Interior designer Jeannie Balsam of Jeannie Balsam Interiors is a woman known for providing highly functional interiors that are beautiful, classic, and inviting. With her 17 plus years of experience in the industry she’s no stranger to design challenges, especially when it comes to making the most of space in downtown Chicago’s condos.
As city dwellers know, one major challenge that comes with a prime downtown location is the shortage of square footage. That’s why Balsam considers storage solutions right out of the gate, during the preliminary stages of her design. “Without storage the space will just end up cluttered, which means the design they wanted and worked so hard to perfect will never look as great as intended,” says Balsam.
Some of her storage tips include making the most of the space already offered by using hooks for hanging bags and coats in a utility closet, using custom closet systems like STARR closets, and retro-fitting cabinets in the space. Putting the work in up front may sound daunting, but long-term it’s well worth the effort and ends up being easier to maintain.
In her recently completed River North project, Balsam seamlessly combined style and function for her clients. The biggest success in this project happened when she outsmarted the funky original master suite floor plan by merging the master bathroom and the master closet. With the new design, her clients enjoy an ultra efficient hotel-like suite that conceals clutter while offering lots of storage.
Using clean, basic lines for larger furniture pieces and then adding layers of texture through other elements, such as materials, is another one of Balsam’s tried-and-true approaches when working with small spaces. In the master bedroom, Balsam chose to design the room around the main focal point: A gorgeous chandelier by Oly. The simple lines and dark tones of the bedside tables, bed, and table lamps act as a neutral backdrop to the chandelier’s color and curves, allowing it to truly standout.
In the end, Jeannie Balsam strives to provide her clients with a design that perfectly suits their lifestyle, taste, and budget—regardless of the size of the space!