DreamHome 2014 at the Merchandise Mart


The 10th annual DreamHome is open April 11 through December 7, 2014 and showcases the talent of six of Chicago’s top interior design firms. Each room is designed using luxury resources available at the Design Center at the Merchandise Mart’s showrooms. Meet the 2014 DreamHome designers and their rooms.

The Foyer by Jeannie Balsam, Jeannie Balsam, LLC
Classic red walls and historic art was the emblem of timeless style. This feeling is interpreted with a less formal approach by incorporating cleaner lines and brighter finishes. Jeannie Balsam delivers highly functional interiors that are beautiful, classic and inviting. Her unique ability to uncover and define her clients’ lifestyle and design priorities sets her firm apart.

The Outdoor Dining Room by Susan Fredman, Susan Fredman Design Group
Inspired by Chicago’s magnificent skyline and all the fabulous rooftop decks that adorn it, the design team created an intimate yet dramatic outdoor living space combining textural details with luxury finishes. Susan Fredman is one of Chicago’s most prominent residential interior designers, creating designs of distinction for more than 38 years.

The Dining Room by Erik Kolacz, Contrast Design Group, Inc.
This year’s dining room is inspired partly by travels to California wine country. It is warm, inviting, inspiring and beautiful. The large dining table serves as a symbol of the strength of today’s modern family, rooted in nostalgia. Erik Kolacz has built his career in design on one simple concept, “Design and lifestyle go hand in hand.”

The Study by Jessica Lagrange, Jessica Lagrange Interiors
The study has been created for a devoted art collector who appreciates all aspects of fine design. The furnishings, fabrics, fixtures and artwork all come together to create a rich, enticing space. With over 30 years of design and architecture experience, Jessica Lagrange offers color, material and furniture selection, product specification, and oversight of construction and installation in both high-end residential and commercial projects.

The Bedroom by Kara Mann, Kara Mann Design
Kara Mann combines unexpected pieces to achieve a modern space that does not feel spare. Her appreciation for beauty in all of its forms is what guides her aesthetic, resulting in the sophisticated interiors for which she has become well-known.

The Living Room by Tom Stringer, Tom Stringer Design Partners
The inspiration for this room are the design icons Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley and Sister Parish. The result is a lively and comfortable living space filled with imagination and joie de vivre. After working for some of the nation’s top interior design firms, Tom Stringer launched his own firm in 1995, and it embodies the alluring mix of sophistication, warmth and love of travel that is the designer himself.


About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is an interior designer and founder of Chicago-based Karen Carpino Design. A professionally registered interior designer with over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carpino's clientele includes both residential and commercial projects. She brings you techniques, trends and tips in “Style At Home.”