Brooke Henton is the design principal at her firm Atelier Bea Interiors & Design, based in Chicago. Brooke’s design firm is fast becoming one of Chicago’s leading design firms, thanks to a focus on the local design community. Brooke received a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, and then studied architecture in Italy. Since then she has won the Donald E. Bergeson Sustainable Design Award for the “Office of the Future”. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Brooke Henton.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
Relaxed sophistication — my designs achieve a balance between classic and modern, elegant and casual. Spaces should be multidimensional, just like our clients and their families. The challenge in design is finding interesting ways to combine things for a curated look.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I start with the client’s most prized possessions or collections. That usually becomes the inspiration for the initial designs, using those items as a natural focal point then designing the surrounding spaces.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
Whether it's designing a piece of furniture or a home from the ground up, I really enjoy the collaboration process. Between the tradesmen and craftsmen, everyone’s contribution is equally important. The final product is the beautiful result of starting with a sketch and seeing it through to reality!
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I’m constantly snapping pictures with my iPhone and saving them for a rainy day. So when I’m looking for inspiration, I LOVE to go back through my camera roll and fall in love with the images again! It’s like my own personal magazine of snapshots.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
The diversity of projects I’ve completed has taught me so much. Each project has its own set of challenges and the design solutions we create will definitely be applied to other situations. My advice is to take risks and say yes to (almost) everything! You never know what opportunities will be life changing!