils and then doing a painted finish over the plasters.

This textures mimics that dotted effect of Shagreen (sting ray skin)


Amazing Pillows Inspired by Nature’s Hardest Materials

Amazing Pillows Inspired by Nature’s Hardest Materials

While looking through all the beautiful images on Houzz, I stumbled upon these cool pillows/ottomans and had to share!  A rock is most certainly an odd inspiration for these soft, wooly pillows.  Maybe that is what makes them so cool?  The natural, organic shapes and neutral colors are perfect with many design styles.  Check out some great images of these fun pillows and ottomans!

These amazing rock cushions by Smarin are beyond cool!


What was old is new again- Timeless elegance at a Chicago landmark

What was old is new again- Timeless elegance at a Chicago landmark

As I discussed in a recent blog, sometimes the most beautiful aspects of interior design aren’t the ones you see straight ahead, but rather, above you.  A beautiful ceiling can be the difference between an average room and a magnificent one.  Take for example, this incredible Chicago landmark.

The gorgeous Tiffany glass mosaic ceiling


“Blown” Away!

“Blown” Away!

I recently returned from a great trip to San Antonio.  While I was there, I saw some incredible sights in the area, including the gorgeous river walk.  Originally built in 1941, this urban oasis sits below street level and is a lush park ground area with beautiful paths, tinkling waterfalls and outdoor art.  It received a major expansion and restoration in the last decade and is now a popular spot for weddings and events as well.

The beautiful river walk

I also toured a wonderful glass blowing studio/shop and got to learn about the process of creating some exquisite glass art pieces.

The exterior shot of the workroom at this amazing glass blowing studio.

The first step of the "blowing" process.

The vase is placed in the furnace several times to heat and mold the glass, then heated repeatedly with a blow torch and manipulated to a flat bowl shape.

And the finished products…

The finished product!

I often use art glass in my client’s homes and found it absolutely fascinating to watch these artisans create such intricate, beautiful designs out of such delicate materials.  What an art form!

Reaching New Heights with Ceiling Design

Reaching New Heights with Ceiling Design

I have been working on the office of a client that is currently a simple, rather dull space.  It does have one beautiful architectural detail- the ceiling!  It is amazing the difference a ceiling can make to the overall feel of a room.  If you take a simple room and do a special detailing on the ceiling, like add molding or beams, a wallpaper treatment, or even a cool paint treatment, you instantly turn an average room into something special.


The cool office ceiling. I can't wait to make it pop!

Here, I created a ton of visual interest in this hallway by creating a lighted cove ceiling and placing not only beautiful lighting, but a great piece of wood to create layers of color and texture.

For this installation, I created a cove and put an amazing slice of a live edge tree trunk and did cut outs for the lights.

To add additional texture and color and tie the natural wood of the lower cabinets in, I selected a beautiful piece of wood for the ceiling and inserted it into a cove.

Here, I created different ceiling heights and did a beautiful paint treatment plus a sparkling chandelier that creates a cool light effect on the walls and ceiling.

As a designer, I am constantly scanning design mags and websites for inspiration and to learn about new products.  I saw these beautiful rooms on Houzz and was impressed by the beauty of the ceilings in these spaces.

The ceiling in this room is amazing. It is wonderful how the designer (PPDS from Austin, TX) was able to create such a dazzling effect just by using a few pieces of molding.

Local designer Michael Abrams created this magnificent ceiling. The furnishings of this room are so simple and it is unfinished without any art or accessories, but with the amazing ceiling, the room really stands out.

This amazing ceiling really brings this room into a new level of design. Imagine the same room with a plain white ceiling instead of the magnificent moldings and wood paneling. Design by Murphy and Co. of Buffalo, MN.

This ceiling, designed by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects, uses simple mdf panels arranged in a cool way and painted to create a modern beamed ceiling.

The criss cross beams of this "coffered" ceiling by Gaile Guevara makes this otherwise very simple and neutral room look very cool and modern.

This dining room ceiling reminds me of the office project I am working on. This architectural element turned this super simple dining room into a really beautiful space. Design by Enviable Designs, Vancouver, BC.

This ceiling is gorgeous! LA based designer Elizabeth Gordon wallpapered the ceiling then anchored a beautiful sunburst mirror in the center to create incredible visual interest. Bravo for taking a big design risk!

Creating a "headboard" that continues across the room adds drama and elegance to this cool bedroom by B+G Designs in Hollywood Florida. I also love the amazing cube chandelier.

The other view of this room. Super cool.

I could truly go on all day with more amazing shots of beautifully designed ceilings and the spaces that exist beneath them, but I will leave you with just one more….

This ceiling has a great dark paint treatment. I love how they stopped the wallpaper just short of the ceiling and applied molding as though it were crown to separate the wallpaper from the black ceiling. Such a cool room. Love the amazing sputnik chandelier as well!

Montage Collection from Pindler & Pindler

Montage Collection from Pindler & Pindler

Pindler & Pindler has a beautiful fabric collection that has recently been released, Signature Exclusive Montage Collection.  This fabric collection is full of vibrant colors & fashion forward patterns.

“The Montage Collection is a “montage” of simple modern and transitional contemporary fabrics with a “World Traveler” feel, which coordinate to create an exciting atmosphere that is modern and edgy.” – Pindler & Pindler

Not only is this collection beautiful but is also very durable.  All fabrics have minimum of 30,000 double rubs and some are even finished with Teflon for extra durability.  These luxurious fabrics will meet your need for style and wear well, in your busy life.

Please contact us at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group for pricing and other information on these fabrics, (847) 256-9510

Left to Right: Simpatico (7 colorways available), Zigzag (5 colorways available) & IKat Dot (9 colorways available). All of these patterns are over 30,0000 double rubs and are finished with Teflon for extra durability.

Top to Bottom: IKat Dot (9 color ways available), Nairobi (9 colorways available) has 51,000 double rubs & washed in a eco-wash, Simpatico (7 colorways available)


Left to Right: Visage is a drapery silk solid (25 color ways available!), Mustique is a large scale stylized modern Ukbeki floral vine (4 colorways available), IKat Dot (9 color ways available)

Nairobi is a ethnic chenille washed damask design. Colors shown from left to right Greystone, Morocco, and Mocha

Simple Kitchen Design Updates

Simple Kitchen Design Updates

Are you looking for some simple changes that will help update your kitchen without doing a entire rehab?  Here are 4 tips from  House Beautiful that will improve your kitchen for your use as well as improve with resale value.


Tip # 1:  Add or Replace a Back splash

A simple back splash update can bring energy, color & a more modern feel to a kitchen without requiring a huge budget.  Back splash tile could either be a simple subway tile or a detailed mosaic.  House Beautiful even suggests you could simply add decals to your existing tile.


Mosaic Tile by Ann Sacks with Precious Stones

This Ann Sacks mosaic tile adds lots of bold color to a simple galley kitchen design.

Be Creative! Our client fell in love with these charming "bug tiles" so we incorporated them into different areas of the back splash. Here the dragonfly is inset in glass mosaic.

In this House Beautiful image, decals where applied to the existing back splash.


Tip # 2: Update Lighting

Updating lighting in a kitchen can make a enormous difference in design and function. Here are some suggestions for simple kitchen lighting updates:

  • Pendant lighting to a bar or island
  • Under cabinet lighting
  • Extra recessed or spot lighting

Crystal pendants coordinate with the semi-flush crystal fixtures in our clients "City Beach House" kitchen.

A simple pendant & recessed spots add plenty of useful lighting to our clients modern kitchen design.


Tip 3:  Replace Hardware

Replacing cabinet hardware can really help update your kitchen as well as tie together a theme.   Here are some tips to choosing the right hardware.

  • Do you prefer a pull or a handle?
  • Think about proportion based on your cabinet size
  • Match finishes to existing finishes in your kitchen (fixtures & lighting)


Oil Rubbed Hardware was chosen for our clients' "Lincoln Park Townhome"

For this client at "City Beach House" we chose a 1.25" crystal knob.

Crystal Hardware in "City Beach House" kitchen.










Restoration Hardware offers timeless hardware options for reasonable prices.

Tip 4:  Reface Your Cabinets

Instead of replacing your cabinets you could replace the fronts completely or reface them (by repainting or restraining).



The before image of a drastic transformation by refacing cabinets.

By refacing these cabinets for our client, this kitchen was dramatically changed. The white makes the kitchen feel airy & open.

This kitchen with refaced cabinets by Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group was featured in Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

This kitchen cabinet refacing by House Beautiful did the unexpected by not only painting the outside of the cabinets but also painted the inside a lime green for a added pop of color.

A Private Throne

A Private Throne

I have spent the last couple weeks comparing ancient man to modern man and referencing my trip to see the remains of the ancient world.  I have spoken about how we use many of the same products and design principals today as our ancestors did in ancient times.  One place where this is not so true… the bathroom.

While there were certainly private baths in the ancient world, many in the Roman empire (which incidentally was way ahead of other civilizations) used public bathrooms which usually required payed admission and were just that- public.  At Ephesus, I saw an area that had lines of squat toilets carved into a long stone bench with an ancient form of plumbing underneath- basically a big public port-o-potty!

Dozens of holes in a long bench fed to a trough underneath that fed into rivers. People would pay to use these public toilets, and while it is believed by Westerners that people sat on these toilets, they are actually squat toilets, still used by over half the world.

We have come a long way since then, and even in the last few years.  Manufacturers are now making toilets at seat height to make it more comfortable to sit on, are paying attention to the shape of the seat and are using air and water pressure to ensure everything stays clean and fresh.  Due to the recent water conservation legislation put into effect, manufacturers are being challenged to create toilets with maximum flush impact using less and less water and energy.  One very cool piece of technology is the dual flush toilet.  These toilets first showed up in public restrooms a few years ago but have been streamlined and made more attractive and appealing to a residential clientele.  It has two flush settings based on what you are flushing, and uses less water and energy when less is required.

You may have seen these toilets in public restrooms with the water saving handle. Luckily, this technology is available for residential use with attractive flushing mechanisms.

Although we have learned so much from our ancient counterparts, I am delighted this is one area where we continued to evolve and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Close-ups of the toilets at Ephesus. The hole in the front was so people could splash water to cleanse themselves after using the toilets, sort of like a primitive bidet.

This illustration from Kohler shows the technology of their new dual flush toilets.

Kohler's K-3654 Persuade Toilet with dual flush technology. Modern luxury and beauty with great new technology.

This painted room housed the latrine used by the Emperor of Rome, Nero. While painted with lovely colors and embellished, it still had no way of closing off the waste beneath the hole and was therefore a similar experience to having a private porto-potty!

The actual "toilet" area of Emperor Nero's bathroom

Benjamin Moore Paint Trends for 2012

Benjamin Moore Paint Trends for 2012

Benjamin Moore does a wonderful job with paint color trends for the year.  The 2012 color palette focuses on natural & earth tones (blues, browns, tans & grays) mixed with splashes of warm hues (berry & citrus colors).  This “nature” theme of color is evident in Benjamin Moore’s color of the year selection, which is a blue.


Color of the Year, Wrythe Blue: HC-143

Wrythe Blue, Used in a Dining Room

Wythe Blue: “It evokes the sea and sky, physically calms us and symbolizes trust and commitment”. – Benjamin Moore


Benjamin Moore has put together these four great palettes, they are wonderful inspiration for your painting project.

Electric Elegance : Blues are a tranquil & feel timeless.  This palette can be used as a monochromatic tone-on-tone for a more modern & sophisticated treatment.  Colors Include:
  • Stardust
  • Gypsy Love
  • White Dove
  • Nymbus Gray
  • Farm Fresh

Electric Elegance Color Palette

Electric Elegance

Earth & Sky: Blue as a anchor & earthy natural tones for a palette VERY close to nature.
  • Skarkskin
  • Fresh olive
  • Battenberg
  • Storm Cloud Gray
  • Wythe Blue (COLOR OF THE YEAR!)

Earth & Sky Color Palette

Earth & Sky

Sense & Sensibility: Copper-orange is rich & bold while the cool hues add a calming tone.
  • Ballet White
  • Masada
  • Dunmore Cream
  • Pashmina
  • Montpelier

Sense & Sensability Color Palette

Sense & Sensability

Spiced Life: The warm accent color adds a feminine touch to a very masculine palette of blues, gray & brown.
  • French Press
  • Revere Pewter
  • Persimmon
  • Redefined
  • Amethyst Shadow

Spiced Life Color Palette

Spiced Life

You can try any of these colors in your space with the Benjamin Moore personal paint viewer. This online painting tool allows you can upload a photo of your room and sample paint options virtually.

2012 Color Trends for Interior Design

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

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!

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

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

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!

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start the New Year Right with help form Closet Works!

Start the New Year Right with help form Closet Works!

With the New Year approaching, home organization is priority on many peoples New Year resolutions list.  Closet Works is a Chicago based closet design company and one of Deb Reinhart Interior Design Groups’ trusted & preferred vendors.  Closet Works designers can help get the most organization out of any space.

  • Professional, on-time installation
  • Quality manufactured products from our Elmhurst, IL plant
  • Licensed, Insured installers
  • Professional Partner Incentives tailored to fit your needs
  • multi-unit pricing
  • residential and commercial solutions
  • one week turn-around

Closet Works has complete customization abilities for each unique application.  Many options are available including finishes, styles & a tiered price range to complete your project. Weather it is a pantry organization or a Master Bedroom Suite closet.

With the team of Deb Reinhart Interior Design Groups‘ trained interior design eye for detail and Closet Works combined effort we can help you start your New Year right.  We even have a on-staff organizer to help oversee all the details!

Please call (847) 256-9510 or email us with questions for your project.


Master Bedroom Closet


Fold Out Bed Stored

Fold Out Bed

Office Cubby

Holly Hunt Great Plains Fabric with Nanotechnology

Holly Hunt Great Plains Fabric with Nanotechnology

Great Plains from Holly Hunt presents a selection of fabric with new stain resistant Nanotechnology.

We at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group are always looking for products that wear well in family households.  This technology is kid proof & pet proof, which is ideal for a family life.  The Nono-Tex bonds to the fabric and does not coat it, so it allows the feeling of the textile to come through and still protect against stains.

Nono-Tex protects the surface of fabrics from spills.  Spills just stop, bead & roll.
-Repels oil, red wine, soda & more
-Improves abrasion performance
-Is environmentally friendly


Back To Basics (Available in 14 Colorways)

Natural Canvas

Back to Basics (Available in 14 Colorways)

Casual Twill (Available in 5 Colorways)

New Tile Line From Ann Sacks – Nottingham

New Tile Line From Ann Sacks – Nottingham

This blog features a new tile line from Ann Sacks that is very inspiring for any kitchen or bathroom interior decoration project.

The Nottingham art tile line features a great color line & a hard glaze (that can even be used outdoors!)


Kohler Thought Outside the Box with Toobi

Kohler Thought Outside the Box with Toobi

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group we love giving you interior decorating tips & great products from the industry.

A new twist in interior decorating is Kohler’s Toobi faucet.  Who knew the inside of a pipe could be an opportunity to set a product apart from millions of other faucets?

Kohler’s Toobi new sleek contemporary faucet features lime green casing in the water portion of the faucet.

When you consider remodeling your bathroom, consider the INSIDE of your pluming!  The brightly colored interchangeable spout liners than can be easily swapped out to personalize your space.

This exciting product line includes options for:

  • Lavatory Faucet
  • Shower Head
  • Tub Filler

Subtle, this small color spot is like a warm hello in the AM when waking up to start the day or a gentle good night to retire.

It is fun, it is unexpected, it proves the color theory can brighten any area-in any circumstances.

Basement Design with Great Lighting

Basement Design with Great Lighting

To add to our series on basements  today’s post from Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group is a focus on basement lighting.

One challanging aspect of a basement renovation can be the lighting.  This basement design got it right which was featured on Apartment Therapy New York!

In this West Village duplex basement it’s hard to believe that with all the light, you are actually in a basement.  “By using a mix of floor lamps, under-shelf and ledge lights and ceiling lamps. The light bounces around the space.”  Read the full article here.


Featured Product: Sustainable Custom Furniture

Featured Product: Sustainable Custom Furniture

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Groups’ featured product this month is Clayton Oxford Designs,  a family-run business that designs and manufactures home furnishings and accessories  made of sustainable materials.

Clayton Oxford Mission
To bring cutting-edge design to the furniture marketplace through sustainable and environmentally-conscious means without sacrificing quality and maintaining terrific value.

  • Products are eco-friendly
  • Made from sustainable natural fibers and materials from the indigenous regions in which they are produced
  • All products are exchanged at “fair market” values and go to support the local craftsmen and struggling economic communities in places such as the Philippines, Indonesia,Vietnam,and Africa.

Check out Clayton Oxford Design for more products.

Coffee Table

Deb Reinhart in Chicago Home and Garden Magazine

Deb Reinhart in Chicago Home and Garden Magazine

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group is proud to be featured in this month’s issue of Chicago Home & Garden.

Our bedroom design was featured in a series on color.

“In less able hands, bright colors such as the ones in this room by Deb Reinhart ( might seem childish.  But when combined in sophisticated accents, fuchsia, turquoise, and lime evoke just the right sense of fun.  Maintaining a roughly equal representation of each member of this trio is key to pulling it off.”

Pick up the new issue of Chicago Home and Garden to see the full article!



Basement Remodeling & Decorating Ideas

Basement Remodeling & Decorating Ideas

With all the flooding this year, it may be a perfect time to think about remodeling your basement.

This blog from Interior holic has some great suggestions for basement remodeling.

Your basement can be turned into anything depending on your needs. Provided with a good sound insulation the basement can become a great music studio for rehearsals and recording. It can also become an entertainment area.

Basement Remodeling Ideas

Your Own Bar The bar stand and couple of seats can make a great place to hang out with friends without going outside your home. You can also set up a pool table there for ultimate bar-effect and for your own entertainment.

Basement Remodeling Ideas

Your Own Cinema A living room is one thing but when you want to really immerse into the world of film this would be a great place to hide from the chores and grab a cupful popcorn and watch some good movie. Big screen and soft sofas will create a very intimate and comfortable atmosphere.

Guest Room If your basement is quite spacious then it can become a great guest room with additional bath and even a fireplace. Anytime your relatives or friends would want or need to stay over it will serve them a great guest room.


Kitchen and Bath Remodeling – Bigger Does not Have to be Better

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling – Bigger Does not Have to be Better

This vanity which includes a sink, faucet and countertop is high style-very compact solution for the smallest of  bathrooms.


In the rehabbing of our clients homes, we often utilize odd areas for powder rooms. Converting a small space under stair wells, carving out a bathroom from a closet, or creating a powder room from a former mud room is often challenging space planning for the fixtures. Once the plumbing issues are solved [waste stack and water] ,this vanity would make a design statement which is unique as it is functional. Parietal is a sink-faucet and towel rack in a mere 17″ x 10″“ size.

Color pops each model red, blue,  lime, yellow, black and white.

Easy maintenance-high style and terrific impact for the compact remodeling of a small powder room, this item is a winner for decorating.

Cottage Home: Basement Remodel: Set in Stone

Cottage Home: Basement Remodel: Set in Stone

One of current and favorite projects at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group is a basement remodel of a cottage  home located in the North Chicago suburbs.

The first phase of the basement, featured on today’s blog, is a unique floor installation.

We have selected a charming pebble rock tile for half of the basement (kitchen, dining room & bathroom). The remainder of the basement is a beautiful gray epoxy concrete which can withstand the rigorous use of an active  young family.

To achieve the mix of color on the rock floor, we ordered 2 colors of river rock mounted on mesh backing which makes the installation achievable with the least amount labor.


Luckily we had plenty of help getting the job done!

The photo shown here shows our official “helpers”:)  River rock is being removed by the family children from the mesh backing and scattered into the taupe rock for the professionals to “set in stone”  the final color mix. Thanks to them for assisting us in a custom river rock basement floor!

Primary Pebble Tile

Gray Pebble Tile (Integrated into Taupe Pebble Tile)


The floor with integrated grey pebbles

Epoxy Concrete Floor












Pebble Floor Adjoining with Concrete Floors

This floor treatment allows us to meet code requirements of  ceiling height and protects the basement floor in the event of water damage.

What decorating mistakes drive you nuts: As seen on House Beautiful

What decorating mistakes drive you nuts: As seen on House Beautiful


What’s the decorating mistake decorators see in people’s houses that always drives them nuts?

Ten interior designers share their expert advice for what NOT to do.

Check out the entire online article here on House Beautiful.

1.  “Decorating that doesn’t match the personality and lifestyle of the people living in it. You wouldn’t wear the same clothes as your mother, and you shouldn’t decorate your home the way your mother would.” —HEIDI BONESTEEL

2. “Karate-chopped pillows. That look would never occur in pillow nature. Prominently placed family portraits. Best avoided if you’re not royal or papal. TVs that are disguised. They’ve been around for decades, so just embrace your TV. Would you buy an armoire for your stove?” —STEVEN SCLAROFF

3.  “The misuse or heavy-handed application of decorative painting. I saw a show house last weekend and it reminded me that you have to know when to stop. Brilliant painting is elegant and polished, but go too far and you end up with vulgarity when quality was the goal.” —MARY DOUGLAS DRYSDALE

4. “There’s nothing worse than bright overhead lights that make you feel like you’re onstage. Lighting shouldn’t wash down on you: It’s harsh and unflattering. I use dimmers in every part of a house, including bathrooms. And soft white bulbs in lamps. The best light comes at you from shaded lamps.” —BARCLAY BUTERA

5. “Candlesticks side by side. Candlelight, like open fires, has a certain allure — one of warmth and romance. To me, it’s most alluring when the light is spread around the room. In other words, separate the candlesticks! It’s also a more balanced aesthetic.” —ALBERT HADLEY

6. “Lamps that are completely disproportionate sizes on either ends of a sofa — that makes me crazy. Also when people hang a collection of pictures in these sort of idiosyncratic ways and it’s just a mess. Don’t try to get too creative. Keep it simple.” —DAVID KLEINBERG

7. “I’m often dumbstruck by the way people arrange their living room furniture. So much wide-open space, pieces plastered against walls, chairs too far apart. It’s simple, really: The guiding principle should be to create intimacy. How can you have a good conversation when you have to shout across the room? I imagine the sofa talking to the chairs, the chairs talking to one another.” —WHITNEY STEWART

8. “Regardless of how beautiful a room is, it’s compromised by glaring or gloomy lighting. Don’t rely on only one kind of light source. Mix a variety of overhead and floor or table lamps. And keep in mind that you’re not obliged to illuminate every corner evenly. Warm ‘pools’ of light draw people in and create intimacy.” —ALAN TANKSLEY

9. “Too many ideas — even good ones — in one place can add up to a big mess. Just pick one and go with it.” —ALESSANDRA BRANCA

10. “I hate seeing seating and furniture pushed up to the wall like you’re at a dance. I guess people are trying to make their rooms seem bigger, but if everything is too broad, too spread out, and too high, it’s impossible to feel cozy. It’s much more pleasant to break up space into smaller areas and give things a bit of air. Even in a narrow room, the sofa doesn’t have to be slammed up against the wall. Pull it out six inches.” —JACKIE TERRELL

Innovative Kitchen Design

Innovative Kitchen Design

Design by Sara Story, Photography by Eric Laigne

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, we look to other designers & design magazines for inspiration.  This kitchen design by Sara Story is one of the most imaginative kitchens we have seen.

The design solution was based on the architecture of a long narrow space.  All of the appliances &  refrigerator are concealed by cabinets

Check out more of this interesting design on Decorati.

Retractable Kitchen Island – Controlled by iPhone

Retractable Kitchen Island – Controlled by iPhone

This kitchen island designed  by Tim Thaler who wanted more open usable space in his kitchen. The designer used Ikea boxes for the island and custom walnut front cabinets to give it a completely custom feel.  The electronics & movement of the island is are completely controlled by a iPhone.

Retractable Island: Down

In Motion

Island Fully Extended


“A hydraulic scissor lift is at bolted to the cement, and then a small frame is built on top of the scissor lift table. On top of that is a subfloor, flooring, and then the island. The cabinet doors are on the other side, and have safety push button switches that kill the electricity from the Smart Home Insteon switches, and prevent it from moving when the doors are not fully closed. This lift can easily lift over 1,500lbs, so it was an important safety feature!”

- Tim Thaler, designer

See the entire youtube video here.


10 Real-Life Tips for Small Spaces

10 Real-Life Tips for Small Spaces

Need advice on making the most of tight quarters?

Who better to ask than Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan? He shares solutions from the site’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces.

1. Edit, Edit, Edit

You’ve got to leave some breathing room. Emptiness allows the eye to travel someplace and rest. Every space will feel bigger if you leave some things out.
2. Hang Curtains

Take the doors off doorways and closets and replace them with a curtain. Doors are a huge impediment to flow, and they take up space when they’re open.
3. Arrange Closets Carefully

Well-organized closets are essential. And if there’s no lighting in there already, always install it—a closet is only 50 percent useful if you can’t see in it.
4. Let There Be Light

Have at least three points of light at eye level in each room—and turn them on! By giving your eyes multiple focus points, lamps help expand a room visually, creating the illusion of more depth and space.
5. Use Rope Lighting

Buy LED rope lighting by the yard and put it anywhere—in your closet at shoe level, as up-lighting on top of kitchen cabinets, and under cabinets for counter lighting.
6. Make a Mirror Image

Mirrors—an old, neat trick—help make any room feel more expansive, and they double the light.
7. Create Contrast With Color

Stain the floor dark, use light colors on walls, and paint the ceiling a lighter white. This helps the eye travel up the walls, giving a sense of more space.
8. Include Oversized Elements

Don’t be afraid to go big. I know a woman with a teeny-tiny bedroom who built a huge four-poster bed. It made the room into a truly glamorous boudoir.
9. Reach New Heights

Floor-to-ceiling curtains make walls seem taller and windows larger. Do this with your shower curtain, too, to create the impression of a big, luxurious shower.
10. Wash your windows!

The eyes stop at a dirty window, but the gaze travels out through clean glass.

Decorating Secret: Indoor/Outdoor Solution Dyed Fabrics

Decorating Secret: Indoor/Outdoor Solution Dyed Fabrics

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, we love products that not only look great but also wear well.

One of our favorite secrets of the trade is to use indoor/outdoor fabric for upholstery, and not only outdoor furniture but indoor furniture as well.

These solution-dyed fabrics are kid proof, pet proof & even bleach proof (yes we have tried it!)

Please contact us if we can help with your “bullet-proof” fabric needs

Here are some of our favorite examples from Perennials Outdoor Fabrics

Beachcomber Stripe






Solution dyed fabric can be use for indoor & outdoor furniture



Plushy: Paper Bag



Pet Beds: Made from Perennials Fabrics

Barrington Country Garden & Antiques Fair

Barrington Country Garden & Antiques Fair


Hands of Hope Invites You To The
11th Annual
Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire
Friday & Saturday
June 17 & 18, 2011
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Early Buy, Friday Only, beginning 8:30 a.m.
Features of the Faire

  • Tour the Gardens of Three Outstanding Barrington Hills Estates
  • Shop the French Market:
    A Fine Antique and Garden Boutique Featuring 18 Area Merchants
  • Find Bargains at the Avant Garden Shop:
    An Upscale Flea Market
  • Fine Food:
    Pastries Prepared by Ambrosia Euro American Patisserie, Barrington
    Lunch provided by Egg Harbor Café, Barrington
  • See Unique Design Created Garden Party Vignettes

Spectacular Salads
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 AM

Barrington author, chef, and owner of Organizing Dinner, Kelly Donlea, demonstrates how to make spectacular salads by combining fresh garden flavors in unique ways.

Repurposing Garden Accents
Friday and Saturday, 1:00 PM

Lisa Pollman and Lisa Wzientek of the award winning The Brickman Group, demonstrate how to transform birdbaths, planters, and urns into exciting accents that will provide your garden an artistic touch.

Free Parking & Shuttle Departing Every 15 Minutes
Friday: Barrington High School, 1616 W. Main Street and across the street from the high school at 800 Hart Road
Saturday: 800 Hart Road only

Decorating the Ulitmate Small Space

Decorating the Ulitmate Small Space

Many people ask for ideas on decorating small & compact spaces.

Check out this video features the ultimate small apartment in Hong Kong.

Ultimate Small Sapce on Youtube

Contact us for questions on decorating your small space!


Kohler introduces Numi Toilet at KBIS

Kohler introduces Numi Toilet at KBIS

Kohler introduces it’s high tech Numi toilet at KBIS this week.


This innovative toilet boasts  features such as heated seat, built-in bidet, deodorizer, iPod/MP3 player dock, and even a foot warmer.

Numi Toilet Remote Dock

Check out this youtube clip for a more detailed look.


“Moments” Are in the New Elysian Model

“Moments” Are in the New Elysian Model

Check out this wonderful article about Chicago Elysian hotel, featured on Sheridan Road Magazine.

Milan contemporary meets Paris flea market in the stunning new model at the Elysian Private Residences in the Gold Coast.

Lisa Simeone, a founder and principal of Simeone Deary Design Group, describes the new model home at the Elysian Private Residences as a collection of moments: “wow” moments, art moments, moments that inspire, moments that nurture, but most of all moments that work together to create a new definition for luxury living—one that is passionate, instinctual, experiential, and unexpected.

The Elysian development team commissioned Simeone Deary to design the 4,000-square-foot home on the building’s 36th floor in order to give potential buyers an idea of the possibilities for the handful of remaining residences in the 60-story tower at 11 E. Walton.

The firm, which won the 2010 Hospitality Design Award for its work in the Elysian Hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms, responded with a mix of styles and materials that simultaneously do away with the buttoned-up conventions of traditional high-end design while leaving no doubt about the building’s status as Chicago’s new premier luxury address.

The designers tapped a variety of local, national, and international vendors including Poliform, Jayson Home & Garden, Design Within Reach, Luminaire, and Orange Skin. And while the styles run the gamut from contemporary to rustic, a common theme throughout the three-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is the blurring of lines between traditional uses for traditional spaces.

“We live differently today. Our lives have become so portable that the boundaries between rooms have become somewhat irrelevant. And as the functional requirements of the home evolve, so too does the design,” Simeone explains.

For sales information about the Elysian Private Residences, please contact @properties luxury representatives Kathleen Malone or Gwen Farinella at 312-646-1406, or visit


Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group






Featured in today’s Elle Decor’s Designer Registry.
elle decor logo
City Beach House Dining Room


as seen in Chicago Life

featured in a recent issue of Luxury Home Quarterly.

Only 9 Days left, showhosue closes May 22nd!

Lake Forest Showhosue Logo
Thorndale Manor
Lake Forest Showhouse Gardens

Lake Forest Showhouse Gardens

The Infant Welfare Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens are of the most prestigious showcases  in the country.  Patrons visit the showhouse every 2 years not only to tour the house but the gardens as well.

The 2011 Lake Forest showhouse gardens at The Thorndale Manor  are just as impressive and impeccably designed as the interiors.  We hope these garden will inspire you for your spring planting.


Lake Forest Gardens 1

The  historic gardens at The Thorndale Manor were originally designed in 1918 by Jens Jensen.  Frank Lloyd Wright named Jensen “Nature’s Poet” because of his use of indigenous plants, light & contrast.

Lake Forest Showhouse Gardens

This year 8 landscape designers worked together to revamp the Thorndale Manor Gardens. We encourage you to tour the showhouse to use these masterpieces as inspiration for your own back yard.

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group can recommend a landscape designer for your own project.  Please contact us with any landscape, design or other questions we can help you with.


Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group participates in the Lake Forest Showhouse

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group participates in the Lake Forest Showhouse

As we mentioned in the last blog post Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group is honored to be participating in the 2011 Infant Welfare Society Lake Forest Showhouse.

Our design is featured in the Master Bedroom of the Coach-house at The Thorndale Manor.  This blog highlights some of the key design elements we used to design our space.


Our design team created a custom millwork to “frame” the original French doors creating a focal point in the room.  Additionally, molding crowns the free form surround and conceals drapery hardware.  Fabrication & installation of our custom design was done with perfection by Modern Millwork Innovations.


Saturated colors from the custom drapery treatment create visual interest.  To soothe the eye, the bright colors are balanced with the classic custom bed from Avery Boardman upholstered in a neutral linen and luxury linens from Pratesi.


We worked closely with The Golden Triangle and Ashley & Sloan to carefully select antiques to help transform the space into a sophisticated and inviting space.

We encourage you to tour the Lake Forest showhouse, which is now open to the public until May 22nd.  Click here fore more information for tour times & tickets.


Coachouse Master Bedroom Bed
Wall to Wall Draperies, Custom Avery Boardman Bed, Custom Finished Antique Bench
Custom Designed Millwork Surround
French Antique Chairs, Antique Chest, Stark Rug & Custom Window Treatments
Before Photo


2011 Lake Forest Showhouse

2011 Lake Forest Showhouse

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, Inc is proud to be participating in the 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse.

Our interior design work will be showcased in the coachhouse master bedroom 5C – which features our custom designed millwork installation fabricated & installed by Modern Millwork Innovations.

The 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse opens April 30th to May 22nd.  Tickets can be purchased online, please  use this link  to further explore details of the 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens.

The Lake Forest Showhouse is an opportunity for select designers to showcase their talent and express their artistic abilities in a prestigious location, all proceeds benefit The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group has previously worked on  The Lake Forest Showhouse, below are some images of  the  2007 showhouse  where we redesigned a guest bedroom in a Country French Manor.

Please check back soon for more updates & photos of the 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse.


Better Homes & Gardens’ Annual Survey: Consumers’ Home Priorities

Better Homes & Gardens’ Annual Survey: Consumers’ Home Priorities

This blog post features an interesting article from Better Homes and Gardens’ featuring their annual survey which “shows shrinking interest in smaller homes and continued emphasis on affordability and energy efficiency”.

Click her to read the full article from Better Homes and Gardens’ .

According to BHG’s survey, the top-ranking features that consumers want in their next home include:

  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems (89%)
  • High-efficiency appliances (85 %)
  • Deck or patio (84%)
  • Low-maintenance exteriors (79%)

Although square footages may be slowly creeping upward again, consumers are still prioritizing living spaces. For their next homes, the survey found consumers most want:

  • Separate laundry room (81%)
  • Additional storage space , such as walk-in closets or built-ins (79%)
  • Home office, workspace, or family computing center (67%)
  • Outdoor drilling or living area (67%)
  • At least one additional bedroom with an ensuite bathroom (65%)
  • Everyday eating space in or near the kitchen (64%)

67% of consumers want a home office or workspace in their next home purchase.

67% of consumers want a everyday eating space in or near the kitchen.
85% of consumers want high-efficiency appliances.
Chicago Blizzard 2011 & Recovery: Safety Tips

Chicago Blizzard 2011 & Recovery: Safety Tips

Pam Flaherty, Vice President of Swartz Brothers Insurance and her team sent us these great tips regarding the 2011 Blizzard recovery. Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group is please to share these tips with you.  Please read below for more details.

Dear Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group,

With the snow storm of the last 2 days, and the freezing temperatures, I wanted to share a few things with you.


  • Check to make sure your dry vent is not blocked by the snow. A blocked vent could lead to a fire or CO2 back up into your home.
  • With the strong winds, your attic vents may have let in snow. To that extent, you might want to check your attic to make sure you don’t have snow.
  • With the piles of snow everywhere and freezing temperature, please take your time driving.

Stay safe and warm!

Schwartz Brothers Personal Lines Team

Chris, Lydia, Pam and Stephanie

Pam Flaherty

Vice President

Schwartz Brothers Insurance

Featuring: Designer Madeline Weinrib

Featuring: Designer Madeline Weinrib

Madeline Weinrib, a seasoned designer that takes inspiration from her worldly explorations, is an inspiration to Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group. Her use of bright colors and bold patterns defines her style and separates herself from so many others. Madeline’s striking prints and patterns are produced for the essentials: carpets, pillows, and fabrics to the trade. Her showroom and website also offer a collection of beautiful vintage furniture pieces reupholstered in the timeless textiles. Madeline has recently been featured in Living, Etc, Elle Decor, and Veranda. We recommend you take a look at some of our favorites and visit her website at

Of the rugs:

Of the fabrics:

Lighting – Tips from the Interior Design Industry

Lighting – Tips from the Interior Design Industry

We highly endorse saving the information in this blog-

Lighting is key to comfort and function in any environment.

The author-Lisa Barter articulated very clearly some important tips for lighting various areas-successfully.

contributed by Lisa Barter [lumenologist / interior architect with 3i Design, LLC]

Interior designers are often called upon to give input about lighting in residential environments. However, many solutions specified in kitchens and baths waste energy and do not get light where it is needed, but are repeated again and again because people are not sure how to light those spaces well. Sometimes, knowing what NOT to do can help make you look like a pro. Here are nine common lighting mistakes to avoid.

Oops! #1| Installing recessed downlights everywhere. This is one of the most common errors that lighting design professionals see. Builder spec versions of can lights can be very inexpensive, and people often assume that laying them out in a regular grid gets light everywhere. Unfortunately, this is not so. The optics of inexpensive can lights often allow only slightly more than half the lumen output of the lamp to escape. What a waste! In addition, can lights, unless they are adjustable or wall wash fixtures, typically don’t put sufficient light on vertical surfaces, which is where the eye perceives light. With an array of cans, we might waste nearly half our watts and still have a space that feels like a cave because the walls are dark. Also see Oops! #7.

Oops! #2| Forgetting task lights in the kitchen. The idea of adding a row of can lights over the counter falls under the category of Oops! #1. There are many better ways to light the counter, and one of them is to use fluorescent (T5), xenon or LED task lights under the upper cabinets. We do not recommend halogen because of its heat output. If your kitchen design lacks upper cabinets over some work surfaces, despair not! This is a situation where wall-mounted or ceiling recessed adjustable fixtures with the right lamp make all the difference. Adding several low voltage halogen fixtures with a narrow flood beam distribution, infra red lamp technology, and focusing them on the task area will do the trick. Remember to choose your fluorescent or LED color temperature wisely.

Oops! #3| Using downlights over the vanity without adding lights on the side. Remember the grade school trick of holding a flashlight under your face and seeing the shadows magnify your visage into a gruesome caricature? The same is true in reverse. Standing directly under a downlight, without any light at the sides of the face, creates exaggerated and unflattering shadows. In the bathroom, using a downlight over the sink is fine to accent the expensive polished nickel faucet you’ve specified, but it’s insufficient for tasks like shaving, tweezing, and applying makeup. For this, we need light at the sides of the mirror at eye level to minimize shadows and provide even distribution. This can be achieved with sconces flanking the mirror.

Oops! #4| Using incandescent or halogen sources without dimming. While we are all finding ways to retrofit lighting with more efficient, longer lived light sources than incandescent, it is still a viable and important part of lighting in a residence, provided it is dimmable. By dimming, we decrease energy and heat output, and we elongate lamp life. It’s important to educate your clients that they must dim incandescent sources as low as the task allows. For more in depth information on this topic, read here.

Oops! #5| Forgetting to incorporate ambient, task AND accent lighting. Lighting designers understand that all well-designed spaces incorporate different types of light. Ambient light is general lighting for walking around, conversing, and identifying objects. Task lighting provides higher, more concentrated lighting for tasks such as chopping vegetables, shaving, or reading. Accent light is used to highlight artwork or architectural features, such as the beautiful glass tile you’ve specified in the bath or the ceramic collection your client will showcase in open shelves in the kitchen. Combining all three types of light gives greater functionality, interest, and likelihood that you will have sufficient lighting. Also see Oops! #6 below.

Oops! #6| Neglecting to control different types of light separately. As mentioned in Oops! #5, it’s important to combine different types of light in each space. For maximum efficiency and flexibility, each type of light should be controlled separately, and any incandescent or halogen light, or dimmable LED’s (check with the manufacturer for specific requirements) should be dimmed. Controlling multiple sources can be achieved by the old school method of multiple light switches, but there are many more sophisticated ways to achieve control. From a simple programmable wallbox system for single room control with preset scenes, to wireless controls that generate their own power and can be reprogrammed from a laptop or phone, controlling the lighting yields energy savings combined with the right amount and type of light for different times and uses.

Oops! #7| Putting recessed downlights in a high ceiling for ambient light. A corollary to Oops! #1, this tactic results in a lot of wasted light and a very dark space. Light originating at high ceilings needs to have a very focused, tight beam spread with enough center beam candle power (CBCP), such as that from a ceramic metal halide or high wattage halogen source. Better yet, using wall-mounted or pendant sources to reflect light off a light, matte ceiling surface often provides much better illumination than punching a lot of holes for recessed downlights.

Oops! #8| Choosing dark colors everywhere without adjusting the lighting. While dark, saturated colors can provide a very enticing interior setting, they absorb light, requiring more energy for the space to have the same illuminance level as one with lighter values in the finishes. Many LEED-certified buildings, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s new headquarters, use high Light Reflectance Value (LRV) finishes as a way to reflect as much light as possible. This can create a significant energy savings since both daylight and artificial light are reflected deep into the space. Where possible, limit use of low LRV finishes to spaces where task lighting or high lighting levels are less critical, like powder rooms that aren’t used as full baths, formal dining rooms that do not double as work spaces, or on accent walls or trim. If you must use dark colors in spaces where higher light levels are needed, add additional light sources and use higher wattage lamps.

Oops! #9| Decorating with light. Lighting designers think about light as an actual dimension, imagining the distribution and output from each fixture, as well as the quality of the light and color. Decorating with light fixtures, or choosing fixtures based on how they look rather than their light output, performance, and distribution often results in a waste of energy and less than optimal light output. For assistance with architectural (and yes, decorative) light fixture choices, consider hiring a professional lighting designer who can transform your space through light, while providing adequate task lighting and often saving energy.

House Beautiful: The Great Lady Decorators

House Beautiful: The Great Lady Decorators

House Beautiful’s online magazine featured 9 quotes from decorators who were pioneers in the interior design industry. The quotes are taken form a new book by Adam Lewis call  The Great Lady Decorators.  Read below for all the quotes.

It was delightful to read about designers who had the same position decades ago

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group we especially like Dorthy Draper’s comment, number 9.

Function is the key consideration for architecture.

This supports the partnership between an architect and an interior designer.

  • How people live is a specialty for the interior designer.
  • How the house is built is the primary specialty of the architect.

Our team relish working with not only our clients, but the various experts who make a home unique to them

We invite you to submit to us:

I wish my home had __________ in the architectural features.

9 Timeless Design Rules

1. “Every room has a mood or personality…and it is this that one desires to develop.” —Eleanor Brown

2. “Make the husband happy, and the job is done.” —Frances Elkins

3. “Believe in optimism and plenty of white paint.” —Elsie de Wolfe

4. “If you make a compromise — selecting something cheaper than what you really like — it compromises you, because you are never really happy with the result.” —Rose Cumming

5. “There is one fundamental fact about lighting: Where there is no light, there is no beauty.” —Ruby Ross Wood

6. “You can never achieve anything in a house unless you have things that have been passed down and you find a place for them for yourself.” —Sister Parish

7. “Crossing too many t’s and dotting too many i’s make a room look overdone and tiresome. One should create something that fires the imagination without overemphasis.” —Nancy Lancaster

8. “Love is essential to the decoration of a house….A room must say, ‘My love is here,’ or ‘My love has just left,’ or ‘I’m waiting for my love to arrive.’” —Madeleine Castaing

9. “Too often when we’re buying or building a house, we do not consider each room. We are carried away by one charming feature and are blind to details that will give us trouble later on.” —Dorothy Draper

No More Avocado Appliances: Designer Tips for a Successful Kitchen or Bath Remodel

No More Avocado Appliances: Designer Tips for a Successful Kitchen or Bath Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom is one of the most complex projects in the Interior Design profession.  The statistic above 90% or 102% rings true, IF the design composition of the remodel is congruent with the home, space and is pleasing to view.

The amount of technical detail to accomplish the remodel or design is very extensive. Note some of the decisions:

Lakeshore Drive Condo Kitchen



  • GFI outlets are regulated by local code requirements.
  • Do you have enough power for the various new appliances?
  • Lighting: task, ambiance or reflective?
  • Decorative fixtures, ceiling cans or low voltage


  • Gas or electric?
  • The appliance packages can range from a few thousand up to $70,000
  • Critical to appliance choices—include the following criteria:

How do you cook? How do you entertain? How long will you live in this space?


  • How difficult is it to move water-or drains?
  • Do you need more than 1 sink? Pot fillers over the stove?


  • Maintenance – Tile is two times as hard as wood?
  • Alternative floors cork and bamboo are gaining popularity

Which trade is scheduled first? last?

streeterville Contemporary Master Bathroom

Streeterville Contemporary Bathroom


  • Are you remodeling in the same foot print?
  • Will you be  changing the wet items, the sewage stack is a critical consideration.
  • Light your face-not the top of your head.
  • Tile can range from $4-$5 a sq foot to $500 a square foot.
  • Finish schedule for your bathroom – choose colors and textures which you will  like in 2, 4 , 6  years?

Do you remember avocado appliances?

Deb’s tips:

  • Hire a professional—in selecting these expensive and permanent choices
  • Remember-the expense is not just a bathroom or kitchen –it is a home equity purchase.
  • Save the pop ideas-or trendy looks for transitional products—towels in the bath or tea kettle in kitchen
  • Classic installation in the kitchen and bath will pay for them selves.
  • The accents can then be traditional or contemporary.

Save money, invest in a professional who can stretch your dollars-eliminate mistakes AND improve the value of your home. An interior designer is your advocate and translator to accomplish a smooth remodel.

High-Rise City Beach House Kitchen

Streeterville Contemporary Bathroom

Streeterville Contemporary Bathroom

Decorating Tips for Your Living Room (or any room!)

Decorating Tips for Your Living Room (or any room!)

Real Simple has a wonderful online article of 40 Decorating Tips for Your Living Room.  We decided to feature some of these great tips and show how we have used these in some of our own projects here at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group.

Check out the entire Real Simple article for more ideas.

Tip #13: Use a rug to draw the eye in the direction of furniture you want to highlight, like a gorgeous tufted sofa.

In this City Beach House living room the Odegard carpet was the design inspiration for the entire room.

Tip #19: Perk up a bare wall with lightweight two-dimensional tiles.

Custom glass art tiles were used in this French Estate Bedroom.

Tip #20: Use plush pieces―an oversized couch, an ottoman―to give a stately look to a space.

This Lake Shore Drive Living Room has oversized plush furniture to highlight the grandness of the room.

Tip #26: Create a cozy conversation area by grouping seating around a large window, taking advantage of light and views.

This master bedroom's seating area highlights the stunning views of Lake Michigan & Navy Pier.

Renovation Guide 2010 – From Elle Decor

Renovation Guide 2010 – From Elle Decor

This renovation guide from Elle Decor features some great products for home remodeling – these items will be sure to inspire you for your next renovation project.

Here are some of our favorites from Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group.

Clay encaustic tiles by Country Floors are infused with ornamental appeal. Available in 16 patterns and come in 4" or 6" tiles.

Porcelain Wood Tile: Hastings Tile & Bath’s PLI Wood-Look Series tiles, made in Italy by Provenza, look and feel like distressed wood but are made of porcelain. These nonslip tiles are strong enough for heavily trafficked areas - ideal for everything from outdoor decks to kitchen floors.

One Coat Paint Valspar has launched a collection of eye-popping paints in its Signature Color line. Valspar’s new formula features supersaturated pigments, effortless application, and hiding power so complete it covers most old colors in one coat.

The 3/50 Project

The 3/50 Project

American Express has come out with a unique campaign – a proactive campaign – to bring attention to the advantages of supporting small business as the holiday season launches on Black Friday. Their tag line Shop Small Business Saturday emphasizes some startling statistics.

For every $100 spent in a local business-$68 returns to the community. A large retail chain will give $43 back to the local community. Online purchases give nothing to the local community.

Using social media, print ads and an internet blast, American Express is to be congratulated for de-emphasizing the negative in this slow recovery .

Personally , I will now have a graphic awareness on how any purchase will affect the neighborhood I live; where I purchase makes a difference.

Thanks to American Express.

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group – Recent Media

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group – Recent Media

This month has been a exciting time for Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group .  Not only did our office receive a ASID Design Excellence Award but we have had the honor of being featured in two publications.  Chicago Home Improvement Magazine featured Lake Shore Drive Condo on the front page of their publication and in a article about  home remodel.  The Chicago Home Improvement Magazine has a listing of where you can pick up a copy. We also are featured this week on the home page of for a minimialistic look in the Streeterville Contemporary condo.

Chicago Home Improvement Magazine Cover front page Mimimalistic Look

2010 ASID Design Excellence Award

2010 ASID Design Excellence Award

Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group Inc. is honored to receive the 2010 ASID Design Excellence Award for Residential Kitchen under 200 square feet.

ASID Design Excellece Award

Thank you to ASID and i4 Magazine for this honor.

ASID Illinoisi4 Magazine

Interior Design Product of the Week

Interior Design Product of the Week

Natural light-sky lights by Velux.

Velux introduces a skylight which gurantees no leak!

As we approach the dark winter months in much of the country; increasing the natural light in our homes can affect how we feel.  SAD – seasonal affected disorder, is a proven cause for depression and lethargy.  A skylight can offer more light than a window.  Positioning a skylight is key, however a southwest facing skylight can increase heat in the home, fade furnishings & cause glare for activity.

Choose the appropriate exposure for your home – and whether the skylight needs to open or not for ventilation.  Note: the warranty from this vendor will include installation instructions; use caution to follow the vendors recommendations to avoid voiding the warranty.

The no-leak skylight for fuss-free illumination by Velux.

Click to read the full blog by 3rings Designer Pages .

The “No-Leak” skylight. Designed by Velux.

Velux has created a guaranteed “No-Leak” skylight that takes the fear out of installing skylights. The “No-Leak” skylight has three layers of water protection as well low-e glass for better energy efficiency, light transmittance and solar heat gain. Velux offers a fixed skylight, a manually opening skylight and an electrically operating skylight depending on the need for ventilation. With the guarantee of a well sealed skylight, the possible uses are endless, as there are few architectural situations where added light from the sky would not be welcome.

Children’s Art as a Interior Design Feature

Children’s Art as a Interior Design Feature

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, we love featuring  interior design information for children’s rooms!   Today we are featuring a guest blog post by Karen Barnett of Olee Kids.  We hope you enjoy this article about decorating your child’s room with the feature element being art!

Bring out the artist in your child!

A simple saying on the wall can be a focal point in a room like this quote from Pablo Picasso. Bring out the artist in your child by hanging their artwork from a clothesline, or purchase a dry erase board or chalkboard so that they can color or write messages. Frame a few extra special pieces and build an entire room around an artistic theme. Consider making each wall a different color, and use your child’s handprints to really make the space unique.

At Olee Kids, we know how fast children grow, and for that reason, we offer a complete line of affordable and removable wall decals that can be changed in a snap!

All of these items, and many more can be purchased at We also offer custom designs, and can make a life-size wall graphic out of your digital photograph. Enjoy each and every stage of your child’s development.

Happy decorating!

Shark Tank Star – Barbara Cocoran

Shark Tank Star – Barbara Cocoran

In the elegant newly refurbished Palmer House in Chicago, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney hosted a Womens  Leadership Iniative featuring Shark Tank Star

Barbara Cocoran, a real estate mogul in NY City and a key advisor to the Today Show.  Unique to this venue of 300 people was the fact Barbara Cocoran mingled with the audience for almost 2 hours before her presentation. Approachable, sincere and authentic, Barbara held nothing back. I am shameless to admit-I did get my photo taken with her–

Her stories were priceless, her success undisputed and her giggling confidence disarmed the audience. The biggest take away was that she was most successful in a down turn; she did not make money in economic booms. Unique in today’s economy she noted, was that for the first time interest rates and real estate prices are as low as anyone has seen-and both at the same time. Her signal BUY!

Best of all Shark Tank returns in January 2011!

This was a first class evening; delicious food, gorgeous setting,  and a powerful speaker Babara Cocoran.

Congratulations to MSSB!

Chicago Interior Designers Team with Chicago Home & Garden

Chicago Interior Designers Team with Chicago Home & Garden

Deb Reinhart, ASID invites you to attend a stellar event this Wednesday 9-22-2010 at the Chopping Block located in the Merchandise mart, hosted by the Chicago Home and Garden. The evening includes interior designers as well as consumers who have a design challenge to solve.

Jan Parr,  the editor of Chicago Home and Garden will introduce the event beginning at 6PM.  Chicago Home and Garden has been a leader in interior design forecasting in the Midwest showcasing local designers as well as discovering wonderful unique sources available to their readers.

ASID interior designers who were featured in the CH+G September magazine will attend the evening to reply to design dilemmas posed by the consumers

Food is catered by the Chopping Block; the evening promises to be fun and informative with unique appetizers..

Contact CH+G for reservations.

Chicago Luxury Builders, Interior Designers and Landscape Architects

Chicago Luxury Builders, Interior Designers and Landscape Architects

PowerHouse SMART Symposium

Chicago Interior designers, luxury home builders, Chicago lenders and North Shore  real estate professionals attended a business symposium created by PowerHouse Advisers and hosted by Lewis Carpet in Northfield. Power House Advisers is a unique consulting firm which targets the luxury home building market place by bringing the leaders of this industry together for business development. Wendy Cohen, founder of Power House Advisors, led the Social Media Marketing Now!  symposium along with tech advisers to  create a road map for effective social media applications. blog will have a summary report.

Linked in, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were all discussed in the context of their applications and market share. The key to this program is the consumer friendly dialogue with information relevant to both sides of social media-the audience as well as the business. Specific tips from this Strategies Symposium will be posted in tomorrow’s blog.

New to PowerHouse Smart, Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, Inc looks forward to building a network of professionals lead by a very unique consulting firm PowerHouse Advisers.

Timeless Interior Design: Classical Shapes & Silhouettes

Timeless Interior Design: Classical Shapes & Silhouettes

Check out this great blog post by one of our preferred interior design vendors Pagoda Red!

Pagoda Red is specializes in 19th century Chinese furniture and decorative arts for the home and garden.  This is a wonderful article about classic forms & silhouettes in Chinese ceramics.  These ceramics are just one example of  how classic interior design becomes timeless.

Click here to read the full article on these simply classic forms.

“Great” Interior Design

“Great” Interior Design


What is wrong with ‘good’?

Is “Good” good enough?  Why would we at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group say ‘good ‘ is not good enough for our interior design clients?  Is doing a ‘Good ‘ job –an example of quality work?  Is providing ‘good’ client service – appropriate?

If our team asks our vendors for a ‘good’ client installation-a ‘good product or a ‘good’ delivery, how will these key parts of an installation perform?  Is the statement  ‘it looks good’  a compliment?

This week I heard a succinct quote which sums up the standards here at Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group.

“Good is the enemy of great”-David Foster (record producer & leader in the music industry)

6 words pack a lot of power.

Many of our clients wonder when we pause , frown and shake our heads-at a point in the design process and say “we can do better”.

If a design ingredient  is  likable-that is much different than exceptional.

If a trades person does a good job—what than did he or she NOT do for a great job?

We have never met – nor will we—but I thank you David Foster, for defining our business approach-so succinctly

Good is the enemy of great—and what a ‘great’ philosophy.

The Golden Triangle Sidewalk Sale

The Golden Triangle Sidewalk Sale

Our world is about value and we love to share great values with you!

This coming week (August 12th – 21st) at The Golden Triangle a clearance sidewalk sale offers Asian antiques, re-purposed wood products and European flee-market finds.

You are welcome to go to this fun event on your own.   If you should want a interior designers critical eye – we still have appointments open at this time.  To book an appointment please email or call (847) 256. 9510.

For more information on this event please visit

Streeterville Town Home Drapery Installation

Streeterville Town Home Drapery Installation

The Streeterville town home is featured in our blog again. Pictured on this video is the installation of drapery panels in the great room. While the treatment looks simple, it actually took a fair amount of thought. The owner liked his view – and mandated none of the windows be blocked. A critical limitation is the built in cabinet flanking the fireplace, did not allow  for draperies to be placed on this side of the window.  Having stated the criteria (the owners preferences and the limiting built-in), we definitely felt draperies would complete the presence of these tall stately windows.

Our solution was tailored to the architecture, which is to say-we fabricated a cascaded panel asymmetrically on each side of the window. The rod was a hammered metal which was congruent to the ethnic flavor of the space.

Dry-Erase Whiteboard Paint!

Dry-Erase Whiteboard Paint!

Working with a young family on a remodel of their home, I was aware the children often were tired after lengthy team conversations in this construction zone. I brought water based erasable magic markers and suggested they create an ‘archeological dig” in their closets.  They could messages on the unfinished dry wall in their closets and 100 years from now others can find out who live there. Before I knew it they had drawn a horizontal line on the perimeter of the entire home – every wall, every room. Luckily this was not an issue no walls had been painted, but for those creative children here is a new product. The award winning new product IdeaPaint, dry erase paint (surpasses chalk board paint, in my opinion – no chalk dust!)

Beyond Children’s Rooms this idea can be applied in home offices, workspaces, hobby rooms, mud rooms, kitchen information areas or children’s rooms. This dry erase paint can be applied to walls or furniture.

The details for the dry erase paint are below.  If anyone has used this product or does purchase this, we would love to hear about the creative applications.

In the event you prefer water based erasable magic markers-we would be happy to send a fresh set to you!

Interior design is FUN!

From a Design Obstacle to a Design Element!

Idea Paint

Idea Paint

Idea Paint

Idea Paint

IdeaPaint is a dry-erase whiteboard paint that can be applied almost anywhere to create interactive, collaborative spaces. Paint entire conference rooms from floor to ceiling. Transform curved or angled walls into cool, useful work areas. Or turn tables, desks and cubicles into mini whiteboards.

IdeaPaint is incredibly cost effective versus traditional whiteboards and outperforms the leading dry-erase options. It’s also the most environmentally responsible commercial dry erase surface on the market.

IdeaPaint is available in two products that are ideal for work environments. IdeaPaint PRO, a solvent-based urethane coating and IdeaPaint CRE-8, a water-borne paint.

BUY IdeaPaint Online!

You need more reasons?

- Best of NeoCon & Metropolitan Home Design 100
- Interior Design Magazine’s Green Star Award
- Erases effortlessly
- No cracking, peeling, staining or yellowing
- Warranty-guaranteed



Color can be your best friend. Or not.

Benjamin Moore is teaming with Dwell magazine in a truly effective demonstration FOR HOW color influences a room. The vignatettes are so fun; the editors of Dwell showcased the same rooms with completely different colors. Pink walls instead of olive green? Charcoal instead of white? How about placing royal blue with sunshine yellow?

Dwell Studio - Benjamin Moore

Technology can assist a personal decision for color of walls check out this link for Sherman Williams. You can upload your own room photo and apply paint colors virtually.

Although tools like this are helpful, there is no substitute for placing color in your space in different light (cloudy, sunny-day and night) will all influence what your eye will see.

We recommend creating samples on 2 opposing walls in your space and then live with it for a few days. Keep the formula on the paint can and number it on the wall.View the wall samples at different times of the day

At Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, our designers will interview clients to find what their color comfort is in various rooms. After personal comfort light is key.

Bedroom with Venetian Plaster

City Beach House - Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom with Blue Walls

Lake Shore Drive Condo - Master bedroom

We show for example 2 bedrooms: soft blue worked in 1 space, while vivid orange transformed another bedroom. The orange can cocoon a room for one person yet shout or disturb another.

We invite you to share your paint stories, questions or comments.

Living Room Interior Design & Staging

Living Room Interior Design & Staging

This blog shows the  process  of this Streeterville town home living room remodel & interior design.

After building the custom ceiling the footprint of this living room became significantly larger.  We re-upholstering the existing sectional with a bold indoor/outdoor velour red fabric (which is very durable against pets, stains & wear).  The sectional was then arranging it in a unconventional way so that the furniture plan takes advantage of this expanded space.

Accessories & artifacts collected from around the world are now displayed on the focal point of this space, which is the custom build-out of the fireplace & shelving unit.

We are including before , in-process and after photos to show the interior design process of this living room

Living Room: Before

Living Room: Before

Living Room: In Process - re-arranging furniture

Living Room: In Process - re-arranging furniture (before re-upholstery of sofa)

Living Room: After -Sectional re-upholstered & custom shelving accessorized

Living Room: After - Re-arranging furniture can make a footprint larger

Living Room: After - Artifacts Displayed on Shelving

Streeterville Townhome: Kitchen Remodel

Streeterville Townhome: Kitchen Remodel

Our next focus on this Streeterville town home is the kitchen remodel.

The island was completely rebuilt to give the homeowner more storage and better use of the island.  The hood from the cook top was moved so it is no longer visible. In it’s placed 2 Asian panels where placed inside of the custom built-out ceiling along with layered lighting to add function and one of a kind charm to this space.

New stone was placed on the kitchen counters & a waterfall stone design was added to the island. A new mosaic back splash  replaced the old large tile this gives “face-lift” to the entire space without requiring a lot of labor.

Please view the before & after pictures of this amazing kitchen transformation.

Kitchen: Before Remodel

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen After 1

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: After - Asian Panels Inset in Dropped Ceiling

Please check back soon and we will include photos of other areas of this excited project!

Streeterville Town Home: Great Room Custom Ceiling

Streeterville Town Home: Great Room Custom Ceiling

With this project, we started with the great room ceiling.  Frankly, it is unusual to have a ceiling as a starting point for a home remodel.  Our design team created a soffit in the great room with 4 wood panels in the center which have dimmed light for various functions in the room. The photos feature the construction of this build out.

Photos also show the second focal point of the great room which highlights the wall unit surrounding the existing fireplace.  There is a sense of composition with the new ceiling and the wall unit design.

Interior design can alter architectural features significantly.

Streeterville Town Home Great Room In Process

In Process: Great Room Construction

Custom Ceiling Installation

In Process: Great Room Ceiling

Custom Ceiling Design & Install

In Process: Construction crew discussing ceiling install

Please check back soon for our next featured area of this project.

Streeterville Town Home: Interior Design & Custom Buildout

Streeterville Town Home: Interior Design & Custom Buildout

This Chicago 5 story town home located on the Chicago river is a rare find in Chicago. The front of the town home faces the river with a pedestrian walkway in front; 8 foot windows allow huge shafts of intense light along with an amazing view of the city’s profile.

Design Challenge;

Transform the home to enhance the architecture and reflect the owner, a professional man who is widely traveled and has impeccable taste.

While all interior design is driven by the architecture, the sheer volume created by 13 foot ceilings on a compact floor space needed disciplined solutions. Our directive included a sense of minimalism-quality design features and refined appointments. We used the clients love of color to our advantage and infuse the unit with contrasting color and minimal pattern

Starting point:
In this series blogs, we are including the main floor remodeling which has both the great room and kitchen in adjoining spaces.

These pictures are before we did any construction or demo.

Great Room Interior Design

Before: Living room with existing furniture.

Dining Room - Before

Before: Living room looking into kitchen & dining room.

Kitchen - Before

Before: Kitchen

As always, we welcome your comments, questions & input.  Please check back as we focus on specific installation areas of the exciting project!

Drapery Install at Lake shore Drive Condo

Drapery Install at Lake shore Drive Condo

Every once in awhile a designer is taken back with and installation detail being better than anticipated.

The draperies in this unit have huge impact-beyond light control; they have a visual impact which softens the contemporary edge and invites one into the space-creating ‘comfort’.

These draperies changed the space completely as a welcoming invitation.

Please take a moment to view the photos of the installation in process.

We encourage your thoughts and comments!

Custom Window Treatment

Custom Window Treatment Installation

Custom Window Treatments Installation

Custom Window Treatment

Custom Window Treatments

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

We first of all would like to thank all our clients, team members and vendors.

Our next set of posts will highlight some of our Chicago interior design projects from 2009. We will use these installations for a series of design tips which apply to a home any where.

Solid design concepts can apply to any space.
A row house in Lincoln Park, a large estate in Lake Forest, a family vintage
home in Wilmette or a large new construction in Oak Brook, human comfort has
some basic needs which are the core to the interior designer.

The first featured project is a condo in a high-rise located on Lake Shore Drive. With views of Lake Michigan from each window a blue sky and water provides a amazing backdrop for bold color and ethnic accents.

This international family requested a dignified one-of-a kind space with the ability for easy wear, which will be primarily used by their college children and international guests. This condo design was accomplished with some of theses design features:

  • Solution dyed fabric, extremely durable and resistant to stains (You can pour bleach on it with no damage. Seriously! We have tried it.)
  • Bold color with blue venetian plaster walls to mimic the feel of the lake
  • State of the art lighting and electrical system includes a control panel for all rooms at the condo entrance
  • Electronic natural wood shades – to protect against the harsh lake reflected sunlight
  • Asian antiques and art to make the furnishings truly one-of-a-kind

Please look for the next blogs to see in detail how we accomplish design features in our installations, such as the use of color, lighting and furnishings.

Cottage Charm: Interior Design in the Chicago Suburbs

Cottage Charm: Interior Design in the Chicago Suburbs

The cottage under construction in the northern suburbs of Chicago continues to evolve.

The 2 photos shown are bead board accented built in cabinetry. The griege color is calming and very warm.

We used the bead board both on the peninsula and in the study area in the family room.

Residential remodeling can be time consuming but very rewarding. This foot print incorporates a lot of personal function as well as inviting charm.

We used granite counters with glass mosaic backsplash accented with deco tiles.

The floors –now covered in a construction phase—are hand scraped wood in a dark rich tone to withstand the active family life including young children.

Quality Kitchen Design Ideas & Products

Quality Kitchen Design Ideas & Products

Bubinga Wood Slab to be Installed in Kitchen Ceiling

While the kitchen cabinetry is being installed, it is important to mention the useful design elements, which adds value to this luxury unit. This kitchen is small but can accommodate the most sophisticated cook.

  • A Franke sink will be under mount and has quality finish.
  • The Sub Zero refrigerator keeps food longer and is narrower in depth to accommodate the kitchen profile.
  • The wine cooler will add function to entertaining, as well as fun to collect special wine.
  • The speed oven enhances food production for the savvy cook who uses multiple courses.
  • The quartz counter stone is one of the hardest surfaces for any kitchen use—and avoids maintenance. It is a stunning gray white polished surface.
  • Finally we show a very special design item-bubinga wood slabs which will be installed in the ceilings surrounded by recessed lighting. Above this bubinga wood slab will be strip lights washing the kitchen in a glow.