Office Studio visits Herman Miller, Steelcase & Haworth showrooms

Tuesday’s field trip to the Mart showrooms allowed students to have an in depth look at selections available for upcoming projects!


NKBA Chicago Midwest Chapter Event

October 2017 NKBA Chicago Midwest Chapter Event



Join the NKBA Chicago Midwest Chapter on Tuesday, October 17th for “An Evening of Luxury, Fun, and Fashion” at Banner Plumbing Supply in Buffalo Grove.  Enjoy delicious cuisine, networking, and a CEU (.1 NKBA CEU).  Registration is now open and spacing is limited.



6:30-7:00pm:  RUNWAY FASHION SHOW Featuring Designer Couture from Francess Heffernan of Winnetka

7:15pm-8:15pm:  CEU PRESENTATION by Jai Robinson of Brizo





With over 20 years of experience in marketing and product development in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Israel, Jai currently leads the Brizo brand’s channel marketing strategies including showroom, hospitality and builder outreach, event marketing, and sponsorship of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dream Home Giveaway program.  She was also selected to serve on the Advisory Board for the Indiana Design Center in Carmel, Indiana.  Fluent in French, Jai lived in Paris for two years.

Registration is now open and early registration fees are until Friday, October 13th. Registration closes on Sunday, October 15th at 5:00pm.

Current NKBA Members $10 (late registration $20)

NKBA Student Members $0 (late registration $0)

Guest & Non Member $20 (late registration $40)


Design Chicago

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October 3 & 4, 2017, theMART, Chicago

Join Us on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 3rd and 4th 2017 at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago for Design Chicago, the Midwest’s Largest Residential Design Conference featuring two days of events for kitchen, bath and home furnishings.

This two day event for interior design, architecture and luxury custom home building is capped with two special evenings: Chairs for Charity on October 3rd and the 9th Annual Chicago VIP Luxury Gala on October 4th celebrating the best in Chicago and Midwest Design.

• 39 Featured Presentations
• 25 CEU Programs
• 50 Open Houses
• 56 Product Debuts
• 14 Strategic Media Partners

Formica Student Competition

Entries are currently open for the Formica Student Competition and will be open until November 10th. There’s still time to enter!form-header

From the Formica website:

Design and architecture students are invited to show their creativity and innovation for the chance to win a cash prize and national recognition as part of the FORM Student Innovation Competition by Formica Corporation.

The FORM Student Innovation Competition is a modern take on the original “FORM: Contemporary Architects at Play” challenge, held in 2008. Ten world-renowned architects, including Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, Bernard Tschumi and Massimo Vignelli, constructed new works of art from Formica® Brand products. The fabricated designs were then exhibited in Cincinnati, where Formica Corporation is headquartered, at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Now, students are invited to take on the same challenge some of the architectural greats took on ten years ago by creating and submitting a color rendering of something to “sit upon, lay upon, lean upon or play upon.” This competition is designed to honor the architectural icons who participated in 2008 and pay homage to their legacies by inspiring the next generation of design professionals.

The grand-prize winner will be awarded $1,500 in cash, and their design will be fabricated and showcased at an unveiling event at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.
The second place winner will be awarded $1,000, and the third place winner will receive $500.

Finalist submissions will be reviewed by a panel of esteemed judges who are renowned in the industry, together with Formica Corporation’s Group Vice President of Design, Renee Hytry Derrington. This gives students a tremendous opportunity to have their work reviewed by individuals from some of the top architectural firms in the industry.

You can find out more information, including how to enter by clicking on the header image or by clicking here. And if you enter, let us know! We would love to celebrate your achievements!

Have a design event, job posting, competition, or other design news that you’d like to share? Let us know! Email us and we’ll get it up on the blog.

Internship Opportunity!

Residential Interior Architecture firm is seeking an intern for their Evanston office. Office is located near Old Orchard shopping center and the highway. The owner is looking for someone with a desire to learn by being in a small office environment and wearing a lot of hats.

Intern position expectations:

  • Prepare Construction Document Set​s
  • Create Lighting Fixture Schedules
  • Product Research & Pricing
  • Space Planning
  • AutoCAD drafting
  • Familiarity with Kitchen & Bath a plus
  • Interest in LEED and Sustainable Design
  • Desire to learn Aging in Place design practices

For information regarding applying for the position contact Pam McClelland (COD Instructor) at

Have an event, job, or some other design opportunity that you want to share? Let us know! Email us with the details and we’ll get it up here!

SCARCE Green Fair


Next Saturday, the 30th of September, SCARCE is holding their annual Green Fair at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton. The event will have areas where you can explore various green practices including alternative energy and water conservation. Also the event will have green vendors and upcycled goods. Both of these are trending right now in all areas of design and across all design styles, so go and make connections!

Do you have an event, contest, or other exciting design opportunity that you would love to share? Let us know! Email us with the info and we’ll get it up!


Beyond Shades

ABOUT BEYOND SHADES®       (click on either image to visit their websites)
We provide a high quality customer service experience and have serviced some of the most beautiful homes in the Chicagoland area. We value our customers and our employees and we take pride in the services we provide and the beauty we create.

If you are looking to be part of a growing family of enthusiastic and hard-working individuals, we would love to hear from you! For either position, send resumes to:

The first position is for a window treatment designer with experience.

THE POSITION: Window Designer-Drapery/Sales Professional

  • Bring your 2 years drapery experience
  • Combine your love of home décor and selling skills to an inclusive team environment
  • Provide your designer expertise to help customers create a home
  • Go the extra mile every time to surprise and delight customers
  • Flexible and can work a schedule that includes weekend hours
  • Appreciate the investment you are making in this company and in return, our investment in you


  • Offer design wisdom and inspiration while helping customers select the perfect window treatments for their home
  • Speak comfortably on the functional and stylistic benefits of each of our custom products
  • Identify outreach opportunities, including marketing to local interior designers
  • Participate in ongoing product/technology training


  • 2 years drapery experience, must be able to draw drapery and have portfolio
  • Positive and friendly demeanor toward every customer and colleague
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Ability to effectively interact with all types of people
  • Self-starter, quick learner, team player

This is the perfect opportunity for an ambitious, hardworking, designer to get in on the ground floor of a growing company and make a name for themselves. If you work hard, give the company your all, use good judgment, and have a positive attitude – then the sky is the limit. In return, there are benefits including:

  • Full time highly competitive compensation
  • Paid vacation
  • 401K
  • Health insurance and contribution toward premiums for each employee
  • Flexible spending account for child care and medical expenses

Beyond Shades 2The second position is for someone who wants to learn about window treatments by working with designers. This has the potential to grow in to a lucrative position.

THE POSITION: Design Assistant  (hourly paid)
Schedule: Work hours will vary 20-30 hours per week and will be comprised of 4-5 hour shifts between the hours of 8am to 6pm; Monday-Saturday.

Tasks and day-to-day responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Accompany Designers to all appointments and be responsible for carrying all samples into the client (must be able to lift and carry 25lbs-40lbs on a regular basis).
  • Design Assistant will be the primary driver to all appointments, driving everywhere in the Chicagoland area. Must be comfortable driving in Chicago traffic and have a strong sense of direction.
  • Design Assistant is responsible for making sure all samples and customer materials are fully stocked in the work vans.
  • Design Assistant is responsible for working with designers, pulling fabric, maintaining discontinued samples, and managing the “back room” of the business.
  • Design assistant will complete company training program on hard window treatments.
  • Assistant Designer will also execute administrative functions as required.

Must have strong organizational qualities, work well independently, and be a self-starter. Will be responsible for running errands using company vehicle and a valid driver’s license is mandatory. Note, this is an extremely fast paced and busy company, must have a high level of sustainable energy to succeed in this position.