Chicago’s Leading Interior Designer Nora Schneider Is Creating Unique and Sophisticated Spaces for Thankful Clients

To celebrate the Thanksgiving season, the designer discusses some of her favorite projects and why she is thankful for the interior design industry.

The interior design world is full of thankful homeowners and designers. One of Chicago’s leading interior designers, Nora Schneider of Nora Schneider Interior Designs, is thankful for not only her clients but for her whole journey in the industry.

“Before interior design, I lived another life in business,” Schneider said. “Deep down, I always knew that interior design was my calling and around 20 years ago I decided to quit my job, go back to school and start over. Looking back—it was the smartest thing I ever did.”
Since starting her residential design firm based in Chicago, Illinois, Schneider has been able to produce exquisite design solutions that ultimately reflect the lives and loves of those who inhabit each space.
“There are so many things I love about interior design, but the thing I am most thankful for is the ability to tell a client’s story through their home,” said Scheider. “Just like clothing, a person’s home is a creative outlet and should express the personality and journey of the owner. When I am able to achieve that, I love how an updated home can impact a person’s life. It is incredible how turning something like the kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary can transform a homeowner’s day-to-day experience.”
While Schneider has had the privilege of working with hundreds of thankful clients over the years, she recently became thankful for a fresh home design herself—this time, her own
“Two years ago, I redesigned my entire home,” said Schneider. “In addition to selling nearly every single piece of furniture I owned, I also re-gutted the kitchen. It is like that old saying—’the cobbler has no shoes.’ I realized that I hadn’t done much to my own home in a long time, as I was too busy with other people’s homes.”
According to Schneider, the impetus to redesign her downtown Chicago loft came from an unusual source—an inherited baby grand Steinway piano. “At first I was hesitant to take the piano but then realized it was too good to pass up,” she said. “It meant the interior design of the entire house had to change and we decided on a very dramatic, downtown vibe, including an all-black kitchen and matte black walls. The result was a space that feels comfortable yet sophisticated.”
Another design project that Schneider is currently proud of is one she’s presently working on for a client’s study. While the homeowner doesn’t actually work in the study, it is a space meant for relaxing and spending downtime.
“We were able to completely transform the space,” said Schneider. “Now, the study includes a custom rug, beautiful jewel tones and painted-over wallpaper. The thing we are most excited about is the custom library that we are building.”
With one whole wall taken up by shelving, Schneider has reached out to a company called Juniper Books in Denver to create unique, custom shelving.
“It is a really interesting design feature,” she said. “We sent over the dimensions of the shelving and asked the company to create custom murals using the covers and spines of the books. For example, we are turning some of the books into a mural of Spain and another into an image of the Guggenheim. The homeowners love Ernest Hemmingway, so we are creating a mural to depict the cover of The Old Man and the Sea. This space has been an amazing project because we have been able to customize the interior design based on the interests of the homeowners, including skiing, travel and wine.”
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, Schneider is grateful for all of the clients she’s been able to help in the past, as well as all of the interior design projects she has to look forward to in the future.