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Shelley Amato, of Adorn Design Group, spoke to us this week about her journey to designing fabulous homes one room at a time. A residential interior designer based in Chicago, IL, she loves transforming design concepts to a reality that makes her clients happy. Learn more about her work in this interview for byDesign!


What is your favorite part about being a designer?

The accessories! Nothing makes me happier than being invited to the first party at my clients’ newly designed homes.

Who or what would you cite as your most important influence?

Podcasts and collaboration with successful designers.

Can you tell us about your personal brand?

It can be summed in my tagline: “Going from fine to fabulous one room at a time.”

What is your favorite color palette to work with?

Blue and grey.

If you could travel back, what advice would you give yourself as you start this career?

Education. Education. Education. Get a hold of everything related to interior design and be a student each and everyday. Stay current, stay involved.

Please give us an overview of the more personal side of your business, how did it come to be, any interesting stories about the origin you can share?

I left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom 21 years ago. After having my third child, I couldn’t listen to one more day of that “purple dinosaur” barney singing “I love you, you love me…” My first-born was attending kindergarten and I volunteered to renovate the newly constructed bathroom for the kids. I was hooked, that was the day my business begun.

Do you have anything you can share about how you and/or your firm have been affected by COVID-19, and any tips for other designers on how to navigate and cope?

Business is, rightfully so, slow. I have taken this time to reinvent myself. I have committed myself to learning new skills that have been on my to-do list for years. For example, I picked up Photoshop, InDesign, rendering, and realigning my knowledge in Customer Relationship Management. If I can offer something new when the pandemic is over, I get to start all over again, only smarter and more organized.

What do you like most about DesignerInc?

It’s a one-stop shop! I’m so over surfing the internet for a perfect fit to my designs. I live in Chicago and the Merchandise Mart is, quite honestly, an all day event. Having access to a platform like that of DesignerInc makes my day more efficient. Who doesn’t want to be more efficient?

What your most memorable client and why?

Back in the day when HGTV was big, I had a gentleman call and ask me: “Do you do that thing that people do on HGTV where they surprise the lady with a room makeover?” He hired me to complete a room design for his wife as an anniversary present. They had been living in their home for two years and she couldn’t get the room done. She was completely surprised and cried when she saw the result! I made her happy and I had not even met her.

Follow her on Instagram: @adorndesigngroup