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From Runway to Her Way- Chicago Interior Designer Jordan Guide
From Runway to Her Way- Chicago Interior Designer Jordan Guide

From runway to her way (click to view)

Jordan Guide left a model’s life to become a designing woman

Who: Chicago/Burr Ridge-based interior designer.

Why: She’s turning heads with her young, energetic designs and getting cool residential and commercial commissions. She also has launched her own online wall decal company (, which sells peel-and-stick wall art by designers and artists from around the world.

Her look/aesthetic: “I like clean lines; accessories and art with intent … function, flow and unity.”

Favorite color (of the moment): “Mixed shades of gray.”

Early inspiration: Grandfather’s in-home design studio (he designed logos) at Lake Point Tower, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and a collage of logo designs on the walls. Also, the Bauhaus furniture and fixtures put together by her grandmother, an interior decorator, that filled the living spaces.

Recently finished: Not-your-conservative-guy offices for a young trading firm in the West Loop. The guys wanted their work space to look and live like a sophisticated bachelor pad. Thus the hot tub on the roof deck. The living room with a built-in entertainment center and 60-inch LCD TV. The sexy spiral staircase to an upstairs party loft equipped with bar, fireplace and lounge seating.

Other notables: She proved “accessible” doesn’t have to look institutional, designing a luxurious kitchen that also is highly functional (pull-down cabinet innards; faucet at the fore of the sink) for a client with physical challenges.

Major award: In 2007 (at age 27), won a coveted Design Excellence Award from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for that accessible kitchen.

Major dish: Her previous life as a model. Did ads for Marshall Field‘s, Sears, Calvin Klein. Did runway in Paris.

Reachable: Guide works as an independent contractor for Barbara Pallat Interiors, in Pallat’s studio in Burr Ridge and in Guide’s Chicago studio. Reach her at


Guide’s guide to what she loves

We asked Jordan Guide for a few design products she loves, with the caveat being it’s got to be available at retail.

1. Purist Suite bathroom from Kohler: “It’s open and contemporary,” Guide says. “I want that bathroom.” (The Kohler Store, Suite 100, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Some prices: about $812 for the Wading Pool lavatory (sink); about $6,200 for the BubbleMassage bath.)

2. Bridge Coffee + Side Table: From West Elm, this low, chunky wood coffee table gets straddled by a glossy white/gray side table. “It’s rustic meets new,” Guide says. ($299 and $179,

3. Felted Wool Stones: “Instead of a beanbag chair or cubes to sit on, these are really fun, felted wool,” Guide says. “They’re like big boulders.” ($298-$595,

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