Some kids grow up playing with LEGOs and building blocks. Katherine Wozniak grew up on real life construction sites—walking around in amazement as wood and masonry gave way to beautiful interiors.
“Design has always been a part of my life,” explains Wozniak, an award-winning designer who took those first impressions all the way to the Parsons School of Design in Paris. “Having that understanding about how homes and business are constructed is what sets me apart from other interior designers.”
Her family’s custom home building business was a playground of sorts—a place for her to begin imagining how to transform an ordinary space into something spectacular.
”When I was little, I would walk through the homes under construction in awe and fascination,” she explains. “I appreciated all the practical elements of how everything was built, but I loved the beauty of the design as well. It’s that complete picture of how form and function work together.”
The seed was planted, one that Wozniak cultivated with a B.S. in Business Management and Finance from Marquette University and a study abroad experience in Oxford, England. Meanwhile, her love of interior design deepened.
So she decided to start with the basics and joined her father’s business with the goal of understanding the practical side of what it takes to build and design a custom home.
“Things that look great are not always practical,” says Wozniak, who later complemented her hands-on training in Paris with a BFA from Harrington College of Design. “I knew working with the construction side of things would enhance my interior design business.”
In 2005, her dream was fulfilled when she created Katherine Elizabeth Design, a full-service firm specializing in both residential and commercial interior design. Today, the firm has four full-time interior designers, one of whom is also a licensed architect. Wozniak says they pride themselves on being avid listeners to their clients.
“It is very important for us to understand what our clients love,” she adds. “Maybe it is a piece of artwork, furniture, or an heirloom piece. We want to know how their family functions in everyday life and what their routine is like. We are designing for them, not us.”
Katherine Elizabeth Design works across all aesthetic tastes and all life stages. Their clients range from young families to empty nesters with multiple homes. They work with new construction home design as well as re-models, and Wozniak says clients seem to appreciate the convenience of having an architect on the team—saving them the time and hassle of dealing with another firm.
Always on the edge of trend, Wozniak is already thinking ahead to 2017.
Outdoor living spaces are expected to continue in popularity, complete with full outdoor kitchens and living areas that turn living inside out.
“These areas allow you to experience the freshness of being outdoors, all while being perfectly comfortable,” Wozniak says. “Another trend we love is layers. A woven textural area rug can be an anchor for a smaller antique oriental rug, while adding that twist of the unexpected in a room.”
In addition to residential interiors, the firm also offers commercial design services—from planning a professional suite build-out to picking out all paint colors, furniture, accessories, and artwork.
Although most of their clients are within an hour of Barrington, they do offer services nationally. Katherine has relationships with many major furniture manufacturers and is able to customize furniture for each client’s project. She is a frequent visitor to the markets in Chicago and High Point, North Carolina and, with her days spent studying in Paris, is highly influenced by European design trends.
Being a busy mom to a son in the first grade, three dogs and a wife to her husband, Michael, keeps Elizabeth on her toes, but she couldn’t be happier.
“Interior design is more than a job, it’s my passion,” she says. “And I love to share my passion with others”
To contact Katherine Wozniak, visit kedinteriors.com.