Personal Post: New Baby Photo Session

It’s hard to find the right words to convey the amount of love in this post. My tired mom brain doesn’t do eloquent writing at almost 11pm in these rare stolen moments I find to keep this blog going. I’m going to let the beautiful photos speak for me. I think you can see love and joy in my eyes and on Luke’s face. We made a baby and we really like her. Her name is Willa Valentine and she was about 8 weeks old when these photos were taken in a home that we’ve lovingly restored.

Many, many thanks to our good friend, Ania Sodziak of Anna Sodziak Photography, for taking these photos and helping curate the natural style. A mama herself, Ania reminded me how special these photos will be in the future as this is such a fleeting time. Or as my wonderful aunt Leslie says, “This is the longest shortest time.”

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Insider’s Guide to High Point Market


An Insider’s Guide to High Point Market:

My first visit to High Point Market was quite the trip! I attended a whirlwind two-day tour with ten other design bloggers, and we were so fortunate to have our tour arranged and sponsored by High Point Market Authority and The Design Bloggers Conference.  While it was my first time attending, being with the pros and on a curated tour helped give me a great sense of market. I would love to share some tips, trends and highlights to help you plan your next visit. Also, check back over the next month, as I’ll be sharing two additional posts featuring even more of our showroom sponsors and the design trends I spotted at market!

Tip 1: Pack The Essentials

Bring comfortable shoes, period. There are more than 2,000 showrooms to visit and miles to walk! High Point and the entire market area is very walkable and feels like a quaint little town (of only showrooms!). Also, I recommend bringing your camera to document all the inspiration (print out pictures and create design boards and inspiration boards back at the office) and I love a chic backpack so you can roam hands free.

One of the lovely ladies from DKOR Interiors. Bring a camera and document everything! There is so much inspiration and you can’t take it all in at one time.

The world of Ralph Lauren at EJ Victor.

Trend 1: Performance Fabrics (& Bullion Fringe)!

The above and below photos were taken in one of my very favorite showrooms – EJ VICTOR. This is a do not miss showroom! I love how it’s curated by designer + brand, there are entire rooms dedicated to brands such as Kelly Wearstler (below picture) and Ralph Lauren (above). I spotted some FABULOUS bullion fringe (it’s making a huge comeback) on this ottoman from the new PERENNIALS SOCIAL collection.

The Perennials collection has the cutest tag line, “From Kids to Cocktails” and everything can be made in their performance fabrics so there is nothing to worry about with a white fringed ottoman – yes please!

The world of Kelly Wearstler at EJ Victor.

That fabulous Perennials Social performance fabric ottoman with bullion fringe!

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Color Therapy: The Evolution of Blush


It’s no secret that pink has been huge for the past several years. It surfaced as Blush and was then coined “Millennial Pink,” which is only a little cringeworthy. When blush first came onto the scene it was an accent and usually paired with grey. It was so digestible the combo quickly made its way into the big box retail scene, marketed towards young females. 

Lately we’ve seen it in interiors as an accent and we’ve seen spaces layered with so many varying shades that blush can almost be seen as a neutral. The progression in popularity of this shade has been very interesting and we are smitten — so we’re calling this article The Evolution of Blush!

blush painted walls

Image from Hotel Bienvenue Paris

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Modern Luxury Interiors Feature

claire staszak modern luxury interiors

I am thrilled to announce our most recent press feature and cover line (!) in Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago. The spring 2018 issue features a vintage Lakeshore Drive apartment that we had the pleasure of working during the second half of 2017. This stunning 4,000 sqft home had some incredible bones to work with in the front of the house, and most of the back including the (VERY BAD) kitchen and master bath needed a total overhaul. 

You can read the feature story, “Old Is New Again,” in the digital edition and print magazine. I was also very flattered and excited to see that magazine editor, Andrea Mills, listed me as a designer “to watch” in the issue! Many thanks to my clients who were very collaborative and had a wonderful vision for their home. This was a dreamy project and a dream come true to see it in the pages of a magazine.

View the full portfolio of images: Lakeshore Drive Apartment







Design Bloggers Conference: High Point Tour Announcement

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in the DESIGN BLOGGERS CONFERENCEHIGHT POINT MARKET TOUR, this coming weekend! I’ll be traveling to High Point, North Carolina and attending the largest furniture and accessories trade show (in the world!). 

I applied for this honor before Willa was born and was chosen to attend and forecast trends with all the wonderful other participants listed below. I’m a little sad to be leaving my baby girl, but very excited to see all the latest and greatest interior design inspiration.

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Bar Styling Inspiration

bar styling inspiration

Centered by Design worked on quite a few home bars in the last year. I wanted to update this old post on home bar styling and show you some of the examples from our latest projects:

dry bar home bar styling

This space was originally a hall closet. It is adjacent to the dining room and the home owner had the fabulous idea to turn it into a bar. I loved her thought and we decided to use smoked mirror, glass shelving, a beverage fridge and custom storage cabinet to complete this gorgeous little home bar! Image part of our VINTAGE LAKESHORE PROJECT

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DESIGN SCHOOL: Katie Hackworth

I don’t know Katie Hackworth personally but I’m certain she is one badass lady. You can tell from the absolutely stellar lighting she picks for every project! You can tell a lot about a designer by their lighting choices (I think – wink, wink). In all seriousness, I’m in love with Katie’s eclectic style and originally came across her work in this Architectural Digest/Clever article featuring the coolest kitchen nook. I always love west coast vibes and Katie’s eponymous firm, Katie Hackworth Architectural Design + Interiors is located in Seattle. Originally trained as a graphic designer, Katie is a self-taught architectural and interior designer, who oversees each and every details within the homes she creates. Take a look at her amazing attention to detail in these beautiful interior shots below and enjoy her Q+A. Thanks for stopping by this edition of DESIGN SCHOOL. 

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Color Therapy: Lagoon


If you look up the most popular interior colors after neutrals, blues and greens are consistently at the top of the list. Each season we see different nuances of blues, greens and everything in between. One color we are loving right now is a deep, but less saturated teal we like to call Lagoon. Sherwin Williams calls a similar hue Oceanside, and named it color of the year for 2018. Here’s lots of inspiration for decorating with teal!

decorating with teal

Room by Leanne Ford Interiors

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PROJECT REVEAL: Bright & Airy Open Concept

bright airy kitchen reveal

This bright airy kitchen makes me so happy! Today’s project reveal is the entire first floor — open concept living, dining, kitchen, family room and powder room of a Lincoln Park, Chicago single family home. My clients built this gorgeous home in the early 90’s and were desperate for an update that reflected their current style and lifestyle. This project took almost a year to complete from our initial meeting to the photo shoot day, and you often become friends with your clients over that time period. I just love this family and I’m thrilled I was able to deliver the bright and airy refresh they were hoping for in the beautiful architecture that was their home.

Here’s a look at the finished project. Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see a few of the before pictures too as I reference them when sharing some design tips!


The old kitchen had the dated cherry wood look but overall a really nice layout. We kept appliances in the same place but made major updates to the hood, island, built-in pantries, backsplash, countertops and lighting. The old hood and backsplash were not making use of the beautiful high ceilings and that needed to change ASAP!

artistic tile marble backsplash

We used Starmark Cabinetry which is the made in USA line of cabinets I have in my kitchen and also one of the three lines we carry at our design studio in Lakeview. My design studio partners, Studio 912 Kitchen & Bath, also created the useful sections of custom butcher block for the work space on the island and coffee bar area.

Taking the backsplash all the way up the wall and creating a custom hood made a huge visual difference in the kitchen. Taking your site line all the way up to the ceiling makes for a bright airy feeling in the kitchen, as opposed to the darker and stout before image. We used a polished marble mosaic, called Studs Calacatta Gold, by Artistic Tile that shines and shimmers in the light. It also adds wonderful texture. If you can splurge, I think the backsplash is the best place to do it, as it’s often not a huge amount of square footage.

butcher block island

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The Warwick Reno: Spring Home Tour #2 – FULL REVEAL


I am SO EXCITED to finally be writing this post! Our upstairs remodel has been in the works a long time. We started the process in the summer of 2016 (with tearing out the old linoleum floors and planning the bathroom remodel). Remember the BEFORE PHOTOS from when we first moved in? And the terrible upstairs BATHROOM?

Not anymore! So fresh and so clean.

The small bathroom was gutted, re-framed and we tried to make the most of the footprint. More details in the post.

We waited until Luke had time off last summer to really dive into the complete gut. Here was the post with our ATTIC BEDROOM DESIGN. We hoped to be done with the upstairs renovation by September of last year, but with the reality of all there was to do, we just finished in the new year. When we purchased the house, the couple we bought it from had a legal cat rescue, so no one had lived upstairs in years – just the cats! The space has come a long way! With major improvements to the plumbing, refinishing of floors, new drywall, added electrical, new baseboards, doors, door hardware and lots more! 


Master detail. I designed the floating end tables to save space and keep a light and airy feeling. Lamp by Unison Home.

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