Friday Fifteen with Friends: D. Graham Kostic

Published: February 5th, 2016

We’re starting off the new year with an exciting new blog feature called: Friday Fifteen with Friends, #FridayFifteen, celebrating some of the most stylish influencers in Chicago. Using 15 basic questions, (more or less!), we’ll post interviews with Chicago’s most well-heeled movers and shakers in the design and fashion worlds. Great style is not limited to interior design, so I’m casting a wider net to find inspiration in the way others think about all things beautiful.  Join me for a glimpse of these tastemakers’ favorite things, from how they host parties to their prized possessions, can’t-live-without colors and more. And be sure to follow us on Instagram @Mitchell_Channon_Design for more images of our #FridayFifteen tastemakers, pics of our current projects and unique insights into interior design.

We are thrilled to launch our first  Friday Fifteen with D. Graham Kostic. Graham is the  Creative + Editorial Director of the website Glossed & Found (, a video site that he co-founded that highlights the crème de la crème in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries in Chicago and beyond. As Graham notes, he marches “to the beat of his own drum,” a prerequisite for tastemaker status.  Given how entertaining Graham’s answers are, I should already rename this the “First FUN Friday Fifteen with Friends,” but that’s a little too much alliteration, don’t you think?

Graham KosticD. Graham Kostic
Occupation: Creative Director, + Creative Director, Randolph Street Market
Best known for: Laughing way too loudly at my own jokes

1. Antique or modern? 
Antique for the Win!

2. What has inspired or informed your interior style?
Growing up in the theater, I loved watching the costumes built and sets and props designed. The scale and color and texture and period dressing—they all have inspired how I outfit the world around me. I always want to create a mood with anything. Be it room, or tiny vignette, everything you design should stir something in someone.

3. Which colors do you use most? 
I dress in neutrals. I design in color. I like really, rich, saturated brights. Orange Reds. Green Yellows. Aquamarine.

4. Favorite materials or textures? 
Porcelain or Ceramic (mostly in figurine form).

5. How do you make your home double as a work space?
It’s nice to have a place that’s a little wild. I made a vanity in my closet. I started posting photographs and things that inspired me on the giant mirror. It became a shrine to inspiration and thus, my office. It has just the right amount of mess and plenty of storage to tuck everything away at the end of the day.

6.  What household item could you not live without?
Our piano.

7. What household items are a necessity to host a great party?
I’ve been collecting crystal and cut glass pieces in all shapes, sizes and forms. I love mixing them in with my everyday dishes to add a little flair for weekday dinners. Come party time, the crystal really sparkles and whether it’s paired with Ikea accents or my grandmother’s gold flatware, it’s just the right amount of cheeky pizazz.

8. Tips for hosting at home?
Don’t forget to have fun. Put on your most favorite soundtrack (I’m super into “The Mills Brothers” channel on Pandora), mix yourself a cocktail, and then throw open your cabinets and use your stuff! You bought it for a reason—show it off!

9. Which design website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? 
I march by the beat of my own drum. But if I had to pick, I would say Travel+Leisure. The incessant traveler in me is always searching for the next best destination. And if I can’t be there now, looking at a photograph sparks the imagination. That spark usually translates into a design project.

10. Design rule you love to break? 
I’ve been known to put one too many pillows on a sofa. It just looks so good, though!

11. What is your favorite room in your home?
We built a little library right off of our bedroom. It’s the perfect size, painted all over in a deep, dark turquoise. A leather sofa and two barrel chairs are intimately close. It’s a wonderful and inspiring nook.

12. What is your most treasured possession?
As a constant collector, that’s a very tough question. We have a cuckoo clock that I love. It plays Edelweiss and the little wooden German people dance around while the bird cuckoos. The day we hung it up, a few hours later it came crashing down. My husband glued every piece back in perfect order. He’s my hero.

13. What is your favorite thing about Chicago—design-related or otherwise?
Strangers aren’t afraid to talk to each other. That makes a city super alive.

14. To which city or country would you move for the design?
I’ve always been attracted to the Bavarian aesthetic. And to narrow: I fell in love with Salzburg during a work trip my husband was on. The city scale was charming. The fields super green. The beer super cold. I love small wooden trinkets. It all works for me.

15. How would you describe your style?
Playfully Sophisticated.