Our Team

We believe that we are here to discover and unveil the inner beauty of all life, allowing that light to shine. We do this one person and one project at a time.

Guided by the Ragsdale family’s long lineage of creativity, commitment to honesty, and dedication to excellence, our people have always been the backbone of our success. Whether it’s as simple as selecting a paint color or as involved as developing the design scheme for an entire home, Grace and her team of designers, project managers and craftsmen thrive on guiding you through the process, from conception to completion.

team member grace



Grace graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lake Forest College with her degree in Philosophy and Classical Studies. Her educational focus on both the ancient Greek world and modern aesthetic thought served as a springboard for her interest in the family business. Grace oversees administration of the business as a whole and serves as lead project designer. She maintains certification as an Interior Decorator, as a REGREEN trained professional, and is an Industry Partner of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). Grace’s interests include exploring the outdoors, traveling anywhere and everywhere, snowboarding, yoga, meditation and spiritual exploration, and most importantly, spending quality time with her family and friends. Grace lives in Lake Bluff with her husband, Rob, and daughters, Ava and Gemma.



Rob’s superior work ethic has allowed him to excel in various aspects of the painting industry for nearly three decades. With an early career in apartment painting, in which he quickly rose to a supervisory role, Rob next transitioned into a commercial setting. Running crews and manning large equipment, he developed an outstanding methodology for efficiency in the execution of his work. Soon after meeting Grace, Rob decided to venture into the residential world and join forces with the Ragsdale team. Rob’s detailed eye, creative thinking and enthusiasm for the trade make him the perfect fit for training and overseeing the crews. Rob has three children, Ava, Anthony, and Gemma. His hobbies include gardening, snowboarding,  rock climbing, playing pool, and riding his motorcycle.

team member rob
Team member steve



Decorative painter, furniture/instrument maker, designer, musician, gardener, writer, actor and entrepreneur, Steve is a multi-faceted artist who epitomizes the term “renaissance man”. Steve’s formal training was in acting, which is an interest that he has pursued on a non-professional basis throughout his adult life. An early interest in woodworking and furniture making laid the foundation for Steve’s work as a craftsman. His enthusiasm for building and finishing coupled with his artistic nature helped him develop the extraordinary skills that he has passed onto his many gifted employees. Steve has lived in Lake Bluff with his wife Sandy since 1979, where they raised their three adult children. Steve has been involved in numerous local civic organizations in which he has held leadership roles. Steve is a passionate mandolin player and has spent many years enjoying his place in the choir of The Union Church of Lake Bluff.


Office Manager

Meryl is a life-long community resident. As a second-generation Lake Forester, her husband and her decided to return and raise a third generation in the same community she grew up in.

Her educational background spans from fine arts to finance/business, and her resume reflects the same wide range of experience.

In her spare time Meryl enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, caring for her two cats and six chickens, rescuing animals, growing vegetables, making people laugh, refinishing and repurposing furniture, oil painting, glass firing, knitting, working on (and riding) her three moto-scooters or doing any of the many other hobbies that she has picked up along the way. Meryl comes from a local artist family and enjoys expanding her creative knowledge on a regular basis.

If one thing can be said, she is always able to keep herself busy and entertained!

team member Meryl



Painters who are true craftsmen are harder and harder to find these days. This is why we have also made a commitment to creating an environment in which promising youth can cultivate the “old-school” skills. Our skilled workers have been hand picked and personally trained by Steve Ragsdale and Robert Janda. Each artisan flourishes in a vast array of skilled finishes. With strong work ethics and a clear understanding of preparation, these craftsmen finish your job on time and on budget.

In addition to our apprenticeship program, we conduct company wide training on a regular basis for all of our employees. Not only does this provide an opportunity for our apprentices to learn new skills from our more seasoned painters, it gives everyone the chance to continue their education in areas such as color mixing and matching, product knowledge and specialty finishes. Further, this is a formalized venue through which our employees help each other to become more efficient and productive by sharing the methods they have each developed through their experiences on the job.

Ragsdale team huddle
Ragsdale wordmark on painting supplies

The Ragsdale Co.
709 Sheridan Road
Lake Bluff, IL 60044