Behind the Scenes of the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse and the Room We’re Designing

March 8, 2023

Centered by Design is delighted to be one of 33 interior designers participating in the 2023 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens! Put on by the Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, the biennial event has become known as one of the most well-regarded showhouses in the country. The most recent showhouse took place in summer 2020. 

This year’s event, the highly anticipated 19th for the Society, will transform a red brick, late-1960s-era Georgian-style home designed by architect William Frazier that’s set on 9 acres in Lake Forest. The project encompasses a 16-room main house, seven-room coach house and a gentleman’s outbuilding. New York City-based designers Ashley Whittaker and Timothy Whealon are serving as honorary chairs of the event.

“I’m really excited to see the transformation of this house,” says Chrissy Davis, president of the Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society. What started as a blank slate with beautiful symmetry, 10-foot doorways and floor-to-ceiling windows is being transformed by designers, landscapers and talented tradespeople coming together to bring their designs to life, she adds.

“Everyone involved has great passion for their work and for the mission of the Showhouse, which is to raise funds for IWS Family Health. I’m so lucky to be a part of this project and grateful to be surrounded by so many talented, generous and hardworking people.”

2023 Lake Forest Showhouse Designers (spot Claire on the far right!)

Centered by Design’s Lake Forest Showhouse Room

We’re putting together the gentlemen’s dressing room for the Lake Forest Showhouse and couldn’t be more excited about the design. Take a look at the before photos of the space below.

To start the design process, we pulled together a Pinterest board of ideas. French wallpaper company Isidore Leroy’s Toits de Paris Nuit mural served as our starting point for inspiration for this room. Picture a hidden bar that stashes away a cognac collection, and a vintage secretary desk and leather tufted chair providing the perfect spot for sending correspondence.

A true curation of modern and vintage pieces, we’re designing this room to perfectly suit a sophisticated, jet-setting gentleman. Think Harry Styles lounging comfortably on a burnt-orange mohair Knole sofa.

Lake Forest Showhouse
Inspiration for the Lake Forest Showhouse gentlemen’s dressing room by Centered by Design

How to Visit the Lake Forest Showhouse

Get a sneak peek inside our dressing room at the showhouse on Instagram, and be sure to follow us to get more details in the coming weeks. Later this month, you’ll also be able to get tickets to see the house in person when it opens to the public, May 6 through June 4. On May 8, designers Ashley and Timothy will be leading a fun Q&A session moderated by Emma Bazilian, content director for Frederic magazine. Visit the showhouse website for more details on other special pop-up events.

Since its inception, the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens has raised more than $5 million for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. General admission tickets ($40) go on sale March 15. You can find more details and purchase them here. Tickets will also soon be available to the 2023 Showhouse Preview Party on May 5. We hope to see you there! Drop a comment below to let us know you’re coming.

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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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