November 20, 2017
A Look Into the Design World of Lewis | Giannoulias
Interior Designers Cari Giannoulias and Melissa Lewis began collaborating and formed a long lasting friendship and partnership, now known as Lewis Giannoulias.
by New York Spaces
NYS: When and why did you decide to found Lewis | Giannoulias?
Cari Giannoulias: We collaborated on a large scale project in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. From the onset it was a perfect pairing. Not only did our design sensibilities perfectly align but our personalities were an even better match.
NYS: What kind of projects do you mostly work on?
Melissa Lewis: We are primarily focused on high-end residential design. We are fortunate in that our clients have varied tastes so we are perennially finding new pieces that dovetail our clients tastes with our own spin.
NYS: What is a day in the project like for you both? Do you focus on different aspects of the project or do you both collaborate on everything?
Cari Giannoulias: We are both involved in every project but have our own favorite aspects. We use the yin and yang approach to our advantage and the end result is so much better when we are both involved.
NYS: How would you describe your company's ethos?
Melissa Lewis: Livable Luxury, through and through. We feel that spaces need to be approachable, curated but not precious. We want our clients to come into their homes and feel like there isn't a space that can't be used.
NYS: We are amazed you work on ground-up builds! What is that like?
Cari Giannoulias: Ground-up builds are by far our favorite. Forming a unified team with the architect and builder to ensure that every detail of the home is thoughtfully planned is always the best for the homeowner. To see the preparations and collaborative meetings come together in real life offers a sense of great accomplishment.
NYS: We also love that you work with artists on commissions. Which particular artists and can you give us a few examples of recent or favorite commissions?
Cari Giannoulias: We recently did a couple of commissions with Ashley Longshore, an artist based in New Orleans. Her avant garde personality and her ability to be witty and provocative make her pieces showstoppers in any room.
Melissa Lewis: We also worked with Scott Reeder on a commissioned piece. His work is esoteric and balanced with a tinge of edge and wonder that work perfectly for our client and his space.
NYS: If you could each design you dream home, what would it look like and where would it be?
Melissa Lewis: I live in a neighborhood here in Chicago that I love. It's perfect for the way my family lives and has everything we need within a few blocks. If I could design my dream home it would be on our same block but a custom build (there's one tear down in particular I've been eyeballing for a while). I love the idea of modernized a classic Brooklyn townhouse but as a freestanding single family home. Architectural aspects like seeing straight through to the backyard from the front door, a big open kitchen, and all the pre-war mouldings but with an updated twist really echo my family and our varied personalities.
Cari Giannoulias: My dream home is in Chania which is on the island of Crete in Greece. We have family and friends there and spend our summer vacations there every year. I think a home that has both access to the ocean and a view of the sunset would be ideal. The architectural details would allow for cohesion not only between the rooms but the outdoor spaces as well. As we really relish in "less is more" there, we would keep the furnishings sparse but extremely comfortable.
NYS: What are you working on now?
Our plates are full but we love it! We have commenced working on a historical mansion renovation in Chicago as well as a vacation home in Park City, Utah. We have several single family homes that are underway in the Chicago area that all have wonderful bones but need a little facelift. We are also looking forward to what adventures and amazing projects next year holds!
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