Chicago Design Summit Welcomed More Than 2,000 Attendees to the Merchandise Mart

October 5, 2016

LuxeHome, the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation hosted the Chicago Design Summit, the Midwest’s residential trade-only design summit, last month in its more than 35 boutiques, spanning upwards of 125,000 sq. ft. of space at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. The event drew more than 2,000 attendees from across the country and saw a 25-percent increase in the number of attendees compared to the 2015 event.

The Chicago Design Summit presented a variety of educational and innovative programming, including 31 innovative programs, CEU seminars and events featuring industry luminaries; 29 new and featured product debuts; 11 strategic media partners; eight boutique open houses; seven new boutiques and an exclusive Chicago VIP Luxury Gala.

Chicago Design Summit Highlights

Presentations from notable members of the design industry, including kitchen and design icons Christopher Peacock and Mick De Giulio; celebrated interior designer and TV personality Kathryn Ireland and A-List interior designers Alessandra Branca, Kara Mann and Martyn Lawrence Bullard, packed the house. There were also a multitude of CEU presentations, business programs and trend presentations offering something for every attendee.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response from our LuxeHome showrooms, presenters and attendees at this year’s Chicago Design Summit,” said Katherine Flaherty, vice president, Vornado I Merchandise Mart. “The high caliber of CEUs, presenters and industry leaders really raised the bar and drew top trade professionals looking for the latest products and insider knowledge.” Presentations and CEUs were standing room only throughout the one-day, trade-only event. An added draw was the energy generated from six new boutiques that opened at LuxeHome in 2016, with a seventh coming soon. New showrooms include: Devon&Devon, Fantini | The Galley, GRAFF: art of bath design center, Lefroy Brooks | Cooper & Graham, Pella Crafted Luxury and Vicostone.

Major editors and publishers from leading shelter publications from coast to coast were on hand, offering their deep knowledge of the industry and years of expertise, and in addition to a phenomenal day of programming, attendees explored a plethora of new products throughout the first floor, including kitchen, bath, appliances, faucets and fixtures, cabinetry, hardware and tile.

“The Chicago Design Summit has become the must-attend residential design conference in the Midwest and brings together the best of the best in the industry for education and inspiration,” added Flaherty. “We look forward to building on the success of the Chicago Design Summit and attracting more attendees from the Midwest, as well as from coast to coast.”

Chicago VIP Luxury Gala Highlights

The Chicago Design Summit culminated with the Chicago VIP Luxury Gala, which drew a record crowd of more than 700 attendees. The event is in its eighth year and featured the induction of four residential design industry icons into the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame:

  • Lifetime Achievement: Mick De Giulio, Principal, de Giulio kitchen design
  • Architect: Darcy Robert Bonner Jr., Founder & Principal, Darcy Bonner and Associates
  • Interior Designer: Alessandra Branca, Branca
  • Residential Developer: James Loewenberg, FAIA, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Magellan Development Group

“We were privileged to honor this year’s exemplary residential design professionals,” said Flaherty. “All have made their mark on our industry by creating spaces that inspire and motivate us to think differently, not just in the way we design, but in the way we live.” The Chicago VIP Luxury Gala was sponsored by exclusive media partner Luxe Interiors + Design; Platinum sponsor BSH Home Appliances; Gold Sponsors Pella Crafted Luxury and Sherwin-Williams and Silver Sponsors Poggenpohl and Wood-Mode.