Linly Designs in Clarendon Hills Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Janet Linly runs the interior design showroom with her husband, Tom, and the two have grand plans for the years to come.
Linly Designs co-owner Janet Linly calls her style as an interior designer, “timeless old-world European.”
“I like things that don’t go out of style, yet they’re fresh and timeless,” she said. “Trendy things get old too fast.”
Like her favorite items, Linly’s business hasn’t gone out of style.
Linly Designs, located at 445 W. Ogden Ave. in Clarendon Hills, is celebrating its 10th year in business this summer with a July 19-21 sale featuring discounts on everything from furniture, to artwork, to bedding, to floral arrangements.
The 10-year anniversary is one Janet said she expected to reach when she started the business that she now runs with her husband, Tom, but the success the store has had in its first decade has exceeded the couple’s expectations.
The company’s business has grown by 800 percent since 2002 and the Linlys, who live in Willowbrook with their two kids, were among American Chronicle's Business Leaders of America in 2010. They plan to open a second showroom in Highland Park next month.
“We had set the goal so high from the beginning that we knew we were going to grow,” said Linly, a native of the Czech Republic who studied international business as well as architecture and design in college. “We just did not think we were going to grow as fast as we have.”
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Linly Designs began in June 2002 as an interior design service Janet ran out of her home. She traveled to furniture stores with clients and helped them find the right items for their home.
Demand for Linly’s services increased over the years, but the resources she could supply her customers were limited.
So in 2007, Tom, who is originally from Germany, sold his own business and the Linlys opened a showroom on Cass Avenue in Westmont where they could bring in their own pieces from designers like Marge Carson, John-Richard, and others whose pieces don't necessarily pop up in most furniture stores. They moved in 2010 to their current Ogden Avenue location, which contains 6,000 square feet of storage and an 8,000 square-foot showroom.
Linly Designs evolved from a consulting service, to an all-encompassing interior design go-to spot. In addition to selling furniture, Linly does home remodeling, window treatments, and custom cabinetry.
“We don’t just sell a sofa, but we help pull an entire room together,” Janet said.
Janet and other Linly designers travel to clients’ homes to get an idea of what they’re working with before showing clients items in the showroom and helping them find the pieces that are right for them.
In a troubled housing market, Janet says people aren’t afraid to spend money on sprucing up their homes because it’s more likely they’re not going anywhere any time soon.
“They don’t want to move; they want to re-do what they have,” she said.
Today, Linly Designs works with customers who are local and not so local. Janet says that in addition to homes in Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, and other nearby towns, Linly does work with houses in the North Shore suburbs, the city of Chicago, and even in other states like Michigan and Indiana.
And the Linlys hope to expand even more going forward.
Janet said that in the next five years, she and Tom would like to open an out-of-state location—hopefully more towards the west coast—and possibly even start a European branch, since they both have roots there and many of their inventory is manufactured there.
Success for Linly, Janet said, comes from it being a versatile business willing to design any room in any style, from old-world to new-age. That, and the co-owning couple's work ethic.
“We don’t do this for money or fame,” Janet said. “We do this because it’s a passion.”