With an extroverted personality and a smile that lights up the room, interior designer Liam Keesling is happiest building things around him—from Owner relationships to finished spaces, Liam is always in creation mode.
Tell me about your background.
I grew up in Richmond, IN and have always loved the creative process. I grew up in a household where every weekend we had a project, a renovation of some sort. Because of this, I knew growing up I wanted to be an architect, landscape designer, or a culinary chef. Unfortunately, I am terrible at math and I didn’t want to work in a restaurant. Interior Design seemed to be a great marriage of the creativity and process of creating that I craved. For me, it was the marriage of all components coming together for that final dramatic reveal.
My junior and senior year of college, I was interning for an Architecture firm three days a week. In that time, I had made great connections with other designers and manufacturer reps. All the networking landed me four job interviews that turned into four job offers. Though I had always planned on living in Chicago, it was when I had those four envelopes sitting in front of me I realized this was my chance to leave my mark. I immediately got involved in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and have been building a network of my peers to continue to grow as a designer as the industry continues to expand. I do not see myself in Chicago anymore. This is where I am. This is where I want to stay.
What do you do in your free time?
My friends have always deemed me the King of Hobbies. I guess you could say that I am the Jack of All Trades, Master of None. My attention span is short sometimes, so I will pick up a hobby for a bit, but then move on. Consistently though, I have always loved working with my hands—gardening and building things have always been therapeutic for me. When I have something on my mind, I go and dig in the dirt to sort it out.
I also really enjoy meals and cooking for friends. I use recipes for inspiration, but create my own implementation plan. Oftentimes, I will see something growing in my garden and become inspired to create a meal around it.
Knowing your love of creating food, what is your favorite to eat out?
My guilty pleasure… I must say I do eat extremely healthy these days, but if I am going to cheat and pretend it never happened, the macaroni and cheese at The Eagle on Mass Ave is so good. I drizzle a bit of the spicy honey on top and it just takes me to my happy place. Okay, I cannot just have one. The kimchi meatloaf at Union 50 is also one of my all-time favorites. The pickled cabbage takes the flavor to a whole other level.
Where is your favorite place in the city?
I just love to walk the Cultural Trail and see all the people out. It gets me energized to see the hustle and bustle. In fact, on my way into work just today, I saw a guy in a full suit and roller skates on his way to work. I love that.
What’s one thing not everyone knows about you?
Because it would be the most awkward way to break the ice with someone, I actually have webbed toes on both feet. Fun fact, celebrity Ashton Kutcher also has webbed toes—though I take the cake. Mine do not even separate.
Next time you are in need of a fresh perspective for your latest project or just want to grab some good macaroni and cheese with even better conversation, give Liam a call!