Meet a Mom: Design is in the Details with Maria Antonieta! | Chicago North Shore Moms

Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new Chicago North Shore Moms spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law.

Meet Maria Antonieta Lerdo de Tejada, a passionate mom of two from Mexico City now thriving in Wilmette, bringing her love for art curation and interior design to the North Shore community. In this exclusive interview with Chicago North Shore Moms, Maria shares her journey from Mexico City to the North Shore, her favorite local spots, and how she balances motherhood with her business, Pretty Little Vase. Discover her unique perspective on creating beautiful spaces and find out how to connect with her to transform your home into a sanctuary, and for fabulous ideas and inspiration, follow Maria Antonieta at @prettylittlevase on Instagram. Welcome, Maria Antonieta!



Hi Maria Antonieta! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from, what town do you live in now?

Hi! My first name is Maria Antonieta Lerdo de Tejada. In Mexico everyone knows me as Antonieta, but here I go by Maria because no one was able to pronounce my name 🤣 My husband and I are originally from Mexico City. We moved to Chicago 8 years ago because of my husband’s work. We lived in the City for a year and then moved to Wilmette. We have been living in The North Shore since then and we LOVE it!

We have two boys. Santi who’s 10 and Gonzalo who’s 7. They are both at Mckenzie Elementary School. Santi is part of New Trier’s Swim Team, while Gonzalo is starting to play Hockey through Wilmette’s Park District.



What are one or two things to know about you?

My favorite place in the world is Paris!

I’m a yoga teacher and I taught yoga for 6 years before I had my kids. I started practicing yoga 15 years ago and that is one of the things I enjoy doing the most. It brings me peace and definitely helps me get through a rough day. It also prevents me from murdering my family from time to time! 🤪


What are your favorite North Shore Places?

Chalet in Wilmette is my happy place; I love everything about that store. I love having dinner at Pomeroy and Sophia Steak House. My favorite pizza place is Napolita in Wilmette. And for coffee, Hometown, Tara and Backlot Coffee. My favorite terrace during summer time is Mino’s. Favorite yoga studio Yogaview in Wilmette.


What gets you through a tough day?

Practicing yoga or having drinks with my girlfriends.


Tell us about your business, Pretty Little Vase! What area of interior design do you specialize in and when did you start this business?

Pretty Little Vase started about two years ago. I wanted to work on something that complimented my Art History degree. I’ve always been an art, fashion and design lover, so Interior Design seemed like the right fit.

During Covid I had the opportunity of studying Interior Design online. So by the time I finished, both my kids were back at school full day, and I was able to start working on something I love while still being able to be at home with my kids.

I specialize in home styling and enjoy every minute of it. Because interior design is so intertwined with art, it felt like going back home. I just feel lucky to be able to work, doing what I love most. I also specialize in art curation, so if any of my clients are art collectors I’m able to provide a variety of options from several galleries and artists. Especially Latin American art.



What was your career as an art dealer like?

Before starting Pretty Little Vase I was an art dealer in Mexico City. I would help art collectors find the right pieces for their spaces and collections. I specialize in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art.


What is your process with clients who first come to you?

When I start working with a client I first schedule a complimentary meeting at their home. On that meeting we talk about what the client wants and needs for the space. I get to know more about how that space is used. How many people (adults, kids, pets) use it.
After that meeting I give my clients some homework. I ask them to gather between 3-5 pictures of spaces they like. That way I get a general idea of what they like style wise. Once I have that, I start working on the mood board. The mood board is the way we present how the space will look at the end of the project.
Once the client signs off on the mood board I send a product list with links for the client to purchase. I can go shopping with my clients if that’s what they want, but some of my clients are very busy, so I do everything for them. It really depends on each individual’s needs and I work to accommodate as much as possible to whatever my client wants and needs.
Once all the products are delivered, that’s when the styling begins. I come over and move things around until we are all happy with the end result.



Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or Pretty Little Vase?

I love what I do and I’m 100 % committed to making my clients as happy as possible in their homes. I love creating beautiful spaces where people will create everlasting memories with their loved ones. Take a look at my portfolio by visiting my Instagram page!


How do we reach you to get started?

You can reach out to me at [email protected] or on Instagram, @prettylittlevase

About our Meet of Mom Sponsor

A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here! Contact Mary directly here: [email protected].

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