On the morning of August 5, more than 150 designers from all over the country gathered at The Shade Store’s showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart for a talk hosted by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, as part of the Interior Design Society’s national conference. During his presentation, Bullard shared stories from some notable projects he had worked on throughout his celebrated career as one of the world’s most sought-after designers. He also gave a glimpse into how he uses culture and travel to find inspiration for new projects—including the fabrics in his collection for custom window treatments available exclusively from The Shade Store.
The morning began with networking and breakfast, during which designers enjoyed a mimosa bar while browsing The Shade Store’s showroom, where Bullard’s collection was featured throughout along with more than 1,300 materials and product displays highlighting all of the window treatment styles offered by The Shade Store.
“My talk at the Chicago Shade Store flagship, in their magnificent design center, was a wall-to-wall attended affair with a really interested and interesting crowd of designers, all eager to laugh, learn, be inspired and in turn inspire me,” said Bullard. “It was a wonderful time had by all and one of the most enjoyable talks I have ever given. I walked the guests through a selection of my work from around the world, from castles to discos to Kardashians and fashion moguls, all accompanied by slides that revealed how, where, why and what it takes to achieve these looks, capture personality and add decorative fantasy to my clients’ lives,” he stated.
“I also introduced my new The Shade Store line and talked about the inspirations used to develop the collection, from the wood carving in an African shield to the weave of a Moroccan basket,” he continued. “How historic references like 18th-century Chinese wallpaper were reinterpreted into modern-day chinoiserie and how inspired vines and midcentury palms were embroidered into sheer linen for a touch of the exotic. All to such an appreciative crowd, as only Chicago knows how to welcome and warm you.”
“When we planned for the 2022 IDS conference to take place at The Merchandise Mart, we knew we wanted to partner with The Shade Store,” said Maddie Landers, marketing and communications manager. “The sessions with Martyn Lawrence Bullard were a highlight for many of the entire three-day conference! The IDS designers in attendance raved about Martyn’s humor, humility and breadth of experience.”
“The Interior Design Society has been a great longtime partner to our team, and we were thrilled to have a chance to host so many of their members from across the country at this event,” said Kara Marmion, senior vice president marketing and communication for The Shade Store. “We knew Martyn would be a perfect fit for this designer audience as he shared inspiring projects with his consistent humor and wit. It was wonderful to see so many attendees walk away with samples of the materials from his collection with The Shade Store.”
Images by Francis Son