Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicago Style: Architecture and Design Part II

2011 Design House in Chicago, room by Michael Abrams

This post is way late.  For the past two weeks, since we moved into our house, I've been running around like a lunatic (or better description: manic new homeowner on the lose in Norfolk with a mission to make new house feel like a wonderful home with no sense of direction and a constantly malfunctioning Garmin guiding the way). I did a tally and I've  been to Lowe's four times, Target three at two locations, Home Depot twice (including last Friday when Jeff and I literally shut the place down at 9pm-- gung ho homeowners who prefer to shop for ceiling fans than be at dinner with friends, yes we admit we have problems), Best Buy for a TV mount and a house phone and then there are the countless trips to the local hardware store, mainly to return things because I never measure or check sizes for anything before I go.

Despite crossing off an average of 5 items on my to-do list each day, which runs the gamut from "find oval-shaped mirror for downstairs bathroom" to "hang belt racks that has been on our bedroom floor for ten days," I seem to add another 7 new ones, which mentally negates the 5 things that now have a line through.

OK, sorry to do a little ranting, but then again didn't blogs originate as a rant mechanism for loquacious, often perturbed, individuals. Up until now I would say my posts have much more rave than rant, so I figure I was about four months overdue.

Now, back to the Chicago trip as promised.  It was my visit to the Merchandising Mart's Design Center and lucky for me I had the chance to tour the inspired rooms of the 2011 Dream Home which is on display from April 15-December 9.  The Design Center at the Merchandising Mart is a new home owner's playground.  It opened in 1930 and is still considered the world's largest commercial building and wholesale design center.  Since Jeff and I are in full renovation mode, we spent the better part of our Saturday in Chicago walking in and out of the first floor showrooms of this massive building (the floors above are opened during the week and mainly only to the trades).  From Ann Sachs vibrant tiling to Waterworks top of the line fixtures to Woodmode custom cabinetry, we were like kids in a candy shop and I filled two shopping bags of samples and catalogs.

Cabinetry in the Woodmode showroom, we are usign Brookhaven, their
semi custom line for our kitchen remodel

Ann Sachs tiling--ideas for when we redo our "mud room"

Artistic Tile's showroom was incredible

Just like their print ads in the shelter magazines

A master bathroom floor? Maybe someday....

The Design House at the Merchandising Mart features nine of Chicago's top interior designers, each exhibiting their creativity and design style within a single room, many using a lot of the showroom resources within the Design Center, such as bold geometric carpets from Stark, Paris Ceramics oak flooring, and sleek, minimalist furniture by Holly Hunt.  While every room wasn't exactly my taste, there were a few that I really loved.  I only had my little Canon Power Shot to work with that day so sorry the pictures aren't as professional as I'd like them to be.

Statement foyer by Buckingham Interiors + Design
(she describes it as "subtle nuance of a period Parisian apartment," no wonder I loved it)

Foyer by Buckingham Interiors + Design

Home Office by Michael Del Piero Good Design

Living Room by Scott Himmel Architects

A vignette sitting area within living room by Scott Himmel Architects

Kitchen counter tops in granite designed by Snaidero Chicago

Kitchen by Snaidero Chicago

Outdoor space by 1 Design Group Inc.

Bedroom by Michael Abrams Limited
(a designer favorite of mine and my favorite room in the showcase)

Bedroom by Michael Abrams Limited

Sitting area within bedroom by Michael Abrams 

Dressing room by Luca Lanzetta, LLC

For more information on the materials, furnishings, and accessories each designer used in the 2011 Design House at the Merchandising Mart, please visit the website where you can take a virtual tour of each room and find the stylist's resources.

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