Our Chicago dynamic duo, designers Beth Partyka and Meg Sullivan, tells us about working together, along with their top trends and Chicago home decor spots.
Photos by Dustin Halleck
Beth Partyka and Meg Sullivan of Charlotte William Interiors are both native Chicagoans. Both grew up in the suburbs—Beth spent the last eight years in Lincoln Park and very recently made the move back to the suburbs to be closer to family, Meg recently bought a house close to her family on the North Shore. Both ladies balance mom duties (Meg has two-year-old, Will, and a newborn, Frances; Beth has two-year-old, Charlotte, and baby due in January). While Beth has been with Homepolish since July 2015, Meg just joined us. We caught up with the pair to ask about how they started working together and what they’re obsessed with at the moment.
How did you become interior designers?
Beth fell in love with interior design while renovating her first condo (in a vintage building in Chicago) with her husband, then decided to go back to school to obtain her masters in Interior Design while gaining work experience at a couple of residential firms. After her first daughter was born in 2015, she decided to start taking on her own projects.
Meg originally set out for a career in the fashion industry. After several years in fashion merchandising and buying, Meg also decided to go back to school to pursue a Masters in Interior Design. She worked as an assistant at a high-end Chicago design firm and residential developer before taking the leap to work with Beth and go out on their own.
How did you meet?
We met at Harrington College of Design while we were both pursuing our Masters of Art in Interior Design. At the time, Beth was working at Summer Thornton Design and Meg joined the firm shortly after—we had a great working relationship and friendship. We both had our first child within a handful of months of each other and shortly after decided to start our own firm to give ourselves and our families a more flexible schedule—thus, our firm, Charlotte William Interiors was born!
Tell us about your favorite project?
We worked on the gut renovation of Beth’s family’s own condo two years ago. We added a bathroom, moved the kitchen along, and added new finishes for every space. It was the first project of this caliber that we took on together—and what sparked us to move forward working together. We mixed products sourced from retail and to-the-trade vendors with vintage furnishings, bright colors and fun patterns, creating a beautiful, fun and family friendly home.
What are your top 5 favorite products on the market right now?
A few of our favorite things on the market right now happen to be collaborations between some of our favorite design houses/artists and clothing pieces. Hands down our favorite at the moment HAS to be the Aquazzura for Degournay collaboration. We want one of each pair of shoes please!
Artist Paige Gemmel’s collaboration with Anthropologie! We are trying desperately to find a client to use the tiger chair with!
Brass anything! We can’t get enough of brass. We are still putting it everywhere—hardware, plumbing, lighting, accents. We just love it!
Statement velvet. We love that it is back with a vengeance this fall. We are obsessed with the more bold hues like mustard gold, green, and, even, pink!
“At Home with Dogs and Their Designers” by Susanna Salk is on our our wish lists. We’re both dog lovers and this book showcases dogs at home with their famous owners.
What is a trend you love right now and what are some products that show it off?
As we jump into fall and our color preferences switch to warmer tones, we are really loving saturated green hues. We spotted this amazing jade, curved, velvet sectional from Anthropologie on the cover of their fall home magazine and it definitely caught our eyes. Another product that shows off this color is this olive green dresser from Land of Nod. We would totally use this in a child’s or adult’s room!
What is your biggest piece of interior design advice?
Always mix some vintage in with the new. It gives each space a little something special and unique.
What are your favorite Chicago home decor spots?
South Loop Loft and Redefined Decor are favorites for vintage and Jayson Home is great for a mix of both new and vintage!
What are your top three favorite Etsy shops?
Lux HoldUps for great Lucite products from drapery hardware to bathroom accessories. One and Many for really beautiful ceramic items. Triple Seven Home has great modern/Mid-Century Modern style lighting. Old Vin Shop has a good selection of vintage rugs. There are so many great resources and small shops that we couldn’t even narrow it down to three!
What’s in your design bags when you go on a consultation?
A pretty notebook, tape measure, and our phones to take photos and for access to Pinterest and Instagram!