Creative Spotlight: Expressive Interiors by Marietta Calas

Interior designers are some of my favorite clients to work with.  This is largely because the work they do is all about details. They work hard to get even the smallest nuances just perfect, resulting in a finished project that is not only a statement of their vision and talent, but also reflects their client’s dream.

Few, if anyone, do this better than Marietta Calas of Expressive Interiors.  I’ve worked with her on many projects over the years and I’m always impressed with the finished product.  In fact, several images of her work have been featured in my own marketing pieces because of the visual interest she is so adept at creating. 

Everything from paint, wall coverings, carpets, furnishings, fixtures and art are brought together to wow, stun, and thrill at first sight. That was my reaction when I first walked into one of her projects, and it is still my reaction when I see her current work.  I can’t imagine how excited her clients must be when they see the final result!

Her work has been featured in CS Interiors, LUXE, Builders Journal, Chicago/HOME, The Chicago Home & Condo, TRENDS, Build My Kitchen, Architectural Leaders Today, Long Grove Living, Chicago Tribune and The Daily Herald, just to name a few.

Marietta has served for several years on the IFDA Board as well as the Long Grove Architectural Board, and has been consistently recognized with numerous design awards:

Chicago Design Team
Top 10 Designer
2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Best of Houzz
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

The Daily Herald
People’s Choice Award for Interior Design
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

International Furnishings and Design Association
Best Interior Design

You can see more of her work at I have selected a few of my favorites to highlight here.

Creative Spotlight: Benvenuti and Stein

This month, our Creative Spotlight features Benvenuti and Stein, based in Winnetka, Illinois.  They are a multi-faceted firm known for building fine luxury homes, seamless additions, as well as being highly-skilled artisans of woodwork and cabinetry. The quality found in their work is hard to come by and is some of the finest I've ever encountered.

Geno Benvenuti heads up the company and I have often heard him describe the work that they do as a "labor of love".  Among their many specialties are handmade cabinets and furnishings.  Open any drawer, close any door, run your hand across any finish, and you will feel the impeccable quality and solidity of their work. During a photo shoot I will often have to adjust furniture. I once attempted to move one of Geno's  hand-crafted dining tables.  I couldn't.  It wouldn't budge.  I would guess you would need six men if ever you wanted to relocate it. 

This is the craftsmanship that they are well-known for and is seen in even the smallest details. I have photographed the work of many high-end builders and few would be able to stand in the ranks along side Benvenuti and Stein.

Below are just a few samples in a seemingly endless catalog of superb work.