Nothing happens without. Whether we are building a home, and office, a mantel, or a piece of furniture, without design, nothing of substance can happen.

Whatever the project, we begin with an assessment of what our clients like, what they want, and what they need. Depending on the type of project we are discussing, there are different ways we communicate our ideas back to you. We sketch ideas, do color renderings, create actual samples of materials, textures, and colors, and can make proto-types in our fabrication shop.

Design is as personal as each project, so we devote the appropriate resources to each design. We engage with the person in our company who is versed in the materials we are working in, and encourage an interactive and collaborative approach with the other designers in our company, and with you – our clients.

Every single thing that we have ever built started with a sketch, a picture, or a piece of material as a source of inspiration. Moving that inspiration forward into the physical world is what our design is all about for Merlino.



We offer full architectural services for all construction and renovation projects. We perform all preliminary space planning and feasibility studies in house. What that means is we can help develop the project, providing ideas, sketches, and floor plans before substantial investments in working drawings are made. This helps generate a scope, budget, and goals for the project from the outset.

When preliminary designs have been approved, we offer the next round: working drawings. We have partnered up with the most talented architects in order to offer the top level design and drafting processes. We can take the idea to completion, with zoning and permitting as part of our architectural process.

You only need to work with one company to get it all – Merlino.


At our core, Merlino is a Builder. We build on an artistic level with our materials of choice, but we also build as a process – as a General Contractor and Custom Builder.

We have been building and remodeling homes in the Chicago and surrounding suburbs for over 20 years. We have done countless remodels, room additions, and new homes over that time. We have successfully built projects as small as a bathroom remodel to as large as an 18,000 s.f. home. Our process is enhanced with our state of the art fabrication shop. Nothing we encounter in a residential setting is out of our realm.

When working together when all that exists is an idea, our process is a simple one:

  • We listen to the things that are important to you.
  • We discuss options that address those items, adding value wherever we can.
  • We create preliminary designs for your approval.
  • We create construction documents and plans as needed for all aspects of the project.
  • We build the project using a “Turn-Key” approach – meaning we take care of everything.

When you already have plans, we work with you in moving the ideas forward: We value engineer plans and ideas that already exist, making sure there is value.

  • We work with design professionals at every level – if you already have a designer and or architect we are thrilled to join team.
  • We can take over the time consuming approach of shop drawings and submittals, freeing up your architect and or designer to focus on what they do best.
  • We create construction documents and plans as needed for all aspects of the project.
  • We build the project using a “Turn-Key” approach – meaning we take care of everything.
In the residential project world, Merlino is all you need.


When we started building homes for people we found that a great many of our clients owned businesses. Once we finished their homes, it was only natural that they invited us into their work place to help with those needs as well.

Since the beginning, we have been involved in many different types of projects. We have remodeled a community theater, performed a large scale remodel of a suburban City Hall building, built a small addition for a school, and performed many tenant improvement projects – ranging from the simple to the highly complex.

Our expertise as builders translates well in the commercial arena. We understand deadlines, and the need to be professional so that our clients can focus on their business – not on interacting with us for their construction needs.

We offer the same level of design services as we do in our wood, stone, metal, and residential construction services or we can work with your team at any level you need us to.

Our ability to manufacture architectural woodwork, furniture, etc. as a part of your project is a significant savings in time, energy, and cost. We can be the source for many of the elements – transcending the conventional model of outsourcing everything that most General Contractors do.

A recent project creating the lobby and 1st floor for Diamond Bank emphasizes this approach. We were hired as the space designer, architects, General Contractor, and architectural woodworking company. We built the space, all of the desks, teller areas, and executive suite furniture. Almost every single element within the space was fabricated by our shop. We were able to streamline the timeframe – including finishing almost 10 days early due to the vertical integration we used on this project.

In the commercial world Merlino gets it done.


When we think about what we make for our clients, it’s hard to pinpoint a term or a name of this process. We work in so many different elements and materials that Custom Fabrication is probably the best description of what we actually do. We have a state of the art shop consisting of CNC machinery and CAD / CAM based manufacturing equipment, allowing us to perform the following work:

Our Abilities

  • Woodworking
    • Carvings
    • Beams / Doors / Decorative Elements
    • Euro style cabinetry
    • Face Frame cabinetry
    • Furniture
    • Conference Rooms / Libraries / Hospitality Suites
    • Mantels / Built ins / Etc.
    • Desks / Work Stations

  • Metalwork
    • Railings
    • Floor Inserts
    • Panels
    • Doors
    • Structural Elements
    • Decorative Elements
  • Stonework
    • Carving
    • Counters
    • Mantels
    • Moldings
    • Planters / Stairs / Exterior Elements
  • Specialty fabrication -working with the following elements to make store fixtures and prototypes for every situation:
    • Wood
    • Metal
    • Stone
    • Plastics
    • Acrylics
    • Veneers
    • Inlays Composites
With Merlino, everything is possible.
52nd Street
New Home | 52nd Street Paradise Valley, Arizona
60th Street
New Home | 60th Street Burr Ridge, Illinois
63rd Street
New Home | 63rd Street Burr Ridge, Illinois
Canterbury Ct.
New Home | Canterbury Ct. Hinsdale, Illinois
Peterson Park
New Home | Peterson Park Chicago, Illinois
Tuttle Street
New Home | Tuttle Street Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Diamond Bank
Furniture | Diamond Bank Schaumburg, Illinois
Reproduction Chairs
Furniture | Reproduction Chairs
The Rookery Building
Chicago, Illinois
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