Interior designer opens Lake Forest studio
Mark Roberts, owner and interior designer of Mark David Designs, has opened a Lake Forest design studio and furniture store. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Mark David Designs
LOCATION: 266 E. Deerpath Road, Lake Forest
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
SPECIALTY: Fine furnishings, design services
INFORMATION: (847) 714-9970; www.MarkDavidDesigns.com
GRAND OPENING: 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 2
Updated: October 30, 2012 11:48AM
LAKE FOREST — At home in the city’s downtown, Mark Roberts is making a niche in the local design market.
With a 4,000-square-foot studio, Roberts has plenty of space in his new store, Mark David Designs, to display a large collection of traditional furnishings and accessories.
“I’ve been told it’s like walking into someone’s home,” Roberts said of his new studio.
Living in Highland Park, the 32-year-old said there was a void in the area’s design industry.
“There are a lot of great design stores around,” he said. “But people still love to shop. It’s nice to have that tangible, instant gratification of taking something home.”
Although he offers the shopping experience, with his studio filled with fine furnishings, accessories, lighting and gifts, he also offers design services, Roberts said.
With a degree in art history from Loyola University and having been a designer for 13 years, it’s natural for Roberts to help his customers envision a design for their home’s space.
“I’m a very visual person,” he said. “I do like to do traditional with a lighter look to it — nothing too heavy,” he said. “A higher- end traditional look.”
After owning a store in Hinsdale called Room By Room for 10 years, Roberts is not new to operating his own furniture store. The key to a successful business, he said, is “offering a selection and having a range of prices. Not everyone is going to come in and buy a $10,000 to $15,000 sofa.”
Whatever they buy, making sure his customers receive a good value is another must, he said.
And he makes it part of his business to get to know his customers. “I’ve become family with them,” he said of his design clients. “I love meeting them and getting to know them.”
Making two to three in-home appointments with his design clients each week, Roberts spends the rest of his week at his new store making sure customers are satisfied. If a customer is interested in having him design a room, they should make an appointment two weeks in advance, he said.
With a grand opening slated for Nov. 2, Roberts already is picturing his studio decorated for the holidays.
“I’ll have four or five trees decorated for Christmas,” he said.