The Favorites of Chicago’s Award-winning Designer Frank Ponterio

Mr. Frank Ponterio. (Brian Briggs)
Mr. Frank Ponterio. (Brian Briggs)

Cashmere walls, stag chandeliers, French country kitchens and rustic retreats. Frank Ponterio’s interior transformations are as diverse as the spaces he works on. Contemporary residences, turn-of-the-century restorations, gardens and golf clubs, all sharing his unmistakable signature: an astute sense of style and a profound appreciation for architectural arts and buildings’ historic bones.

Known for his impeccable vision delivering an old-world European elegance, the Chicago-based designer has been working his magic for over 20 years. His projects, imbued with classic character and a sense of understated grandeur, have garnered a multitude of accolades and awards, as did Ponterio’s collection of custom handcrafted furnishings debuting in 2013. Besides regularly appearing amidst Chicago’s top designer lists and national glossies, Ponterio has a made a name in restoring and preserving architectural landmarks, including his own iconic David Adler home. While work keeps him busy, the designer carves out time to travel and to give back, including working with the Lake Forest Showhouse for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. In work and in life, Ponterio’s talent and eloquent taste shine through.

Mr. Ponterio’s Favorite Things:

Clad in a sleek Brunello Cucinelli cashmere blazer, a pair of dark Persols shading his eyes, Frank Ponterio is the image of artful sophistication. A classic European sensibility colors many aspects of his world, from his chocolate leather Hermès saddle bag to the crisp scents of fresh Provence lavender and his signature Acqua di Parma cologne. All things Italy are especially dear: the Amalfi Coast’s turquoise waters; Rome’s Hotel Eden, a favourite stop; even the sun-warmed sweetness of figs. An avid wanderer, Ponterio is always ready to hit the open road, armed with his Tod’s driving loafers and a Rimowa Salsa Air Ultralight case. But at the end of the day, there’s no place like home; surrounded by favorite pieces such as the gorgeous Isabella Andirons from his own collection, and gearing up for his next adventure by leafing through an inspiring issue of Garden & Gun. For this global soul, the sweetest treat means “taking every opportunity to travel the world … and gelato!”

Text by Kate Missine  Translated by Zhao Wen  Produced by Many Ngom