Chicago’s Merchandise Mart is a behemoth of interior design spanning two blocks and 25 stories. It caters both to trade professionals and – yay for me! – the public. Today I went to check out Artopolis – an annual event combining an antiques fair and two art festivals (Art Chicago and Next – showcasing international contemporary and modern art and emerging artists respectively).
This is a post of two parts – check back tomorrow for highlights from the art shows and a tour of DreamHome, a long-term exhibit running until December 9th 2011 that showcases nine sumptuous rooms designed by Chicago’s top interior designers to inspire your own home design.
The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair

A number of designers had inspiring vignettes on display within the Antiques Fair. Here are some highlights:
Designed by M. Grace Sielaff
Hoop back arm chairs – $2400/pr – Century Furniture
{Forgot to jot down the designer of this eclectic room – oops}
{As one observer commented, “That looks like an actual zebra’s butt on that chair.” Maybe it is?!} 
Designed by Kenneth Walter
Designed by Sarah Van Assche
Chandelier by Kenneth Ludwig Home Furnishings

After that, it was on to the antique stalls. There were rather a lot of things I fell in love with – if only I had a (much) bigger wallet! 
Tibetan Trunk – $1650
{One of my favorite pieces of the day – I would love to give this chest a home}
Small Carved Altar Chest – $5500
Temple Flower on Stand – $1200

{Something I could afford!}
Vintage embroidered mat – $35
Erik Hoglund Chandelier – $16500
{Love the gold-rimmed chargers on this ornate place setting}
{Citrus fruits as centerpieces – such a simple idea but so colorful and bold}
Table settings by Debi Lilly with event management company A Perfect Event
Art Deco Settee – $12000
Yellow Table Lamps – $600/pair
{One of my favorite stalls – Old Plank Road}
(Top left) Vintage Italian Carved and Gilded Sunburst Convex Mirror – $2980
(Bottom left) Vintage Italian Carved and Gilded Mirror – $990
(Right) Italian Sunburst Mirror – $3890
{More from Old Plank Road}
Vintage French Round Breakfast Table – $5980
Set of four chairs – price unknown
Low Cupboard – $1500
{The rich detailing on this wooden screen really caught my eye}
Chinese Screen (price and details unknown)
{If these had been cheaper, they would have been mine!}
Carved Boxes
China, date unknown – $800/pair
Finally, my personal pièce de résistance – a pair of Chinese kitchen cabinets converted into side tables. You know, I am looking for a pair of side tables. These would totally eat up my decorating budget for the next I-don’t-know-how-long, and they might be a little small but oh my goodness I love them! And – get this! – they were $825 for the pair! Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow (tomorrow is the last day of the festival) and see if they’ll make me a deal…
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