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Understanding the Home Design Process: An Interview with Brooke Henton of Atelier Bea Interiors Design LLC.

By Brooke Henton

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

Atelier Bea is a full service interior design studio with a focus on luxury residential interiors and commercial spaces. As a designer growing up in Chicago, I have always been an enthusiast of Chicago architecture and the rich city history and its growing landscape. My interests in architecture led me to further expand my knowledge by earning a masters degree in architectural design from University of Illinois-Urbana. I've always loved solving spatial problems by creating floor plans as well as selecting complementary interior finishes. At the beginning of my career, working one-on-one with entrepreneurs and enthusiastic homeowners inspired me to strike out on my own to start Atelier Bea Interiors & Design in 2010, giving them the services we all desire: a comfortable, beautiful, well-designed space.

We offer services to our clients that are a unique combination of architecture and interior design, by creating a customized experience. From inspiration boards, furniture floor plans to customized 3D walkthroughs, our design packages include start to finish consulting. We leverage long-standing relationships with vendors to provide clients with a breadth of options and design solutions.

What are some of the most common design features that homeowners request in your area?

The weather in Chicago plays such a huge role in our lives, including home design. Homeowners are looking to bring life and energy to common areas where they entertain so it's no surprise that homeowners in Chicago look to spruce up the living area surrounded by the fireplace and outdoor spaces. During the 100 days of summer, everyone enjoys entertaining outside and soaking up the warm temperatures. In the long, cold winter, majority of your time is spent indoors, so a number of people invest in their fireplaces and the lounging area surrounding the centerpiece.

What's the most important thing you do when you first meet with a homeowner about a new design project?

The most important thing is to understand their design style. Every client has a distinctive personality and it's important to understand that from the beginning. When designing, I have to channel my client's style/needs and take into consideration any challenges within their home (space layout, children & pets, working from home, entertaining, etc).

What are the basic phases in the design process?

We start with Inspiration- understanding the client's design needs and design style. Then we Design a solution- from space planning to finishes, we reveal the best options to fit your home- within the specified budget. And finally, we Implement the design- ensuring the intentions of the design are met and the final product is exactly what we want!

How do you help people balance what they want for their home with their budget?

In using an interior designer, our goal is to help you make the BEST decisions within your budget. In doing our research, we work with our trusted contractors and vendors to determine what's the best solution for your home.

What advice would you give to homeowners who don't want to have any regrets when their project is finished?

If you decide to design your home yourself, be careful when purchasing products online. Pay close attention to product reviews and the return policy, as some products look beautiful in pictures, but in person, they may be low quality or a different color. As an interior designer, we've seen it all and already learned the hard lessons, so homeowners have a smooth design process!

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

To see images from recently completed projects, visit our website at Also check out our Instagram to see progress photos of our current projects! @atelierbeainteriordesign. To reach us directly, send an email to or by phone at (773) 870-0003.

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Phone: 773-870-0003

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