We spent the morning previewing Dream Home, the design house event at the Merchandise Mart. The press had a chance to tour the nine rooms with the designers who worked on the project. It was enlightening to hear the story of each room from the designers directly and it seems many of them made themselves "the client" for their room, giving a focus to transform their "vanilla box" space in the Dream Home into a reflection of their personal style. While very high-end in materials, finishes, fabrics and furniture (everything comes from The Merchandise Mart), there are plenty of good ideas as well as trend and color inspirations for smaller spaces (and smaller budgets) throughout (more posts to come!). The images that we were given are fine, but the real interest in much of the decor is in the texture and color subtleties that just don't come across in the photos. The rooms are MUCH more powerful and engaging in person, so if you like this sort of thing at all we'd suggest an in-person trip.
The 100,000 (!) manhours spent on the project (in a very short time frame; the space was secured in April) including design and construction, as well as the goods and finishes were all donated. Visitors have the opportunity to make a voluntary $5. donation that will go to the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women's Board. The Designers: Nate Berkus, Athalie Derse, Marshall Erb, Douglas Hoerr, David Kaufman and Tom Segal, Kara Mann (bedroom, below), Eva Quateman (library, top photo), Tom Stringer, Heather Wells and Bruce Fox (media room, middle photo).
Dream Home (sponsored by the Merchandise Mart and Traditional Home magazine) will be open September 22 - December 22. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9-5 and Saturday from 10-3.