It was 3 months ago I told you about the group of designers I meet with quarterly to discuss best practices, industry innovations and new ideas. After the last meeting I featured Canadian designer, Jennifer Brouwer. This time we are going south a little distance to Chicago, IL. to learn more about Edyta Czajkowska, principal of Edyta & Co. Interior Design (Edyta & Co.com).
This lovely picture shows Edyta with her two dogs. She has such a warm heart and a love for animals. She genuinely cares for the well being of people and their pets and I believe this is a unique asset for her in her chosen profession.
Edyta’s mother initially influenced her love for design with international travels while growing up, where she visited palaces and museums and learned about the local architecture. Her mother, and many of their family friends, also enjoyed decorating, floral design and entertaining so she learned to appreciate the impact of the details of textiles, furnishings and décor at an early age.
Edyta was one of the lucky few that knew interior design was the career for her when she had the opportunity to take an elective high school course on the subject. She received her BFA from the Illinois Institute of Art where her favorite classes involved learning about color theory, textiles and the history of design. The use of color is one of Edyta’s strengths, as you can see in this photo from one of her projects:
I asked Edyta which class was the most useful in her career and her response was: “Although design school has definitely paved the way for me, I can truly say that working for other designers is probably the best experience one can have… I was able to determine what I didn’t want to do or what was a good aspect to take away and apply to my business.”
After graduating, Edyta worked for both large design firms (commercial and residential) and small firms before launching her own practice. I was curious which environment she felt was the best for giving her the opportunity to develop her talent. She feels she learned immensely from all the environments she was in. The benefits of large firms were that she had great resources and support, yet while working at the smaller firms she had more opportunity to work directly with the clients.
Being such a people person, Edyta learned her talent was best used where she was able to get more personal with the client, learn about “what makes them tick, what makes them happy; learning about their favorite places and looking at their treasures and memories they want to display or incorporate in their home”.
You can see a lot of this ‘personalization’ in her projects, such as this image below with travel photographs playing a prominent role in the design of the bedroom:
One key point Edyta made regarding some of the most useful courses in university was the importance of studying ‘business practices’. As she says, “When starting your own design business, you not only have to be incredibly talented to sustain and become a great, well known designer, you also have to have a very good business structure, which is what many people choose to leave as the last thing (and that’s not good). So I would tell new students to embrace the “business practices” course if they are looking to go off on their own.”
Finally, Edyta has a clear sense of what her style is and the vision she wants to create for her clients. I asked her about her look and how she would describe it. Edyta says her goal (her challenge to herself) is to interpret her client’s wants, desires and needs. As a result, each project outcome is different. However, the elements of each project reflects her design aesthetic which is: “clean lines, tailored design, comfort, soul, contrast and wit”.
If you live in the Chicago area and are looking for a designer that is truly interested in interpreting your needs to make your home a more enjoyable environment, I highly recommend you check out Edyta & Co at http://www.edytaandco.com/.