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Member Spotlight: George Markoutsas, CEO, David Lipsky, CFO & Ava Markoutsas, CRM, ABLAZE Design Group


Lake/Forest Lake Bluff Chamber:  Tell us about ABLAZE Design Group, the services you offer and what makes your firm unique?

 ABLAZE team: ABLAZE Design Group, formerly The ABL Group is a design/build firm on the North Shore that will bring your dream home to life. As a one-stop-shop for homeowners and designers, we offer a range of services to enhance all areas of the home, from painting to remodeling and design. Our beautiful showroom in downtown Highwood features unique home products and examples of our cabinetry, flooring, tile, hardware, and stone collections. We are also very excited to be one of the only dealers in the Chicago market to sell the complete collection of Buster and Punch products. What sets us apart from other design firms is our competitive point of difference. With over 40 years of experience, we're a family-owned business that's committed to excellence in everything we do. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service, ensuring that every client has a positive experience working with us. Additionally, we offer special concierge services for other industry professionals.


LF/LB: Tell us about your recent work at the Lake Forest Showhouse?

ABLAZE:  We are truly privileged to be invited back year after year by the Infant Welfare Society’s Lake Forest chapter to participate in the esteemed Lake Forest Showhouse and Gardens fundraiser. This extraordinary event not only supports the charitable efforts of the Infant Welfare Society, but also serves as a platform for designers to display their talent and creativity. This year, ABLAZE was asked to be a part of TWO renovations including the kitchen and primary bathroom. You can see some of the work in the photos provided in this article. This was no small feat, as the entire design process has to be completed within a short period of time. However, part of our mission is to be able to do what we can for our community, and this project gives us the opportunity to do just that while also showcasing our passion for transforming spaces.


LF/LB: What is your vision or hope for the future of your firm?

ABLAZE:  Our vision at ABLAZE Design Group is to be the top luxury design/build firm on the North Shore serving clients who desire exceptional quality and style. We are a values-driven company that constantly seeks to learn, grow, and innovate, building long-lasting relationships with our clients, employees, and community.


LF/LB: Is there anything else you would like to share about your business?

ABLAZE:  Some exciting news at ABLAZE for this summer is that we are bringing back “Wine and Design” every Thursday night 5-7pm and extended hours on Saturdays, we are now open 11-4pm!

Finally, a lot of people ask us why we rebranded from The ABL Group to ABLAZE. We believe our new name embodies our mission and vision for the future. The name ABLAZE pays tribute to the legacy of The ABL Group while also representing our competitive point of difference in the industry. The word ABLAZE signifies passion, transformation, and excellence, which reflects our commitment to providing the highest quality of luxury home improvement services. Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, we bring new life and energy to every project we undertake. Our goal is to set the design world ablaze with our innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship.