Thursday, May 19, 2011



The Merchandise Mart in Chicago is one huge building dedicated to the design industry. Right now, tucked in the back of the first floor is a series of rooms called the “DreamHome”. This is the seventh year the Merchandise Mart has transformed this part of their real estate into a dreamscape of nine rooms designed by regional interior designers and architects. The breadth of style and innovation covers the best Chicago has to offer. An entry donation helps the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women’s Board and for your donation you reciprocated with splendor.

The rooms wind like a maze through the first floor labyrinth of amazing ideas. The first threshold you cross leads you into the foyer designed by Julia Buckingham Edelmann of Buckingham Interiors. The intent was to create a well lived in Parisian apartment.  The international impact of the space is immediately felt.

The Tony Duquette center table takes your breath away with its serpentine form and silver leaf finish. It’s so dramatic you have to force your eye to take in the rest of the room, but you have to make sure you do or you’d miss a hundred more touches of perfection.

The foyer possesses that delicate balance between masculine and feminine from the leather walls by Lee Jofa to the cascading crystals of the Boyd lighting chandelier.

Michael Del Piero of Michael Del Piero Good Design pulled the feel of majestic horse country into the home office.

The wooden floors, the rustic metal table, the asymmetrical arrangement of the barrister bookcases, and the English riding saddle mirror from Michael Cleary make the room seem to smell of fresh hay and bluegrass.

The living room designed by Scott Himmel Architects is the most eclectic of the Dream rooms. The melding of the raw wooden walls with the trendy painting technique on the adjoining walls, the contrast of the contemporary art with the antique Asian rug unexpectedly draped over the coffee table,

the culture clash of the Tibetan carpet with the antique painted Swedish sideboard all blend into one satisfying space.

The Hollywood sophistication of a grey on grey palette bleeds luxury in Michael Abrams swank bedroom.

The breast-plated fireplace with the deco surround and stacked wood are especially effective in creating the allusion of Veronica Lake having once swooned against the mantle. The use of fabric wallcoverings by Donghia is a genius touch in soothing the soul and bringing serenity to the bedroom.

You walk through the bedroom and into the clean austerity of the dressing room designed by Luca Lanzetta. Mirrored sliding doors hide the Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Manolo Blahnik treasure trove on a unique system of lit shelves, lights that make finding and choosing the perfect outfit all the easier.

The smoky elegance of the dining room makes one lust for a five star gastronomic feast served on silver plates. The earthy mushroom tones of the limestone fireplace by Paris Ceramics and the flanking draperies by Summer Hill add to the comforting warmth of the room designed by Frank Ponterio.

The earthiness of the dining room elevates from shitake to truffle in the kitchen designed by Shawna Dillon for Snaidero Chicago. The combination of the Ashley grey paint on the walls from Benjamin Moore, the Calcutta gold marble countertops and backsplashes by Granite Innovations and the rich dark chocolate cabinetry make for a sleek contemporary kitchen ready to become the venue for creating a sumptuous repast.

Everything in this kitchen speaks to perfection in detail. It deserves a four-woof rating.

The media room is a hidden treasure in more ways than one. Crafted in a way where the ugly part of technology is verboten, hidden behind secret panels that open and close revealing nasty pleasures like “The Housewives of New Jersey” when no ones around or hidden behind automated back panels when the in-laws unexpectedly drop by. The casework is beautifully crafted in this room designed by Lauren Coburn with the ability to either entertain royalty or suffer the hoots and screams of the Monday Night Football crowd.

The last of the rooms transports you outdoors to a Zen retreat where meditation prayers can be said to the sounds of running water from the Gabion water feature. Designed by 1 Design Group, Inc the richness of the orient travels through the horizontal lines of the wall tiles, the red accents that give balance to the room and Cubic sofa, arm chairs, and ottoman from Brown Jordan.
The Dream Home rooms will remain open until December 9, 2011. That means you still have seven months to get yourself to Chicago to walk the rooms. If design is your passion, these rooms are well worth a trip to the windy city.


Jack Delano
Union Station, Chicago, 1943
Represented by Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco

1 comment:

  1. Love these chairs!! Just ordered two for living room area!