Last Monday I spent the day in Chicago at NeoCon. I LOVE Chicago, it’s my hands down favorite American city. It’s a mere 90 min plane ride courtesy of Porter Airlines. Even if you are flying for business, the very fact that you have to take a ferry-boat to get to the island airport makes you feel like you are on vacation. Anyhow enough about Porter, more about the Show.

NeoCon is housed in the Merchandise Mart (MM) “The Merchandise Mart is the world’s largest commercial building, wholesale design center and one of Chicago’s premier international business locations. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, The Mart spans two city blocks and rises 25 stories. The epicenter for high design and luxury goods, The Merchandise Mart is located in the heart of Chicago on the Chicago River”. In other words it is massive and you’d better be wearing sensible shoes and you’d better be organised.

I didn’t really wear sensible shoes but I was organised. There was only a handful of exhibitors that I wanted to see at the NeoCon show – it caters predominantly to contract designers and there is only a small smattering of residential design exhibitors, what I really wanted to see were the permanent showrooms found at the MM. Some of these suppliers I’ve read about and seen their ads in the glossies but never actually seen in the flesh. Others we have here in Toronto but I’ve only seen a tiny sample of their products. I always like to have seen, sat on, touched and felt the products and materials that I am specifying in my projects. I have to know how easy it is to open a drawer and how comfortable the pitch of a chair is. Once I’ve seen a few pieces from a collection it’s far easier to specify and speak about with confidence.

So what did I find, what made my heart beat a little faster…………….. Well far too many things for one blog posting so I am going to talk about my finds in several posts.

Firstly, LUXE Home was amazing – it is located on the ground floor of the MM and it features many gorgeous kitchen and bathroom showrooms. I’m working on several bathrooms and kitchens at the moment so my timing on this was perfect.

PLEASE can we have Ann Sacks in Toronto!

Ann Sacks and Kohler Showroom – Ann Sacks has the most original selection of tiles you will ever find. The range of colour and choice of pattern is breathtaking. From the ultra contemporary, to the traditional. There is something unique here for every home. The adjacent Kohler showroom was beautiful.

Wall of tile samples

Section of floor in the Ann Sacks showroom – divine in an entrance foyer or mudroom.

Another wall of tile samples.

Imagine this used as a backsplash in a very sleek white kitchen or in a country laundry room.

Kohler & Ann Sacks – loved the edge profile on this vanity.

The watery green tile and calacatta marble countertop in this display were a stunning combination.

Bold, yes, but wow – if you have the space why not!

A glimpse into Urban Archaeology

Waterworks – by this point I was needing medication, complete design overload. Gingers in Toronto has a mini Waterworks Showroom. Loved the accessories.


More about what I found in upcoming posts!

Happy Weekend.


1 Comment

  • Sarah June 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Sounds fantastic! Looks like a great show – sounds like inspiration overload!!


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