“I love creating an atmosphere that my clients can’t wait to come home to…”
Kay Reyes has more than a few clients with unique contemporary taste. She finds it is an enjoyable challenge to meet their needs while utilizing her fine arts and interior design background. Her business, Creative Illusions, was founded seven years ago, when Kay was more familiar with wallpaper than faux finishing.
“At first, I started playing around with paint in the garage…and eventually took professional classes,” Kay recalls. After the first few years, it became apparent that Kay’s talent was creating finishes just as interesting as her client base.
“Tying the look together is great,” Kay says. “One couple I worked for had very contemporary taste – they loved stainless steel, and believed that red and black were the best complimentary colors.”
Showing the client a palette of blues and grays to compliment their sofa and stainless steel stairs was easier than getting their buy-in to the chartreuse green. However, Kay had the client’s confidence. “The sofa fabric was selected first, and I started thinking about how to really design the room around those colors,” Kay explains. The stairs were actually designed by the client, and Kay’s finishes provided the perfect backdrop.
The same client asked Kay to work her magic on their bedrooms. The photos show the client’s love of purple, but in a more conservative expression. Kay used Blue Pearl’s Shimmered Suede in the bedrooms, and added a silver grey wax in areas for a more dramatic effect.
Kay does more traditional work such as old world finishes, and has also done work for Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Kathy Carroll and Kay met in an Old World Finishes class, where Kay found a kindred spirit. “Kathy is so creative and enthusiastic, and we had a great time working side by side,” Kay remembers. Learning that Kathy’s studio store carried a vast array of professional products, Kay started placing orders with the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.
While others may want to supervise a team of painters, Kay is happy to keep her business small, while enjoying the work with different types of clients. “I don’t ever want to have to just ‘sell a finish’ and move on – I really enjoy the one-on-one relationship with the clients,” Kay says.
Helping to keep Creative Illusions’ clients happy, Kay’s husband Louis also helps out from time to time. “He has a very creative mind, and a good design sense, “Kay says. Kay and Louis have a very active son and daughter, ages 15 and 12.