We checked out a preview of DreamHome at the Merchandise Mart yesterday and saw lots of trends and tricks we loved, including:

• accessorizing with personal objects that feel “collected over time,” a buzz phrase we’ve been hearing a lot lately that really rings true, especially in Summer Thornton’s foyer, a charming ode to “Alice in Wonderland”;

• layering patterns over patterns (Tony Stavish certainly did this, with his flowerly Thomas Paul for Duralee drapes and graphic rug from Hokanson in the home office);


• big dramatic chandeliers (the Luceplan glittering beauty in the dining room was a knock-out—in fact so was the entire moody, 1930s-jazz-starlet-inspired space, created by Simeone Deary Design Group);

• the cozy-chic coral-and-gray color scheme in the bedroom, by Jeannie Balsam; and

• the concealed toilet in Kohler Store designer William Collins’ bathroom (a hidden door in the curved undulating glass-tile wall behind the tub leads to it—a surprising and chic Sherlock Homesian touch).

Each room had great ideas! Check them all out April 16 to December 10 at the north lobby of the Merchandise Mart.