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Studio Talo Architecture logo

Studio Talo Architecture

South Evanston, Illinois

Studio Talo Architecture logo

Studio Talo Architecture

South Evanston, Illinois


Reviews (17)

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Beth N

5 March 2018

Studio Talo did the designs for our 2nd story addition seven years ago and just completed plans for a basement remodeling project. They are professional, responsive, and thorough. (There were several issues specific to Skokie and the number of windows required in a basement space that they had to check into.) We recommend them without reservation. More...


Jackie M

20 September 2017

We hired Talo to design our gut rehab project in North Center. We are a family of 6 and we needed help with maximizing the space and making it functional for our needs. Talo had a great way of identifying our needs and wants, then turning it into options that would work for us. They also brought in personal experience that helped, for example what kids of certain ages would want/need. They also have done a wonderful job of managing the worksite project and keeping us updated on progress. Talo's experience with the Chicago permit process was key! They also worked extremely well with the general contractor we choose. I highly recommend Talo for a home project - I'd be happy to speak with anyone regarding the experience. More...


Gail Bush

30 August 2017

Studio Talo Architecture designed a home improvement project for our mid-century lake house. The goal was to follow the style of the home, restore some of its original design, while enhancing lake views, natural light, and opening interior spaces. The result is a beautiful design that matches both the integrity of the home and the manner in which we choose to live in it. More...



10 August 2017

We were fortunate to have Studio Talo design and manage our kitchen/dining room and basement home renovation. We worked with Joe and Thomas, who were professional and great to work with through the whole process. As someone not familiar with the construction process, we never felt overwhelmed. During the design process, within the constraints of zoning/meeting code requirements in an old home, we were presented with three great options including a virtual reality plan to help us visualize the end result. During the construction, Thomas was attentive to every detail. Every time we encountered a logistical or structural/design issue, Joe and Thomas, had solutions, almost on the fly. They provided us with good advice on decisions we had to make. I'd recommend them for any project. They make a stressful time easy!! Thank you, Studio Talo (Thomas Ahleman and Joe Kirsch) More...


Todd Snead

17 July 2017

We hired ST to design our entire first floor renovation and had an incredible experience! We would highly recommend them for any home renovation project. Thomas and Joe were professional (and patient) from the beginning of our project to the very end. They thoroughly described the entire scope of the project, fees, and how they would be providing support along the way. They listened to our vision, provided redirection when it veered too far off track, and delivered a professional product and service. We got 5 different layout options, a VR experience, complete architectural drawings, and they submitted the plans for permit. They also helped us screen contractors and compare all bid figures. During demo and construction, Joe stopped in at least once a week to check on the progress and answer any questions the CG had. Professional, detailed, and we feel we got an incredible value for the fees we paid. You won't go wrong with Studio Talo! More...



3 September 2015

Thomas came to our home to discuss a room addition. He was professional in every way, sent a summary that described exactly the project we had in mind, gave us good ideas, and also a reality check on the potential cost of the addition we envisioned. The result was to consider other changes in the house without the addition which would have been well beyond our budget. So, though we did not hire Studio Talo, Thomas was very helpful and insightful and we would use them in the future should an appropriate project arise. More...



2 July 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Studio Talo and would hire them again. We combined two one bedroom apartments in a Mies Van der Rohe high rise in downtown Chicago. Given numerous building constraints and challenges, they came to us with creative concepts during planning to accomodate our needs while respecting the Miesian approach to space and architecture. We are thrilled with our new space. More...


Stephanie Knight

25 June 2015

Studio Talo designed the renovation of almost our entire first floor and provided some design options for improvements to the second floor. They also kept things going during construction.
My husband and I hired Studio Talo at the recommendation of a neighbor who used him a few years back.
Thomas was very helpful and his 3D drawings really helped us understand his ideas. He listened and was onscientious to understand our priorities. He also did a great job of managing the design and construction process which included a general contractor and interior designer. He introduced us to some fantastic cabinet makers that did great work...and were substantially less expensive than the shop recommended by the interior designers. He was definitely looking out for our best interests. He did a good job of keeping things going and making sure the details didn't slip through the cracks. We love our newly remodeled home and would hire him again in a minute. And we will when we decide to tackle the second floor.


me me

6 June 2015

We hired Thomas to help us design a two-story extension to our rowhome. He was both creative and practical, and designed for us a beautiful extension. He also helped us manage the contractor doing the work to ensure that the finished product was perfect. I absolutely would hire Thomas and his team again. More...



23 April 2015

We recently hired Thomas to help us redesign a bathroom and advise us on other changes we wanted to make in a vintage condo in Evanston, IL. This is the second project for which we’ve used Thomas and Studio Talo. The first involved reconfiguring space to create a one bedroom apartment with an open area kitchen, eating space, and living room where there had once been a large bedroom and office. It required extensive problem-solving, as pipes were not where the builder said they would be, and space was limited. For this new project, Thomas and his associate, Joe, came up with the plans and helped us find a contractor to execute them. Some of the reasons we used Thomas again are because he is a great listener, creative designer, and his ideas reflect our priorities. We also have confidence in his expertise and appreciate his ability to combine creativity with practicality. He is responsive and easy to communicate with, honest, and mindful of costs. He pointed us to several other vendors beside the contractor to help keep us on budget. On a personal level, he is a delight to deal with, and he would be our first choice for any design or design/manage project. More...



14 April 2015

We hired Studio Talo for the recent renovation of our home. Working with Thomas and his team was a pleasure. Thomas worked very closely with us to understand exactly what we wanted out of the project. He was able to come up with a wonderful design that is beyond what we could have imagined for the space. Thomas and his team remained very involved throughout the project to ensure everything was completed to top standards. More...



30 March 2015

We hired Studio Talo to design an addition (dining room and family room) for our home. Thomas provided excellent drawings and design which brought our vision to life. We appreciate modern architecture and were focused on achieving a light, bright space with clean lines. Thomas was able to meld a contemporary addition with a 125-year-old farmhouse. While the two spaces are distinct, he worked to ensure that the addition didn't feel out of place or jarring. In addition, Thomas has a terrific eye for detail. He truly thought about how to best facilitate our lives in that new space (i.e. the best placement of outlets and how to maximize built in storage).

Our addition cost more than we had initially imagined (not surprising to anyone who has gone through this type of project). To his credit, Thomas tried to prepare us for this price tag. He wasn't always able to provide (or endorse) more cost effective measures, but our GC was able to step into that role.

On a personal level, Thomas is kind and considerate. That said, he and our GC didn't always see eye-to-eye. In this main these disagreements occurred because Thomas sought to act as our advocate, ensuring that our GC stuck to the contract and provided quality construction. At the same time, Thomas and our GC's personalities did not mesh -- their means of resolving disputes were often at odds.

In sum, we are thrilled with our addition. Studio Talo listened to our thoughts and translated them into a functional, beautiful space.



29 March 2015

After vetting a few architects to help us find and remodel a fixer upper, we chose to work with Thomas because his presentation was smart, helpful and straightforward. He gave us great advice and things to consider when looking at homes to purchase and provided estimates of remodeling costs given our previously determined wish list. We were able to find the right home and are in the process of developing plans to gut the existing structure and add a second floor master suite, complete with his and hers bathrooms! Thomas and Doug presented us with several interesting options for our house, each incorporating the list of must haves, with different pros and cons and pricing differences. They are extremely knowledgeable and will be invaluable during the construction phase of the project. We have no doubt in their professionalism and attention to getting every detail right. In addition, they are really nice guys with great senses of humor! More...



29 March 2015

About 2 years ago we started working with Studio Talo on planning out the conversion of our masonry 2-flat into a single family home. At the time, a preliminary project plan was created and Studio Talo solicited rough pricing for us to get a better understanding for the cost of the project. Given the scope of work, we decided to pause a few years so we could tackle the entire project at once. Since then, Studio Talo helped us with a smaller project to rebuild a parapet wall and renovate the front porch area. During that time, Studio Talo provided construction management which made the entire process a breeze for us (probably not for them).

Earlier this year, we picked up with Studio Talo where we left off a few years ago. We are currently working with Thomas and Joe on detailed architectural drawings. The process has been very smooth so far. Aside from keeping to a firm budget, creating an energy efficient home has been an important aspect of the planning phase for us. Thomas has a lot of knowledge in this area and is able to balance these goals while ensuring that we stick to cost effective solutions. While bringing a lot of ideas to the project and keeping with our mid-century/modern design aesthetics, Thomas is easy to work with and quickly incorporates our thoughts into the design process.

We also hired Studio Talo for our construction management needs once the construction begins later this year. While we had some concerns about using the same firm for our architectural and construction management needs initially, we ultimately believe that Studio Talo has a competent team to tackle both needs. Note that we did solicit bids from other construction companies and we ultimately didn't feel like we could trust them (they either grossly under- or over-estimated the scope of the project).



29 March 2015

I recommend Studio Talo without hesitation. I worked most closely with Thomas and Doug, and found them to be consistently great to work with - careful, insightful listeners; patient and responsive to varying voices and requests; consistently reliable; and persistently clear in all communications. Most importantly, their designs are creative, elegant, and efficient - and stunningly beautiful. More...


Seth Green

27 March 2015

Thomas and his incredible design team are leading the design and development for our organization's new headquarters. They are brilliant designers who care passionately about their client's needs and are highly collaborative, resourceful, and creative. I could not imagine a more dedicated, talented, and fun team to work with. More...



19 February 2015

I've used Studio Talo for 2 personal renovations and am now using them for a business renovation. They are very well organized, detailed and creative. They understand budget and will gear you toward products that fit within that budget. Renovations are stressful, but Studio Talo are not. More...

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