Classic interiors for a modern Life

Jeannie Balsam Interiors is an award winning interior design firm based on Chicago’s North Shore. Jeannie’s unique combination of design expertise, global perspective, corporate business background, and extraordinary client rapport have helped her rise to the top of her profession. 

Jeannie Balsam Interiors believes that their clients thrive in highly functional interiors that are beautiful, classic, and inviting.  Jeannie’s unique ability to uncover and define her client’s lifestyle and design priorities sets her firm apart. 

Clients benefit from the business acumen she gained while earning her BS in Marketing at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and her MBA at Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business and during her ten years working in corporate marketing and consulting roles for Hyatt Hotels and Accenture. “We’re very solutions-oriented, and strategic about how we allocate money for our clients’ projects,” she points out.  

She and her team of associates design the homes of prominent professionals and their families on the North Shore and in downtown Chicago, as well as their secondary residences nationwide, including Austin, TX, Nantucket, MA, Longbeach, IN, and Bozeman, MT.

They are passionate about designing Classic Interiors For A Modern Life That Inspire Connection, Community, And Care. If that resonates with you or you want to learn more, please reach out!


Jeannie Balsam – Principal

Prior to starting Jeannie Balsam Interiors in 2000, Jeannie honed her analytical and project management skills while working for Hyatt Hotels and Accenture. In addition, she earned her BS in Marketing at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and her MBA at Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business. Because she is 100% self-taught in interior design (through osmosis), her design aesthetic continually evolves as she travels the world in search of wonderful experiences, great food and inspirational design finds with her husband Doug and their three teenage daughters, Mira, Petrea and Alexa. Favorite travel destinations include Nantucket, Napa Valley, Big Sky & Missoula, Austin, and anywhere abroad, but Italy remains the family favorite. In each and every design process, Jeannie has the rare yet ideal balance of left brain, right brain. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about her Cavachons Cisco and Oakley, yoga, mindfulness, reading, and building a community of care and connection.


Karen McIntosh – Associate Designer

After raising two children, Karen found an opportunity to follow her passion for interior design.  Her first role was as an assistant to a designer who also had a custom drapery workroom, giving her invaluable experience in the nuance’s of drapery design and fabrication.  Next she developed her design skills and project management experience when she transitioned to a prominent luxury design firm in the city.  Since joining the team in 2010, her life experiences and professional expertise have been valued by the team and our clients alike.  Karen loves a “project” and has enjoyed using her skills in construction and renovation.  Karen jokes that her design aesthetic gets more modern by the day!  When not in the studio, Karen’s passions are travel (Turkey, Africa, and Scotland are some favorites), her grandchildren (6 boys and one sweet girl), and ministering with her husband, John to sailors at the Naval Station Great Lakes.


Annie Houston Liddle – Associate Designer

Annie has degrees from the University of Michigan and Harrington College of Design.  She is an old soul, wise beyond her years with the experience to match.  Prior to joining Jeannie Balsam Interiors, she managed numerous showrooms and worked for prominent luxury design firms in the city.  She loves fabric and worships at the temple of trim and decoration.  Second to design, traveling and learning about other cultures is her passion.  Annie traveled, studied, and lived in numerous cities in Europe, Rome being her favorite.  She grew up in Winnetka and has come full circle with a design career in her hometown.  She bleeds Maize & Blue and keeps the team and our clients “in the know” for all fun trends and happenings.  When not collaborating with clients, Annie enjoys golf, yoga and barre, travel, an occasional Aperol Spritz ;) and spending quality time with her husband, Ryan and daughter, Reese.


Elise Frost – Business Manager

Elise has a BA in Interior Design from Syracuse University and an MBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago.  She has worked in various roles and has worn many hats for furniture retailers, interior designers and architects.  After raising her three children in Highland Park and looking for an outlet outside of her charitable endeavors, Elise found Jeannie Balsam Interiors.  She loves numbers and the knowledge that her business management skills free the design team to focus on interior design and the client experience gives her great joy.  Family and friendship are paramount to Elise.  She and her husband Ira travel extensively with her globe-trotting parents and family, enjoy cooking and hosting for the holidays and are the proud Bubbie and Poppa to Benjamin, Alexander, Arlo, and Vera!


Cisco Balsam – Interior Design Studio Cavachon Therapist

Cisco’s earliest memories are jumping in the car with mom for school drop off and then restful days at the studio.  His lovable demeanor and calming nature is now intrinsic to the design studio vibe.  When he calls in sick, he is truly missed.  He has many visitors who bring him treats and take him for walks.  He is so beloved that five clients were compelled to adopt his siblings (Max, Jake, Lily, Louie, Maizey Blue, & Jack) from the same breeder near Knoxville, TN.


Oakley Balsam – Junior Cavachon Therapist in Training

Cisco has proven to be such an asset to the team that we decided he deserved an assistant!  We didn’t know when the right candidate would arrive but we were smitten with Oakley’s precious face and knew it was time to take the plunge.  Oakley’s disposition lends to the energetic, inquisitive, hunter vibe of the Cavachon breed and being the younger brother, it seems fitting since Cisco is the Classic 1st-born "people pleaser."