Chances are you’re already familiar with the work of Frank Ponterio Interior Design. A longtime Lake Forest resident, who happens to live in a landmark David Adler-designed home with his wife, daughter, and dogs, Ponterio launched his interior design business in a 10-foot by 10-foot studio in Market Square in 1994.
Since then, Ponterio’s trajectory has consistently propelled upward. Having led such high-profile commercial interior design projects as Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest and Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, as well as historic residences built by esteemed architects like Philip Lippincott Goodwin, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and Nathaniel Owing—not to mention the North Shore’s most-buzzed-about hotel—Ponterio’s design presence is pervasive.
Today, Frank Ponterio Interior Design is a well-known force in interior design in the Chicago area. Ponterio has grown his firm into two offices (The Chicago Studio opened in the River North neighborhood in 2005) and leads a 12-person design and management team. Along the way he developed his sought-after, signature design aesthetic—approachable elegance—and grew his client base to include design projects in some of the most notable homes in the United States. He developed lasting relationships that led to clients not only trusting him to design their primary residences, but their vacation homes across the country, as well. He also gathered a number of local and national awards and accolades.
But the story is just beginning.
THE BIRTH OF A BRAND
Over the course of his career, Ponterio has had the pick of the litter when sourcing pieces for his projects. This naturally drew the seasoned interior designer to product design. “While specifying pieces for any design project, I have insider entree to the portfolios of hundreds if not thousands of the world’s best furniture designers and makers,” Ponterio says. “This invaluable access taught me exactly what goes into great product design.”
Ponterio launched his first furniture collection in 2010, featuring a sophisticated range of upholstered seating and versatile mixed-materials tables that truly brought Ponterio’s easy, adaptable design vision to life.
Next came a significant collaboration with Charleston, South Carolina based furniture, lighting, and décor brand Avrett. The first Frank Ponterio for Avrett collection launched in 2013, featuring striking lighting, mirrors, and tables depicting Ponterio’s refined aesthetic blended with Avrett’s Old World craftsmanship. A second collection was released in 2016, extending and evolving the first collaboration with additional pieces, showcasing elegantly crafted forms and exceptional artisanal quality.
EXPANDING A VISION
2016 also marks the most impactful milestone for Frank Ponterio’s expansion into product design: a partnership with Lee Jofa, an industry leader in luxury furnishings and fabrics that has partnered with such design luminaries as Oscar de la Renta, Kelly Wearstler, Aerin Lauder, and Bunny Williams. The collaboration extends Ponterio’s reach nationally and internationally, allowing him to share his creative vision with a broader global market interested in designs that balance elegance with ease.
The Frank Ponterio for Lee Jofa collection, which launched in October, marks the first partnership that Lee Jofa and its parent, Kravet, have forged with a Midwestern designer in the company’s almost-100-year history. “I jumped at the chance to work with some of the industry’s most talented design veterans,” Ponterio remarks. “To be the first designer from the Midwest, a place that was the foundation for my career as a designer, makes this launch that much more meaningful for me.”
This new collection offers a comprehensive look at the designer’s reach—pieces range from plush upholstered seating with soft, sculptural curves and considerate design elements (such as a sofa with a built-in integral armrest for enhanced comfort without added bulk) to mixed-materials lighting and tables crafted of iron, wood, mirror and stone. The entire collection reflects a quiet confidence that radiates throughout a room.
“At this stage of my career, these opportunities to reach more people with my design work are so important and rewarding,” Ponterio said. “And the fact that I get to partner with companies like Lee Jofa that I respect and enjoy working with makes the results that much more fulfilling.”