with Dan Rak
Check out all of the Designer’s Take series HERE.
First impressions of Neoclassic Reinvented?
Neoclassic Reinvented feels very urban and sophisticated. Very Chicago! I love the mix of woods and materials.
It feels right up my alley. Our job as designers is to interpret our clients’ visions and apply them to their homes. That said, we’re all human beings and have artistic viewpoints. We bring those to our clients. There are common threads to our body of work. We focus on a rich mixture of woods and metals, an organic element that finds its way into traditional settings. And, I like to include a wink – something that suggests we don’t take ourselves too seriously, subtly woven through.
What may be the influence behind this theme?
I think so much is derived from architecture and geography – ultimately, the mood that comes from a space.
Generally, for me it starts with walking through a space, getting a sense of the life that comes into it. It’s about finding the right fit for the owner’s style, too, measured against the geography and architecture you’re working from.
What key features jump out when viewing these products?
Overall, what speaks loudest, when looking at these designs, is an appreciation for clean lines, tailoring, quality furniture and sophistication. There is also simplicity that plays into an urban sensibility, elevated by a mix of wood and metal materials. A California-vibe comes through, too, especially in the use of indoor and outdoor elements. In the Midwest, we translate outdoor space with a nod to what you see here, along with practicality necessary for different climates.
What three words come to mind when looking at Neoclassic Reinvented?
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Detroit and went to Michigan State, got a degree in accounting, and followed that up with a law degree. I started practicing tax law right out of school. After moving to Chicago, I started renovating houses on my own and found that I really loved it. Friends, family, and colleagues were asking for my help. And I said sure, why not! That resulted in a new career path by starting this business 6 ½ years ago.
Do you have favorite place to be?
I have a house along Lake Michigan where I’ve spent most of 2020. It’s a peaceful place where you can take a walk outside and escape.
What is the future of design? Are there things you are watching?
I find the number of urban young men interested in design is increasing. They have their own sense of style and want to make sure their homes reflect their style as well. In fact, for over 50% of our projects, men are our main contact. I found that to be surprising and cool.
Separately, the focus of home is growing and growing now even more so with people spending nearly 100% of time at home. Desire for space that’s comfortable and works for you is paramount.
About Dan: Chicago-based interior designer Dan Rak has earned a reputation for excellence and a place on the ‘Best of Houzz’ list for four years in a row. Dan was recently named one of the top 25 interior designers in Illinois by Amara and the LuxPad and has been featured in Luxe, CS, and Splash magazines.
Dan Rak Design