Modern Tastemakers

Marshall Erb makes Eternity Modern’s 2021 list of the ‘Top 39 Interior Designers & Decorators”—and represents Chicago with his boundary-pushing design.

By Elise Hofer Shaw

Via Eternity Modern

On February 23, Eternity Modern, an industry-leading resource for mid-century modern furniture, announced its ‘Top 39 Interior Designers & Decorators in Chicago’ list—and only the crème de la crème made the cut.

“Chicago is a city that’s rich with contemporary culture,” says Kiristin Lewis, Marketing Manager at Eternity Modern. “The designers on this year’s list are driving that culture—and are well respected for their unique take on modern aesthetics. Each was carefully chosen for their fresh perspective, innovative ideas, and their ability to always put the client first.”

Eternity Modern’s 2021 Chicago list is rich with groundbreaking designers, including Brynn Olson Design Group, Donna Mondi Interior Design, Fredman Design Group, Studio Brunstrum and more. Spotlighting a spectacular project by each, standouts include a private lakefront estate in Winnetka by Kara Mann, a West Hollywood apartment by Nate Berkus Associates in River North, and a gorgeous single-family home on Sullivan’s Island by Marshall Erb Design.


“If you live in Charleston, and you have the means to have a house on the waterfront, you typically go to Sullivan’s Island,” says Erb. “It’s this magical little barrier island that’s only accessible by a single road; an authentic beach community where people have summered for generations. It’s the equivalent of the Hamptons but with southern civility, just minutes from historic downtown Charleston.” But unlike so many of the nearby homes, the client didn’t want shiplap and pecky cypress-clad interiors—the usual suspects for beach homes. “She wanted something more modern,” adds Erb, “but still in keeping with the traditional Bahamian-style, vernacular beach cottages that pepper the area.”

A masterpiece by award-winning architect Beau Clowney, the 6,000-square-foot home is wrought of steel and concrete with extra wide footers, mahogany doors, impact windows and a copper roof. Inside, Erb capitalized on the clean lines and stunning ocean vistas across every room. “Even from the butler’s pantry, you can see all the way out to the ocean through this giant, circular, waxed steel-encased window,” says Erb, who incorporated high-gloss paint on several of the home’s ceilings to further bring the outdoors in. “It’s a technique that’s used in New York a lot to reflect light and make rooms look larger,” adds Erb. “But at the beach, it reflects the view, casting ‘waves’ and ‘palm fronds’ right on the ceiling.”

Leading with innovation and a style that keeps evolving, it’s no surprise that his work keeps getting noticed. “Marshall Erb has a knack for creating spaces that people just can’t help but fall in love with,” adds Lewis. “From large to small spaces, this firm can take on any project, curating gorgeous and personalized pieces of art, antiques, and décor that make every space feel extremely bespoke. And their Sullivan’s Island project perfectly showcases those talents. Its bright, airy design is interspersed with gorgeous furniture and stunning views of outdoor vistas that have been perfectly captured through strategically designed windows. It’s a project that speaks of understated luxury while also providing the best of comfort.”

And, according to Erb, the feeling is mutual. “Eternity Modern is great at creating high-quality furniture that will last generations,” says Erb. “Their pieces are more than just furniture; they are works of art that inspire conversations, enhance spaces, and bring mid-century modern style to your everyday. It is an honor to be recognized by a brand that holds itself to such high standards of design.”