LUX Xmas 2018

LUXLIFE MAGAZINE | 57 Xmas 2018 becomes a Martha Stewart Madison Avenue kitchen complete with Häfele hardware. The designers at this firm are focused on helping clients discover what they really want. A potential client first has a one-hour, initial consultation meeting with an interior designer on the team. The consultation meeting is where the designer takes the time to fully understand a client’s design goals and working style. They listen to understand their vision, needs, and how they want their space to feel overall. This can include discussing must-have features, such as a bookcase built-in, or understanding a larger goal, for example, changing the layout of a room for easier entertaining. The designer also ascertains the client’s budget, making sure that their priorities and funds are balanced. Additionally, it’s important for Habitar Design to take into consideration the client’s preferences for their level of involvement—do they want to be very hands-on, or would they like the firm to make all the decisions? Once the designer has collected as much information as possible, they share a contract and a clear and digestible plan, broken down into steps that take the project from design, to construction, and through to furnishings. The client also sees how many hours it will most likely take to complete the project. They offer a full array of services, such as space planning, selection of art and lighting, custom cabinetry, bathrooms and kitchens, fireplace design, and more, allowing Habitar Design to coordinate finishes with construction for an optimal result. Control over custom construction is where Habitar Design shines. In fact, they have a sister company, Stratagem Construction, that can meet any project’s construction needs. An in-house wood shop allows for custom cabinets or built-ins, and Stratagem’s services include painting, flooring, HVAC, roofing, and even electrical and plumbing systems for clients. It’s an impressive list of services that allows for holistic, comprehensive redesigns and solutions—where every possibility can be explored and implemented without hassle or limitations coming from unknown construction costs or questionable sub-contractors. Habitar Design approaches interior design systemically and clearly, and this ensures that clients are well-guided and cared for, all the way from the initial meeting, to finally relaxing in their newly transformed, beautiful home that reflects their personality, tastes, and lifestyle. Where might this unique approach come from? Mitch Newman, principal and founder, started Habitar Design in 2007 with a background as a medical practitioner and in theatre. His scientific and customer-care experiences carryover into Habitar, and clients are looked after just like a patient or family member, to make sure they feel good and excited instead of anxious through the whole process. Additionally, his creative background has given him a lot of insight into how to work collaboratively with his artistic staff, as well as allowing for exploration of many ideas to arrive at a great solution. The design team is guided by the ethos that great design isn’t created by a solitary genius. In fact, the best solutions come from creative collaboration between the team and clients, ensuring that the best idea is chosen out of a range of options. A particularly unique challenge where Habitar Design’s capabilities were tested was a kitchen in a beautiful, but much older house in Evanston, Chicago. This house had been built in several phases over the past century, and the kitchen was in an awkward horseshoe layout with a closest and staircase in the middle of the room. The kitchen extended from the house in two directions, with an exterior staircase passing through one side, and a solitary post holding the floor up above. They designed a solution the ceiling was supported with a new steel beam, allowing the closet to be removed. The stairs were then cleverly covered with custom cabinetry. The clients also wanted a breakfast bar extending out from the cabinetry, and so the team hid steel angles strategically between cabinets to make the support invisible and welded a steel frame. The breakfast bar now appears to float! Even the kitchen hood was vented without a soffit, by going through cabinetry at critical junctures. As a result, the entire kitchen was transformed. It is now a beautiful, open space with no trace of the previous closet or staircase. A transformation like the previous example has made remarkable differences in home values. In many whole-home remodelling cases, Mitch reports, a renovated home has a value that is worth far beyond the cost of renovation and the original house value. When asked about future design trends, Mitch sees continued growth towards reclaimed and rawer natural products, such as reclaimed lumber. Industry-wide, he has notice the influence of the internet on finding new products and inspiration, leading to a rapid overturn of new trends, but also more potential reach for the interior design industry. People are becoming more comfortable with reaching out to designers. With so much inspiration and so many choices, a designer is almost becoming a necessity to help narrow everything down and personalise the design to the clients’ needs and aesthetics. As for future directions for Habitar Design, look out for projects involving Senior Living — a market where interior design is much needed to create healthy living spaces, which is especially meaningful for those who are homebound. It’s a direction that aligns with the firm’s mission to provide for their client’s well-being through the design process and in the final redesigned space. Great design creates better places — liveable, beautiful spaces where people can truly enjoy life. Contact: Mitch Newman Company: Habitar Design Address: 1520 N Sedgwick St, Suite 5A, Chicago, Illinois, 60610, USA Telephone: 001 312 274 2299 Web Address: