Lara Leskaj

IIDA, LEED AP
Associate Principal, Interior Design Director, Chicago

Growing up in Cincinnati, Lara’s neighbor was an interior designer. As a creative kid with strong math skills, she always felt drawn to this career. Lara stuck with her passion and studied interior design, eventually earning her master’s degree in architecture.

Lara knows that interior design goes far beyond colors and fabrics. It influences how we feel, how we work, how we live our lives every day. Early work in designing for hotels and restaurants laid the foundation for translating hospitality – making spaces warm, comfortable, pleasing to be in – across all of her work.

There’s something else that Lara says is crucial to her design and leadership approach – the perspective of a mother of two. It is the value of listening to encourage and support the voices of designers across the studio and to genuinely hear what her clients need that can produce unique, customized spaces.

"I love tactile design, especially palette and color development. This helps me look at my projects holistically, moving seamlessly across practice areas."
Fun Fact

Lara is a dedicated hockey mom.  Shuttling her kids to practice five days a week, traveling for tournaments and volunteering for the club is how she spends her free time.

Beacon Tavern
Lara's design sensibility can be seen at Chicago's Beacon Tavern.
Beacon Tavern
Sconces, tile, a gas fireplace, antique mirrors, and wood accents give this American tavern a vintage twist.
For Lara, design is about listening to her clients and allowing their views and comments to impact the project. She understands the importance of how environments positively impact business success.
Confidential Client
Celebrating local flora, this confidential project connects brand expression to regional geography.
University of South Carolina; Center for Health and Wellbeing; Columbia SC
University of South Carolina, Center for Health and Well-being, Columbia, South Carolina
This LEED Gold project received a 2018 AIA Columbia South Carolina Divine Detail award.
University of South Carolina; Center for Health and Wellbeing; Columbia SC
University of South Carolina, Center for Health and Well-being, Columbia, South Carolina
This innovative hub for health and wellness includes clinics for general medicine, women’s care, sports medicine/orthopedics, and allergy, immunization and travel, along with consulting offices for nutrition, counseling, wellness and psychiatric services.

Lara's Featured Work

Work
Bank of Canada Head Office Renewal
Ottawa, Ontario
Work
Confidential Client
Chicago, Illinois
Work
Water Street Healthcare Partners
Chicago, Illinois
Work
WM Headquarters
Houston, Texas
Work
American Express Sunrise Corporate Center
Sunrise, Florida