with Brynn Olson

Check out all of the Designer’s Take series HERE.

First impressions of Gold Rush?

Clients have a knee jerk reaction when they hear gold or brass. It can transport you to an outdated time. This grouping shows the gold spectrum. There’s always something for everyone. Each of these would be incredibly successful in any scenario because the beauty of it is the contrast. Gold is here to stay. We’re talking about just putting that one Brizo faucet in a powder room that’s completely slathered in cool gray tile. That juxtaposition is quite sophisticated. It’s the yin and the yang.

(Left to Right) Eric Kuster Metropolitan Luxury Collection, Atelier Gary Lee; Birch, Lapchi Rug Design Studio; Kintsu Bath Collection, Brizo and Delta Chicago

What influences the shift in thinking? Does it happen over time? What’s the trigger?

My background is sociology, so I’m constantly fascinated by studying people and why they do what they do. Interior design combines some of that – psychology and sociology. Humans constantly create change – as they grow and change in their life. Their family is growing. Or they’re becoming empty nesters. So, while we are attached to what we know and what’s comfortable, there really is a human element of changing and adapting. That’s what comes to mind. If you have lived in a space that’s all cool grays and black and white. Sometimes, you crave something different.

There’s that adage, people never change. But they really do. And it’s a good thing.

(Left to Right) Strauss, Wired Custom Lighting; Textura D’Oro, Artistic Tile

Three words?

Some people could see glam, but if you look under the hood, it’s…




If you were to personify this group, what comes to mind?

This reminds me of the natural elements. The warm glow of fire. A beautiful sunset. This screams earthiness when I see it.

What’s your background? How did you come to be where you are today

My background was more academic, but my mom was my first art teacher. I’ve been doing art since I was small. In high school I was commissioned to do large scale paintings on buildings. And. my grandmother was an interior designer – Chicago-based back in the 50s and 60s. It’s in my blood.

I’ve been greatly influenced by the south. Right after I graduated from Vanderbilt I moved to Scotland. I remember flying home and descending over the Birmingham, AL airport and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The area is really green and really gorgeous. And it took me going across the sea and living in beautiful Scotland to have that realization.

I got my light bulb moment when I moved to Chicago after Vanderbilt. I moved without a job. I wanted to get here first, plant roots and figure out what I wanted to do. And I moved into Lincoln Park brownstone with roommates. I started to redecorate and then I went back to school for interior design.

I’ve been in the industry since 2008, worked at Nate Berkus Associates for 5 years before starting my firm.

What is it that you love about what you do?!

The most amazing thing about what we do is always going to be serving our clients. Seeing their faces, getting their feedback. I’m a big proponent – how you shape your space is how you’ll shape your day (that’s our tagline). It is quite palpable, what we do. It shapes behaviors. And the byproduct is connecting with our clients on a deeper level. There’s so much value in helping people as it pertains to interiors. It makes my heart sing.

About Brynn: After starting her design career with Nate Berkus Associates, Brynn Olson opened her own firm in 2012. The firm has been recognized as the Fashion Group International Rising Star in Design, is a recipient of Wayfair’s National Trade Tastemaker Award, Modern Luxury’s Best of Design Award and as the Merchandise Mart’s One’s to Watch.

Brynn Olson

Brynn Olson Design Group