Thank you for your interest in DreamHome. The 2013 installation is now closed in preparation for the grand debut of the 10th Anniversary DreamHome in its new space at the Merchandise Mart, suite 137.
Grand Opening Celebration
April 10, 2014 • 6 – 8 pm
Merchandise Mart, 1st Floor
Preview six rooms designed-to-the-nines by six of the Midwest’s most notable interior designers.
Jeannie Balsam LLC
Jeannie Balsam LLC believes that their clients deserve highly functional interiors that are beautiful, classic, and inviting. Jeannie’s unique ability to uncover and define her client’s lifestyle and design priorities sets her firm apart.
Prior to starting Jeannie Balsam LLC in 2000, she honed her analytical and project management skills while working for Hyatt Hotels and Accenture. In addition, she earned her MBA from Loyola University Chicago. Her design aesthetic continually evolves as she travels the world in search of great food, design finds, and wonderful experiences with her husband Doug and their three daughters, Mira, Petrea and Alexa.
She has designed residences along the North Shore, Chicago, Austin, Nantucket, Florida, and Montana.
Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Home Magazine, Sheridan Road Magazine and 2009, 2011, and 2013 Lake Forest Showhouse. Most recently, Jeannie made her television debut with a feature on NBC’s LXTV Open House.
Rendering - Foyer
Susan Fredman Design Group
Outdoor Dining Room
Susan Fredman is one of Chicago’s most prominent residential interior designers, creating designs of distinction for more than thirty-eight years.
Fredman began her career in visual merchandising and dressed the windows of some of Chicago’s most recognized businesses. Her clients then began asking her to design their personal homes, thus Susan Fredman Design Group was born and now boasts three locations, each with a retail showroom that she also curates.
The belief in the transformative power of design and notion that design is a luxury service drives her continued success. Fredman’s collaborative approach to luxury interior design has garnered the attention of countless media outlets like Chicago Tribune, Elle Décor, Chicago Home + Garden, LUXE, HGTV and NBC-TV and has received numerous awards, including eleven ASID IL Design Excellence awards and the “2013 Fearless Leader” award from the Ms. Foundation for Women.
As a result of her firm’s extensive pro bono projects, Fredman was motivated to create Designs for Dignity, through which the existing spaces of other non-profit organizations are transformed using volunteer design services and in-kind donations. Her dedication to the non-profit sector earned her national recognition by Traditional Home magazine, which honored her as one of six recipients of the 2009 Classic Woman Award.
Rendering - Outdoor Dining Room
Contrast Design Group
Erik has built his career in design on one simple concept: “Design and lifestyle go hand in hand”. Focusing on that concept his journey in design has lead him to many impressive partnerships on local and national levels.
In his mission to share his design talent Erik found himself as part of the cast of Bravo TV’s Top Design. His success on the show has opened many doors that he now started exploring. As a contestant on Bravo’s reality television show, “Top Design,” Erik Kolacz gained national recognition as a creative, client-focused designer. Kolacz, co-owner of Chicago-based Contrast Design Group, Inc., credits his early success to his drive and determination. His natural eye along with a background in theatrical lighting and set design translates into dramatic, inventive custom lighting design and imaginative interiors.
Kolacz prides himself on his efforts to give back to the community. This year Kolacz will serve as a co-chair for Teen Living Programs spring Gala. He lends his talents and resources to many Chicago based and national charities that focus to end poverty, animal abuse and hunger.
Rendering - Dining Room
Jessica Lagrange Interiors
With over thirty years of design and architecture experience, Jessica and her team provide their clients with an exceptional range of ideas and possibilities. JLI’s full service firm offers color, material, and furniture selection, and oversight of construction and installation in both high-end residential and commercial markets.
JLI is a firm focused on providing timeless yet forward thinking design that caters to the unique needs of each client. Major projects included the concept and construction of a 9,000-square-foot penthouse in a residential building on Chicago’s legendary Lake Shore Drive, featured in Luxe Interiors + Design, as well as the complete restoration of a vintage apartment recently featured in Traditional Home.
Current projects include a 10,000 square foot historic renovation of the breathtaking Playboy Mansion in Chicago’s coveted Gold Coast as well as a vintage 3,700 square foot apartment most recently owned by a famous American musician.
Jessica began her career at the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and as an interior designer at the architecture firm of Powell/Kleinschmidt. Prior to forming Jessica Lagrange Interiors in 1998, Jessica headed the interiors department at Lucien Lagrange and Associates. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chicago’s School of the Art Institute’s Department of Interior Architecture.
Rendering - Study
Kara Mann Design
Kara Mann’s 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. Kara founded her namesake firm, Kara Mann Design (KMD), in 2005 as a channel for self-expression and as a way to inspire clients seeking interiors that pay homage to the beauty inherent in superior design and craftsmanship. With studios in New York and Chicago, KMD’s portfolio continues to expand, with high-profile residential and commercial projects from Napa to Aspen, Dubai and beyond.
A recognized tastemaker, in 2012 Kara was nominated for Luxe Interior + Design’s “Chicago Interior Designer of the Year” award. She has also been recognized by InStyle as an ‘of-the-moment’ designer and earned the distinction of being named to Western Interiors and Design’s ‘The List,’ which recognizes those designers whose work is helping to “reshape” the new American West.
In addition to several national TV appearances, Kara’s work has appeared numerous times in such highly-regarded publications as Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Design Bureau Magazine, Chicago Home + Garden and The Chicago Tribune, to name a few.
Kara is a native of Evanston, IL, she received her B.A. from Tulane University and later continued her education at Harrington Institute of Interior Design, from which she recently received a Distinguished Alumni Award. She resides in New York City and Chicago.
Tom Stringer Design Partners
After working for some of the nation’s top interior design firms, Tom Stringer launched his own firm in 1995. The firm he founded, Tom Stringer Design Partners, embodies the alluring mix of sophistication, warmth and love of travel that is Tom Stringer. Within his classically grounded philosophy’s broad bounds, Tom has produced an astonishing array of projects—from historic estates to summer cottages to hotels, restaurants and yachts the world over. An adventurous traveler and skilled diver Tom finds inspiration wherever he goes, once designing an entire carpet collection around the swirling patterns he saw in a Micronesian coral reef.
House Beautiful magazine repeatedly names Tom to its list of the nation’s top interior designers and his projects have also been featured in Elle Décor, Traditional Home, Luxe and many other publications. His nautical interiors have twice been selected as finalists for the World Superyacht Society awards. And in partnership with acclaimed Chicago chef, Grant Achatz, Tom created the interiors for Alinea, broadly recognized as the best restaurant in North America. Tom has also designed his own line of contemporary upholstered furnishings and hand-tufted carpets, available through TexStyle.
Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree in design from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University. His professional heroes are design luminaries Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley and Michael Taylor, creators of timeless, classic interiors that are also inviting, practical and comfortable.
Rendering - Living Room