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Our Story

Nicole Lanteri founded her eponymous firm in 2009 after deciding, on a short trip to Paris with her husband, that if she was interested in something other than law, there was no time like the present!  So, after five years of working with hedge fund and private equity clients, she took the plunge and started this small business based on her love of design, space planning, logistics, and making people happy.  

Thirteen years later, she is at once nostalgic for those early, naive days, and proud of the portfolio of work, relationships, and knowledge that she has built.  

Nicole and her team work out of a studio in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. that many of Nicole's first clients call home.  The firm is engaged in projects in the surrounding D.C. neighborhoods and further afield, including houses and apartments in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Southern California.

Our Approach

Nicole Lanteri Design is built on Nicole's self-taught experience creating bespoke, magical spaces through the tension and balance of comfortable / modern, warm and cool, and unconstructed / organized.  

Aesthetically, Nicole mixes styles, materials, and sources to create original interiors that reflect each client’s personality and budget.  We use color and pattern intentionally, to achieve specific effects or moods.  We draw our inspiration from design books, images clients share with us, and dreams we've had in our minds for who-knows-how-long to forge an 'especial' look and feel.

Nicole and her team love to layer old and new:  reframing art to give it new life, elevating what was cast aside, or finding whimsy in the mundane.  We use local and vintage sources ​to reduce the environmental impact of our work.

Continually and with each new project, we aspire to offer practical, beautiful, sustainable solutions.  We are thorough in detail, thoughtful in selection and, above all, want the process to be kind, considered and fun!

Our Team

Nicole Lanteri

Founder, Creative Director and Principal Designer

Nicole grew up in South Florida and has lasting impressions of the awesome grasscloth-papered walls, paisley sofas and Marimekko bedding that filled her childhood home.  

Nicole studied Latin American Studies and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While at UNC, Nicole spent her free time working in a local frame shop and loved every minute of it!  Her study abroad in Sevilla, Spain and travels to London, Paris and Barcelona that semester started the influence that travel continues to have on her aesthetic and way of life.  She continued her studies at the University of Virginia and earned a law degree in 2004, moving to New York City after graduation and practicing law at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in New York City and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in New York City and Washington, D.C. until she decided to start her new career as an interior decorator in July of 2009. 

Nicole and her husband recently moved from a modern loft to a 1938 Colonial in Arlington, VA that they truly love and are currently updating to be comfortable, modern and magical.


Katharine Spreen

Associate Designer and Project Lead

Katharine claims North Carolina as her home state, but also lived in Michigan, Texas, and Florida while growing up. Like Nicole, she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, and moved to Washington, DC to become the next C.J. Cregg before taking a left turn to work in corporate training while her now-husband earned his doctorate in Bloomington, IN.


After moving back to DC, she was rescued by Nicole from the corporate training world in February 2019.

Katharine has traveled extensively across the U.S., U.K., and Europe, and always admired beautiful spaces across all kinds of style. She loves creating perfectly eclectic spaces for our clients.

She shares a mid-century rambler with her husband in Hyattsville, MD, and is thrilled to watch the transformation along Route 1.


Lindsay Sydness

Design Assistant

Lindsay joined the team at Nicole Lanteri Design in January 2021. Lindsay has always had a love for great design and creativity. In kindergarten, she told her teacher that when she grew up, she was moving to New York City to work for Vogue. 


Lindsay’s love affair with design deepened in college where she majored in Art History and was enthralled with the curriculum in her 20th Century Architecture class. She moved to DC in the fall of 2018 to pursue her master’s degree in Interior Architecture from the George Washington University which she completed in the spring of 2020. 


Previously, Lindsay worked at a public relations firm outside Boston where she handled media relations, drafted press releases, and ran several social media channels for clients in B2B, consumer and technology sectors.


In her free time, Lindsay enjoys ice cream, cookie skillets, and true crime documentaries. Preferably all at the same time.


Aaron Trent


Aaron was born in San Diego and enjoys claiming California as his true home, but he spent his formative years in the Central and Finger Lakes regions of New York State.  He's pursued his love of numbers and finance through various roles as a Navy officer, Wall Street analyst, derivatives policy wonk and government banker.  He also has a deep interest in the environment and sustainability that reaches back to the compelling lectures of his favorite science teachers at Liverpool High.

Aaron’s passion for design was piqued after he met Nicole in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia and she took him shopping for real dinner- and glassware to replace his paper plates and Tupperware tumblers.  From there, it’s been a romantic journey of Capitol Hill and Manhattan apartments, a Charlottesville “country home,” an Arlington loft and now, their Ashton Heights colonial.

Aaron loves to develop business ideas and bring people together, so it was only natural that his role at Nicole Lanteri Design should focus on our team’s business strategy, contractor and vendor/maker partnerships and growing sustainability efforts.


Outside the studio, Aaron also loves cycling, museums and travel for staying inspired.

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