One of my all-time favorite shopping stops in downtown Chicago is LuxeHome, a collection of 30 kitchen and bath showroom boutiques on the first level of the Merchandise Mart. It's one of the best design resources -- a fabulous place to stroll, even if you're just dreaming of renovating your kitchen or bath. It's open to the public and designers create vignettes and rooms, showcasing the latest trends and ideas for tile designs, cabinet colors and combinations, countertop options, and more. Staffers are friendly and design advice flows freely.
Special events and open houses will be held April 16-18 to coincide with the big Kitchen and Bath Industry trade show held at McCormick Place in Chicago. Check out these openings at LuxeHome:
• Artistic Tile, Suite 105A (www.artistictile.com)
Nancy Epstein, the CEO and founder of Artistic Tile, never ceases to amaze with her stunning stone and tile finds from talented artisans around the world. Take a look at Jardin 'Bloom,' one of the newest ceramic collections that draws from nature with three elegant dimensional patterns. Each tile interlocks for a seamless installation and the collection comes in a variety of colors.
• Porcelanosa Tile/Kitchen/Bath, Suite 149 (www.porcelanosa-usa.com)
This huge (7,800-square-foot) showroom opened last fall and features ceramic, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, hydro massage and spas. Based in Spain (a international leader in tile), the company has been in the same family for all of its 30-year history. One of their new products is a large format porcelain tile that looks like real Carrara marble but is more durable, having the hardness of porcelain tile. Very cool stuff.
• Christopher Peacock Home, Suite 148(www.peacockcabinetry.com)
Christopher Peacock has been at LuxeHome for years but is always a favorite stop for Traditional Home fans. His Refectory Collection draws on school days-- a modern interpretation of prep school and Ivy League and English college dining halls. The collection includes new cabinetry, moldings, hardware, wall and ceiling colors, as well as a range of faucets, countertops, and backsplashes.
• de Giulio kitchen design, Suite 121 (www.degiulio.org)
This is another one of our must-see stops. Design genius Mick De Giulio will be showing a new Beaux Arts concept for SieMatic, including a new finish in high-gloss magnolia white lacquer. Sounds sensational, Mick!
• Sub-Zero and Wolf, coming to Suite 134 (www.subzero.com and www.wolfappliance.com)
We're thrilled to hear Sub-Zero and Wolf are coming to LuxeHome with a showroom opening in the fall of 2010. Watch for the new Sub- Zero integrated column units. The Energy Star rated units are 27-inches wide and are either all refrigerator or all-freezer, blending seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry.
There are so many more great products to see at LuxeHome. Plan at least one day and stop by The Kohler Store, Hastings Tile and Bath, Lefroy Brooks, Paris Ceramics, Poggenpohl, Remains Lighting, Showhouse by Moen, Studio Snaidro. You'll be inspired.