Design Chicago Welcomed More Than 2,500 Attendees to the Merchandise Mart, Including Designers, Industry Icons and More, October 3-4, 2018

The Midwest’s largest residential design conference drew record crowds

View a gallery of Design Chicago highlights on Facebook

Chicago, IL (October 31, 2018) – The Design Center at the Merchandise Mart and LuxeHome hosted Design Chicago, the Midwest’s largest trade-only residential design conference, on October 3 and 4, 2018 at the iconic Merchandise Mart (theMART) in downtown Chicago. The two-day event drew more than 2,500 attendees, including leading interior design, architecture and luxury custom homebuilding professionals from across the country, to more than 120 showrooms, spanning over 600,000 square feet of space.

Design Chicago presented a variety of education and innovative programming, along with signature events, including: 175 featured presentations, CEU programs, open houses and product debuts and 2 exclusive ticketed events with Chairs for Charity and the Chicago VIP Luxury Gala – along with newly opened showrooms ready to be explored, as well as 13 strategic media partners and more than a dozen well-respected editors.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response from our showrooms, presenters and attendees at this year’s Design Chicago,” said Susan McCullough, Senior Vice President at theMART. “Design Chicago has become the must-attend residential design conference in the Midwest and brings together the best of the best in the industry. We’re proud to see the show grow year after year and look forward to building on this year’s success, with even more attendees from the Midwest, as well as coast to coast, in 2019.” Dates have already been set for next year; Design Chicago will return Wednesday and Thursday, October 2-3, 2019.

13 media partners from coast to coast were on hand to offer their deep knowledge of the industry and years of expertise: Architectural Digest, Chicago Magazine, Coastal Living, Elle Décor, Galerie, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Luxe Interiors + Design, Modern luxury Interiors Chicago, Residential Design, Sophisticated Living, Traditional Home and Veranda.

An added draw was the energy generated from new, expanded or completely renovated showrooms which opened in the past year:


House of Rohl Studio (135)
Middleby Residential/Viking Range/La Cornue (137)
Moen Design Center (135)
Forward Space : Studio (614)
Surya (619)


Michael-Cleary (6-102)
Noure’s Oriental Rug, Inc. (6-155)
Gloster Furniture (1452)
CAI Designs (1495)
Lloyd Flanders, Inc. (1473)


Studio Snaidero Chicago (140)
Pindler (618)
Schumacher / Patterson, Flynn & Martin (6-133)

Chicago VIP Luxury Gala Highlights

Design Chicago culminated with the tenth annual Chicago VIP Luxury Gala, held the evening of October 4, 2018. The Chicago VIP Luxury Gala drew a record crowd of over 800, including a who’s who of the design industry who came together to celebrate the best of Chicago and Midwest design.

The event featured the induction of four residential design industry icons into the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame.

  • Lifetime Achievement: Cary Kravet, Kravet Inc., President and CEO
  • Architect: Laurence Booth, FAIA, Booth Hansen, Principal/Director
  • Designer: Suzanne Lovell, Suzanne Lovell Inc., Founder + CEO
  • Builder: Power Construction Luxury Residence Group

The 2018 Chicago VIP Luxury Gala was generously sponsored by exclusive Media Sponsor, Luxe Interiors + Design; Diamond Sponsor, Moen; Platinum Sponsor, Thermador; Gold Sponsor, Sherwin- Williams; and Silver Sponsors, Vicostone and Style/Library.

Chairs for Charity Highlights: This signature event from Splash, in conjunction with Chicago magazine, challenged 14 designers with the task of bringing a vintage chair back to life. The event attracted more than 375 attendees, who were encouraged to bid on the one-of-a-kind chairs through a silent auction throughout the event. All proceeds raised benefit Designs for Dignity.

About the Design Center at The Merchandise Mart (theMART)

The Design Center, located in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, is home to four floors constituting the world’s largest and finest design center. As a leader in the $65 billion residential home furnishings market, the Design Center offers the largest presentation of high-end, customizable, residential and outdoor home furnishings worldwide, all under one roof. Encompassing 750,000 square feet, boasting more than 125 showrooms and featuring more than 2,500 product lines, it is the ultimate resource for designers and design enthusiasts of luxury furniture, fabrics, floor coverings, wall coverings, lighting and much more. For more information, visit Visit Design Center on Facebook and Instagram.

About LuxeHome®

LuxeHome is the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation located on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. With more than 125,000 square feet of showroom space featured in over 45 boutiques, LuxeHome is host to the finest products for home building and renovation from the most recognized and respected manufacturers worldwide.

LuxeHome offers discerning homeowners and trade professionals one-stop shopping convenience with access to the finest kitchen, bath, tile, lighting, cabinetry, appliances, countertops and much more. LuxeHome displays the widest selection of products to suit all upscale design styles, from modern European to classic American to traditional English. In addition to the extensive lineup of premier brands, each boutique offers knowledgeable designers who are available to assist with all phases of each design project. LuxeHome’s boutiques are open for shopping Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit Follow LuxeHome on Facebook, Houzz, Instagram and Twitter.


theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in culture, art, business, fashion, media and more. As the largest privately held commercial building in the United States, it is one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, theMART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and showrooms, theMART serves as a business hub for interior designers, architects, contractors, business owners and buyers, and recently has become home to Chicago’s most creative and technologically innovative companies including Motorola Mobility, 1871, Yelp, PayPal and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies Conagra, Allstate, Kellogg, Beam Suntory, Grainger and Caterpillar. For more information, visit

Rowland HolmesDesign Chicago Welcomed More Than 2,500 Attendees to the Merchandise Mart, Including Designers, Industry Icons and More, October 3-4, 2018