Nicholas Moriarty, founder of one of Chicago’s leading interior design firms, discusses the latest innovations in luxury home aesthetics.

A pioneer of eclectic contemporary design, the renowned Chicago-based design firm Nicholas Moriarty Interiors is known for reimagining their clients homes through compelling customization with an emphasis on interior architecture. Founder Nicholas Moriarty shares with Modern Luxury some refreshingly unexpected design ideas to integrate into the home for a uniquely elevated look.

Screen_Shot_2022-05-04_at_1_30_49_PM.pngKitchen designed by Nicholas Moriarty Interiors featuring unique lighting installations. Photography by Jill Buckner

Clients of Nicholas Moriarty Interiors are continually requesting hyper-customized homes that distinctively reflect their own individuality. From kitchens serving a specific cooking modality and bathrooms that evoke a luxury spa feel to bar rooms and intimate studies, each room can be tailored to accommodate your lifestyle. While homeowners may be hesitant to customize their interiors, Nicholas emphasizes the positive impact personal elements can have on a space. “When you have a high taste level and you’re working with an esteemed design firm to incorporate your personality, there is probably going to be someone out there that will respond to it as well. The clients’ homes we’ve worked on tend to sell fast even if they’re highly specific,” says Moriarty. In fact, customization arguably can not only make your home more enjoyable to live in, but more of a standout property in a tight market.

Lighting, one of the most overlooked design elements of the home, has the potential to transform the shape and size of your living space. With a newfound renaissance in high-end luxury lighting, there is a wide variety of customized lighting options for you to choose from. From drop sofettes with beautifully soft up-lighting to LED baseport and hand railing design, you can illuminate a room through small, thoughtful details. “When dealing in luxury properties, lighting is what defines a space and makes it unique,” says Moriarty.

Screen_Shot_2022-05-04_at_1_31_09_PM.pngLiving space designed by Nicholas Moriarty Interiors that emphasizes natural ceiling ornamentation. Photography by Jill Buckner

An additional opportunity Nicholas encourages his clients to rethink is the color of a ceiling. He emphasizes how much square footage ceilings possess in the home and the history of design’s celebration of ceiling ornamentation. You can imbue further aesthetic appeal to a room by utilizing a surface mounted fixture, adding wallpaper or painting out your ceilings to keep this design component just as interesting.

Screen_Shot_2022-05-04_at_1_31_31_PM.pngModern kitchen and dining area in 195 N. Harbor Dr., Unit 5301 showcases a stunning combination of high-end materials and textures. Photography by Jorge Gera / @Jorgegramr

For those who enjoy entertaining, the kitchen is known to be the heart of the home. A hub for food, music and lively conversation, there are a multitude of factors to consider when deciding how to tailor a kitchen to your personal needs. For instance, rethink the classic work triangle to create more functionality and free up any spatial constraints in your cooking space, or utilize new counter finishes, stone and cabinetry to add a touch of authenticity and durability. “We use butcher-block material a lot, be it traditional walnut or a naturally feld rainforest species like wenge or ipe,” says Moriarty. “From a functional standpoint, we think about breaking all of the rules and pushing the bounds of what we can do to transform the kitchen.”

Screen_Shot_2022-05-04_at_1_31_39_PM.pngLiving room in 195 N. Harbor Dr., Unit 5301 has depth and dimension to complement floor-to-ceiling windows. Photography by Jorge Gera / @Jorgegramr

Modern yet timeless design elements are on stunning display at 195 N. Harbor Dr., Unit 5301 (pictured). The home is thoughtfully outfitted with luxurious finishes throughout that imbue the space with a distinctive sense of personality. Nicholas particularly admires the multiple levels of lighting used in the property, which he feels creates the perfect ambiance for every occasion, day or night.

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Screen_Shot_2022-05-04_at_1_24_46_PM.pngLuxe sitting area in 195 N. Harbor Dr., Unit 5301 features beautiful crown moldings and unbeatable views. Photography by Jorge Gera / @Jorgegramr