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Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Jessica Lagrange

Since 1998, Jessica Lagrange Interiors has become known for crafting clean, comfortable interiors with a contemporary flair. Lagrange and her team work a range of experience into an individualized process, considering each design as it relates to the client, the interior’s structure, and its environment. The firm’s efforts result in luxurious, finely-detailed spaces, both practical and polished – and defined by the client’s ideals. The principal behind these projects is this week’s Designer Friday, Jessica Lagrange.

In this Lincoln Park residence, Lagrange rims an airy hallway with a pale console table and contrasting lamp and stool, bordering a patterned rug.

In this Lincoln Park residence, Lagrange rims an airy hallway with a pale console table and contrasting lamp and stool, bordering a patterned rug.

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Jessica Lagrange: Vibrant, unique, intriguing and timeless. Our projects embrace a wide range of periods and styles, but always reflect the wants, needs and lifestyles of our diverse clientele. The homes we designed are thoughtfully layered, exuding a sense of style and sophistication.

AJ: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
JL: Here at JLI, we like trends that stand the test of time. We’re seeing a strong resurgence of classic prints like paisleys, plaids, stripes, etc. I think people are going bold and will be using these on larger upholstered items such as sofas and chairs, and even walls and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

Smart home features and devices are becoming more and more popular and people are excited and willing to integrate them. We’re excited to see traditionally bulky items become more integrated into the design. There are also some interesting developments in what we can use our smartphones to control, from your kitchen equipment to lighting. But regardless of the year and the trend, our approach is to always incorporate classic features with new and emerging ideas, creating timeless interiors.

AJ: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a ….?
JL: Probably a fashion designer! I always knew I would be in a creative industry as I grew up with a very creative and crafty mom whom I admired. I always appreciated fashion and thought I would end up in that industry, drawn in by the mix of colors, patterns and textures. The use of quality fabrics used to create designs by hand with extreme attention to detail was definitely inspirational. It’s no wonder I ended up where I am today! Design and fashion agree in the craftsmanship and artisanal value of high-quality made products.

JLI sets light, neutral tones behind rich, dark highlights throughout the minimalistic furnishings and modern accessories of the guest bedroom in a Gold Coast Model Home

JLI sets light, neutral tones behind rich, dark highlights throughout the minimalistic furnishings and modern accessories of the guest bedroom in a Gold Coast Model Home.

AJ: What are three words to describe where you live?
JL: Classic, traditional, and gracious.

AJ: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
JL: Our dream client is someone who trusts us and our process. We love Palm Beach and are currently really excited about a project we’re working on over there. Our hope is to acquire more projects in the area so we can spend more time in the Sunshine State, especially during the brutal Chicago winters!

AJ: What are you most proud of?
JL: My team! I have a wonderful team of luxury interior designers, and together we create great spaces that are beautiful and functional. Working with such talented creatives is what makes me stay in the industry. Although it’s my name on the door, I like to think of it as a team effort every single time, I couldn’t do what I do without them.

AJ: Secret talent?
JL: I was recently asked what my superpower is and I had to ask my team about it. It looks like putting together a good dinner party (very often on the fly!) is my secret talent! I guess being the daughter of a professional party planner has its perks!

Lagrange uses pops of color, casual accessories, and a few sprawling plants to add personality and comfort to a lakefront retreat.

Lagrange uses pops of color, casual accessories, and a few sprawling plants to add personality and comfort to a lakefront retreat.

AJ: What might the design world look like in 10 years?
JL: Homeowners will be more drawn to sustainability. It really is at the forefront of people’s minds more than ever nowadays. The choice to buy an antique piece or refinishing instead of purchasing brand new is a sustainable practice that’s becoming more common.

Environmental issues and climate change are pushing vendors and designers to promote sustainability and reeling products using salvaged or renewable materials.

AJ: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
JL: So many things. Currently, I’m inspired by artist Ann Carrington, a very talented maker of sculptures. I’m also inspired by artist and designer Miriam Ellner who specializes in Verre Eglomise. The Creel and Gow boutique is always full of surprises and fascinating objects.

AJ: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
JL: Follow your instincts!

AJ: Has there been a shift in what clients are requesting two years into the pandemic?
JL: Absolutely. The first thing is functionality especially when it comes to furniture and living spaces. People are spending more time at home, so making sure they are getting the most out of their space has become a priority. We’ve also noticed that people are wanting and bringing more color into their space, especially bolder colors like aubergine, rust, burnt orange and coppers as well as more calming hues.


About The Designer | Founder and principal Jessica Lagrange is known for her vibrant and personable manner, perceptive insights, and collaborative approach to design—qualities that account for the outstanding caliber and cohesive nature of the JLI team.

As a graduate of the interior architecture program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and veteran of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Jessica is also an astute and expressive mentor to the firm’s talented and accomplished architects and designers. Together they execute a range of projects and maintain the highest standards of excellence for their clientele.

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