Gone to Market: Meet Phillip Lantz, Chicago-based interior designer who’s becoming a Round Top regular.

Phillip feels right at home on a private ranch in Texas as he prepares fro a day of shopping in Round Top.   Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

Phillip feels right at home on a private ranch in Texas as he prepares fro a day of shopping in Round Top.

Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

Meet Phillip Lantz, Chicago-based interior designer who’s becoming a Round Top regular.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Phillip Lantz is a one-man interior design show, specializing in custom residential interiors. He describes his design philosophy as “architecture first.”

“My background is in architecture, so my first critique on any project is to review the layout of spaces. Before color or style is even considered, it’s critical to make sure the home functions well for the current user,” Phillip says. “I feel it is my job to show clients ‘what can be’ with what they have to work with and, even then, we sometimes add space to achieve the best results. Only after we get the architecture and space right can all their interior dreams be fully realized. I take pride in cultivating interiors that are timeless but with flourishes that are specifically unique to the owner. This, to me, is what makes a home a home, and ultimately, is my only goal.”

In recent years, Phillip has added Round Top to his calendar.

“I've been to Round Top twice now, both spring shows in 2018 and 2019. I have wonderful clients in Austin and Dallas who love the hunt. Texas has a much more relaxed vibe than the traditional homes of Chicago and its suburbs. Both of these clients encouraged me to visit Round Top, and we’ve found so many wonderful, original pieces.”

The people he’s met and the memories he’s made also stand out in his mind.

“I have never in my life been surrounded by freer people. I'm from the big city and was afraid that Texas wouldn't accept any outsiders, but I am embarrassed and elated to say that I was wrong. Could it be that Round Top is building bridges in the design community? I danced my a** off at the Junk Gypsy prom last year, and I felt like I was surrounded by love and creativity. I remember saying to my client, Heather Raymond, that my faith in humanity was restored. (I might have yelled that out loud while drinking sangria and dancing to 80s hip hop with a group of middle-aged women dressed up as the Golden Girls, something we typically only see in the gay community!). I kept thinking that not only would my pals in Chicago relish this, but my actual blood sisters in Arkansas would make more friends here than a feather boa has feathers.”

In addition to the warm welcome he’s received around town, he’s also made Market Hill his home base.

For his Austin client, Phillip was searching high and low for the best antique rugs. He ultimately found the antique rugs he was hoping for at Nomadic Trading Company at Market Hill.  Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

For his Austin client, Phillip was searching high and low for the best antique rugs. He ultimately found the antique rugs he was hoping for at Nomadic Trading Company at Market Hill.

Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

“As you know, it’s hard to spend too much time at any one place, but I know that given the opportunity, I could spend all day, every day there. Not only is the array of selections so broad for any shopping venture, it really seems to be a collection of some of the best. I remember finding it difficult to focus because there were so many wonderful considerations. I think, honestly, having food and wine there reminded me to enjoy the shopping experience a bit more. When I'm in Round Top it’s for work, but slowing my roll and taking a seat to listen to some live music and chat with locals as well as other travelers makes it seem less like work and more like a vacation.”

“Can we talk about the fashion of the live music group this past year? I feel like it was Dolce & Gabbana SS 2017 to a T. It did not go unnoticed! I don't recall their group name [editor’s note: The Heart Collectors], but they were so effing chic. So, yes, inspiration from everything. I'm buying a brocade vest tomorrow.”

For his Austin client, Phillip found some incredible pieces at Market Hill.

“After much consideration, because there were so many to choose from, Heather bought some beautiful rugs from Nomadic Trading Company. The collection of colorful Moroccans got us giddy and made us reconsider our entire design concept on the spot.”

When it comes to his design concept and where he finds inspiration, he says it’s all about research, research, research. 

Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

Photo by Ashlee Nobel, Lee Lee Arts + Design

“The more I see, the more I refine my personal opinions on what is 'good.'  Fashion, hair, makeup, landscape, architecture, technology, and interiors all inspire me and surge my creativity. While I truly consider myself an artist, I honestly feel the core of my job is to educate clients on smart investments, because, make no mistake, a cultivated home ain’t cheap, but if I didn't have my finger on the above, there is no magic in my work, and that is what makes it special.”

When asked if he’s returning to the show this fall, he says, “Absolutely! The way I see it is if you go in with a specific intent, searching for any one specific item, you will almost always fail; but, when you have an open mind, and, say, accidentally come across the best boots in all of Texas and in your size, well, you come home a winner.”