When one client has a collection of Italian family heirlooms and the other was raised in Miami and thus was born with a love of modern design, it takes a designer with a curatorial eye – and a bit of a balancing act – to create a cohesive home. Luckily, that’s just what Claire Staszak of Centered By Design did when faced with the aforementioned challenge. She shares the result of an extensive renovation of a single family home in the LakeView neighborhood of Chicago:

What sparked your interest in interior design and how did you first get started?
Growing up my first love was fashion, but I never pursued it in school. A series of marketing and community relations jobs kept me generally happy, but something was missing. Finally, I was heavily involved in the renovation of an event space at my then-workplace, and the spark ignited. I went back to community college and enrolled in an interior design program. I also started my blog and went to work for other designers as an “older” / non-traditional intern.

Other than the conflicting design preferences, where there any challenges for this project?
This house has a tricky entry that opens up right into the main living and dining area. Creating a floor plan that gave each space its own sense of place and keeping them functional and beautiful was a challenge! We took one room and created an entry, music room with a baby grand piano, dueling sofas in the living space and a dining area for up to eight!

How, if at all, did this space differ from your other projects?
Each project is always unique which is why I love this job! This project was different because it was not a full gut, yet every doorframe, door window casing, baseboard, crown molding…was changed to give the house a more upscale and traditional feeling. It’s amazing how those details can transform the home’s architectural style.