Street Level Studio Receives ASID Design Excellence Award

September 23, 2021, Highwood, IL – Street Level Studio (SLS), a Chicago-area design and marketing agency, is the winner of a 2021 American Society of Interior Designers– Illinois (ASID-IL) Design Excellence Award. Presented at a special ceremony on September 16, the award recognizes the agency’s Beyond the Surface™ Chinoiserie Magpie custom wall mural created for the Lake Forest Showhouse.


ASID-Illinois President Susan El-Naggar, ASID, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate, WELL AP (second from left), and Professor Tarik El-Naggar, AIA, RA (far right), presented the award to Tanya Fretheim and Lexie Markarian of Street Level Studio.

A panel of distinguished interior design professionals from ASID chapters across the country reviewed entries and selected category winners based on appropriate design criteria such as scale and proportion, color and composition, and creativity as well as how the project affected the users’ lives. The SLS entry, created on behalf of client The ABL Group, was a key element in transforming the breakfast room at the latest Lake Forest Showhouse into an uplifting, modern space inspired by nature.

“The ABL Group’s lead designer on the project, Doreen Avila, commissioned us to reinterpret the mansion’s historic, panoramic wallcovering with biophilic elements that create a sense of sanctuary for a digitally connected family,” says Tanya Fretheim, SLS owner and president. “We created a stylized rendition of flying magpies—a traditional symbol of joy in Chinese culture—using a ‘digital hand-painting’ technique and thousands of computer-generated brushstrokes to reframe classic chinoiserie in a more approachable, accessible, updated way.”


Proudly showing off the ASID Design Excellence Award are (l. to r.) Doreen Avila, lead designer with The ABL Group; Tanya Fretheim, owner and president of Street Level Studio; Lexie Markarian, Street Level Studio director of new business development; and George Markoutsas, president of The ABL Group.

Working digitally also allowed SLS to collaborate effectively with the client during the pandemic and to shift graphic elements as the final interior design plans evolved. In addition, the wall mural panels were produced with state-of-the-art large format digital printing using low-VOC GREENGUARD Gold Certified inks to deliver color intensity, quality, panel-topanel consistency, and peace of mind.

During the Lake Forest Showhouse fundraising event, the award-winning wall mural garnered media attention, being spotlighted as a showhouse design “favorite” by Ellé Décor and featured in Modern Luxury NS magazine. The distinctive wallcovering also won a Hermes Creative Platinum Award.

For more information about Street Level Studio’s award-winning custom wallcovering and design services, visit or call 847.432.5150.

# # #

Street Level Studio (SLS) is an award-winning, full-service marketing agency in the Chicago area. We’ve been building momentum and driving results for both global brands and growing businesses for more than 35 years through street-smart branding, design, websites, video, digital marketing, content development, multichannel communications, and environmental branding solutions. A trusted and valued creative partner, the SLS team knows how to reach audiences right where they are, deliver the right messages, and trigger the right response with high-impact design and compelling content. A 100% woman-owned business, SLS prides itself on delivering big agency results with small firm access and collaboration.


Beyond the Surface™ custom wallcoverings by Street Level Studio are one of-a-kind wallpaper and murals for residential, retail, and commercial environments. Unlike “choose your own pattern” design resources with limited style options, Beyond the Surface uses the latest digital techniques to create accessible custom wall décor with boundless creative possibilities.

Lexie Markarian
Beyond the Surface by Street Level Studio
Director of New Business Development | 847.432.5150