Designing for the View

Posted by Mike Kravitz on Monday, April 17th, 2017 at 10:21am.

Jamie Schachtel is a local Chicago interior designer who specializes in high rise décor. Her eye leans towards neutral colors with a mix-and-match of textures throughout a space. She believes each design should flow into the next area so that every room feels connected.    

When asked how accessorizing in a high rise is different from a freestanding home, Jamie replied, “In a high rise it’s all about the view. When decorating a new place I focus on the best approach to accentuate the stunning sights of Chicago.”


In Millennium Tower, on the 47th floor, Jamie, and her design partner, Danielle Yucht, did their magic. To allow the owners to eat up the hues of the city in the kitchen, she placed the dining room table in the corner where a person could indulge in the view that the ceiling to floor windows provide. She also made sure that the islands drawers face towards the interior, allowing a person to look out from the other side as they prepped dinner or simply cut up an apple for a snack.

Talk about textures! The dining room table chairs are made of faux-leather fabric with a distressed look and bottomed with polished nickel for a bit of flair. The island features a Carrara quartz top with a waterfall edge, and the cabinets are beautiful white Italian high glass to complete the clean look of the kitchen.

The bathroom of the unit boasts the best view in the house and placing the tub near the windows allows a person to literally soak in the view. The mirrors and the shower doors were placed specifically to reflect the skyline so no matter where your eyes fall, you get the opportunity to let the sights hit you. Jamie also suggests staying away from loud colors that may compete with the view. She sticks to neutral tones so the eye is naturally drawn out.

50 East Chestnut also affords amazing views. Jamie was hired to design a unit on the 25thfloor in the building. Her first action was to create an open floor plan without clunky decorations that would obstruct the windows, so no matter where in the apartment a person is they can see straight out of the full-length windows. Once again Jamie chose neutral colors so nothing overpowers the view. For accent lighting she opted for sconces that have the ability to dim, thus when they are the only lights on there’s no glare on the windows to obscure the horizon.

To add the comforts of the average suburban kitchen, Jamie received permission from the building and the city to cut a hole in the wall just above the sink so one could gaze out into the blues and whites of the city while executing mundane tasks, like washing the dishes. It’s a nice way to slow down from the fast-pace life of the city, but still enjoy the perks of urban living.

Living among the serene colors that make up Jamie’s pallet, walking through the living room of the space feels as though you are floating on air, hovering alongside the glass and metal of other skyscrapers. Once again, a circular table is placed in the corner to make the most of the unit’s view.  When designing to accentuate the view, one should consider placing furniture in an area that will be used frequently, allowing residents to take in the textured sky as often as possible.

To see more of Jamie’s designs and find out more about her style and approach please go to To see more photos from Joel Schachtel or to get more information please go to

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