Emerging Trends From The Private Press Tour of Dreamhome And Showrooms

Frank Fonatana Rendering_Bedroom

During the interior design show at the Merchandise Mart, I had a chance to take a private tour of the lovely DreamHome, a temporary installation in place for nine months of the year. The installation features an open floor plan, that flows from one room into the next and makes the experience more like walking through an actual home, from a unique perspective.

When you walk through the space, you see a Swedish influence in the dining room area, met with African wood carving elements, and then into the living area, a coastal cabana echoing St. Bart’s. While an interplay of seemingly unsuitable themes, these intermix beautifully into the space, due to the high level of attention to detail and skill of the curators, to keep the elements moving in a cohesive nature. The most inspiring part of the showroom, the mostly grey-toned master bedroom.



Designer of the bedroom, Frank Fontana envisioned a space where Midwest sensibility meets the city dream, and suggests that “the key to a great design is cohesiveness and overlapping of colors and textures,” according to Make It Better magazine.

With so much glass, silver, and grey transfused with the combination of light, fabric, metallic, and glass, this bedroom space makes a statement and naturally creates a cozy atmosphere. I love the oceanic elements, shells and polished wooden accents throughout the space, it makes it feel coastal and rustic, and tones it down from the highly polished look of the upscale bedroom. It would be lovely to merge this grey bedroom with the new Porsche kitchen found at Poggenpohl.


Porsche combines elements like the concentration of lines, and horizontal meeting vertical, to highlight individual areas of the kitchen with a special depth effect. The immaculate grey walnut compliments the pure glass counter tops, made for the kitchen as a workplace without any visual obstructions. It features a suspended glass table with seating area, and of course the most updated appliances like an electric stove, microwave oven in line with the cabinetry, and built-in coffee maker, of course. I enjoy the muted tones of this kitchen space, and as such it blends in with the bedroom ensemble.


Walking over to Artistic Tile, a family owned manufacturer of intricately shaped tiles, we could see more of the grey tones, similar patterns found in the bedroom of DreamHome, and the coastal theme. These panels of tiles contrast nicely, and sometimes it’s contrast that creates more cohesion, with the light petals on dark and a brick like pattern with mint colored glass.

On the first floor of the Merchandise Mart, next to the South Lobby, you can see an installation for “The Future of the Mart” where artists have curated the space to reflect a futuristic Merchandise Mart, with new concepts from a moving sidewalk, movie nights, the sky as the limit, and my personal favorite (authored by yours truly) un maison avec petit lapin, a house with small bunnies. Cuteness!



Coming out of Artistic Tile, we noticed a charming, powder mint bathroom vanity and this color transfers over to the Oceanside Kitchen found at Wood-Mode, a fine custom cabinetry showroom, new to the Merchandise Mart. I’m loving this unconventional kitchen, as the coastal theme seen more commonly in powder rooms and bedroom comes to life in one of the most rooms, if not most important, of the house!



Designers push the limits, as themes merge between work and home, rooms of the house, and coverings between the floor, walls, and ceilings. It’s coming together quite beautifully. Some of the showrooms suggested during the press tour, are found on the sixth and fourteenth floors, with permanent showrooms in residence at design center of the Merchandise Mart.

imageCowtan & Tout showed it’s fabrics by Larsen, a featured manufacturer and mostly works with contracted spaces in the hospitality industry. I enjoyed browsing the ornamental patterns of wall coverings in this showroom.

Browsing the elements at Interior Crafts, I spotted a plush throw blanket that matches the DreamHome, and crystal sculptures for furnishing a table or bookshelf. I love how these decorate the space, compared to the coastal elements and shells, these offer a story and more dimension.



To compliment the intricate patterns of the crystals, Maya Romanoff produces wall coverings in similar patterns, with shimmers and sparkles galore. Can you see the growing trend of metallic, like Champagne Silver? Balance out the exposed concrete, raw and rustic elements, with some shimmer wall coverings and metallic accents, gold metallic and muted greys, for raw elegance.

Press information and private tour generously provided by Sophia + Co., care of the Merchandise Mart, for detailed review by Oak Lovely Beauty.



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