The next time you’re seated in a swank bar or trendy eatery, you could be enjoying the work of interior designer Karen Herold. A native of the Netherlands and a graduate of the Institute of Fashion and Design in Amsterdam, Herold has been at the design helm of Chicago-based 555 International for the last 10 years.

Hugh Hefner and Steve Wynn both sought out Herold’s expertise for their Vegas ventures, including the new Playboy Club at Palms Casino Resort and the future La Cave wine lounge at Wynn Las Vegas. Although her splashy spaces generate a lot of buzz, she also loves tapping into the subtle end of the design spectrum.

Girl & The Goat, the new West Loop restaurant owned by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard and Boka Restaurant Group, showcases some of Herold’s most innovative designs. She started with a muted color palette to lend a cozy feel to the former industrial space. Then she grabbed her blowtorch. “I wanted some of the wood accents to have a heavy, burnt texture,” says Herold. Finally, she added 14 beautiful antique fireboxes to the back wall of the bar. “There’s always a point in designing when you’re almost done but need that one thing people will talk about,” she says.

Now that the eatery is open, what’s next for the design guru? “A major restaurateur approached the firm about designing his new place after he dined at Girl & The Goat,” says Herold. Sounds like that will be something to talk about, too.

A Tour of Girl & The Goat

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