One of my favorite parts of my career as an interior designer is getting to visit showrooms full of beautiful furniture. So when Knoll invited me to tour their new Fulton Market showroom in Chicago, of course I said yes. In “the biz” we have a big trade show every June at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago called NeoCon (basically a Comic-Con for furniture nerds). Knoll recently broke tradition (another reason I love them) and moved their showroom space from the mart to occupy three floors of a building in the up-and-coming Fulton Market area of Chicago. We spent thirty six hours in Chicago with our friends from Knoll in Orlando, and man did we cram a lot of stuff into that short amount of time.
Day 1: Showroom Tour Day
A quick direct flight landed us in the Windy City around 11:30 am, just in time to drop our bags at The Hoxton Fulton Market, and grab lunch at Roister, where I had some of the best lasagne I’ve ever tasted. It was served in a cast iron bowl and the edges of the noodles were crisp while the center was soft delicious, with roasted tomato and ricotta.
After lunch we walked the few blocks to 811 W Fulton Market to spend the afternoon looking at beautiful Knoll furniture. The showroom lives on two floors of the building, with a 3rd floor the home of Muuto, a Scandinavian brand Knoll has recently partnered with in the states
First Stop: Knoll
If you’ve ever been a modern furniture lover like me, then you understand how I can spend 3 hours in a furniture showroom and it feel like ten minutes. The first level of the Knoll space is filled with blues and greens and yellows in saturated jewel tones. I’m calling it: this is my new fave color combo. No, I’m not cheating on pink (we’ll get to plenty of that later).
The cafe up front just off the elevator lobby features a bar serving wine and coffee to guests.
My favorite space of the showroom was a pink room along the window wall, not fully enclosed using the new Rockwell Unscripted privacy partitions. This would be such a nice place to camp out and get work done. I can move in now, no?
Next Up: Muuto
You remember that pink I mentioned before? On the lower of the three floors lives Muuto, a scandi brand that Knoll partnered with in the U.S. If you’re familiar with the pink-and-olive scandi aesthetic that’s trendy right now, you may have seen some Muuto pieces before. Y’all know I audibly gasped when I stepped off the stairwell into this blush pink lobby.
Added Bonus: The Wing
I nearly feel out of my Womb Chair when I saw that the 2nd floor of the Fulton Market building was home to the Chicago location of The Wing, an iconic all-pink, all-female co-working space that I would give my favorite pair of Jimmy Choos to be a member of Maybe some day Orlando will be cool enough to get a location. Ah, well, at least we have Disney.
Since I was wearing my signature color, I appropriately matched the space. The floor tile is a gorgeous mix of blush, grey, mint and terra cotta hexagons (note to self: must find source) and while you can’t tour the space unless you’re requesting membership, you can shop at the Girl Power Gift Shop (I just named it that) and pick up a pastel tote bag, a scented candle or a variety of other feminine gifts and tees.
Evening Fun: Madonna at the Chicago Theatre
After dinner at GT Prime Steakhouse, we Uber’ed over the river to check two items off my Life Bucket List simultaneously: a Madonna performance at the Chicago Theatre. It was billed as a “performance” rather than a “concert” and I see why now. If Madonna decided to put on a Broadway show, but not hire a director and basically just say and do whatever she pleases on stage, that would about sum up what we saw. But heck, it was Madonna. It may not have been the 80’s dance party I had in my mind but it was still a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Day 2: Chicago Fun
Are you still there? This post is getting really long. Well what can I say – we crammed a lot into 36 hours in Chicago! (Sleep may not have been part of it.) Day 2 begins with saying au revoir to The Hoxton – a place I would absolutely stay at again. The rooms are so cozy, the bathrooms have a gorgeous herringbone tile and Waterworks ceiling-mounted shower heads, a gorgeous marble vanity and each room has a full-length mirror and brass pipe-fitting style hanging space for your clothing. And the room key have some serious Alice in Wonderland vibes.
Although it was in the high fifty’s and really too warm for this northern-girl-at-heart to be wearing a coat, I had lugged my new pink ASOS coat all the way from Florida and I was going to wear it. Dangit.
Shopping on Michigan Avenue and lunch at Ralph Lauren
This was my fourth time in Chicago, and one of my favorite trips yet. A huge thanks to Janine and Sara with Knoll for sponsoring this trip and showing us a great time (and gorgeous furniture!)