8 Years of Interior Designing in Chicago – Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

On July 26th, 2006 Bill and I decided to start an interior design firm that focused on designing awesome homes while improving upon the slow and tedious process we saw other interior designers using.  We thought it would be a fun thing to do on the side.  At the time, we decided that if it could provide us with enough money to pay the rent, we would continue helping customers one-by-one to help make their homes better.

Fast forward 8 amazing years and we now have 2 awesome interior designers in addition to Bill and Katy, hundreds of completed projects and raving fans.  The best part about being around for 8 years is knowing that we have helped a lot of people improve spaces in their homes that they were no longer loving.  Some of those spaces were poorly planned, inefficient and some were just ugly.  It’s an amazing honor to be let into peoples homes and be asked to help make something that they use on a daily basis better.

Finally, we would like to thank you, our customers and fans, for continuing to believe in us and our mission.  Without you, we wouldn’t be able to have the best jobs in the world.



Special thanks to Eric for this awesome photo of an inflatable dinosaur blowing out birthday candles.

View of Kitchen Crashers Kitchen from Living Room

Our Kitchen Design Was Featured on DiY Network’s Kitchen Crashers

Today, one of our kitchen designs was featured on the DiY Network’s hit reality TV show, Kitchen Crashers, Season 5, Episode 2.  This was a great experience getting to help design a kitchen for a hit reality TV show and we are excited with how the space turned out considering how quickly they gutted the kitchen and pulled everything together in 5 days.  Whenever we tell one of our customers, family or friends that we had involvement with this project, they always ask about how this all came together.  So, here is that story.

The Call From Kitchen Crashers

A few months ago, in the summer of 2013, our office received a call from one of the producers of Kitchen Crashers.  After talking on the phone we were invited to come on-site and learn more about their process and share with them a little about us and what kinds of kitchens we liked to design.  After this meeting and a follow-up phone call, we were informed that we were chosen to design a kitchen for Season 5 of Kitchen Crashers.  Unfortunately, we still didn’t know which project we were going to be working on.

A Small Kitchen in Evanston

After a few weeks, we found out that we were asked to design a kitchen space for a couple in Evanston, IL who had a tiny kitchen that was in need of help.  We were chosen for this project because of our past experience with designing small kitchens, specifically, another kitchen we designed for a home in Evanston, IL.  The only thing we knew about the customer was that they didn’t like their existing kitchen and that the husband owned a business in the coffee industry.

Initial Meeting

Notes from the Kitchen Crashers design session

Bill’s notes from the kick-off meeting

Finally, the day came where we were able to meet the young family that was getting their kitchen “crashed” and we would finally get to see the space.  When Bill and I arrived on site, we got to meet the family (who was really nice), the contractor that was going to be working on the project and some of the rest of the team that was helping shoot this episode.

The hardest part about this meeting was that we had 10 minutes to get to know the couple and ask them all of the questions we wanted about the project.  This was really tough for us considering we typically spend around 1 hour in our normal interior design projects getting to know the customer and what they are looking to accomplish.  The other tricky part about this meeting was that we couldn’t let them know what we were planning on designing, it had to be a complete surprise!

After the first meeting with the customer and the contractor, we had everything we needed to design the kitchen.

Designing the Kitchen

After the meeting, Bill and I discussed some kitchen design ideas over some lunch at Himalayan (our favorite Indian restaurant in the city).  We knew that we wanted to make a “coffee center” since the husband’s personal business revolved around coffee and provide as much counter space as possible since that was lacking in their old kitchen.  We also knew that we wanted to give the space a “homey” feel, just like a coffee house.

After many design iterations, we came up with a design that we loved and presented to the show.  With only a few modifications, we had the final design that was used for the final taping of Kitchen Crashers – Coffee Kitchen Crash.

Taping of the Show

During the week that the show was scheduled to tape happened to land on probably one of our busiest weeks at our interior design firm.  Bill & I had a chance to make it out to the crashing of the kitchen.  Unfortunately, in such a small space we weren’t able to see much, but we did get to see the set, Alison Victoria (the host of Kitchen Crashers) and we got to meet the extended family of the couple that we designed the kitchen for.  It was great to see the energy and the renovation process in progress.  We were also around to witness the City of Evanston and their attempt to ticket the show’s crew for parking on the street during a street cleaning day. :-)

Throughout the week, we knew the project was being worked on but we were unable to make it back out to Evanston to see the project as it was being built.  This was really tough for Bill and I since we are used to being more involved in our clients projects.

The Big Reveal

Finally, it’s October 14th and the day the new episode of Kitchen Crashers – Coffee Kitchen Crash which involved our kitchen design aired.  Up to this point, we didn’t see how the kitchen looked or was going to turn out.  For control freaks like everyone here at Design Inside, this was driving us crazy to not be move involved.  Luckily, everything in the kitchen turned out great!  We loved how the cabinets looked, the bead board ceilings and the coffee station turned out perfectly!  Maybe someday, we will get to see the kitchen in person.  In the mean time, we will have to settle for whatever we saw on TV (which is why we have such low quality photos of the project).

This was an amazing experience for Bill and I.  We had a blast designing the kitchen, meeting the customer (for 10 minutes) and getting to see someone else implement and tweak our design.  Who knows, maybe we will get to do it again someday.


Rockin’ The Suburbs (of Chicago)

Due to popular demand over the past few years, Design Inside is expanding!  Not only have we recently added a 4th designer to our team, we are now opening a suburban office in beautiful La Grange to help bring beautiful and functional interior design to the suburbs of Chicago. Just like the other famous Chicago brands that opened up suburban locations (Weber Grill, Cubby BearCorner Bakery, etc.), we too are following our customers.

Areas We Service

Below is a map of the areas that we currently service. Major cities include:

  • Chicago
  • Oak Park
  • Berwyn
  • La Grange
  • Westchester
  • Hinsdale
  • Elmhurst
  • Villa Park
  • Lombard
  • Oak Brook
  • Darien
  • Downers Grove
  • Evanston
  • The North Shore

    View Design Inside Service Area in a larger map
Red Eye Chicago article feature designer and owner of Design Inside Bill Cherne talking about moving stresses

Design Inside Featured in Chicago Redeye article on Moving Day Tips

Recently, the Chicago Redeye local newspaper interviewed Bill Cherne, the owner and one of the lead designers at Design Inside for an article about the stresses of moving.  Bill was interviewed along with 3 other professionals in the Chicago area and a local woman who has moved 15 times in the past 10 years.  Click here to download the PDF copy of the article.