13 Ways to Use the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year: Classic Blue

Pantone recently announced the 2020 Color of the Year: PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue.

“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.” – Pantone 


This rich blue color is elegant, though-provoking and timeless. It is both bold and peaceful, bringing a sense of calm into any space. We asked our RNDD Members to share with us different ways in which you can use this classic hue in various rooms of your home.

13 Ways to Use Classic Blue in Your Home

Blue and White Bedroom

Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors recently collaborated with Chicago Luxury Beds on their holiday window display for 2019. The windows featured two seasonally festive bedroom vignettes designed by Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors, this one featuring a Classic Blue and white check motif. Sarah took the Classic Blue hue to another level of sophistication by using it in a buffalo check pattern.

The vignette also included contributions from fellow RNDD Members and partners: Organic Looms rugs and artwork framed by Artists Frame Service.

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Art by John Griebsch, Photo by Logan Bowes

Blue Vibrations on the Floor

Pantone’s Classic Blue makes a great pop of color on the floor.  This handknotted rug from Organic Looms is called Blue Vibrations, a Wool/Silk blend and is made in India.

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Add a Pop of Color with Classic Blue

When adding a pop of color to their interior designs, Kadlec Architecture + Design is drawn to Pantone’s Classic Blue as it is a great pure blue that plays well with others as is evident in this bold bedroom they designed.


Go Bold and Blue in the Kitchen

While white kitchens are near and dear to Dresner Design‘s hearts, they do experiment with color from time to time. One of the best ways to bring some energy into your home is through a bright burst of color. In this kitchen they went BOLD with floor to ceiling high-gloss Classic Blue kitchen cabinets.


Add Personality with Custom Painted Furniture

Theodore Alexander believes color is key when making your home a reflection of YOU! They created the Theodore Alexander Custom Palette Program to give you tools to add color and your own personal touch to help a room come to life and make your home complete! Start creating your dream home with the help of custom painted pieces from Theodore Alexander. Stop by your local Theodore Alexander showroom or visit TheodoreAlexander.com for more information.

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Use Blue in Unexpected Places

This years’ Pantone color of the year was a perfect match for one of eggersmann’s client. With eggersmann’s infinite color selection, they matched their pool bath vanity with their high gloss Miami Blue Porche and carried the classic pop of blue throughout their home.


Blue on Blue

Room & Board loves blue as a modern neutral or a burst of color. See how they took some of their newest designs and found ways to bring this timeless hue into your home. Here they carried one color through an entire room for a unique statement. Shop this room.


The Therapeutic Power of Blue

Perhaps one of the best places to use bold color in the home is in the children’s room. Komandor Chicago custom made these hanging cabinets in classic blue. Perhaps this therapeutic power of blue will make the child focus on learning, sleep after a hard day at school, and gain energy for what is still ahead of them.


Blue as a Neutral

The name of the color of the year, Classic Blue, says it all – it is a color that transcends time and evokes a feeling of warmth as well as energy. Whether it serves as the main color story, an accent or a backdrop, it is always in style and can easily be the “neutral” of any space as is evident in this elegant room from Robin Thomas Design.


Make a Statement with a Blue Statement Piece

The voluptuous Arteriors Turner Sofa in Indigo Velvet is all glamour, appealing to style makers who appreciate bold design. The entire silhouette is one long curve. This plush design is sleek but inviting, making Turner the perfect anchor for any room that is built for entertaining. Available through Casa Bella.


Classic Blue as an Accent Color

Staci Munic Interiors is crazy about this classic blue velvet tipped pillow (we are too!). The blue velvet with the white linen is crisp yet casual, refined and relaxed and that’s the way they roll.


Bring the Balance with Blue

This urban condo project is a classic example of empty nesters finally living for themselves.  Transitioning from a traditional home in the suburbs meant Donna Mondi Interior Design had a blank slate to mold into a place that better represented who they are now.  Modern, clean, unfussy interiors were just what they were looking for. Here in this already bright and colorful family room, the client’s affinity for geometrics and bold colors served as the inspiration behind this urban contemporary design.  They incorporated a pop of Classic blue with the chairs to balance the room in addition to bringing the bright yellow into the chair pillows to draw the eye in and complement the credenza in the background.


Blue Tranquility in the Bathroom

Orizzonti has fused the Pantone color of 2020 into their most popular vanity, LINEA to turn this bathroom into a colorful yet peaceful oasis. At Orizzonti, their unique custom capabilities offer endless color possibilities, from Classic Blue and beyond.


Posted in Blue, Casa Bella, Donna Mondi Interior Design, dresner design, eggersmann USA, Kadlec Architecture + Design, Komandor Chicago, Organic Looms, ORIZZONTI, Pantone Color of the Year, Robin Thomas Design, Room & Board, Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors, Staci Munic Interiors, theodore alexander | Leave a comment

RNDD Welcomes Komandor Chicago

Komandor: European Style at a Great Value

The River North Design District (RNDD) is excited to welcome our newest member of our design association, the Komandor Chicago Showroom located on the 4th floor of the Chicago Luxury Furniture Centre at 371 W Ontario in West River North.

Komandor Chicago provides European style at great value. They specialize in the design, production and installation of quality European millwork. Their products include office partitions, sliding doors, room dividers, wardrobes, walk in closets, kitchens, bathroom cabinets, and fitted furniture. View the full range of their products here.


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Komandor prides itself in upholding three major values: Service, Quality and Value.


Komandor always strives to deliver the best service. Their reputation in the industry is that of providing and guaranteeing top quality services that clients have come to rely on. And each and every day, they work hard to maintain this. They take the time to understand your project’s unique requirements and will partner with you to ensure you are 100% satisfied.

Each of their professionals is an expert in their field with decades of experience.  From estimating and design to installation follow-up, they have some of the best talent in Chicago ready to serve you.



Located in more than 40 countries, including Canada, Germany, Poland and France, Komandor Chicago continues a heritage that started more than 25 years ago. Servicing both the residential and commercial market segments, Komandor’s products are known for their quality construction and modern style.

And they stand by their products. When you deal with them, you deal directly with the manufacturer. From fabrication to installation, and maintenance, their mission is to exceed your highest standards of quality.



Komandor is dedicated to providing the lowest prices while not sacrificing quality and service. When you hire them, you receive the best price at an amazing value. How? They manufacture their own products so there isn’t high mark-ups. And their designers are amazing at creating solutions that fit your budget. Slight design changes, or replacing certain materials can result in lots of money saved. Their designer’s cost-saving solutions will not take away from your project’s overall design, but enhance your project.


Welcome to RNDD!

Visit their Showroom in Chicago’s River North neighborhood (371 W Ontario, 4th Floor) to see the entire line of European products they offer or schedule an appointment online or call them at (312) 757-0717 to meet with their design consultants. Welcome to RNDD, Komandor!

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Posted in Chicago Luxury Furniture Centre, Chicago Showroom, Komandor Chicago, RNDD Members | Leave a comment

RNDD A Year in Review: A Look Back on 2019

Now that 2019 has come to an end and we begin a new decade, we wanted to take a moment look back on all the great things our organization and our members did this past year. 2019 was a great year for the River North Design District (RNDD). Thank you to our amazing members for your support and dedication.

Here is a look back on some of the highlights of 2019…

We Gained New Members

In 2019 we welcomed a total of 14 new members, bringing our organization to over 60 members in total! Eight of those were River North Showrooms: Theodore Alexander, bulthaup, Samuel Lynne Galleries, Molteni&C, Inspired Closets, Kohler Signature Store by Studio41, Poliform, and Komandor.

Two of our new members were local Interior Designers: Centaur Interiors, Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors.

River North Design District, Chicago Interior Designer Centaur Interiors

Design by Centaur Interiors

And we gained four new Affiliate Members: The Anti-Cruelty Society, Barrett’s Technology Solutions, Montauk Sofa and Oceanside Glass & Tile.

Our Events Were a Big Success

We kicked off the year panel discussion with Dering Hall at Lightology on “Being a Design Risk Taker.” Panelists Bruce Fox of Bruce Fox Design, Steve Kadlec of KADLEC Architecture + Design, Michael Del Piero of Michael Del Piero Good Design, and Melissa Benham of Studio Gild led a lively conversation about the best ways to break rules and surprise and delight clients with boundary-pushing work.


We continued our social media marketing workshop series led by Jason Myers of Zen Owl Media who taught our Instagram Insights course and our own Jill Maremont and Jenny Maraccini taught Pinterest for Business. Attendees left each workshop with valuable information and new tactics and strategies to implement in their own businesses.

On May 2nd, 2019, the River North Design District (RNDD), Chicago Luxury Beds, Luxe Interiors + Design, and Dering Hall partnered once again for “Dreaming of Design” featuring bedroom vignettes by talented Chicago interior designers, including RNDD Members The Golden Triangle, Wike LaFrey and Sarah Dippold Design.


Design by Wike LaFrey

The Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. SOFA is held annually in the fall at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and this year RNDD and for the second year in a row, we collaborated on the official SOFA Afterparty on the show’s opening night. The party was held at Montauk Sofa and featured artist Francine Turk who painted LIVE with Benjamin Moore’s color of the year. It was a night filled with art, music and design.


And our biggest event of the year was the 5th Annual RNDD Fall Gallery Walk which took place on Friday, September 6th. For the second year in a row, the River North Design District (RNDD) partnered with The River North Arts District Galleries featuring artists paired with designers.  This year we also partnered with buildOn and a portion of the proceeds helped to provide the experience of equal and safe education for the children of a community in a developing country; as well as provide the opportunity for service and leadership for the youth within our own community.

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Participants Included:

  • PROjECT.interiors featuring Amanda Morrison at Transceramica
  • Amy Kartheiser Design featuring Sarah Raskey at Chicago Luxury Beds
  • Hailey Lauren Designs featuring Jamie Tubbs with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art at TOTO
  • Nora Schneider Interior Design featuring Cleveland Dean at bulthaup
  • JOLIE ID featuring Meg Cowell with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art at Christopher Guy
  • Yamini Designs featuring David Gamble and Julian Wasser of Hilton | Asmus Contemporary Gallery at Casa Spazio
  • Victoria Hardy Interiors featuring Bruno Surdo and Michael Van Zeyl of Victor Armendariz Gallery at eggersmann usa
  • Robin Thomas Design featuring Randy O’Brien of Vale Craft Gallery at Lightology
  • Wike LaFrey featuring Linc Thelen at Orizzonti
  • Kadlec Architecture + Design featuring Glenn Wexler of Zolla Lieberman Gallery at Oscar Isberian Rugs
  • JamesThomas Interiors featuring Ramona Russu with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art at Oscar Isberian Rugs
  • Jessica Lagrange Interiors featuring Janet McGreal of Gruen Galleries at Oscar Isberian Rugs
  • Brianne Bishop Design featuring Philippe Vignal with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art at Ligne Roset
  • Vincere featuring Vladimir Bachorik of Echt Gallery at O’Brien Harris
  • Bruce Fox Interior Architecture + Design featuring James Iska of Shashi Caudill Fine Art at Theodore Alexander
  • Kelly Hurliman Design featuring John Bannon of Ken Saunders Gallery at Renaissance Tile & Bath
  • Room & Board featuring Steven Ciezki and Kazuki Takizawa of Echt Gallery at Materials Marketing
  • Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors featuring Cat Tesla of Chicago Art Source at Artists Frame Service
  • Sarah Dippold Design featuring Robin Denevan of Addington Gallery at Organic Looms
  • Steve + Filip Design featuring Christophe Gausparro at Studio41
  • Alan Design Studio featuring Jennifer Webster with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art at 210 Design House
  • Alida Coury Interiors featuring Colt Seager at Calia Stone Boutique
  • dSPACE Studio featuring TJ O’Keefe at Molteni&C
  • Centaur Interiors featuring Tyler Shields at Samuel Lynne Galleries
  • Victor Armendariz Gallery is exhibiting Jan Pieter Fokkens
  • Gruen Galleries is exhibiting Meredith Pardue
  • Vale Craft Gallery is exhibiting Randy O’Brien
  • Zolla Lieberman Gallery is exhibiting Dennis Lee Mitchell, Phyllis Bramson and Lorraine Peltz
  • Echt Gallery is exhibiting Jay Strommen
  • Addington Gallery is exhibiting Rebecca Crowell and Robin Denevan
  • Ken Saunders Gallery is exhibiting Thomas Scoon
  • Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is exhibiting David Gamble and Julian Wasser
  • The Anti-Cruelty Society featuring “Art from the Heart”, special POP UP with Dresner Design

Partners: Theodore Alexander, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, SOFA, EXPO Chicago, The Other Art Fair, Art Encounter, The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago Gallery News, Luxe Interiors + Design, Dering Hall, Freeze & Float and a curated beer selection by Oct.co.

Thank you to everyone who made this such an amazing year for The River North Design District. It’s because of you that we continue to grow year after year. Be sure to check out our events page to see what we have in store for the new year or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out. Cheers to an even better 2020!

Posted in art, chicago interior design, chicago interior designers, Events, RNDD Members | Leave a comment

RNDD Welcomes Poliform

The River North Design District (RNDD) is excited to welcome our newest member, Poliform, to our organization.

The Luca Lanzetta Group embarked on a partnership with the company in 2013, combining Poliform’s strong international brand with Luca’s unique understanding of the Chicago market. Located in Chicago’s River North Design District, Luca Lanzetta Group operates the Midwest flagship destination for the brand.

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Established in 1970, from an evolution of a small artisan’s shop dating back to 1942, Poliform has continuously adapted its range of proposals to the furniture market.
In 1996, the company added kitchens to its collection through the acquisition of the Varenna brand and, in 2006 it launched its first collection of sofas and armchairs.

Now, the brand satisfies the needs and tastes of discerning designers and homeowners across the globe. Poliform’s extensive collection includes systems and furnishing accessories for the entire home: kitchens, bookcases, tables, containers, wardrobes and beds.

Poliform is currently a leading player on the international furniture scene. The highly successful result of adventurous enterprise, the company has always based its vision on the search for quality by updating its lines in keeping with all that is good in contemporary lifestyle trends.

Poliform’s comprehensive production range carries with it the design idea of a ‘Poliform house’ with stylistically compatible component parts; a ‘global project’ for each architectural situation thanks to the exceptional versatility of its modular systems.

You can learn more about Poliform here, or visit their River North showroom at 445 N Franklin Street. Please help us in welcoming them to the RNDD Community!

Posted in Chicago Showroom, Poliform, RNDD Members | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The RNDD 2019 High Design Gift Guide

With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve compiled 11 high design gift ideas from our River North Design District (RNDD) Members, for the luxury lovers and design aficionados on your list. Happy Holidays!

The Horizon Plaid Throw Blanket Collection from Room & Board

The Horizon collection combines the best of two worlds: simple Scandinavian design with the beautiful characteristics of soft, strong South American alpaca wool. Textiles made from alpaca wool have unique properties making them insulating without bulk, allowing the throws to be lightweight yet warm. Visit Room & Board at 55 E Ohio or shop online here. $179



KOHLER Turkish Bath Linens

Spoil yourself with the new line of Turkish Bath Linens from the KOHLER Signature Store. The collection includes towels in a range of sizes along with a bathrobe and bath rug. And, with three patterns available in four classic shades, these plush Turkish Bath Linens will no doubt become one of your bathroom essentials. $15 – $135


The Swirl Divided Box from Theodore Alexander

Theodore Alexander is most often recognized for their beautiful handcrafted furniture, but they also create amazing accessories. The Swirl Collection, from TA Accents, include exquisite lidded boxes & trays, meticulously crafted by their gifted artisans of inlaid Mother of Pearl, using a decorative art form dating back to 4000 B.C. Each item is a unique work of art, shimmering with an explosion of iridescent colors in hues of white, gray, silver, yellow, blue-green, bronze, pink, red and brown. Mother of Pearl symbolizes good luck…and prosperity, a perfect gift that is sure to be treasured! $144 – $218


Teakwood Carving of an Elephant from The Golden Triangle

Depicted in lifelike detail with head slightly bowed and trunk tucked, this beautifully hand-carved pachyderm is the work of master carvers in Chiang Mai. Sacred to numerous cultures and countries, elephants are a prominent motif in both traditional and contemporary Asian works of art. In Thai culture these majestic creatures represent good fortune, power and nobility. It is common to see a wooden elephant at the entrance of homes throughout Thailand; the placement is significant with the intent to welcome prosperity and good tidings. An elephant’s posture also has symbolic meaning: a raised trunk is indicative of honor and integrity—a commanding yet dignified stance. An elephant with its head and trunk lowered is endearing and represents humility. An elephant with a gracefully bowed head is intended to convey respect especially when presented as a gift. Available at The Golden Triangle, 330 N Clark.  $250


Set of 3 Flint Containers from Casa Bella 

From Chicago’s own Frank Ponterio’s debut collection for Arteriors Home and available through Casa Bella. Frank designed a tattoo-inspired emblem that was hand-carved on a set of three bronze ceramic containers. $455


KEUCO’s Plan Bathroom Stool 

KEUCO’s Plan bathroom stool is the luxury we’re all missing in our pampering experience! Shower your loved ones with this beautifully designed bench, which is suitable for wet spaces, this Holiday season! Available in white, light grey, or dark grey, with polished chrome or brushed aluminum legs. $637 – $769


Alpaca Suri 6′ Round Rug from Organic Looms

Looking for a unique gift this year for that hard-to-buy-for person? How about a beautiful alpaca rug from Organic Looms? Originally from Peru, this collection of soft alpaca rugs comes in various sizes and shapes. Prices available upon request. 

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Custom Framing from Artists Frame Service

Give the gift of beautiful framing from Artists Frame Service – perfect for the holidays, birthdays, special occasions, house warmings and more. These gift cards are good for use towards custom framing in our River North, Lincoln Park or Highland Park showrooms, and can be used towards photo frames, gallery frames and art in the stores and online as well. $50 – $2,000

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The Guapa Office Chair from Casa Spazio

The Guapa by Midj is a line of chairs valued for their high quality and unique shape. They are a perfect fit for beautiful home offices or corporate environments. The leather upholstery combines comfort with strength, creating a light shadow effect that extends its charm to the surroundings. This office chair is available as a quickship or special order from Casa Spazio‘s River North Showroom (222 W Hubbard). Pricing starts at $1,753.


The Carolina Vanity Chair from Donna Mondi Interior Design’s EnVie Collection

This vanity chair is inspired and named after Carolina Otero, the mistress of Edward VII, who was known for her coveted voluptuous shape.  The Carolina vanity chair with it’s graceful, full curves will make you feel like you’re his one true queen.  Available through Donna Mondi Interior Design‘s EnVie Collection $4200


Punk Buddha Sculptures from Samuel Lynne Galleries

Metis Atash signature series of “Punk Buddha” sculptures that have gained widespread popularity around the world, are sculpted in fiberglass, covered with acrylic paint, and meticulously bathed by hand in upwards of 20,000 Swarovski crystals. Each piece is one-of-a -kind and awards the living space with an aura of captivating experience. Available through Samuel Lynne Galleries in Chicago. $14,900

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Posted in art, Artists Frame Service, Bathroom Fixtures, Casa Bella, casa spazio, design gifts, Donna Mondi Interior Design, Framing, Furniture, gift guide, gifts, golden triangle, KEUCO, kohler, Organic Looms, Room & Board, Rugs, Samuel Lynne Galleries, theodore alexander | Leave a comment

RNDD Welcomes Kohler Signature Store by Studio41

The River North Design District (RNDD) is excited to welcome our newest member, the Kohler Signature Store by Studio41 to our organization.

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A unique shopping experience

The KOHLER Signature Store and showroom offers a unique and comprehensive shopping experience that is distinguished by a modern, innovative store and a merchandise mix that completely indulges you as you experience the KOHLER brand. KOHLER project consultants with expertise in bath design offer inspiration, development and project assistance.


Shop top brands

The store features functioning products from top brands such as:

  • Robern
  • ANN SACKS tile and stone
  • KOHLER Custom Vanities.


Featured products

Want a little taste of some of the luxury products you can find at this River North Chicago KOHLER Showroom? Here’s some of our favorites:

Loure® Deck-mount bath faucet and the Veil® wall-hung elongated dual-flush toilet.


The Damask® 60″ bathroom vanity cabinet with furniture legs (2 doors and 3 drawers) and the Purist® Single wall sconce.


A one-stop shop

If you are looking to create your dream bathroom, the KOHLER Signature Store is your one stop shop to put it all together. And their experienced team of Kohler Consultants are available to help you every step along the way.


Bathroom design services

Your Bathroom Design Service Package Includes:

  • Bathroom design planning guide
  • Budget guide
  • Two-dimensional concept plan and elevations
  • Personalized portfolio including concept plan, personalized product selections and color direction
  • Appointments with a KOHLER Signature Store project consultant
  • In-store design services – $399
  • In-home design services – $499
  • Finish samples for your new bathroom design
  • Installer list
  • A 2% rebate on all KOHLER® products purchased from your personalized product list


Schedule your in-store appointment with them today here.

You can learn more about the Kohler Signature Store by Studio41 here or visit their River North showroom at 322 W Hubbard Street.

Please help us in welcoming them to the RNDD Community!

Posted in Bathroom Design, Bathroom Fixtures, Chicago Showroom, kohler, plumbing, RNDD Members, studio 41 | Leave a comment

Alexa Hampton’s New Collection with Theodore Alexander is Available Now

Acclaimed designer Alexa Hampton now has a new collection with Theodore Alexander. Introduced for the first time at High Point Market this past Spring, the 120 piece collection is available now.


“Alexa Hampton is a modern design icon. The creative collaboration behind this collection has been amazing, bringing Alexa’s ideas and energy, and pairing them with Theodore Alexander’s formidable manufacturing expertise. Like Alexa, the collection is sophisticated but approachable; elegant and inviting. It has design provenance, but still manages to feel entirely fresh.” – Neill Robinson, Theodore Alexander President  

Classic Yet Contemporary

The collection consists of everything from case goods and upholstery to bedroom furniture and accessories. The intent of the line was to incorporate classic, versatile pieces that designers and turn to time and time again along with unique statement pieces. Alexa Hampton has a love for metallic accents so fine metal detailing is prevalent throughout the line.


Inspiration Everywhere

Alexa Hampton is the president of renowned design firm Mark Hampton, created by and named after her late father. Her designs have landed her regularly on the Architectural Digest AD100 list, as well as other top-designer lists. Hampton has become recognized for her contemporary updates to classic styles. She draws inspiration for her designs everywhere whether it’s in a magazine or on Instagram. When it came to designing this collection for Theodore Alexander, Hampton found inspiration in everything from art and architecture to antiques and her travels. The result was a beautiful, neoclassical-inspired line.

“Theodore Alexander has enumerable resources available for the creation of beautiful furniture,” Hampton tells AD PRO. ” I am thrilled to be able to employ their traditional craftmanship and handmade techniques to design furniture and accessories that will span styles and materials. I’m eager to dig in to this first collection, as I have long admired the quality of Theodore Alexander’s work. To bring their capabilities to my own collection is a dream come true.” – Alexa Hampton in an interview with Architectural Digest

Available Now at Theodore Alexander

This beautiful and eclectic collection is sure to appeal to a wide audience and resonate in both the retail and trade channels. To learn more, and to shop the collection, visit Theodore Alexander’s website here. Or visit their River North Chicago showroom located in the Chicago Luxury Furniture Centre at 371 W Ontario.


About Theodore Alexander:

Shaped by English Heritage Theodore Alexander handcrafts furniture and accessories for your home with uncompromising quality. We believe in using the most interesting materials for both function and beauty. This allows our craftspeople to create products that will not only be forever but also give distinction to your favorite spaces. An exceptional eye for design and detail in our bench made products is the signature of Theodore Alexander. Please visit www.theodorealexander.com for more information.

Posted in Chicago Luxury Furniture Centre, Chicago Showroom, Furniture, theodore alexander, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kitchen Collaboration: Mia Rao Design & Transceramica

When this client wanted to bring a modern feel to their old home, Mia Rao Design pulled out all the stops, including a beautiful and durable countertop material from Transceramica.

Modern meets Vintage

The client first came to Mia Rao Design (MRD) with a desire for a modern and clean-lined kitchen renovation. They wanted simple, slab front cabinets and a contemporary feel. Their home is turn of the century in La Grange, IL (You can see some of the vintage detail in the window casements!) which made this a fun challenge for the team at MRD. They enjoy integrating modern details into an older home.


High Design, High Contrast

The clients wanted a high contrast between the cabinets and countertops, so MRD went with a rich rift-cut brown oak cabinet and a light countertop and backsplash. The dark cabinets add depth and warmth to this otherwise modern kitchen, while the pops of brass from the plumbing, hardware, and Aalto pendant lights dress it up with a little texture and glam.

The new large window in the kitchen also adds an abundance of nature light and a crisp, high contrast against the dark wood and brass.

“I love a kitchen that is modern, yet warm and inviting.  For me, in this kitchen the deep brown stain on the rift cut oak creates that mood.” – Robyn Swanson, Mia Rao Design


The Look of Marble, the Resistance of Porcelain

When it came to the countertops, the clients wanted the look of marble, but had concern about the care and maintenance involved. So MRD turned to one of the best – Transceramica – and introduced the Transceramica Fiandre marble material to the clients. They immediately fell in love with the look. The satin finish is elegant and sophisticated yet has a fresh and modern feel. The dramatic waterfall on the island gives this Bianco Calacatta a strong presence in the space.

This material from Transceramia has a glossy surface, elegant details and fine veins yet it is resistant and easy to clean giving you the best of both worlds. It’s a great option for kitchen counters, coffee table tops or even bathrooms.

“The Fiandre porcelain is now a favorite material that we love to use. It’s very sophisticated and truly has a feel of marble. The Satin finish is very luxurious to the touch which enhances the feeling while in the space.” – Mia Rao, Mia Rao Design


Photography by Cynthia Lynn.  

About Mia Rao Design: Mia Rao Design is a Chicago based interior design firm that is inspired by each client’s story. Based on that philosophy, they strive to create your personal sanctuary. Blending your narrative with their own design aesthetic brings energy, soul, balance, warmth and texture to a space. Their experience enables them to engage with professional partners on your behalf. A full-service firm, partnering with architects and contractors from design concept through construction, Mia Rao design keeps every detail in mind down to art and finishing touches. They provide drawings and project management for renovations. Their MISSION is to guide you through the creative process as seamlessly as possible, to craft a space that is uniquely yours. miaraodesign.com

About Transceramica: Transceramica (TCL) is a US distributor owned by Fiandre Group, a global leader in the development and production of high-tech architectural surfaces and design solutions for exterior and interior applications. They have over 50 years of know-how and offer a wide range of sophisticated and innovative ceramic and porcelain tile surfaces for façades, floors, walls and we even design furniture. Their products exceed industry standards and for over half a century have been successfully used in the retail, hospitality, foodservice, automotive and healthcare industries.

Posted in chicago interior design, chicago interior designers, kitchens, Mia Rao Design, Transceramica | Leave a comment

SOFA Expo Returns to Chicago this Fall

SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design) Fair in Chicago is the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design.​ Founded in 1993, SOFA has proven to be a highly-anticipated event within the Chicago area, and art world. Returning again to Navy Pier this October 31-November 3rd, the fair will bring approximately 80 galleries, dozens of partners, and thousands of art lovers to Festival Hall for a weekend full of art and culture.


Returning again this fall is the fair’s new and improved floor plan from its 25th anniversary fair last year. The new floor plan improves visibility and walkability throughout the show floor, so you can make the most of your experience and view as much artwork as possible. Fairgoers can also experience SOFA demos with the Society of American Mosaic Artists, Chicago Wood Turners, and Corning Museum of Glass. Changes to this year’s fair include several new partners and fresh educational content.


Left: Jennifer McCurdy’s Gilded Butterfly Vessel, Image Courtesy of Steidel Contemporary
Right: Rob Stern’s “Antares”, Image Courtesy of Hive Contemporary

SOFA is also known for its dynamic Lecture Series with a wide array of speakers including artists, gallery owners, curators, designers and art history buffs. One highlight will be the Art History Babes comprised of Corrie Hendricks, Natalie De La Torre, Virginia Van Dine and Jennifer Gutierrez recording their insightful podcast live from the fair.

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The Special Exhibit programing for the upcoming fair will be its most ambitious yet featuring museum styled exhibits intended to be thought provoking and educational to SOFA’s audience.  Heller Gallery will be presenting Collaborations with Queer Voices neon exhibition originally featured at their gallery in NYC that coincided with the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall.  SOFA has also decided to launch a theme at this year’s fair which will be Women in the Arts.  The Female Design Council will be curating a Special Exhibit, local Chicago designer Emily Mackie from Inspired Interiors is working with a group of women artists on commissioned pieces to be displayed at the fair and there will be extensive programing supporting the theme.


Left: Luke Haynes’s Sewlebrity: Bill Murray, Image Courtesy of Blue Spiral 1
Right: Bae Sejin’s Three Vessels, Image Courtesy of J. Lohmann Gallery

SOFA’s CONNECT program, a student design competition highlighting innovative design programs at universities throughout the country, will also be back this year. The concept challenges participating schools to design environments incorporating seating, lighting and conceptual staging elements into a place for attendees to “connect.”


For more information or to register to attend, visit www.sofaexpo.com

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Winners Announced: 5th Annual RNDD Fall Gallery Walk


Casa Spazio vignette designed by Yamini Designs

A who’s who in the Chicago design and art communities gathered for our 5th Annual River North Design District Fall Gallery Walk Friday, September 6th to view vignettes designed by Chicago’s top designers as they showcased living settings highlighting artwork created by some of the brightest stars in the art world today. It was our biggest and best turnout yet with almost 900 attendees! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us. And don’t forget the vignettes are on display until October 7th!

Photos from the evening are coming soon – stay tuned!

The Winners

For the first time ever, our host committee – comprised of local art enthusiasts and collectors – selected winners from the Gallery Walk for Best Vignette. We are excited to announce the winners below! A special thank you to our sponsor Freeze & Float Spa who provided our First Place Winner with a $500 gift card to their River North Spa!

The host committee and judges included:  Tony Karman, Carrie Lannon, Daniel Kinkade, Janet Owen, Shannon Sharpe, and Rochelle Trotter.

First Place: Casa Spazio

Design by Yamini Designs, our first place selection was the vignette at Casa Spazio (222 W Hubbard). This swinging 70’s style design featured artwork from David Gamble and photographer Julian Wasser, both represented by Hilton | Asmus Contemporary gallery.


Second Place: Artists Frame Service

Our second place vignette was designed by Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors at Artists Frame Service and showcased artwork by Cat Tesla with Chicago Art Source. The event was centered around color complete with aura photography and color-changing cocktails.


Third Place: bulthaup, Oscar Isberian Rugs and 210 Design House

We had 3 vignettes that tied for third place!


It was dichotomy of the dirty line at bulthaup Chicago (313 W Superior) which featured a vignette designed by Nora Schneider Interior Design featuring artwork by Cleveland Dean.


Oscar Isberian Rugs

Also, a third place winner, Oscar Isberian Rugs (120 W Kinzie) featured 3 vignettes and a romp through London’s Carnaby Street during its swinging ‘60s heyday.

Kadlec Architecture + Design featuring Glenn Wexler of Zolla Lieberman Gallery
JamesThomas Interiors featuring Ramona Russu with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art
Jessica Lagrange Interiors featuring Janet McGreal of Gruen Galleries


210 Design House

It was nothing but hanky panky at 210 Design House Friday night. This creative vignette designed by Alan Design Studio featured the work of Jennifer Webster with Daniel Kinkade Fine Art, winning them third place as well.

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About Freeze & Float:

Logo.jpgBegin your wellness journey at Freeze & Float Spa. It’s our philosophy to create an environment where health and wellness becomes a reality. We offer a tranquil oasis that deepens optimal relaxation, renews peacefulness, and restores well-being. Our guests will experience the essential rejuvenation that the mind and body deserve. Learn more or book your first appointment here.

Posted in 210 Design House, art, Artists Frame Service, bulthaup, casa spazio, daniel kinkade, gallery walk, Kadlec Architecture + Design, Nora Schneider, oscar isberian, Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors | Leave a comment