Whether you are a design professional or a North Shore resident looking for fresh inspiration for the home you are building or remodeling, the Highwood Chamber of Commerce’s (HCC) new Highwood Design District is for you.
Officially launching during the first annual Highwood Design Week—presented by Sherwin-Williams—the Highwood Design District kickoff party is at 28 Mile Vodka on Thursday, September 5. The party will be followed by a Design Professionals Showcase on September 6, and public Design Expo on September 7.
A consortium of design industry, art, home improvement, and landscaping businesses, the Highwood Design District, “makes it easier for area residents, design enthusiasts, and industry professionals to connect around the wealth of design-focused businesses located in Highwood,” says Carolyn Cerf, Executive Director of the Highwood Chamber of Commerce.
“Highwood is very well known for its restaurant, bar, and entertainment industry,” Cerf explains, “but we also have a very well-developed home, interior design, landscaping and building industry here. By launching the Highwood Design District, we wanted to draw attention to that and provide a forum for business owners in that sphere,”
George Markoutsas, president of the HCC and owner of The ABL Group, says he’s proud of all the names, big and small, that have jumped on board.
“Presenting sponsor Sherwin-Williams is excited to announce a whole new color palette at the event,” he says. “Walter E. Smithe Furniture will be under the trade show-style vendor tent. Industry-known firms such as Cambria, leading manufacturer of engineered quartz, and Emil Group, the world’s largest luxury porcelain producer, are also participating. Meanwhile, tried and true local names like ABL Group, the Silk Thumb, All Star Home Improvement, and Bent Fork Vintage showcase the local talent Highwood has to offer.”
To meet and mingle with design professionals (while sipping tastes of Highwood’s own 28 Mile Vodka) HCC invites everyone to the official launch party from 6 to 11 p.m. at 28 Mile Vodka, 454 Sheridan Road, Highwood.
Tours of the distillery, vodka tastings, light bites from local eateries, and a dueling pianos performance are all included in the ticket price. Tickets are $30 in advance at highwoodchamber. com/design-district or $35 at the door. Adding to the vibe, representatives from The Silk Thumb will bring color to the crowds with bright floral arrangements while designers will erect a display of buildings from Campbell’s Soup cans, to be donated to a local charity.
The next day, industry professionals are invited to The Design Professionals Showcase, starting with check-in at the VIP Vendor Tent at the corner of Walker and Waukegan avenues. A trade show-style Merchandise Mart, the tent is designed to allow visitors to mix, mingle, and network with select businesses.
The Design Professionals Showcase features a self-guided tour of Highwood Design District businesses, tailored for industry professionals. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with owners and experts representing the diverse range of design-related enterprises in Highwood. There will also be demonstrations and presentations at stops on the tour—some of which qualify for continuing education units (CEUs).
Highwood Design Week wraps up Saturday, September 7, with a Public Expo, free and open to the public, with check-in at the VIP Vendor Tent.
“For this, interested homeowners can shop at the Vendor Tent, and stroll the streets of Highwood to shop, connect with designers, contractors, and landscapers, attend demonstrations; and find inspiration and expert advice for their home and garden projects,” says Cerf.
For more information and to pre-register for Highwood Design Week events, or, to buy tickets to the launch party, please visit highwoodchamber.com/design-district.