Studio Brunstrum

Firm Philosophy

Living room with sofa, animal rug, and painting


Lifestyle and Interior Design Expertise Creates Award-Winning Outcomes

Studio Brunstrum creates environments where clients can live the life that they imagined. We want your home to be both a source of creative inspiration and contentment - a place where you can be entirely yourself and that you can enjoy with others. To achieve this, we embrace life’s little imperfections to create livable, comfortable interiors.

Understanding where each client stands in life’s journey, be it partnered, expecting a house full of children or making a sudden or planned transition, is our springboard.  A Studio Brunstrum interior will tell the story of not only where you have been but where you are going, with design that is carefully cultivated and layered with the things that you love. Contrasts, creative tension and texture are combined with originality to form a cohesive, beautiful whole.  At Studio Brunstrum, we believe that good design is born of a partnership between client needs and essential design principles, and that we have succeeded when our clients feel that they have truly come home. 

Coffee table close up with books and accessories

Design Philosophy

Combining the tried-and-true can create predictable beauty; combining the unusual can create astonishing treasures.  At Studio Brunstrum, we embrace both the classic and the unexpected to compose a cultivated environment that invites you to explore the pieces that make the whole.  For interiors, this translates into a home that seamlessly holds your cherished antiques as well as your recent new finds.  Design that looks at ease but is, in fact, meticulously considered.  

Both Studio Brunstrum interior and product designs are distinguished by original juxtapositions – weathered metals with clear acrylic, texture with sleek lacquer, natural woods with gleaming glass – to provide a captivating, layered aesthetic. Studio Brunstrum designs don’t shout; they attract confidently with a whisper.  And they always leave room for the essential element in your home – you.


Susan Brunstrum pencil sketch portrait


Principal | Founder

As founder of Studio Brunstrum, Susan combines her marketing and business acumen with her love of art and creativity. Her master’s degree in advertising from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, was earned while she continuously took classes in art history, drawing and design. Susan eventually parlayed her advertising background into corporate marketing and even led her own marketing/communications firm before discovering her true calling – design. From a one-woman, home-based business, Susan nurtured Studio Brunstrum into an award-winning firm with a team that shares her passion for catering to a discerning clientele. She spreads her enthusiasm for design as an active participant in the design community and as an on-air contributor. Susan also serves as the Programs Committee co-chair at the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago and is a contributing member to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Home Trust International and Design Trust, Ltd. When not working, you will find Susan spending time with her two adult children or seeking creative inspiration in fashion magazines, art and travel.

Kelsey Pencil Sketch Portrait

Kelsey Brunstrum

Director of Business | Marketing

As Director of Business, Kelsey manages all financial and business processes, including banking, invoicing, accounting, payroll, HR and legal for Studio Brunstrum. As Director of Marketing, Kelsey also manages business development, social media, advertising, and marketing strategy. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business with majors in both Marketing and Sales. Her early career was spent at fashion retailer Abercrombie and Fitch in Columbus, Ohio, where she managed a multimillion dollar sales effort as an Associate Merchant. Her strategic mindset, coupled with her love for design and fashion, allows her to vacillate between her left-brain and right-brain job responsibilities at the office. Born and raised in Chicago, Kelsey is delighted to be back in her hometown closer to family, friends, and her favorite sports teams.

Patti Friedler

Designer | Project Manager

Born and raised in New Orleans, Patti developed a keen eye for detail at an early age. As the daughter of an interior designer (mother) and avid art collector (father), she grew up in a world of color, texture and ever-evolving decor. Patti graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut with a BA in Art History. Her professional journey began six years ago in PR and communications, where she focused on business and brand strategy for clients in the interior design and architecture industry, while simultaneously serving as Director of Communications for the Design Leadership Network. After three years in NYC, Patti moved to Chicago and took on the position of Project Coordinator for Waterworks, managing bathroom and kitchen projects. Her broad experience and passion for art and design bring a unique perspective to her role as Designer | Project Manager at Studio Brunstrum. Her days at the studio showcase her ability to multi-task, as she manages both design and scheduling aspects for client projects. Being away from her native New Orleans, Patti cherishes vacation time with family, and in her free time enjoys painting, and continuously tweaking her cozy studio apartment in the Gold Coast.


Our Monthly Reverie Journal and Weekly Reverie Email are designed to inspire.

Studio Brunstrum