Mary believes that in creating a home that satisfies the soul, aesthetics and function must be balanced in equal proportion. Your home is designed to reflect you and to be livable on an everyday level. Naturalness, comfort, organization and flow matter most. Coordinating the perfect match between the pattern of the drapery fabric and the fringe on the chair is the afterthought.
Her anti-decorating style is refreshingly simple yet sumptuous. She believes in living fully in the present, not in the distant past, nor in the far future. That means using your good things daily, NOT saving them for your grandchildren; furnishing your home as a place to live, not a museum to visit; and creating a space that's sensible as well as beautiful.
All images are candid photos, taken in clients' homes after design work has been completed and daily life is being lived...
Mary Rubino has been translating personalities into homes since 1996. Published in Chicago Home + Garden, NorthShore Magazine and the Chicago Tribune's Sunday Magazine among others, she creates a warm, modern style with elements of natural, rugged, clean, classic and/or international influences, depending on her client's personality. Mary's goal is to create residential living spaces that are inviting and comforting.
She was born and raised in the Midwest by parents involved in the sciences who believed in hands-on learning. As one of five siblings, she learned well from her mother that the best fabrics and carpets hide hair, dirt & chocolate, although not necessarily in that order.
While at Brown University studying psychology and economics as ways to understand human behavior, Mary was singled out for her inviting dorm room décor. Following a brief stint as a hostess while writing fiction, she returned to studying, this time, cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago. During this period, she also lived in Southern Italy researching her family's history, studied at the University of Bologna and traveled extensively throughout Italy. This is when it hit home with her that beauty in one's surroundings is not a luxury. Indeed, it is, and should always be, an ordinary part of daily life.
To earn a living, she worked in marketing for Baker Furniture where she had the opportunity to learn about the design industry, from fine furnishings to floor plans to fabrics. Following that, she worked in sales at Luminaire, known for modern Italian design. Along the way, friends saw that she had a knack for decorating and recommended her to their friends, and her business was born...
Throughout her studies and travels around the world, Mary's preoccupation is always to see and understand how humans make their dwellings and what makes a house truly a home. She cares about how her clients use their homes and how they feel in their surroundings.
She has done pro bono work for Saint Athanasius Parish and The Round Table in Evanston, Illinois, and the Jane Adams Hull House in Chicago among other organizations.
Since 1996, Mary has been continually creating livable spaces that express one's individual nature.
She works exclusively one-on-one with her clients to tailor a truly bespoke home.
Please reach out to discuss how she can best suit your needs.
Classic modern style
Mixing periods & regions