The People's Princess - Remembering After 20 Years

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's passing.

As we remember the life of the People's Princess, we celebrate a woman who was full of grace, elegance, and generosity.  She was the tastemaker of our time, but more than that, she was a light to many through her humanitarian ways.

Join us as we look back at her timeless style and bright smile - Always in our hearts !


Friday Feature: Exterior Design Tips


We are so excited to partner with Van Zelst Landscape Development on this guest blog-post regarding exterior design.  Though outdoor entertaining spaces initially represent a challenge (i.e. finding the right team, deciding what look you’re going for, spending the capital, etc.), we promise that this space will become a retreat you’ll enjoy for years to come!  Read on to hear from the Van Zelst’s expert team regarding their best tips and tricks for getting the most use out of those outdoor entertaining spaces.

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

With the beautiful summer and fall months we experience here on the North Shore of Chicago, one of the most valuable investments we can make is to bring our interior design style outside.  Utilizing the same design principles you follow with the interior, and with the help of a skilled landscape architect, your outdoor spaces will soon look and feel like a natural and beautiful extension of your home.

To begin with, in the same way that each room in your house has a purpose—whether it’s a den, dining room, or office—it is important to create a purpose for each of your exterior spaces.  The key difference with outdoor areas is to designate separate seating arrangements throughout your yard.

In regard to the design of the exterior space, consider the details that were essential to you when designing your interior.  How can you draw those details to the outside?   This is one area where clients benefit from the help of a landscape designer—We concentrate on finding unique ways to carry the same style and tone of interiors to the exteriors of client homes.  For instance, we have found that walkways are often an overlooked aspect of the exterior design, and yet they are the first impression one makes when welcoming guests into their home.

Further, one design principle we always capitalize on is the use of scale.  Just as one varies the height of tablescapes on the interior, this same rule applies to your outdoor spaces.  As landscape designers know, raised terraces and walkways provide visual interest, as do plants of varied heights and sizes.

And finally, don’t forget to think about lighting!  The days in Winnetka are beautiful, but so are the evenings.  Be sure to light your exterior entertaining space well enough so that they can be easily enjoyed at nighttime, too.  Some ways to accomplish this include using string lights, large lanterns with candles, and small spotlights to accent all that you’ve done with your new outdoor space!

Don’t feel intimidated by taking your design outdoors—With the help of a landscape designer and your own personal style, you can transform those unused exterior spaces into a special place to entertain and enjoy for years to come.

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

David Van Zelst is the founder of Van Zelst Inc., a professional landscape architect, design and build company that services the Chicago North Shore.  Van Zelst has been creating award-winning landscape designs in Winnetka and the surrounding suburbs for over 30 years.  They have also been featured in many well-known publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening, and Chicago Home.

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

Photo via Van Zelst Landscape Development

Friday Feature: A FAN Favorite!

Happy Friday, friends !!

Earlier this month we were thrilled when our, "Modern Living in a Classic Home," project was featured on the popular residential design website, Houzz.  This project has proven to be a fan-favorite, as it was also chosen to be part of the Winnetka Club's "Lifestyles of the North Shore" 2016 House Walk.

In the feature, Houzz Contributor Camille LeFevre talks about our client's decision to move from the big city out to the beautiful North Shore suburb of Winnetka, and the design dilemma they faced upon choosing their traditional house:  "For this family of urban transplants, an aesthetic face-lift of their suburban clapboard home was a must..."

The article then features an interview between Jeannie and Camille, where Jeannie explains how she was able to transform the house into her client's dream home by utilizing a fresh, modern take on traditional design.

For the full article, please click the link below:

Happy reading and happy weekend!
 - Jeannie Balsam Interiors

Werner Straube Photography

Werner Straube Photography

SADS Event - Over $2,000 Raised!!

On February 23, we had a wonderful time hosting our 8th Annual, Girls' & Guys' Night Out!

This event is held every year in loving memory of my niece, Rebecca Righeimer, who passed away in 2003 from a heart illness known as SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes).  Almost a decade ago, I came up with the idea to host a night out at Little Ricky's in Winnetka, guest-bartending as a way to bring people together and keep Rebecca's legacy alive, while simultaneously fundraising donations through tips from drink purchases and raising awareness of the disease.

A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who was able to make it to the event (pictures below), as well as to our friends and family who have so generously donated to the SADS Foundation in Rebecca's honor.  This year alone, we have raised over $2,000 !!!

If you would like to donate in Rebecca's memory, please do so by filling out the online form located here.  We greatly appreciate your consideration and generosity!

We can't wait for next year's event - We hope to see you there!

Jeannie & the team

Jeannie pictured with colleagues, clients, and friends enjoying the SADS Event.

Jeannie pictured with colleagues, clients, and friends enjoying the SADS Event.

The Jeannie Balsam Interiors team (L to R: Annie, Elise, Jeannie, Karen, Natalee - Not pictured: Our furry mascot, Cisco).

The Jeannie Balsam Interiors team (L to R: Annie, Elise, Jeannie, Karen, Natalee - Not pictured: Our furry mascot, Cisco).

CS Interiors: "Exceptionally Cool"

WOW!!  This year has started out with quite the bang!

We are equally as thrilled as we are honored about our feature in the current issue of CS Interiors, highlighting one of our downtown Chicago projects.

HOWEVER, the cherry on top for me was having my 13-year-old daughter flip through the spread and exclaim, “Mom!  You designed this?  This is SICK!”  Of course, I quickly Googled what she meant by that and learned that “sick” is modern-day code for “badass” and “exceptionally cool.”  And that, my friends, is when you know you’ve made it!!

This project was a fun change of pace from our typical design style – A modern twist on luxury, located right in the heart of River North.  We wanted to give our clients an "Urban Oasis," and the final product was exactly that.

See the full design by clicking HERE.

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Living Room

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Living Room

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Master Bedroom

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Master Bedroom

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Master Bathroom

Jeannie Balsam Interiors | Urban Oasis: Master Bathroom



Design Challenge: Kid's Bathroom

Design challenges come in all shapes and sizes, and one of my favorite challenges to overcome deals with spaces specifically created for those adorable little ones.

I love designing bright and playful spaces for kids while they’re still young—that’s the fun part!  However, the challenge comes when designing a space that will stand the test of time, growing with them as they mature throughout life.

In the Houzz article below, they've featured one of my projects where the design for a children's bathroom included a fun, bright color scheme.  I chose to add pops of color through the use of textiles -- items that can easily be updated down the road.

For more helpful tips, read the full Houzz article here:

- Jeannie

Link to Jeannie's WGN News Segment

Jeannie's youngest fans watching her WGN News segment live.

Jeannie's youngest fans watching her WGN News segment live.

We had such a fun time at the WGN Studios this week (especially since it was the day after our Cubbies won the World Series!!). We are so proud of our Principal, Jeannie, for doing such a great job on the air with co-anchor, Dina Bair. Jeannie thanks you for all of your constant love and support!

For those of you who missed it, CLICK HERE to watch Jeannie's segment speaking about the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show.

The Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show started off with a bang Friday morning as the iconic and incredibly entertaining Alexa Hampton spoke at breakfast. This spectacular style and design event is ongoing through Sunday, November 6th, so be sure to make your way over to the Winnetka Community House this weekend before it ends!

Alexa Hampton and her book, Decorating in Detail.

Alexa Hampton and her book, Decorating in Detail.

We're on the News!

We are thrilled that our very own Jeannie Balsam will be featured on WGN Midday News this Thursday, November 3rd, around noon for a special interview with co-anchors Steve Sanders and Dina Bair.

With the Antiques + Modernism Show kicking off Thursday evening, November 3rd in Winnetka, Jeannie will show how antiques and modern pieces can work beautifully in a home or within a certain room. She has mixed and matched antiques and modern pieces for many of her clients and the two can easily be stunningly blended to create an exquisite and functional space.

Be sure to tune in to WGN Midday News this Thursday around noon to watch Jeannie’s segment live!


3PEAT :)

We are having a Sally Field moment! 

Video Circa 1984 Places in the Heart Oscars win moment!

Video Circa 1984 Places in the Heart Oscars win moment!

What a WONDERFUL way to continue celebrating our Sweet 16!!!  I really am having a "moment" recognizing how much our clients, friends, design partners. etc. believe in us and the the design craft we are so passionate about.  We have a fantastic team and it definitely takes a village.  #gratitude

Happy 4th!  Travel safely and have fun!!

Link below for entire listing of Winners!


Jeannie Balsam LLC awarded Houzz Influencer and Recommended Badges

Houzz, the premier online community for home and interior design inspiration, has awarded Jeannie Balsam LLC with the "Influencer" and "Recommended" badges. The Influencer badge is given to pros whose advice and knowledgeable posts are most appreciated by the Houzz community, and the Recommended badge goes only to the top-rated pros on Houzz. 

We are honored to be awarded these new badges, in addition to the "Best of Houzz: Customer Satisfaction" award for 2014 and 2015. 

Thank you to all of our clients, partners, and colleagues for their support and for sharing reviews! Join us on Houzz here.