Design Team

We would like to introduce you to our home remodeling design team. These talented designers will work with you every step of the way during your remodeling project. Our goal is to help you fully realize the potential of your home.

Scott Christensen

VP Design Development, Senior Project Designer

ScottLead Project Designer Scott Christensen has been designing interiors for most of his life. He has a natural sense of what works well whether you’re talking about selecting a vase, or contemplating a major renovation. Scott’s clients frequently comment on his innate talent for identifying what it is they envision and making it come alive in a way that makes it real to them on paper.

Carefully balancing reality when it comes to budgets, Scott works hard to hone in on clients ideas to produce a beautiful end result coupled with a financial plan that is workable. His ability ranges from traditional designs and materials steeped in history and richness, to sleek and clean contemporary sure to please any minimalist. His sensitivity to clients enables him to truly cater to their need for inspiration, innovation, and hand-holding during the remodeling process.

Whether the project involves major space planning and construction or simply is contained in a single room, Scott excels at the challenge. He is experienced at handling the complexities of whole home additions and renovations, from initial design through the immense organization required, to the final outstanding detail.

Scott’s background is uniquely diverse including a degree in Music and Theatre from Columbia College in Chicago, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from the respected Harrington College. A part of the Advance Design team since 2008, Scott has used his many talents to design and produce some of our company’s most beautiful projects.

“I came to Advance Design Studio early in my design career to learn and grow, gaining experience not only with kitchens and baths, but with full scale remodeling. Being empowered to make clients happy “no matter what” is something I’ve never experienced anywhere else I’ve worked, even in other industries. As part of the leadership team, I have been given the unique opportunity of helping to develop the company and inspire our team of designers, which makes me excited to go to work every day”, says Scott.

“As a designer, I have the freedom to create the best design for every client that meets their needs. I get satisfaction from my role here as my clients express their happiness when we complete their project and they love it. Recently I had a client tell me she’s the leader of my fan club and that was really the ultimate compliment”!

Scott resides in Arlington Heights and enjoys exploring architecture all over the U.S., especially the remarkable city of Chicago. He loves to travel.



Nicole Ryan

Project Designer

Lead Project Designer Nicole Ryan has a keen eye for design and a phenomenal sense of organization; both critical skills for making clients projects successful. Whether it’s a single room or a whole house, Nicole’s innovative designs and intuitive nature ensures that each client’s vision is translated into wonderfully tailored living spaces that meet and exceed their expectations.

With an original education in graphic design in 2003 from The Illinois Institute of Art, and further classwork at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the International Academy of Design & Technology, her learned ability to make a space come alive with the aid of 3D designs and renderings is truly impressive. Careful to address every detail of a newly designed space, Nicole’s knowledge and familiarity with the literally thousands of design materials available today helps clients quickly identify what is important to them and determine how these ideas will work within their budget. Her ability to coordinate the myriad of items required in attaining the successful completion of even the simplest kitchen or bath is essential when producing a project within an anticipated time-frame and budget.

Nicole’s fine skills of communication and coordination and many years of design experience make clients feel at ease as she navigates them successfully through Advance Design’s unique Design and Construction process. As a Lead Project Designer, Nicole is responsible for presenting innovative designs that exceed our clients’ expectations, but she also stays current on industry trends, products, and practices offering clients the most recent and up to date technology and design ideas.

“It is nice to wake up every morning, excited about the job I get to do, having the freedom to be creative every single day. I love the challenge of being able to take a client’s space and transform it into something even more than they thought possible!”

Early on in her creative career, Nicole discovered her true love was in home interiors, and she has been delivering amazing projects for Advance Design ever since! Nicole lives in Crystal Lake with her husband and son, and enjoys being outdoors, running, travel and photography.



Claudia Pop

Project Designer

Claudia_Project designerProject Designer Claudia Pop is a natural organizer. Combined with her unique sense of design style, and she is a pro at what she does. With a penchant for finding out what her client wants, and delivering it in a way that is more than they expected, Claudia prides herself on making every client feel like they are her only client.

Practical advice in combination with incessant creativity, Claudia is adept at balancing the careful act of producing a beautiful renovation within the predefined confines of a realistic client budget. She is able to suggest and select solutions that may not even have been thought of as she spends extensive free time pouring over trade information, latest trends and design styles. It’s a passion that borders on obsession, and it shows in her successful interaction with clients who sing her praises as they progress through the planning process and into production. The most common report from clients is “She just get’s me”!

With an unassuming personality, she’s easy to talk to, and an excellent communicator; both skills essential for the success of any successful design and remodel project. Tackling any design challenge head on, her “figure it out” attitude makes her a winning captain for anyone needing an experienced designer at the head of their team. Her finest skill is actually listening, but Claudia who is originally from Transylvania; possess a smooth accent that is fun to just hear as well.

“For me, designing kitchens, baths, and other spaces is about much more than creating just a beautiful interior. Because people live in these spaces I design! It’s about improving their lives by improving their spaces. It’s about listening, educating, and helping each client make the best decision that fits them perfectly. I love that!” says Claudia with her smooth accent and a broad smile.

Claudia continues; “Advance Design – from their commitment to client satisfaction, to their amazing team of designers and project managers, carpentry and wonderful Common Sense system… they make every project successful. And when you get to do what you love every day while working within such a company, it’s a win/win/win!”

Involved in art her whole life, Claudia pursued art and design in her formal education; beginning with a one of kind Art High School degree, and concluding with an Interior Design Degree in 2011 from Cuyahoga College in Cleveland, Ohio. She joined the team at Advance Design in early 2015 and brings with her a strong history of creative work in kitchens and baths.

Claudia resides in Streamwood with her husband and loves to travel with friends and family.



Jaclynn Mortimer

Project Design Specialist

As a Design Specialist, Jackie works together with the Project Design team to produce projects from the initial stages of early design development through the entire project production before it goes to the field. Her past experience in project design and production have positioned her for a perfect fit in this critical role designed to make every Advance Design client design experience inspiring and enjoyable from the very beginning.

Jackie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Illinois Institute of Art in 2005, and received accreditation through the Council for Interior Design. She joined our growing design team in 2016 to enhance client’s experiences by producing beautiful designs in 3D color CAD drawings, and including every important aspect of project production that goes on behind-the-scenes. Her work benefits albeit unknowingly each client who experiences the seamless Common Sense Remodeling Process with our talented design team!

In this fast paced environment, her calm countenance contributes to an efficient creative process that begins with beautiful designs and renderings, and culminates with detailed financial analysis’, accurate product ordering and shipping, and efficient project documentation; ultimately assuring an organized and on-time project delivery every time.

“I have learned that the only constant in life is change. As a specialty designer at Advance Design, the project variety is what makes every day an inspiration. All of our clients are unique and I absolutely love it! Homes truly ought to be a reflection of ourselves, and having a hand in developing a family’s sanctuary makes each day a pretty spectacular day for me!” says Jackie.

Jackie is a lifelong resident of Marengo with her husband, child, and 3 dogs. She is inspired by re-organization projects, and enjoys walking and running in the peaceful Coral woods of her neighboring community.



Michelle Lecinski

Project Designer

Project Designer Michelle Lecinski strives to create design elements that truly reflect her client’s personality, often adding custom elements to her kitchen and bath designs intended to make her clients smile every day.  With the often overwhelming vastness of product and options available for renovation projects today, her clients count on her to routinely demonstrate resourcefulness and an intense attention to detail, taking advantage of her years of experience.

Working in her best friends nail salon and her mother’s career as a dressmaker led Michelle to a degree in Fashion Merchandising from Iowa State University. Not quite clicking with the retail side of the fashion industry, she went back to school for Interior Design obtaining an Associate Degree in Interior Design from William Rainey Harper College, as will a degree in Design Technology from McHenry County College.

For 15 years she ran her own design company providing extensive interior design services including cabinetry, kitchens and baths, full home design and more. Desiring to be part of something bigger, and after completing a project in partnership with Advance Design, she inquired about joining the team.  For many years, she had admired the company’s presence in the community, their smart business approach, and the way they invest back into the company.

“Every client has a vision and a reason to partner with us,” Michelle says. “I enjoy digging in to make that a reality for them, and guide them through what can be an intimidating process to the finish line. My goal is to create a space that reflects them and their vision with skill, integrity and personal attention along the way.”

Michelle has been married to her husband David for 22 years and they love to travel together. She is a scuba diver, nature lover, “crazy dog lady” and a classically trained violinist.



Krystal Reuter

Project Design Specialist

Krystal brings a fresh combination of talent and energy to our team. Her can-do attitude is obvious in everything she does; if something needs to get done Krystal is the one to make sure it happens. Working behind the scenes in her role as Specialty Designer, Krystal is often the one researching special requests, pulling together detailed analysis, and producing some of the most beautiful 3D design drawings you’ve ever seen.

“I don’t just like what I do, I love what I do,” Krystal says. “I am one of the very few that was lucky enough to have that light bulb ‘this is what I want to do every day’ moment early in life. I knew what I wanted to do and I made my own opportunities.”

Her strength as a design team member I s obvious as she possesses the confidence usually only seen in designers with life long experience. “I’m entrusted with a lot of responsibility here, and the leadership has a lot of confidence in me. Advance Design has made me truly excited about what I do and made me fall in love with my design career all over again,” Krystal says.

A meticulous and detail oriented designer, Krystal graduated in 2013 with honors from the Illinois Institute of Art with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. She has a background in sales and design prior to joining the team at Advance Design in 2016.

Krystal currently lives in Huntley with her two rabbits and a dog. Passionate about her health, she spends most of her free time at the gym, in athletic activities, and practicing her lifelong passion of tennis. Always an artist, she also loves drawing, painting and crafting as well



Kelsey Schneider

Project Design Specialist

As a Project Design Specialist, Kelsey works behind the scenes with the project design team. She handles a lot of the work most don’t think too much about during the process of a renovation project like obtaining permits, researching and ordering products, specifying cabinetry, and taking deliveries. An amazingly talented CAD designer, she is responsible for many of the stunning color 3D renderings you will see as you embark upon your design project. Kelsey continually goes the extra mile to make sure that your project is running as smoothly as possible and that none of the small stuff slips through the cracks.

Full of fresh, new ideas Kelsey is passionate about keeping up with the latest design styles and trends. She is constantly researching new and exciting ways to renovate your home. She is hardworking and diligent and her attention to detail makes sure that the design process runs smoothly.

“I enjoy working at Advance Design Studio because every day I come into work, I learn something new,” Kelsey says. “I love that there is such a variety when it comes to working on projects and that no two projects are the same. Everyone here is super friendly and willing to help each other out, which makes for a great work environment.”

Kelsey graduated from Western Michigan University in 2017 with her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and joined the Advance Design team only days after graduation. She cultivated countless real-life design lessons from her time studying abroad in Greece, and gained industry experience working internships before beginning her career at Advance Design.

She currently lives in Hoffman Estates with her Yorkie Oakley. In her spare time, she loves to travel and is a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks.



Lisa Rivas

Project Design Specialist

With years of previous experience Lisa’s contributions to client projects maximize the efficiency of the design department. Lisa joined the team in late 2017 as a Project Design Specialist; she works hand-and-hand with members of the design team to support project design drawing, product research and pricing, document preparation and all the hundreds of small details that go into producing projects behind the scenes.

She is passionate about design, always eager to discover new trends while honing a keen eye for many different styles. Lisa brings experience, creativity, and imagination to the design team, stemming from her diverse background in different areas of the design field. “Being passionate about design to me means being able to take an idea and turn it into a functional thing that can be enjoyed and used in the way it was intended,” Lisa says. “A good designer does that for her clients, and is appreciated for years beyond as their unique spaces bring a change for the better in someone’s life.”

Lisa has been excelling in the design field for over 20 years. She originally honed her business and design skills while running her own interior design business in Arizona for many years. She has extensive experience in the furniture industry as a designer and as an account manager in 14 states representing a high-end furniture line. She came to Advance Design after relocating to Algonquin in 2016, drawn primarily by the reputation and values the company represents.

“I like what Advance Design stands for. As a previous business owner myself, integrity is very important to me,” Lisa says. “I chose to be here because I wanted to be part of a team who aligned strongly with my values of integrity, experience, creativity, and passion.” If you have the good fortune of being able to work with Lisa on your project, you will enjoy her positive energy that is obvious in everything she touches.

Lisa currently lives in Algonquin with her husband. She is the mother of four children. Her hobbies include: art, photography, cooking, puzzles, hiking and swimming.


  • ★★★★★ "Advance design studio did a terrific job for us. We really appreciated how easy it was to work with them on a complex project of the complete remodeling of two bathrooms. They very capably handled all the details from design to project management to construction. It is a great group of people to work..." Review from Mike H. in Barrington Hills, IL - Jan 05, 2018
  • ★★★★★ "Phenomenal ! They're the only ones we will be having work on our home in the future ! We were so pleased." Review from Catie H. in McHenry, IL - Dec 18, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "Partnering with Advanced Design Studio for our Kitchen Remodel was a wonderful experience. The entire process was professional, yet warm. Scott Christensen guided us through the design and selection process with helpful advice, utilizing his design and practical experience to create a kitchen that..." Review from Heidi J. in, IL - Dec 11, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "Here’s how good the Advance Design Team is...With Scott and the team from Advance Design, my wife won’t consider anyone else. I know that sounds crazy, but they are just that good!!" Review from Roger G. in West Dundee, IL - Dec 02, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "Overall it was a very positive experience. Home design can be scary with so many average companies out there. Advance went above my expectations. We plan to use them again in the future." Review from Carolyn M. in Barrington, IL - Nov 13, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "Outstanding customer service!" Review from Larry G. in Palatine, IL - Aug 28, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "This was our second remodel with Advance Design Studio. We are very happy with their work. We would highly recommend them to anyone in the area." Review from Barb W. in Hampshire, IL - Jul 24, 2017
  • ★★★★★ "Advance Design Studio put a second story addition on our home. We were able to live in our home during the renovation. We were AMAZED at how smoothly the project went. The crew is prompt, efficient, professional and as nice as can be. We have recommended Advance Design Studio,Ltd to many people...." Review from Debbie B. in Algonquin, IL - Jul 17, 2017
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