Spare Time


Nothing is lost or hidden in Michael Del Piero’s Chicago apartment. She knows every item she owns, from socks to forks, and she knows exactly in which drawer or cabinet something is to be found. All of her possessions are accessible, in sight, and used in her life. 

“People have a lot of stuff, it’s that simple,” says Del Piero, who maintains an active interior design business in Chicago, as well as from her other residence in East Hampton, close to her namesake décor shop in nearby Wainscott, New York. “Just as I did with myself when I purchased this apartment, the moment we start working with a client we try to help them figure out what it is they own, want to use, and just as importantly, what it is they no longer need. We encourage them to donate or sell off the things they no longer use.” 

Del Piero’s success as an interior designer, furniture designer, and purveyor of antiques is due to her uncanny ability to embrace the aesthetics of her clients, no matter how they may differ from her own. But for her new home, a small one-bedroom apartment in a Beaux-Arts-–style building on the far North Side of Chicago, she knew she had only one person to answer to—herself. “This apartment represents my favorite kind of project, which is to have a vintage space that’s been freshened and made far more functional but that maintains its vintage appeal.” The moment Del Piero saw the eleventh-floor apartment, with open city views (and a view of Lake Michigan, albeit from the shower), she recognized it as the ideal locale for her new home.  

This story appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of MILIEU. To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit to purchase this issue in digital format.