Michael Abrams - Principal
“I design every space around the most important element in the room – the people.”
Born in New York and raised in South Carolina, Michael Abrams tempers urban style with a distinctive sense of tradition. Michael’s personal aesthetic grew exponentially at the Art Institute of Chicago. Culminating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in 1981. He further refined his vision at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Melding artistic sensibilities with the practical considerations of modern architecture, completing his Masters’ in 1985.
Michael’s talents were quickly recognized in professional forums and subsequently sought by such institutions as Continental Bank, LaSalle Partners, the Environments Group, Citibank, the Hull Trading Company, and Goldman Sachs. Each experience added to both personal insight and ability. In 1999, Michael established himself independently, realizing a longstanding dream that allows him the freedom to create client-specific solutions that truly reflect his profound dedication to beauty, comfort and home.
Gina Valenti – Design Director
Gina joined Michael Abrams in 2013 after numerous years refining her design skills with a notable Chicago interiors firm. She has worked on a variety of award-winning projects throughout her career, acquiring a handful of ASID design excellence awards, as well as published work in Luxe, CS Interiors, Chicago Home & Garden, Florida Design, and Kansas City Spaces.
Gina grew up in Deer Park, IL and stayed in Illinois for her advanced schooling. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing at North Illinois University & Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Harrington College of Design. Her experience and passion for design runs deep, learning the ins and outs of construction from her father, working for a general contractor building custom homes, and ultimately moving into the world of luxury residential design. She comes from a large family, and loves spending her free time with her husband & their cat Pippin, gardening and renovating their vintage home.
As a true artist of her trade, Gina brings her passion for design to everything she does. A lover of order and symmetry in design, she is inspired by the structure of classics; and enjoys reinterpreting those elements into fresh, modern, and approachable designs. She focuses on creating personal spaces for her clients that hinge on making each room its best-self. One of her favorite parts of the design process is collaborating with artisans & trades on the “how-to” of bringing her visions to reality. Through it all, Gina continually strives to connect with her clients, develop a thoughtful and cohesive vision, & most of all, design spaces that are a soulful reflection of her client’s dreams.
Katherine Duewer – Senior Designer
Hailing from the town of Waverly, Illinois, Katherine has been with Michael Abrams since 2015. Prior to joining the team, Katherine built a strong technical foundation working first in retail design and then refining those skills in residential kitchen & bath design prior to joining Michael. She is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design & Construction Management. Her love for design started at a young age through exposure to her parent’s custom cabinetry workshop in her central Illinois hometown.
Katherine loves to see the widespread reach of her company’s designs; and her career with Michael Abrams has taken her around the world. She had the opportunity to travel to Miami, Park City, London, and Paris for Deco Off 2020. When not working, Katherine loves to be adventurous outdoors. She has run four marathons & enjoys spending time biking along the lakefront near her Evanston home.
Katherine’s personal design style is inspired by gentle silhouettes and the traditional architecture of historic homes. She enjoys the thoughtful blending of vintage & contemporary furnishings in interiors. She believes that modern interior design successfully serves a home’s history as well as its future. Embracing subtle color & cheerful mixes of textures, Katherine works intrinsically to provide a unique environment for each project. When adding final touches, she believes artwork should be personal, telling a story just as meaningful as the space itself.