We draw inspiration from our clients. In fact, as we see it, listening is the first duty of design.

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Our Process

When you engage our services, you trust us to transform your aesthetic and personal viewpoints in a way that complements and highlights who you are, and how you want to live. It’s an opportunity we honor by engaging you in an energetic, ongoing exchange of ideas.

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What We Do

We work comfortably within a multitude of style conventions, from contemporary to classic, and everywhere in between. Our services include architecture, interior design, and custom furniture design. We travel freely and easily between the worlds of new construction, renovation, and interiors. It also allows us to provide holistic solutions to our clients’ needs. From blueprints to surface finishes, the entire house, in the end, sings a uniquely unified harmony of proportion, texture, light, and beauty.

Our homes share a single characteristic: Livability. We use design to introduce a welcome sense of ease into daily life. The equivalent of spatial hugs, comprised of rooms that calm, organize, gather, inspire, and comfort our clients. We believe they are most beautiful once they are lived in.

Our People

  • Elissa Morgante, AIA

    Elissa Morgante, AIA


    Architect, interior designer, educator, community leader and principal of an award winning architectural practice, Ms. Morgante’s myriad of interests are fueled by the love of design and belief that good design can improve the quality in which we live our lives.

    After almost three decades of scrutinizing the nuances of design, Morgante continues to be passionate on her pursuit for excellence. Her broad body of work includes architecture, interior design and custom furniture all with a common denominator: thoughtful attention to detail. Her holistic approach places her clients vision at the core of the design process. The result is a one of a kind expression of the client’s functional prerequisites and stylistic dreams interwoven with the wisdom of architectures vast possibilities.

    To stay at the forefront, Morgante promotes the role of architect as visionary and embraces the continuous evolution of ideas.

    In 1994, she and her partner in life and business, Fred Wilson, formed Morgante Wilson Architects. Together they maintain a practice of over 20 architects and designers specializing in residential design. Their work receives national and local acclaim in publications ranging from Traditional Home to the Chicago Tribune. Chicago Magazine named MWA among the top 20 firms in the city. Their designs have been featured in books by Sarah Susanka and exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago.

    For eight years Morgante served as an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the School of Interior Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. While teaching at UIC, she also founded and served as the first director of the UIC- Architectural Extension Program for which she received the University’s Distinguished Service Award. In describing her work with her students at UIC, “good design extends beyond buildings, it shapes a community…working with my students to generate a plan to transform N. Ashland Avenue into a tree-lined boulevard modulated by residential and commercial blocks, we addressed the parallel needs for development and a desire to beautify the neighborhood. Our presentation to local alderman inspired the plan Mayor Daley sanctioned; we were delighted to see our vision come to fruition.”

    Dedicated to giving back to the communities in which she works and lives, Morgante served on the Appearance Review Committee for the Village of Wilmette for ten years. Upon completion of this tenure the Village President appointed her to the Planning and Advisory Board for the Village Center Master Plan.

    Ms. Morgante’s philanthropic work also includes serving on the board of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women’s Board and for many years contributed to the University of Illinois Chicago Alumni Advisory Board. She earned her BA in Environmental Design from Hampshire College in 1981 and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1987.

  • Fred Wilson, AIA

    Fred Wilson, AIA


    “I believe that the most powerful design starts with a partnership between the client and architect,” says Frederick Wilson, who founded MWA in 1987. “As designers, we work with clients as a team, placing their ideas, preferences and concerns at the center of the relationship.”

    When Wilson established his Evanston-based practice, he was just two years out of graduate school. Co-principal and partner Elissa Morgante added new dimensions to the firm when she joined him in 1994. With expertise in architecture, interiors, furniture design and a respect for landscape design, MWA’s approach today is comprehensive and multifaceted--responsive to clients’ needs from start to finish.

    As a principal, Wilson works closely with MWA’s architects, nurturing their expertise and interests. Following Wilson’s example, designers at the firm share his commitment to getting every detail right, not to mention his infectious excitement about the work. His sense of humor adds a welcome shot of levity to the serious business of architecture.

    Wilson’s many distinctions include being named a national finalist in the “40 Under 40” award, sponsored by The National AIA and The Architectural League of New York, as well as the “Young Architect Award” from the American Institute of Architecture Chicago Chapter in 1998.

    Wilson received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Ohio State University in 1983. He earned his Master of Architecture at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1985. Upon graduation, Wilson joined the architectural firm Tigerman, Fugman, McCurry Architects, Ltd., where he was named the firm’s first associate.

    For Wilson, being a role model doesn’t stop at the office. For more than a decade, he applied his talents as a leader by coaching youth basketball in his community, building young athletes’ character by teaching the spirit of sportsmanship.

    Wilson also serves as President of the Congregation Sukkat Shalom. He is an architectural consultant for the building review commission for the Village of Kenilworth and serves as a board member of the Community Partners Affordable Housing Land Trust. The Land Trust is a not-for-profit membership organization created to offer permanently affordable housing opportunities for qualified, low-to-moderate income residents of the City of Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Deerfield.

    He has been a visiting critic at the schools of architecture and design at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Ohio State University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Additionally, Wilson has served as the School of Architecture’s constituent liaison for the University of Illinois-Chicago Alumni Association and on the Executive Advisory Board to the director of the School of Architecture.

    Recently, Wilson was honored to be included as a board member of the University of Illinois-Chicago Alumni Advisory Board.

  • Bob Zuber, AIA

    Bob Zuber, AIA

    Principal – Architecture

    Bob has been with MWA more than 20 years, joining the firm in 1998 after moving to Chicago and following a short tenure with the architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Skilled in a variety of design styles, Bob, an AIA member, works closely with every architectural project manager and the associated project teams at MWA. In his role as partner, he oversees projects at all stages, from early schematic design through completion. He is also involved in hiring and employee professional development, and heads the company’s mentor/mentee program. A native of Assumption, Ill., Bob attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural studies, and later, a Master of Architecture degree. Bob is active in volunteering, with a particular focus on organizations serving those impacted by AIDS/HIV.

  • K. Tyler, Allied ASID

    K. Tyler, Allied ASID

    Principal – Interior Design

    K. launched the firm’s interiors department with Elissa Morgante in 2007, expanding the richness and scope of the company’s work while also providing a valuable add-on service to clients. In her role as partner, she now leads interior design work spanning primary and vacation residences, private offices, and multifamily common areas, amenity suites and unit interiors. Prior to joining MWA, K. was a senior merchandise manager for Baker Furniture and a home décor buyer for Neiman Marcus Direct. Before that, she spent several years as a CPA/auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers. K. received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University, and later went on to earn a degree in interior design from Chicago’s Harrington College of Design. An Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers, she is a member of the Women’s Club of Evanston.

  • John Potter, AIA, NCARB

    John Potter, AIA, NCARB

    John Potter

    Principal – Architecture

    John joined MWA in 1997 as a project manager. For more than two decades, he has worked with clients on private residences located across the country, and most of the firm’s commercial, multi-use and multifamily projects. In his role as partner, John is actively involved in efforts related to marketing the firm, including client interviews. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., and Boston, he earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. John is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and is licensed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is also active with Inspiration Corporation, a group that helps people affected by homelessness and poverty, and was recently named to the organization’s board of directors.

  • David Ernst

    David Ernst

    David Ernst - Associate Principal

    joined MWA 1995

  • John Leonard

    John Leonard

    John Leonard - Associate Principal

    joined MWA 2002

  • Karen Stromholm

    Karen Stromholm

    Karen Stromholm - Associate Principal

    joined MWA 1999

  • Marie Nissen, CFO

    Marie Nissen, CFO

    Marie Nissen, Chief Financial Officer

    joined MWA 2011

  • Renata Buenrostro

    Renata Buenrostro

    Renata Buenrostro- Director of Architectural Interiors

    joined MWA 2000

  • Diana Ortiz

    Diana Ortiz

    Diana Ortiz - Interior Design Project Manager

    joined MWA 2010

  • Chris Savanelli

    Chris Savanelli

    Chris Savanelli - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2012

  • James Matthews

    James Matthews

    James Matthews - Interior Design Project Manager

    joined MWA 2013

  • Alicia Chlebek Blakely

    Alicia Chlebek Blakely

    Alicia Chlebek Blakely - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2013

  • Mary Meyers

    Mary Meyers

    Mary Meyers - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2013

  • Danielle Wyatt

    Danielle Wyatt

    Danielle Wyatt - Interior Design Project Manager

    joined MWA 2014

  • Monica Musialowski

    Monica Musialowski

    Monica Musialowski- Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2014

  • Ellen Whitehead

    Ellen Whitehead

    Ellen Whitehead - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2014

  • Hina Valiani

    Hina Valiani

    Hina Valiani - Accounting

    joined MWA 2014

  • Rachel Palomino

    Rachel Palomino

    Rachel Palomino - Interior Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2014

  • Greg Schaff

    Greg Schaff

  • Elliott Flaws

    Elliott Flaws

    Elliot Flaws - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2015

  • Kevin Thayer

    Kevin Thayer

    Rachel Palomino - Interior Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2016

  • Tomoe Yunoki

    Tomoe Yunoki

    Tomoe Yunoki - Interior Architecture Project Associate

    joined MWA 2017

  • Siobhan Barrett

    Siobhan Barrett

    Siobhan Barrett - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2016

  • Joshua Welch

    Joshua Welch

    Joshua Welch - Interior Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2018

  • Sasha Montes

    Sasha Montes

    Sasha Montes - Interior Design Assistant

    joined MWA 2017

  • Daniel Wood

    Daniel Wood

    Daniel Wood - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2018

  • John Jacobs

    John Jacobs

    John Jacobs - Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2018

  • Caitlin Ladner

    Caitlin Ladner

    Caitlin Ladner - Design Purchasing Manager

    joined MWA 2018

  • Michael Marx

    Michael Marx

    Michael Marx - Interior Architecture Project Manager

    joined MWA 2018

    Working With Us

    So many of our clients return to work with us again and again, as their requirements and sensibilities change over time. These lasting partnerships are a source of pride for us – and a truly meaningful sign that we’ve indeed succeeded in earning the trust of the clients we serve. With more than 25 years experience, Morgante-Wilson Architects remains committed to our employees, our clients, our community, and our craft.

    Watch the videos below with our clients talking about their experience with Morgante Wilson.


    2018 Luxe - Residential Excellence in Design - Restoration/Renovation Private Residence
    2018 Masonry Advisory Council -Excellence in Masonry Award Private Residence
    2017 Preservation Award Renovation Private Residence
    2015 Oak Park Preservation Award Private Residence
    2014 Wilmette Historic Preservation Award Sympathetic Addition, Private Residence
    2013 Wilmette Historic Preservation Award Sympathetic Addition, Private Residence
    2013 Winnetka Preservation Award Rehabilitation
    2012 Gold Design Awards Program Residential Project
    2011 Gold Design Awards Program Renovation Project
    2010 Village of Wilmette New Construction Award. Morgante Wilson Residence
    2010 Preservation Award Renovation Private Residence

    Communities and Sponsorships

    Morgante-Wilson Architects unwavering commitment to our profession, civic endeavors, and improving the quality of life in our community has motivated us to support a diverse group of local and national charities that strive toward a brighter future.