The home-upgrading frenzy of the last few years has given way to a more thoughtful approach to design revolving around post-pandemic lifestyle trends that are particularly prevalent in Chicago’s luxury homes in the city and suburbs. Health and wellness, hybrid work and a rekindled desire for self-expression are fueling an exciting period in design and making homes more beautiful and livable than ever, according to a trio of designers specializing in luxury interiors.
Here are five interior design trends being embraced by the luxury market today.
1. Health & Wellness
“If I could point to one thing that’s driving this, I think it’s ‘longevity’,” said Andrea Goldman, owner of Andrea Goldman Design (andreagoldmandesign.com) based in the North Shore suburbs of Glencoe. “People are focused on living longer healthier lives, spending more time with loved ones, and getting maximum enjoyment from their homes whether they are working, relaxing or entertaining.”
In luxury North Shore homes, Goldman said this is taking the form of health-giving amenities such as infrared saunas and cold-plunge pools. But it is also inspiring serene spaces that contribute to one’s mental health.
Serene spaces, like this den designed by Amy Kartheiser, encourage calming rituals. Photo by Mikey Schwartz.
2. Calming Rituals
Amy Kartheiser, principal and founder of Chicago-based Amy Kartheiser Design (amykartheiserdesign.com), also sees a growing desire among clients for spaces to relax and recharge.
“When you’re working from home, where do you go to collect yourself after an intense conference call, or to make the transition between work and family time?” said Kartheiser.
In response, Kartheiser works with her clients to design spaces for the express purpose of calming rituals. “This isn’t just a corner of the living room. These are dedicated rooms with functional furniture like high-tech meditation chairs, custom lighting, audio features, and custom built-ins that house things like tea cabinets. The idea is to engage all of the senses,” she said.
Whether for relaxation or other purposes, open concept living is also giving way to cozier spaces, even in large homes, noted Lj Savarie, owner of Winnetka-based Savarie Interiors (savarieinteriors.com). Savarie described a library she recently designed for an avid reader. But the room was so inviting, it became a favorite space for everyone in the family to read, work and relax.
“It’s a sign of a well-designed space when it winds up being a place where everyone gathers,” said Savarie.
North Shore homeowners want spaces that connect them to the outdoors, even when the weather turns cold, according to Andrea Goldman. Photo by Aimee Mazzenga.
4. Year-round Outdoor Living
Another place people are increasingly gathering is the outdoors. “I wouldn’t even call it a trend anymore. Outdoor living is here to stay,” Savarie said. She noted that clients are now approaching outdoor areas from more of a lifestyle standpoint, for example designing separate hangout spaces for adults and kids.
When the weather turns cold, people still want to feel that connection to nature. So, Andrea Goldman likes to create three-season rooms that can be opened to the outdoors on warmer days and still enjoyed on cold days thanks to a separate heating source.
North Shore homeowners have renewed confidence to express themselves with colors, patterns and textures, said Amy Kartheiser. Photo by Werner Staube.
5. Colors: Warm & Bright
All three designers agree that colors are trending toward warmer tones and bright hues. “My clients are in two camps,” said Savarie. “They either want the quiet beauty of warm tones, or they want to be surrounded by uplifting colors that bring them joy.”
Greens and pinks are popular, as are warmer neutrals like beiges, taupes and tans, and wallpaper is everywhere.
“At some point, everyone had their houses looking very similar. Now, people are excited to experiment with colors and patterns, and I just love it,” said Kartheiser.