Franklin Report Report Card for John Robert Wiltgen Design, Inc. in Chicago
★ Franklin Report Card
John Robert Wiltgen Design, Inc.
70 West Hubbard, Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 744-1151
Main Contact: John Robert Wiltgen
FR Rated
Interior Designers & Decorators

Services & Specialties
Unique, dramatic, innovative interior design

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FR Review:
Drama, color and flair set John Robert Wiltgen apart. Noted by many as avant garde, his designs are simultaneously reminiscent of the classical past. He is particularly expert at designing interior spaces and is known as "the loft king."His own loft is filled with ancient Greek pottery and Egyptian antiquities—limestone and hieroglyphs are everywhere. Bathrooms are yet another specialty. Clients report that each project has its own unique, quirky, unexpected design elements.

In over 20 years, John Robert Wiltgen has completed more than 350 projects throughout North America. He started his own firm at age 18, and, at 22, redesigned the model apartment of a condo complex that then sold out three months later, with 18 of the owners becoming clients. The firm takes pride in integrating the lines of architecture, art collection and design. There are ten people at the firm, including three project managers. The back office is said to be very professional. While all the work is residentially related, about half is directly for builders.

The firm takes a retainer, charges a high hourly rate for upfront design and retail on product, but no hourly fee on product. A typical living room is usually about $100,000, but can go much higher. There is a strong emphasis on customer service, with Wiltgen absorbing costs to get the subcontractors to rework a situation "to perfection." Many customers have done multiple projects with the firm, with Wiltgen becoming the source of all knowledge for some families who cannot seem to choose a pair of shoes or a new cereal without a consultation.

Representative Client Comments:
"John dares to be different, encouraging his clients to 'be brave' in their design decisions.""While always professional, John does not allow himself or his clients to take decorating too seriously.""No matter how ugly they may be, John accommodates family heirlooms.""He is passionate about his work and works seven days a week.""John is capable of working within budgets and is very generous, but he has demanding and expensive instincts.""He can be outrageous and daring and still be in good taste.""He insists on having lunch with you in your kitchen to better understand how you use the space.""John has fulfilled my design fantasy.""While we fell in love with John, he can be very opinionated.""Absolutely no regrets at all and we love his Halloween parties.”

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