It’s no secret that the Windy City is hotbed for architecture and design. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 destroyed most of the city, Chicago buildings are now known for their uniqueness instead of their antiquity. This distinct character is seen in both older buildings and new constructions alike and is also reflected in the city’s interior design. To honor Chicago’s beauty, resilience, and ingenuity, we’ve made a list of the best-designed restaurants, museums, and institutions. Read on for our favorite interior design spots in town.
Chicago Cultural Center
Designed to make a statement, the Chicago Cultural Center certainly delivers. The building was Chicago’s first central public library and was completed in 1897. At the time, the country’s top architects used super-luxe materials in the space including: rare marbles, top-notch hardwoods, and polished brass. The most stunning features include the mosaics of Favrile glass, colored stone, and mother-of-pearl— and, of course, the mesmerizing Tiffany dome, which is the largest in the world.
Frank Lloyd Wight Home and Studio
Located in our neck-of-the-woods in Oak Park, Wright’s personal home and studio is a National Historic Landmark that’s worth a visit. Learn more about his signature Prairie style architecture and its roots here at his residence from 1889 to 1909. Located in a historic district, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home is surrounded by other Wright-designed structures and historic landmarks.
This “Hipster Heaven” is a membership club for creatives and is also design gem— complete with dramatic chandeliers and reclaimed materials. A former factory, the building was built by an influential industrialist as the headquarters of The Chicago Belting Company. There are tasteful historic nods to the building’s roots— including both the recreated mosaic in the entryway and the repurposed mural in the lobby that features planks from the old rooftop water tower.
3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware
One of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Chicago is definitely 3 Arts Cafe at Restoration Hardware. From the glam coffee bar to the stunning main hall, this hot spot is the epitome of chic. After you grab a bite to eat, meander through the 6 floors of aspirational design— and don’t miss the serene rooftop garden! Need another reason to love this place? The cafe is run by the creators of Au Cheval. Enough said.
Montauk Sofa’s new space in Fulton Market is elegant and edgy. From the winding courtyard entry to the two spacious floors, this showroom is expansive and cozy. Featuring works from local artist Francine Turk, this place is just downright cool. We’re also big fans of the friendly staff, who are both knowledgeable and extremely helpful.
The Langham Chicago
Travelers love the Langham—and we can see why. This design-forward hotel uses such an interesting mix of textures, colors, and materials to achieve a supremely luxurious experience. There are 316 rooms, and they all have floor-to-ceiling windows providing stunning views of the city. One of our favorite rooms is the lobby area, which is eclectic and chic. The glass art hanging from the ceiling pairs nicely with the mirrored panels and large windows.
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