Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Summer in Chicago has a very unique flavor especially right after Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! The place where the modern skyscraper was born Chicago's skyline is one of the most memorable in the world. Among many reasons for travelling to Chicago, from the annual Blues festival to world’s design trade fair this city continues to be the attraction for architectural innovation.

Many condos have already been sold since my last year visit, it was really impressive to see the Trump Tower finalized and many other new condos focused on creating a lifestyle and not just a home in the sky. “Be surrounded with impeccable fashion; take a sunset swim in the pool, run your office from a private cabana “…and much more! I’m talking about TheEnvof Chicago. Another development that made a huge progress since my last visit is The Metropolitan. “A brand new residence in a landmark building that has served as a beacon on Chicago's skyline for generations.”

Neocon World’s Trade Fair, the reason for my visit, is North America’s largest exhibition of contract furnishings. It took place again at the Merchandise Mart, a place that has consumer events that are open to the public from time to time (like the Antique Fair and the Treasure Hunt). So much to see, so many inspiring new ideas, furniture, finishes, lighting, fabrics, artwork, accessories just to name a few. While commercial furnishings and products is the main focus of the show, I couldn’t stay away from the residential floors packed with showrooms that offer  practically anything that goes into the design of a home.

Here are my main 5 residential design trends spotted at Neocon:

1. Reclaimed wood meets whimsical and classical pieces of furniture. No need to match your sofa with the armchairs, console table and coffee tables, mix and match colors but play with the shapes and styles.

2. Easy way to add visual interest to any bedroom- use wallpaper for the headboard wall. Large pattern wallpaper where one of the color is found again in the bedding and simple accent artwork- that’s all you need for a punch of pattern & color.

3. Textures- one of the best way to showcase a piece of furniture in a small space is to mix different textures. Ultra suede, wool, stainless steel- yes, mix them up!

4. Oversized artwork and lighting can do much more than you think for any small or large condo space, it creates the look and the mood of the entire space. Whether you use a large piece of art or a composition of smaller pieces placed close together, it sure will be the focal point of the seating or dining area.
5. Color- tones of orange mixed with purple and lavender, or green yellows mixed with indigo, little pattern but different types of textures. Large pieces of furniture in neutral colors don’t be afraid to mix styles though! Then add color in the accessories, throw pillows and curtains and most importantly mix textures for e.g. silk with velvet works its magic effortless.

…and one of my favorite parts of any design trade show is always kitchens & bathrooms displays- lots coming up in a next blog!

Enjoy a quick virtual tour of Chicago…

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