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 doing something other than practicing law... there was no time like the present.  

So, after five years of practicing hedge fund and private equity law, she took the plunge and started this small business based on her love of design, space planning, logistics, and making clients happy.  

 

Twelve years later, she is at once nostalgic for those early, naive days, and proud of the portfolio

of work, client and vendor relationships, and knowledge base that she and her team have 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 team works remotely and in person, in the surrounding D.C. neighborhoods and further afield, and is currently completing projects in the Hudson Valley and Palm Springs, California.

Our Approach

Nicole Lanteri Design is built on Nicole's self-taught experience creating fresh, lively, and tailored-but-lived-in spaces for today’s modern families.  We offer practical, beautiful solutions.  We are thorough in detail and thoughtful in selection.  We mix high and low, work with what you have, and above all, want the process to be kind and fun.

Aesthetically, Nicole mixes colors, styles, and sources to create original interiors that reflect each client’s lifestyle, personality, and budget.  We love putting color in all of the right places and creating a bespoke look and feel for your home.  We use design books, images clients share with us, and ideas we've have had in our head for who-knows-how-long to create a look that works for your space.  We generally can't point to existing images for how these concepts will look, as they draw from so many sources and really are unique to mood and feel we want your space to have.  

Nicole and her team love layering new pieces with what you already have — reframing art to give it new life, or elevating something that was cast aside.  We use local and vintage sources ​to further reduce the environmental impact of our designs. 

Nicole Lanteri Design particularly enjoys making colonial homes fresh and modern, small bathrooms feel luxurious, kitchens one of a kind, and adding a touch of whimsy to each project.

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Typically, our projects evoke a modern feel with a penchant for colorful choices, and always a focus on comfort and function.  Each project has unique parameters that we love to solve for — an oddly-shaped room, an inherited piano, four kids, two dogs… you get the idea!

Our Team

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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 enjoyed 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 2009. 

Nicole and her husband recently moved from a modern loft to a 1939 colonial house in Arlington, VA that they love and are currently updating to be comfortable, modern and fun.

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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.

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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.

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Aaron Trent

VP, Strategy, Partnerships and Sustainability 

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.