Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe

Today we will enjoy the work of a talented designer who lived an entirely different life professionally before her creative pivot. Don’t you love a perfectly profound poppin’ pivot!?! Cari Giannoulias Interview: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe will tour some of my favorite spaces imagined by the Chicago interior designer as well as provide the inside scoop on her approach to beautiful design.

Dark grey walls. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Imagine the conversations in this cozy space with dramatic grey walls. Interior Design: Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Cari Giannoulias Interview: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe

Interior Design: Cari Giannoulias Design. Photography: Eric Hausman

Cari Giannoulias photoBefore interior design became her full-time passion in Chicago, creative dynamo Cari Giannoulias lived in LA and worked for a stretch within the music division of Jersey Films and Records (Danny Devito* and Stacey Sher were at the helm). Later, she oversaw the creative between big brands, talent, the film, and the studio for Universal Pictures in the Motion Picture Marketing Department.

When Giannoulias relocated to Chicago with her husband to build their first home, she ultimately hired herself for the design job (shazam!) and nailed it. The rest is history.

Luxurious, coastal, classic white kitchen. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

A lofty, classic, coastal kitchen in a home in Glencoe. Illnois. Cabinetry: custom by Highgate Builders. Interior Design: Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Cari Giannoulias Interview

Luxurious bar. Check out: Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe! Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

A guy walks into a bar…and can’t stop staring. This one’s sleek, sexy and ready to party. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Tell us about your creative process.

My creative process is an organic one. I spend a lot of time in the initial meetings getting to know the client–showing them images and seeing what they gravitate towards. Asking questions about their lifestyle and how they spend time in their home is key. This is most important because making a room look gorgeous is one thing, but making it functional as well is much more difficult.

I think most of my clients would say to you that they really do live in every space of their home.

Minimal and classic dining room with reflective round table. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

With stunning architectural details, this dining room is bathed in light and remains lovely before a single place has been set. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias Interview: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Tranquil Interior Design Inspiration

Serene and classic warm white bedroom. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Tranquil bedrooms are underrated, and this sumptuous example is a study in serenity. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias Interview: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

How do you provide each client with a truly custom design? 

It’s a balancing act to make each project unique through the pairing of precious and conventional.

I always stay true to my aesthetic which I deem as “understated sophistication.” I feel every room must have personal elements, antiquities, and then a mixing of periods, styles, scales and textures to make it interesting.

Rustic luxe living room with fireplace. Check out: Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe! Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Rustic, refined, and luxurious, a beautiful space to lounge invites lingering. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Leonardo da Vinci quote: SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE FORM OF SOPHISTICATION.

SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE FORM OF SOPHISTICATION.

Dramatic dining room with lofty ceiling. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Symmetry and geometry had a baby, and this dining room popped out. (Just ignore this blogger…I’m tired-high, honeychild.) Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Where does your inspiration come from?

 It sounds like such a cliché, but I do find inspiration everywhere. I’m constantly taking photos and figuring out ways to reinterpret what I’ve seen into my designs.

Built-in shelves with grasscloth wallcovering. Check out: Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe! Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Shelf styling is an art, and indeed an artist has been at work here. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias Interview: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Dreamy bar area in a home. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Because we need a second look at this foxy drink station. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

How do you score those perfect pieces for your clients?

Once I get to know the person, the rest flows pretty naturally. I am in a constant state of search–always looking for that perfect piece.

Every time I find something I love I hold onto it. When I find the perfect client for it, I match the two up. I have piles and piles of interesting furniture, lighting, art, etc. From there, I plug and play for months on making everything come together.

Stylish home office with guitars on wall. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Handsome and harmonious design in an office. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Le Corbusier quote: THE HOME SHOULD BE THE TREASURE CHEST OF LIVING. #interiordesign #quote #corbusier

THE HOME SHOULD BE THE TREASURE CHEST OF LIVING. Le Corbusier.

Lofty & Lovely

Exotic and elegant living room with arched windows. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Collections and personal touches in a unique space for living. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Luxurious marble kitchen open to living area. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

This classic and open concept kitchen hits all the right notes. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Any favorite sources for antiques?

Some of the best ideas come from perusing antique sites such as Decaso, Pamono, and Kairos Collective. These sites are well-curated and can sometimes spark an idea for a modern reinterpretation.

Bespoke bedroom design with built-ins. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

A luxurious home in Chicago’s Gold Coast is a study in Old World charm and modern luxury. In the master bedroom with custom designed millwork, the walls are covered in a textural Phllip Jeffries wall covering. Canopy bed (refinished with a glossy dark paint) and chest: antique; Baker. Flanking the bed are floor to ceiling custom cabinets. Note that lovely extendable shelf for bedside ease! Above bed: antique framed map of Italy. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, ad Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Kelly Hoppen quote. #designquote #kellyhoppen

LEARN TO LOOK NOT JUST WITH YOUR EYES BUT WITH YOUR HEART. FIND THE THINGS THAT CONNECT WITH YOU. HOW ELSE WILL YOU KNOW HOW TO DESIGN YOUR HOME?

Elegant and Pretty

Elegant vignete with chair near fireplace. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Pretty rules. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Dining room with antique Baker table. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

This dining room in a condo within Chicago’s Gold Coast incorporated many of its occupants’ heirlooms. The homeowners’ antique Baker table is a standout in the elegantly chic dining room. The chairs are Italian and circa 1940, scored in London and given a fresh look with new upholstery. Vintage art-deco print hangs above a gentleman’s bar (Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams). Crystal chandelier: Visual Comfort. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, Lovely Luxe

Powder room with walls tiled floor to ceiling with stone. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

In a showstopping penthouse powder room with a Duravit sink and toilet, natural rock face tile adorns the wall. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Old World & Italy Inspired Bedroom

Canopy bed in Old World bedroom with built-ins. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

A luxurious home in Chicago’s Gold Coast is a study in Old World charm and modern luxury. In the master bedroom with custom designed millwork, the walls are covered in a textural Phllip Jeffries wall covering. Canopy bed (refinished with a glossy dark paint) and chest: antique; Baker. Flanking the bed are floor to ceiling custom cabinets. Note that lovely extendedable shelf for bedside ease! Above bed: antique framed map of Italy. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

Kelly Wearstler quote. #interiordesign #quote #kellywearstler

RAWNESS AND REFINEMENT ARE NOT OPPOSITE ENDS OF A LUXURIOUS SPECTRUM. THY ARE TWO COMPLEMENTARY FEATURES WITH WHICH TO POPULATE A LUXE ENVIRONMENT. Kelly Wearstler.

The Designer’s Favorite Paint Colors!

For paint colors, a tried and true neutral for me is BENJAMIN MOORE Collingwood. It changes with every room but can waver between Modern and Traditional.

benjamin moore collingwood | Benjamin Moore Collingwood, a light gray that will keep your space ...

BENJAMIN MOORE Collingwood OC-28. This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces.

Another wonderful color is FARROW & BALL Dead Salmon. It has a handsome rosy hue if that’s even possible.

Dead Salmon Farrow & Ball paint color. It's like a pink that's gone gray over time and taken on this wonderful patina. Moody and gorgeous." -Philip Gorrivan FARROW & BALL DEAD SALMON 28 #farrowandballdeadsalmon #bestpinkpaintcolor #bestrosepaintcolor

FARROW & BALL Dead Salmon. No. 28. An aged salmon pink A subtle shade whose name refers to the flat or ‘dead’ finish of an aged pink painted at Kedleston Hall in 1805, Dead Salmon has a magical quality to it as everyone sees it differently. Be it a strong mushroom steeped in history, or a warming buff neutral, this deep salmon pink creates the most subtle and serene of environments suitable as a backdrop in candlelit dining rooms.

I also love FARROW & BALL Parma Gray. It’s the perfect blue grey that makes a big impact on walls.

Farrow and Ball -Parma Gray

FARROW & BALL Parma Gray – No. 27. A cool mid blue. Reading as a cool blue, Parma Gray is another color attributed to the great colorist John Fowler. Used as the backdrop to numerous costume dramas, it creates the perfect period feel when contrasted with Wimborne White. Though its cool nature can feel quite formal when contrasted with a bright white, it is a firm favorite for those who prefer a clean and crisp finish.

A City Bedroom

City bedroom.Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Charming design details in a bedroom. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely, as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

*My grown sons have no interest in interior design and are difficult to impress. However, I can now (welllll, sort of) boast just one degree of separation between me and Danny Devito…they are both fans of Danny in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

MERCI BEAUCOUP, Cari Giannoulias! For both boosting mama’s cool factor and sharing your expertise with Hello Lovely!

Sophisticated bedroom with lounging area near fireplace. Beautiful interior design inspiration from Chicago designer Cari Giannoulias on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #carigiannoulias #chicagodesigner #interiordesigner #sophisticateddecor #understated #luxurydecor

Cozy factor. Cari Giannoulias Design. Photo: Eric Hausman. Understated sophistication, approachable elegance, and exceptional quality in a room by Cari Giannoulias…certainly lovely indeed. Interview with Cari Giannoulias: Layered, Livable, and Lovely as well as Luxe Interior Design Inspiration. Personal elements, antiquities, and a mix of periods, styles, scale, and texture result in a decidedly more interesting space with character.

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Peace to you right where you are.

michele

Pretty Things

Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Linen & Oak Settee
French Linen Accent Chair
French Country Wing Chair
French Louis Style Arm Chair
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Country Sofa
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Antiqued French Lamp
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Linen Modern Wing Chair
White Slipcovered Sofa
Tufted Headboard
Aged White Writing Desk
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Column Table Lamp
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Arteriors Swivel Bar Stool
Leather Patchwork Ottoman
Tufted Chesterfield Sofa
Modern Brass Sphere Pendant
2-Light Chic Sconce
Black Tray Table
Leather Chesterfield Sofa
Midcentury Teak & Leather Armchair
60″ Round Pedestal Dining Table
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair

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4 Comments

  1. Connie
    October 5, 2018 / 8:25 am

    Lovely and inspiring! I love her entire design esthetic.

    It doesn’t surprise me that she started in a music field and went into design. Many people who are creative in one genre are also creative in another field of art. I started in music & theatre (got a music degree), studied interior decorating & had a business for awhile, and am now again back into music more. Along the way, a stint in marketing was part of my story too.

    Often one area of art teaches us to be more cognizant of all the other areas too because of their wonderful interaction in our world. And oftens artists of all genres have had to learn to market our own ‘wares’ so you’ll find very creative people have also had to learn that field too. They’re all so amazingly connected.

    All the lovely facets of the world of beauty at our feet to share. mmmm…….. 🙂

    Your post has inspired me today! Thank you. 🙂

    • michele
      Author
      October 5, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Mmmmmmmmm. Yes. I am nodding. It can be a seamless transition when your heart is that of an artist. For me, baking bread, styling a vignette in a room, painting a picture, and writing a song at the piano are all very natural expressions flowing from the same source. Artists are always the best designers and architects! Happy weekend, beautiful soul.

  2. October 8, 2018 / 8:25 am

    Bravo Cari! What talent on display here. I love the little dolls in the bedroom windows!! And the powder room, so unexpected in its finishes and simplicity. Love her style!
    xo
    Holly

    • michele
      Author
      October 8, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Wasn’t that a whimsical and clever move? Thanks for reading, friend. Happy new week to you.

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