Friday, January 25, 2013

"Color Queen"

GoGo Design Group founder Rebecca Pogonitz has been obsessed with true beauty practically since birth. The daughter of an art historian, constant family outings to museums and installations imbued her early on with an appreciation for color, form and function. Yearly trips to Colonial Williamsburg helped to teach her the most important of lessons: good design is nearly always timeless.

As an adult, Pogonitz began her career at a prominent Boston architectural firm before earning a BFA at Chicago’s International Academy of Design and Technology. Though she initially gravitated toward public relations and marketing, her intense passion for aesthetics would eventually win out.
She began her design career with LAC Designs and The Concept Group before branching out on her own in 2001. Since then, her acclaimed work for clients both residential and commercial has appeared in publications like Chicago Tribune Magazine, Northshore Magazine and Builder/Architect Magazine.
Unlike many interior designers, Rebecca Pogonitz prefers to collaborate with clients rather than impose her own sense of style on a project. The result is an incredibly rich and eclectic body of work.
“I try to get inside their head and see what the client is all about,” Rebecca says. “It’s not about me. It’s about empowering people to discover what they truly want.”

Some people are gifted with a color sense and can look at an empty room or canvas and know immediately the exact color it calls for. I feel akin to this woman because I, too, took my children to art museums when they were young. Both have good eyes for color and beauty, a legacy I am glad to pass on. My mother took time to show me color and beauty in nature when we lived far from museums, and I think that influenced me to look for color everywhere and to revel in it.bbl

"As a child, Rebecca Pogonitz was always learning about art. Her mother was a passionate art historian, and the family frequented museums and art fairs.
“We didn’t go to water parks, we went to museums,” said Pogonitz, “My mother was constantly exposing me to color and composition and texture, and she loved art so much, she talked about it all the time.”
Pogonitz said her mother passed a love of aesthetic detail and color onto her, and that’s what spawned her career in interior design, and her Skokie based company, Gogo Design Group.
Working with both residential and corporate clients, Pogonitz remodels and redecorates spaces on the North Shore and in the city. Jobs range from new construction and gutted kitchens and baths, to rearranging and repurposing rooms, and choosing paint colors.
“Good design wears many caps,” said Pogonitz, who holds a BFA in interior design and who worked for another design firm for many years before starting her company in 2001. “I’m about solving issues with all the criteria involved, including budget, comfort, taste and style. I look at design as an overall umbrella and I create for you.”
Cheryl Hoberman has hired Pogonitz several times for remodeling projects in her family’s Skokie home.
“She doesn’t come in and push her views,” said Hoberman, “She listens to us and what we want.”
Referring to her as “the color queen,” Hoberman said Pogonitz has a gift.
“Rebecca can look at an empty space that’s gutted and envision it whole. I can’t do that,” she said.
“She’s got a knack for the way she picks colors and what will go together,” said Dena Levy, who hired Pogonitz to remodel an addition to her family’s home, “She truly listens and helps you realize your own vision.”
“I really am the color queen,” said Pogonitz, who has lived in Skokie with her family for 17 years. “I can see colors that other people can’t. I can visualize, and if the color is off, the whole project will be off. Color affects everything.”
Gogo Design Group charges a lump sum fee or an hourly rate, a decision Pogonitz said she leaves to her clients, making sure they feel comfortable with her rates from the beginning.
When asked if she had a certain style, Pogonitz said she works with all different tastes, and that she strives to help clients define their own personal style.
“I’m not a trendy designer,” she said, “I’m edgy and fresh, but something can be fresh and timeless at the same time.”
“Look at my house!” exclaimed Hoberman, “It always comes together so nicely. Rebecca always hits the nail on the head.”
“Our home truly is the way we envisioned it,” said Levy.
Pogonitz said another truly fun part of her job is the shopping, and that there are so many beautiful things that she gets to choose from and put in her clients’ homes.
(This sums up why I feel our surroundings are so influential on our lives.bbl)
“The space you live in is so vital to your everyday existence,” she said, “If you don’t feel you love it, you don’t have balance. I create spaces that feed people’s souls, and where they can say, ‘I’m home.’”

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