Designer Profile: Amy Kartheiser

We caught up with the Chicago-based principal interior designer about her career, past, present and future

Living room with coffee table and windows out to garden
(Image credit: Mike Schwartz Photography)

Amy Kartheiser, principal and founder of the award-winning Amy Kartheiser Design, balances her global perspective and focus on wellness to create wordly, collected spaces that elevate every aspect of her clients’ lives.

Known for creating rich, layered designs that are always reflective of her clients’ tastes and lifestyles, the Chicago-based designer doesn’t measure success simply through aesthetics. By thoughtfully considering the greater context of the world and working to enhance overall wellness, Amy not only designs beautiful spaces for her clients to inhabit, she aims to elevate every aspect of their lives. It’s a lofty goal, but one that combines Amy’s three passions – interior design, wellness, and travel – into something tangible and meaningful for those lucky enough to work with her.

We sat down with Amy to speak to her about her ambitious design philosophy, where she finds inspiration at home and around the globe, and how she sees the future of both her studio and the industry as a whole.

What’s your specialty?

Amy Kartheiser

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography)

'When someone thinks of an Amy Kartheiser Design project, I hope they think of comfort and curiosity. I am constantly on the pursuit to bridge my love for interior design, mental wellness, and travel, and am always looking for ways to enhance the lives of those around me and offer a unique design point of view. The result? Elevated, multi-layered, worldly designs that really do change the way you live and feel.'

Where do you find inspiration?

Living room with contemporary furniture

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography)

'I’m most inspired by the world around me – whether it’s from my daily walks along Lake Michigan or from a faraway country I’m visiting (Israel and Chiang Mai were recent favorites). 

'Craftspeople and artists also spark my creativity. I love watching and learning from them, and it inspired me to start a video series on my Instagram called “Meet the Maker”. Through the series, I’ve been able to share so many moving and uplifting conversations with creatives and artisans in Chicago and across the globe. It’s one of my absolute favorite things.'

What’s your process when approaching a new client?

Living room with windows overlooking garden

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography)

'Making my clients feel heard, seen, and appreciated is incredibly important to me. I consider myself a business owner first and a designer second, meaning process and service always come first. 

'Having those essential building blocks in place are paramount in order to get the best results for our clients. When you’re investing in an interior designer, it’s really important that you feel taken care of on every level. 

'So, yes, the ultimate result has to be a stunning design, but we want every step of the journey to get there to be just as impressive.'

How would you define your style?

Sideboard with patterned wallpaper behind it

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography)

'My designs are heavily influenced by my travels. I love nothing more than exploring a new destination and then finding talented artists and unique pieces that I can bring back to my clients. It’s really a win-win. My clients get one-of-a-kind, globally-sourced items in their homes, and I get to continue exploring the globe.

'Supporting mental health and wellness is another huge driver in my life and in my designs. I’m constantly thinking about how design can elevate clients’ day-to-day lifestyles. What colors can promote serenity or inspire motivation? What functional elements can boost ease of living?'

What else drives you?

Living room with two chairs and circular art

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography)

'After suicide affected me very personally, I was motivated to create Under the Same Sky, a 509(a) non-profit organization and charity that raises awareness about suicide prevention and benefits the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. 

'We raise money through our online store, pop-up shops, events, and year-round fundraising. I really believe that, as designers, we have the power to affect our clients' mental health through improving their home lives. 

'I’m so glad the wellness in design movement is gaining traction, but we can always do more to destigmatize conversations around mental health and bring them out in the open in the design industry and the world in general.'

What would your dream project or dream client be?

Dining room with windows overlooking lovely view

(Image credit: Mike Schwartz Photography)

'The answer is always changing, but I’d love to do a beautiful home somewhere where the winters are bearable with a focus on indoor-outdoor living. I’m envisioning a view of the water, a lot of color and pattern, some really fun wallpapers, an incredible patio space, retractable doors, an outdoor fireplace… 

'In short, a place that evokes a feeling of happiness and liveliness mixed with serenity and restfulness. The ultimate combination.'

Amy Kartheiser Design


Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.