Top Talent


Leading designers share details about their favorite projects. 





Interior Concepts, Inc., led by Arlene Critzos, has been crafting captivating interiors for over four decades. With a foundation rooted in European Studies, worldly travels, and an appreciation for decorative arts, Critzos and her team have curated a portfolio that exemplifies diversity and sophistication. Recent projects span the style spectrum—from a serene island retreat to a modern mountain haven, an urban contemporary abode, and a refined Italian villa.

The team approaches every design with an unwavering commitment to creativity and professionalism, starting with understanding clients’ needs, budgets, quality expectations, and timing. Established in 1979, Interior Concepts has evolved into a full-service, multi-tiered, award-winning design firm with 60 employees and a 50,000-square-foot warehouse.

Main Photo: Stylish Productions, Joy Design + Build, James McDonald Architects



2560 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401  |  |  410.224.7366






One of the joys of maintaining my clientele year after year is that I frequently get asked to design second residences in beautiful places. These clients wanted a serene yet inviting retreat for family and guests. We achieved this by keeping a neutral palette and infusing earthy textures and greenery. The focal wallpaper behind the living room bookcase has a batik vibe. The eye is naturally drawn outward to the incredible backyard oasis.


Main Photo: Moor Baker & Associates Architects PA, Jessica Glynn Photography
Portrait Photo: Maureen Porto Photography


Wesley Pehlke Owner/Designer  |  443.994.6757




When the owner of this home wanted a custom kitchen to reflect her global travels, she turned to designer Megan Reiley, Principal of Seriously Sari Interiors. “My client wanted a bold, elegant space that would flow with her furniture and art from around the world,” Megan explains. 

Custom cabinets are finished in a dark charcoal gray with a custom mahogany-trimmed range hood to reimagine old-world aesthetics in a fresh, modern style. A mitered porcelain countertop adds a touch of drama to the island, while a custom mosaic backsplash balances colors found throughout the house.  

Bold artwork, placed against textured wallpaper, is another vibrant touch. Each of Megan’s dramatic selections rests on a foundation of comfort and functionality, ensuring timeless appeal and usability for years to come.



Megan Reiley Owner/Principal Designer |  203.927.3225




Bold floral wallpaper, lacquered millwork, and a linen ceiling are bold elements that play against traditional décor elements in this Murray Hill home designed by Cathy Newman, principal of C. Newman Interiors. Newman’s fresh designs and striking palette transformed this historic residence into a sophisticated, colorful home. “Instead of being stuffy or stilted, it is a comfortable place that is equally suited to entertaining as it is to raising a family,” says Newman.

Drawing on her experience as an abstract artist, Newman uses the interplay of color, texture, and pattern to create timeless, sophisticated interiors.

Main Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg Photography



Cathy Newman Owner/Principal Designer |  410.507.1308




Karen Renée Interior Design, Inc. strives to listen carefully to their clients so that they can turn a homeowner’s dreams into reality. When designing this home in Bethany Beach, the firm’s designer, Stephanie Simmons, kept the oceanfront location in mind. The designer selected natural textiles and textures in a palette of various shades of blue and white.

The furniture has a relaxed coastal vibe with a focus on comfort. Simmons sourced artwork and accessories to compliment the rooms and used a coastal palette combined with natural materials to create an oceanfront vibe.  The designer gave the client choices, kept her organized, and went room by room to pull all the elements together for a continuous flow through the home.

Main Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon Photography


Pictured left to right: Sophie Honeywell, Stephanie Simmons,
Karen Osborne, MD CID, NCIDQ, and Lisa Smith  |  410.647.0435



Fitzsimmons design has exciting news! Owner Gina Fitzsimmons will soon be opening an office in Palm Harbor, Florida, which is just a bit north of Tampa and Clearwater. Stay tuned for more details!

Fitzsimmons Design, an award-winning design firm in Annapolis, has been in business for over 30 years, delivering beautiful, imaginative interiors that go beyond trends to express your unique style. Their success is due to the fact that they are able to design custom architectural details into the space and to select inspired yet cohesive furnishings to complete the picture. They even design Kitchens and Baths! With one designer, the client does not have to work with two to three different people to tie a house together.

A very interesting tidbit is that 75% of their clients live on the water! Their relaxed, comfortable, carefree designs are permeated with easy-care fabrics and stylish selections curated especially for the client.

Main Photo: Steve Buchanan Photography


Gina Fitzsimmons, ASID, NKBA Principal/Designer  |  410.269.1965




When the new owners of The Oaks Waterfront Inn needed someone to helm the interiors for its top-to-bottom renovation, they turned to Jamie Merida Interiors, based in nearby Easton, Maryland. Lead designers Carol Wheeler and Leigh Mayhew Draper selected a harmonious palette of coastal blues, gentle creams, and luxurious gold accents for the guest rooms, cottages, bar, and lobby—and completed the project in time for its first wedding in May. 

Jamie’s retail arm, Bountiful Home, first opened its doors in 2000. Since then, his company has grown to become the premiere interior design firm for residential and commercial projects in the Mid-Atlantic region
and beyond.

Photos: Stylish Productions/Robert Radifera


Jamie Merida Owner/Principal Designer  |  410.819.8666




A light interior will appear fresh and make a positive impression. While the scope and the finishes feel simple, a closer look reveals the combination of different textures and unexpected details to enhance the beauty of this home.

Born and raised in the capital city of Hungary, Katalin Farnady developed her interest in style, design, and architecture at an early age. After graduating from business school in Hungary, Katalin moved to the U.S. and has been designing residential and commercial interiors around the world for over 20 years. In 2002, she became a member of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Katalin has won multiple industry awards and has been featured in numerous design publications. She launched her furniture line in 2021. Katalin, a world traveler, is constantly soaking up unique designs, structural shapes, and historical architecture to draw inspiration for her next project.

Main Photo: Lynbrook of Annapolis, The Drawing Board, Inc., Jennifer Hughes Photography


Katalin Farnady, ASID Owner/Interior Designer  |  443.822.3248




Recognized as one of the top luxury interior designers in the Chesapeake region, Katie Rainey specializes in delivering interiors that are inspired, clean, and feel like a year-round vacation. She has a talent for partnering with professionals and families who seek solace in the water, offering a deep breath from their fast-paced personal and professional lives. 

“This project was for a busy family of five,” says Katie. The original house was on a beautiful waterfront lot, but the entire space was dysfunctional, outdated, and dark. Her transformation injects vibrancy and light as well as much-needed space and flow. Most importantly, her family-driven designs will stand the test of time, ensuring her clients will enjoy their new home, inside and out, for years to come.  



Katie Rainey Owner/Principal Designer  |  843.214.4179




Olexia Interiors is a residential interior design firm with a focus on interior architecture, luxury materials, and creating spaces that reflect the lifestyles of our clients.

Principal designer Erin Olexia has always believed that each project and client is a unique opportunity to design something that clients will love for years and years. The interior design should be a bit unexpected and surprising but also classic enough to translate through current trends. Our selection of the finest materials and finishes and an emphasis on artwork and accessories provide the creation that transforms a space from a room to a feeling.



Erin Olexia Owner/Principal Designer  |  410.212.6171





Antonella Cestone creates timeless, innovative interiors—always with a touch of unexpected detail. “This kitchen is a sophisticated but inviting space,” explains Antonella. A combination of materials and finishes draws guests and the homeowners alike through the space. “It unveils itself subtly, with each feature accentuating the next while creating a functional space for the clients,” Antonella notes. The hand-crafted details of the island cabinetry are the artful pièce de résistance.

Antonella honed her style early in her career while previously working for a high-end DC design firm. Since launching her own business in 2018, she has expanded her client base throughout greater Annapolis and the Eastern Shore, Virginia and metro DC. She collaborates with architects, custom builders, and the finest vendors and craftspeople to create elevated spaces that reflect her client’s style, delivering spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful.



Antonella Cestone Owner/Principal Designer  |  410.703.8689





Principal designer and owner of Ivory Stone Interiors Laura Bauer designed an impressive primary suite for a charming home located on Le Trappe Creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With a 12’x23′ footprint, bringing scale to the vast bathroom space was the primary challenge. To accomplish this, Laura gave each area its own focal point. The freestanding tub is highlighted by an original painting by the owner’s father. The shower became its own room with a dramatic waterfall floor-to-ceiling slab of marble. The water closet contains wall-to-wall custom linen cabinetry accented with natural grasscloth. Polishing off the space is a contemporary chandelier that unifies the entire room.

Summing up the project, Laura says, “While I love all things old and weathered, it’s the modern elements that bring a breath of fresh air to my designs. The end result is a balance that is appreciated and admired across the style spectrum.”



Laura Bauer, ASID Owner/Principal Designer  |  443.618.1096



© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 14, No. 5 2023