“Deck the Halls” Design Awards

Now that we have eaten our way through the holidays, if you want a visual feast and work of some calories this week, take a stroll around the Gold Coast to see the decorations created by our town’s design pros to delight their guests. Their creations, like the Macy’s store windows, are temporary/contemporary masterpieces. Some holiday installations are worthy of winning an award– so here are the 2013 best display winners for the first annual “Hollies.”

Best holiday Atmosphere goes to the Sofitel Hotel. Over the front desk are four huge diamond shaped wreaths that are fabulous and fairly easy to construct yourself. Red silk fabric is shirred onto four strips of Masonite board attached at the four corners with squares covered in small silver balls accented with a few large red ornaments. The floral grouping on the front desk is elegant in its simplicity and also easy to construct. A slender silver cylinder holds a pompom of red roses with a single sprig of evergreen needles laid across the top. A larger white vase with oversized gold chiffon bow holds together white painted sticks giving the arrangement height as well as modernizing the typical Christmas color scheme. Another beautiful element is the wall display at the restaurant entrance. The same combination of red silk, evergreens bundled with silver balls and wide gold ribbon are the perfect compliment to the wreaths over the front desk.

Best Retail Display goes to Trabert and Hoeffer for their showcase display at The Peninsula Chicago. They created the perfect holiday party dress with an evergreen skirt that looks like long green layers of fringe. The red velvet bodice is perfect backdrop to display the gems. And the star of course is you. Great subliminal message!

Best Vintage Exterior can be seen at the corners of Erie and Wabash. The courtyard at the Drieshaus Museum complex is right out of a Charles Dickens novel.


About Merilee Elliott

Merilee Elliott is a nationally recognized award winning hospitality designer for hotels, resorts, senior housing and luxury residences. Based in the Merchandise Mart for the last two decades, trend spotting is her passion; she's a trade show junkie, sourcing innovative products in every category of interiors. Ms. Elliott's blog, "Design Cops," is a different kind of advice column that critiques the designs of our local hot places and spaces to explain what elements make it work – or not.