Design Domination

Artist in The Woods

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Jan 16, 2019

O’Neill’s design aesthetic is modern luxury wrapped in an earthy elemental ode.

Village of Cochran’s Crossing resident, Jillian O’Neill, is a major multitasker. With the fierce grace of a former fashion runway model, she manages a thriving interior design business, a coveted furniture line, new interior design collective and her family of 6. 

As a young child living in Chicago, O’Neill described herself both as a “math nerd” and “closeted artist”— someone who could spend hours marveling at how the sun streamed in through the windows making beautiful patterns on the floor, but who had no idea or exposure of how that could translate to a career. 

Years later, at The University of Illinois, she studied education and played college golf and met and married, Dan, who was also a college athlete (baseball). Upon graduation, she worked as a 6th grade math teacher – until the artist voice inside her head could no longer be ignored, and she enrolled in interior design classes at nearby Harrington College of Design. During summers, O’Neill would model for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent and soon became an Armani Chicago in-house model. In doing so she amassed an incredible practical education in textiles adding scope to her schooling.   

Only one month after her Harrington graduation, she landed her first residential design job. It was truly baptism by fire as the gig was a total new construction with O’Neill picking everything from the gutters to windows to appliances to the fine art on the walls. She put her heart and soul into this job and was delighted when it garnered immediate editorial attention. This launched the 15-year successful run of her namesake Chicago interior design business. 

O’Neill’s design aesthetic is modern luxury wrapped in an earthy elemental ode. Cloud and geometric-patterned fabrics, geologically inspired wallpapers and artworks that appear water laden have become her signature moves with her classic, timeless style always harking back to sculptural elements found within fashion. 

When Dan’s career brought O’Neill and family to The Woodlands, she saw the transition as an opportunity to move forward with the furniture collection she had been conceptualizing for several years. 

“I’ve always been lucky to be in a partnership with Dan where we support each other’s career endeavors and explorations,” says O’Neill. 

After years of commissioning custom furniture pieces for clients, she knew what buyers wanted and what the market was missing. As a result, O’Neill’s first furniture line was an instant success. Early on she was able to partner with Holland & Sherry, a celebrated apparel and interiors fabric company in England, and currently distributes the collection through Dering Hall and 1st Dibs. Sweetly, she names the furniture pieces after family members with even “Coco”, the family beagle dog, having an ottoman with her moniker.  

O’Neill’s Design Collective is an extension of the interior firm, serving clients in Houston, Chicago and London. Designer Melissa Campbell oversees Houston, Kelly Barnett oversees Chicago and Jane Thorburn oversees London and beyond. O’Neill serves as Executive Director and has the team meet up once a year (this year in Palm Beach and next year in Paris) for a company retreat in order to stay current and thrive in an ever-changing market.  

O’Neill is a proud member of Be Original, a non-profit creative group that helps protect this history of furniture design and the future of innovation. She works exclusively with noted local photographer Susan Soriano on her furniture line and the cataloging of her design work. For artistic inspiration, O’Neill looks to the abundant nature on display in The Woodlands either on the golf course with friends or walking the hike and bike trails with her family. 

Congratulations to Jillian O’Neill—an extraordinary juggler of all things creative!

To learn more please visit https://www.atelierathome.net.