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Best of Chicago: Design & Realty

The Editors | January 5, 2017 | Feature Features

Here, the chefs, shows, shops and more that truly make Chicago shine—plus, smart selections from you, our readers, in categories from cute boutiques to stellar spas.
Designer SuzAnn Kletzien is a recipient of the 2016 Ones to Watch award. Her eponymous firm excels at residential projects.

SuzAnn Kletzien came about her profession naturally: Her father owns a commercial millwork shop, so she grew up around home-building plans and sawdust while helping him in his shop. She studied business at the University of Utah before realizing her heart was really more creative, so she enrolled in an interior design program in Newport Beach, Calif., at the Interior Designers Institute. Once back in Chicago, she worked in a high-end showroom at the Merchandise Mart designing luxury kitchens and bathrooms, and before long decided to open her own firm, SuzAnn Kletzien Design. “I love the versatility offered in Chicago,” Kletzien says. “It’s always a challenge to keep the authenticity of a historic home while making it feel updated and fresh.” While primarily residential, she has done boutique retail and is currently working on a restaurant that will open in Wicker Park this spring. No projects are ever approached the same way: “I love mixing up every look to give it more uniqueness and interest,” explains the designer. Recently lauded as One to Watch by the Merchandise Mart as part of Design Chicago—the annual two-day summit each fall that connects industry icons and the latest new products with the design community—her style is ever-evolving but always a mix of eclectic sophistication. “I already feel so lucky to be able to do what I’m passionate about,” she says, “but to be recognized [with the award] by so many people I admire and respect makes it all that much more incredible and rewarding.” 1579 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Ste. 230, 312.835.1551


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