It was while decorating her own condo with her mother that Amy Kartheiser had a revelation to switch gears and follow her dreams: She left her sales job and pursued a career in interior design. Today, she has her own thriving firm with a staff of five, a new office in Evanston, Illinois, and home projects across the country. She also regularly traverses the globe for furniture and accent pieces for pop-up shops she holds twice a year. Here, we chat with the designer about her influences and inspiration.
Design and architecture must-sees:
The Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, which is down the street from our home and in the most dramatic setting. Whether you visit during the day or when it’s lit up at night, it’s a stunning structure. Another favorite is the Elks National Memorial, located in a beautiful domed building in Lincoln Park. It’s one of the most gorgeous interior spaces in the city.
What’s your take on the city’s design scene?
Chicago is home to a very strong creative, courageous and collaborative design scene (say that three times fast!). I’m amazed at the level of design from our local community of artists, architects, builders, designers and more. The well-traveled shop owners in this city are out of this world, too. You’re guaranteed to add whimsy or sophistication to any space by sourcing them.
Tell us some of your favorite local spots for inspiration.
This sounds cliche, but inspiration is everywhere in Chicago. Check out the reflection in the Bean at Millennium Park, head to a restaurant and view the decor and food presentation, stand by the lakefront and just stare in every direction. I never grow tired of just walking around this city and seeing what’s new.