If you don't know today's Fearless Friday feature (say that 3x's fast!) then you're missing out. She's Chicago's interior design sweetheart and she's only just begun! I've been fortunate enough to have attended a fete in her gorgeous abode and I will tell you one thing...the minute I have the budget to afford such an expert...Donna will be on my speed dial!
Donna Hall is the Founder and Principle Designer at Donna Mondi Interior Design (DMID), a high-end luxury interior design studio, formerly known as Savvy Interior Design. With over 16 years of experience and certified by the American Society of Interior Design as well as the National Council for Interior Design, Donna specializes in blending traditional elements into modern designs. Her work has been showcased on national and local television, numerous magazines, design books, show houses and house walks.
But really...let's get serious. Let's find out who inspires her and what's her Friday drink of choice shall we?
1. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an interior designer?
I feel like many designers have the same answer here…when I was about eight years old my Dad built me a dollhouse. I would spend endless hours rearranging furniture, hanging wallpaper, and reupholstering furniture. It even had electrified chandeliers! Benefits of having an engineer for a father. I didn’t start my career until I was in my 30’s but the writing was on the wallpaper.
2. What one project are you the most proud of and why?
This is a tough one. It’s like picking a favorite child. I’d have to say it’s my Edwardian-inspired bathroom set design for Brizo that we recently completed. They provided the plumbing collection to work with and the inspiration for the design and then let me go at it! We designed; they built. I love when I get to dream big and make it a reality. It turned out so unique that I’ve never seen a bathroom like it.
3. How would you describe Chicago's interior aesthetic? What do you love about it and what do you loathe?
If I had my way, the answer would be Urban Edge across the board. In reality it seems to end up more Transitional than you would think. Many residents come from the suburbs and it’s too big of a stretch to go modern. Our ideal client match wants an eclectic mix of both contemporary and transitional styles.
4. How do you describe your aesthetic?
Edgy, sophisticated, and unique. I love to blend modern elements with influences of European elegance. Then I twist it in a way that makes it sexy, dynamic, and unpredictable.
5. What fashion designer(s) inspire your interiors?
Oh, I love this question! My Instagram is a 50/50 mix of interiors and fashion. So much of my inspiration comes from the fashion world. Kelly Wearstler, Olivier Rousting (Balmain Paris), Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford…how many do I get???
6. If you weren't a designer...and could be anything else...what would it be?
I can’t imagine being anything else.
7. It's creative time...what's on your Spotify? What inspires you?
Ingrid Michaelson, Christina Perri, Bruno Mars, 80’s pop, and Ellie Goulding. In reality, I get more inspiration from reading than anything. I have piles of design and fashion books, Arch Digests, Elle Decors, books by entrepreneurs, and fictional books with anything involving the early 1900’s. Obsessed with that era.
8. Favorite Chicago restaurant on a Friday night?
Bavettes, in the basement at a cozy booth with a great glass of red wine and my handsome fiancé. My summer answer would be the outdoor patio at Nico - same wine and fiancé.
9. Wine or classic cocktail?
Yes and yes. I love a great Cabernet - preferably a 2009 or 2011 from Napa. My classic cocktail is champagne with a splash of Saint Germaine. Try it and you’ll never want a mixed drink again.
10. Favorite weekend getaway destination?
Does Paris count? If not, then I’d have to go with NYC.
11. Bonus question - 5 must-have apps that you need in your life to function?
a. Pie - instant messaging that keeps my DMID team connected at all times
b. Apple Wallet - I always lose my credit cards
c. Starbucks - so I never have to carry cash
d. Uber - see above two answers
e. Flywheel - so I have no excuse for not working out. Love/Hate
Thank you so much Donna! You were such a fun interview to read! xo