Haute Designer Michael Miller On What Makes Centaur Interiors A One-Of-A-Kind Design Firm

From Haute Residence:

Introducing one of our newest Haute Design members: Michael Miller of Centaur Interiors! Michael founded Centaur Interiors in 2010 as a firm specializing in turnkey solutions for high-end residential renovations. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Michael created a collaborative environment and network of industry experts including craftsmen, licensed tradesmen, architects, designers and project managers, working in harmony to produce superior results. Centaur Interiors is redefining the art of building with their services including development, consulting, design-build, construction management, general contracting, interior architecture/design, furnishings and art procurement.

Haute Residence: What is your background and what made you want to pursue interior design? 

Michael Miller: I have a background in mechanical design and engineering. I did take some architecture classes as well, but never a degree. From an early age I was always sketching out my dream home, and even remodeling my parents’ house and bedroom when I was 12, so I knew I had a passion for design/aesthetics. Everywhere I go I consume design, architecture and engineering in stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. It’s almost a part of my DNA to evaluate the design, what I like, or how I feel I can make this better. I use this for inspiration on our projects. It’s a lifestyle and rooted deep inside.

HR: Why did you start Centaur Interiors? 

MM: I started CI as I found a large void in our industry for a single-source conception-to-completion company. There was a standard architect-designer-general-contractor model and it did not serve the client well. Nobody was ever on the same page, and the client needed much more education to make informed decisions. At our firm, we are doing pricing within the design phase so the client is informed on the costs to make educated decisions. Within the last five years, with my growing passion for art, we added an in-house gallery and also developed my digital art system Apollo, which is launching in May. We are a true turnkey concept to completion firm specializing in high-end residential consulting, design, build, furnishings and artwork.

HR: What makes Centaur different than other interior design firms? 

MM: Our process and relentless attention to detail. From inception, we take our clients on a journey to understand their lifestyle and how they will interact with their homes. Through this, we understand their passions and style and can incorporate this within their designs. This process flows seamlessly into construction management and execution. Our team understands the focal points and the client’s priorities. We utilize technology to visually represent each aspect of the project for the client to make informed decisions. Within our design studios in Chicago and Dallas, clients can see and experience several different finishes and details to learn what works well for them.

HR: What is your mission as an interior designer? 

MM: To be the best at what we do. Our team is extremely vital in providing a high level of passion to each and every project. We are constantly learning new finishes and techniques and also leveraging new technologies to keep our firm cutting-edge. The goal is to listen to the client to understand their needs and develop a program within our process that works well for them.

HR: Why did you choose to base out of Chicago? 

MM: I was born and raised in Chicago and have a large passion for the city. We reside in the Museum Park campus, and our office and showroom are located within the Gallery District in River North. Chicago has a long-standing history with high-end architecture and many of the most prestigious designers and architects have made a mark on this city. We look forward to building on this and leaving a legacy. Our commitment to our clients has taken us to multiple cities in the U.S., including Dallas and South Florida, where we have current projects underway.

HR: What kind of projects are on the horizon for the firm? 

MM: We perform a great deal of high-rise work and specialize in combining residences, starting with an amazing space plan. Our boutique firm is growing, and we look forward to taking on a more significant role in full concept-to-completion work. I feel clients are finding a great deal of value in this as we are able to assess and advise the clients throughout this process and journey. We are currently working on about 10 projects, which are in the Gold Coast, River North, and Streeterville in Chicago, a couple of projects in Miami, and one in Dallas. Anything that we can make an authentic stamp on for our clients. I could not be more excited about the launch of our digital art system Apollo. This is coupling high design with amazing proprietary technology and world-renowned artists. Stay tuned for this as we gear up for our launch.