I got my professional start
in my local home town upholstery shop while I was in high school.
(Chairpeople Furniture) I learned about removing coverings from
the furniture frames, making patterns and rebuilding spring decks.
I also found out I could really take a punch! Then I moved on
to estimating jobs and selling textiles. This is where my love
of decorative arts began.
I got an early start in this industry.
I was born the youngest of four children. My mother was a former
model and merchandising maven, my father a time study analyst
and efficiency expert. It was a rare mix of art and science;
and I think it produced a true sense of wonder and an appreciation
for beauty in my mind. I have always dreamed in fractals. I have
always surrounded myself with beautiful interiors even on a thrift
store budget when necessary.
I became adept at estimating yardages and knowing all about different
types of fabrics and leathers. In my middle 20's I moved to Chicago
from the suburbs and started working in the trade first as a
retail manager, and then finally in sales to the trade in some
of the furniture showrooms in and around Chicago's bustling Merchandise
Mart. Somewhere along the line I developed an appreciation for
"lifestyle shops" like The Conran Shop and Moss in
NYC. I worked with a partner to model a shop in Chicago (Innerview/Innerview
Home) after them. We achieved a great degree of success as we
catered to Chicago's hipsters and fashionistas. We had a great
experience until we lost our lease. (a mere detail overlooked
by my partner) We lasted about 5 years in various incarnations
of this venture which I later termed "Guerrilla Retail".
From there I went on to manage Scandinavian Design. This was
a great opportunity to learn all about importing furniture from
Europe and Scandinavia. Also I always had such a love for mid-century
and classic furniture so I was very happy in this environ. It
is also where I met my wife. I did that for several years and
then began listing "Furniture Specialist" on my resume.
By this time I had been on many factory tours and learned all
about how furniture is made and what types of construction were
best for each users application. I also had the rare opportunity
to work with Lee Weitzman on his magnificent custom furniture,
and it was a profound creative environment for an interior designer
to see first hand. I helped him develop a contract line, and
market to the hospitality industry. I was also in place to help
out with visual merchandising of his flagship showroom in Chicago's
River North neighborhood.
In late 2006 I went to work for
Duralee Furniture in their Chicago Showroom and marketed a private
label concept to interior designers/retailers helping them to
create a signature line. It was the first time I built a program
like this for the trade and while doing so I picked up quite
a few tips on how to make something like this valuable even to
small design start ups. I think the most important thing I have
learned about being an interior designer is to have a bunch of
trusted craftsmen in your contact list. Even though I primarily
work on private residential projects, I am pretty hard to stump
when in need of a custom solution. I work with many of the best
repair and restoration companies, painters; and wall paper hangers.
I can always provide a reference to make the project seem effortless
to my client. To this day, interior Design is a magickal world
that I am so happy to be a part of. I have learned a wealth of
information and I have met some of the most visionary designers
I recently moved to Oak Park IL.
With my wife and my infant son. We gravitated here knowing it
would be a nice place to live in direct contrast of the city.
however, the big draw for me was that Oak Park is known for its
massive appreciation of decorative arts and architecture. Living
in the historical district we are surrounded by many amazing
original Frank LLoyd Wright homes and many other homes that are
beautiful and regal and well maintained. It is truly a HAVEN
for a design enthusiast such as myself. I completely redesigned
the home we bought. I redid the floors and all painted surfaces,
I replaced fixtures, installed focal wall coverings and I finished
a basement to include a state of the art playroom and home theater
I am often asked what does Ulterior
Design mean? To this I reply: "I believe that good design
is for everyone." In the last few years we have seen a rise
in interest in DIY media as seen on HGTV etc. This has been both
good and bad for the design industry. I think it is important
to point out that while you get to see amazing before and after
results within the span of a half hour (or what seems to be elapsed
over a weekend) These are not true representations of how most
projects are completed. It is my job to listen to my client and
help them create a realistic and scalable scope of the project
including a budget. I am not simply "plugging in" my
personality, but by creating a relationship with my clients I
can help them achieve their unique dream space. Whether you need
a new color for your bathroom or you need a whole new house full
of furniture, I invite you to contact me. I will happily discuss
the scope of your decorating project and provide you with clear
solutions for getting the job done on almost any budget.