Top Design – Meet the Designer: Erik Kolacz

Age: 28

Hometown: South Bend, Indiana, currently resides in Chicago

Profession: Co-owner in Contrast Design Group, Inc.

Education: Briefly attended Indiana State University and studied design at Ball State University. He is currently pursuing his degree in the Chicago area.

Design style: Creatively client-focused

Erik grew up in South Bend, Indiana. Completely self-taught, Erik knew he wanted to be a designer from a very young age and worked hard to make that happen.

He has honed his skills in theatrical lighting and set design and at 28, Erik is already a partner in a design firm in Chicago. He believes that he is where he is today because of his drive, and is a self-proclaimed take-charge kind of guy in a competitive environment. He believes that design is a way of life, and not just a job that’s over when you walk out the door.

Erik currently lives with his life partner, David, in Chicago and his greatest design achievement is their house. He says, “a true designer is always looking at things to put their stamp on.”

Erik’s website showcases work that is generally modern, with classical notes, deep colors and a masculine feel. The photos are really quite beautiful. Overall, there seems to be a strong “signature look” to their work and I would assume that their clients are buying this signature look. Erik works with a partner whose experience and placement on the website make her seem like the “senior” partner. It will be interesting to see if Erik brings this style with him to the Top Design competition.

xoxo Linda