Name: Michael Abrams
Company: Michael Abrams Interiors
Tell us a little about your background in design.
I started my design education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I received my BFA. I went on to earn my MArch at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I spent the first 15 years of career as an owner’s representative managing the design and construction for numerous corporate clients and financial institutions. In 2000, I followed my passion and opened my own residential design practice.
How would describe your personal design style?
I aim to create spaces that are streamlined, tailored and masculine. I consider my style to be classic and timeless and like to incorporate iconic pieces of furniture when I can. My interiors tend to be calming and simple so that the people and the art work take center stage.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration is generated first by the architecture and then by the clients themselves. Getting to know them personally is important as you are creating their living environment.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2019 and beyond:
- Tailoring design for the enjoyment of the present and not being concerned about what a future buyer maybe looking for.
- Avoid using trendy design concepts; they will be outdated in a very short amount of time.
- Universal accessibility. Gender neutral restrooms are becoming widely accepted.
- Design choices are being based on lifestyle choices; knowing your client and their lifestyle needs.
- Continuity and consistency throughout a home. Avoiding jarring design changes from space to space.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Mixing and layering in materials within a space creates interest and texture. Incorporating specialty finishes, metals, various woods, glass and luxurious fabrics result in a uniquely designed space.
What projects are you currently working on?
My practice typically manages 10 – 15 projects at any given time. We are currently transforming an outdated Chicago Victorian into a modern family home and I working on an out of the ground glass and steel home in Atlanta. We usually have 1 – 2 out of state projects every year as well as many repeat clients.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I intend to continue mentoring my staff. My ultimate goal is to see them grow and thrive as design professionals.
My most treasured possession?
I have a 30 acre property in Southwest Michigan with a 120 year old farmhouse that I restored 20 years. The property, known as Red Gate Farm is magical and it is “my happy place”.
My favorite holiday destination?
The Greek Islands – heaven on earth!
My favorite hotel, restaurant and bar?
Any Aman resort. They take service and luxury to the highest level. I love RL restaurant in Chicago – just feels like home.
My favorite way to spend an afternoon?
Having friends spend an afternoon at my pool at Red Gate Farm.
If I weren’t a designer, what would I be?
I would be a real estate agent. I enjoy anything residential.
My favorite color?
Orange. It is the color of energy.