RNDD 2016 Year in Review

As we welcome a new year, we can’t help but look back on the River North Chicago design highlights of 2016 and what a successful year it was for the River North Design District (RNDD) and our amazing members. Thanks to everyone who helped make 2016 the best yet!

2016 was a great year for RNDD Members

Studio 41 and their Kohler Signature Store were extremely involved with the rapid growth of premiere high rise developments in River North. Most notably, 9 West Walton by JDL Development, a luxury condominium high rise in Gold Coast, expected to open this year.  And they opened a showroom in Scottsdale, AZ!

Oscar Isberian Rugs was featured in Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago’s 2016 Winter Issue in a feature titled “French Twist” highlighting one of their beautiful French-inspired rugs. French-inspired designs are made all over the world, many of which can be found in the Oscar Isberian showroom, including designs featuring the traditional Aubussons and Savonneries, the damask pattern, and the “French Blue” hues.

RNDD Member, STUDIO GILD was named as “Ones to Watch” in Architectural Digest’s April 2016 issue! The Bucktown-based interior design firm was co-founded by Melissa Benham, Jennie Bishop and Kristen Ekeland in 2014. Since then, the firm has grown substantially with design commissions from Chicago and New York to Austin, San Francisco and beyond. They also opened Gild Assembly in 2016, a gallery featuring a well-curated collection of items for the home


Designer Michael Del Piero was chosen as one of 25 designers and decorative artists to participate in the 2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse in Sag Harbor sponsored by Traditional Home Magazine. The participants – who showcase America’s premiere design talent – turn a traditional shingle style house into a decorating masterpiece.

Michael Del Piero

And we gained awesome new members

2016 welcomed Casa Bella to RNDD. This local midwest sales agency represents beautiful home decor vendors, such as Arteriors, Noir/CFC and Jaipur Living. Founded by Mary Jane Cashman, Casa Bella is a strong resource for the very discriminating buyers of today’s market. Their main customers are lifestyle and specialty store establishments, interior designers, interior design firms, furniture stores, rug stores and small chain stores.  The company continues to represent lines that have high perceived values, knowing that many of our end-users demand such products. We look forward to continuing to work with them!


Christopher Guy was another exciting addition to RNDD in 2016. Christopher Guy Harrison was born in Britain, raised in Spain and France, now residing in Singapore, Christopher’s international background enable him to draw inspiration from everything he admires and transcends this into his designs. Well-known for fusing classicism with modernism, Christopher Guy’s style can be described as “contemporary with classical values”. A singular vision and uncompromising sense of style and pursuit of elegance have driven Christopher to continually redefine the aesthetics of design.


Farrow & Ball is dedicated to creating unmatched paint and wallpaper using only the finest quality ingredients and high levels of rich pigments. And they are now a member of the River North Design District! Made in Dorset, England, their home since 1946, their distinctive and inspiring paint colors and finishes are renowned for their depth and complexity, bringing walls around the world to life. Their experienced showroom team are always available to offer complimentary color advice and decorating schemes, and we are proud to have them as a part of the RNDD family.


2016 also welcomed Glenview Haus – custom doors, wine cellars, and cabinets. Their River North showroom allows you to find the customized doors that suit your individual clients’ homes. Their wide range of hand-made doors encompasses entry doors, interior doors and wine cellar doors of every shape, pattern, texture, and size in a variety of hardwoods. We are thrilled to have them a part of RNDD!


Moderne Living’s luxurious collections capture the essence of contemporary design, with original and authentic modern furniture by some of Europe’s most exclusive and exciting designers. Their River North showroom offers hand-crafted pieces from designers such as Reflex, Cierre, and Pianca, who all make use of the finest quality materials in their designs. Their ethos is to inspire, to help you create and realize your vision for your dream home. And we can’t wait to continue to work with them in 2017!


Finally, 2016 also welcomed O’Brien Harris Fine Fitted Furniture as a member of the River North Design District (RNDD). Founded by renowned kitchen designers Laura O’Brien and Peter Harris, O’Brien Harris are manufacturers of luxury fitted furniture for every room in the house. They have a special focus on kitchens, butler’s pantries, master baths, dressing rooms and paneled libraries. Welcome!

Our events were a huge success

In March we hosted the RNDD Pecha Kucha Night at Lightology in River North Chicago. The event was titled “Shedding Light on How Travel Inspires Design.” This was the first installation of the Pecha Kucha two-part series. Speakers included Michael Del Piero, Janet Shiff, Scott Dresner, Aimee Wertepny, and Mia Rao. They presented 20 slides in 20 seconds describing how travel inspires design. The event was featured in Luxe Interiors + Design.


In July we hosted the second installment of the RNDD two-part Pecha Kucha series at Studio 41  which was featured in Splash Magazine. Participating designers included Randy Heller, Susan Brunstrum, Mitchell Channon, Kenneth Walter, and Donna Mondi. The designers answered the question “What defines luxury?” in the fast, fun Pecha Kucha format.


Along with Chicago Luxury Beds, and Luxe Interiors + Design, we hosted Dreaming of Design in May 2016. Kicking off the summer season, the event featured 12 bedscapes created by Chicago’s hottest designers.

RNDD was proud to be a Cultural Partner of the 2016 SOFA Expo held in November on Navy Pier. 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.

In 2016 RNDD also partnered with Powerhouse SMART® and Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago to present “Stellar Sales & Marketing Success Stories.” Luxury industry professionals submitted entries to be judged by a prestigious panel. The top winner’s then presented their Success Stories at the PowerHouse SMART Symposium on Oct 13, 2016 at Casa Spazio.


And perhaps of the of the biggest River North Chicago design highlights of 2016 was the River North Design District’s Fall Gallery Walk which returned to Chicago for yet another successful year! With a continued partnership with Chicago Gallery News and Luxe Interiors + Design, participating showrooms exhibited artwork from both emerging and established artists curated by Daniel Kinkade Fine Art. Design enthusiasts and art connoisseurs alike enjoyed this special evening. And the exhibit was available until December 9th. A special thanks to all of our partners on a successful event: Cambria, Peterson Picture Company, Chicago Gallery News and Luxe Interior + Design Magazine.


And we have lots of great events in store for 2017! Be sure to check out our events page to see what’s coming up or subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out.
Cheers to a great 2017!

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