How To Find Your Style By Working With A Professional Interior Designer

At Morgante Wilson Architects, we delight in working with clients who are willing to think about the interior design of their homes from an architectural point of view. Specifically, we love engaging with people who think about interior design in a holistic sense, so that architecture and interior design are planned and developed hand-in-hand to result in the most beautiful, and functional, home possible.


And while we enjoy partnering with our clients on that journey, we often find they’re not quite certain how to choose a design aesthetic for their new home. They may favor “contemporary” style, yet not know how to make a modern house feel warm and inviting. Or perhaps “transitional” is more their style, but they’re unable to describe the balance they seek between freshness and tradition.



Working with a professional interior designer to figure out what you respond to – and how to attain it – is a luxury. It’s also a learning process – one that works best when you and your interior designer have come to a clear understanding about the way you want your home to look and feel. Here are several simple things you can do to arrive at that shared vision:


Surf the web.

Houzz, Pinterest, and Google images offer a wealth of images for you to peruse. Search for “modern kitchens” or “floral draperies” and you’ll be amazed by the inspiration available to you. Some ideas will appeal to you; others won’t. Do this exercise with your professional interior designer at your side and you’ll quickly realize a pattern emerging.


Read magazines.

Just as the web is an invaluable source of inspiration, so, too, are magazine pages. Though your pile of tear sheets may seem helter skelter to you, a well-trained interior designer will soon be able to identify commonalities between them. Perhaps all the kitchens you gravitate toward feature colorful cabinets. Or the living areas you admire all contain white sofas with patterned pillows.


Have confidence in your ideas.

This can be a tough one, I know – but it can also yield the most satisfying interiors. I’ll use a recent Morgante Wilson project as an example: we were thrilled to be asked to transform a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece into a modern-day bed-and-breakfast. The Emil Bach house – built in 1915 – had been a single family home. Our challenge: to design interiors that would complement its landmark architecture, while at the same time appeal to comfort-seekers in 2014.



As soon as I saw the house I knew I wanted to create a very contemporary look for it – an unconventional choice, some would say, but I instantly felt it was the “right” choice.  Iconic modern furniture, I felt, would highlight Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture in a way that more conventional “prairie style” furnishings would not. It was important to me that the architecture of the house remain pure and beautiful, and that the furnishings going into it would appear intentionally chosen and carefully curated. This would allow both the architecture and the interior design to be appreciated independently of each other, creating a rich dialogue between 1915 and 2014.



Because I am a professional interior designer myself, this was a decision I felt good about. But had I been one of our clients – someone who had a sense of what she wanted, but wasn’t sure if it was the “right” thing to do – I might never have had the confidence to pursue my vision. Which is why I advise our clients – and you – to allow your designer to bring ideas to you. We look at Pinterest too. But we also sleuth the art and fashion worlds, study interior design projects from Paris to Morocco, and create inspiration boards to determine what makes your heart sing. 



In other words, be open to pushing a bit beyond your comfort zone and letting new ideas mingle with ones that already resonate. That’s the way to work best with a professional interior designer – and create rooms that feel fresh, new, and uniquely “you.”


Interested in learning more, and seeing some of our interior design work? Give us a call!


Elissa Morgante
Morgante-Wilson Architects
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Other blog post related to Interior design and residential architecture:

Five Ideas for Maximizing Space through Interior Design

How to maximize square footage through architecture

Five trends in North Shore house design


Morgante-Wilson Architects provides architectural interior design services in Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Wimette, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, and Ravinia.

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