The Hit List 2015

Our creatives choose their Top Chicago Events 2015.

While we close the year with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s also a time of reflection, to think back on the passing year- hopefully with gratitude and joy. And here in the wonderful world of event design, we can’t help but feel lucky to do what we do every day.

Being a part of so many celebrations offers us regular reminders of some pretty valuable life truths. In particular, to live for the moments and make them count, and that despite hardships, life gives us an awful lot to celebrate. 


So celebrate we will. Join us as we salute our creatives’ picks for their top events to design and produce in 2015.

We want to thank all of our partners for their talent, consistency, and professionalism, and for making each and every event an absolute pleasure. Each one can’t be pictured here, but we’re terribly proud of them all, and always looking forward to the next.


January 2015-UNION STATION
We had the winter blues alright: rich indigo lighting illuminated all of the Great Hall’s stunning features for this corporate celebration. Custom luxe lounges accented in silvers and cobalt added to the wintery warmth of the expansive space. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Union Station sure does clean up well, and decking it out is always a pleasure.

corporate event design chicago

corporate-event-at-union-station-chicagoSpecial thanks to PSAV and Union Station. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

June 2015-Public Landing Restaurant
With the Pantone color of the year as a guiding force, this lush wedding came together beautifully despite early summer rain forcing it indoors. Between the luxuriant floral suspended above, rich golden candlelight, and a wonderfully distinguished beagle, this one was a perfectly pretty introduction to summer in the city.

rustic chicago weddingrustic-marsala-wedding-collSpecial thanks to Public Landing Restaurant. Emilia Jane Photography.

June 2015-Harold Washington Library
Few places are better for bringing the outdoors in than the Winter Garden at the Harold Washington Library. For this marvelously bright and truly original Chicago wedding, European open-air flower market met lemon grove, and was a shining example of how to express yourself on your special day.

unique chicago wedding designunique-chicago-wedding-collSpecial thanks to LOLA Event Productions and the Harold Washington Library. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

July 2015-Tent at Residence, Illinois
With a perfect summer day unfolding around it, this wedding basked in summer’s glow with soft ivory floral, suspended shades, and modern elegance. A wonderful example of bringing all elements of a space into a design, the pool and surrounding grounds were featured prominently, causing this beauty to pop into our daydreams for months to come.

Tented luxury wedding chicago

modern-outdoor-wedding-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to Paulette Wolf Events and Frost Chicago. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

July 2015-Northerly Island
With the summer Chicago skyline as a backdrop, this wonderfully vibrant celebration makes us all proud to call this city home. Bold bursts of floral, dramatic graphic elements and radiant fabric treatments all came to life inside the open-air tent under a perfect summer sky. Perhaps the most fun was the custom-built sunken dance floor, perfectly centered to give every guest a perfect view of the festivities.

outdoor chicago wedding

outdoor-colorful-wedding-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to Drish Couture Events, Frost Chicago and Northerly Island. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.


August 2015-The Field Museum
Inspired by Mughal design, no element was overlooked for this expansive, elegant wedding in the always impressive Stanley Field Hall at the Field Museum. Gold accents and ivory floral came together beautifully under an impeccably lit canopy of cobalt, making this wedding something the guests–and our team–won’t soon forget.

indian wedding in chicago

blue-and-gold-wedding-decor-chicagoSpecial thanks to Drish Couture Events, Frost Chicago and the Field Museum. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

August 2015-Residence, Lake Geneva
All of the elements of an impeccably decorated residence came together seamlessly inside this completely custom tent accented in navy and white–two of our personal favorite colors. Lush garden floral, weathered wood furnishings, and soft summer patterns made everyone feel right at home at this truly chic affair.
luxe summer chicago weddingpreppy-luxe-wedding-chicagoSpecial thanks to Birch Design Studio and Frost Chicago. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

September 2015-Chicago Botanic Garden
Giving a final nod to outdoor celebrations for the season, this gala brought the essence of a rustic garden party into a tent amidst the stunning colors of the Chicago Botanic Garden. King Ficus trees, warm cafe lights and autumnal florals completely softened the end-of-summer blow, making us all a bit more ready for fall.
fall gala in chicagorustic-fall-gala-decor-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to Frost Chicago and Chicago Botanic Garden. Fandl Photography for HMR.

September 2015-Ivy Room
Our team raised the bar along with the floral at this strikingly rustic celebration. A softly lit Ivy Room was accented with heavy greenery, ivory floral, hanging candlelight and wood galore for truly breathtaking results that show how less can be oh so much more.

rustic fall wedding chicagorustic-wedding-decor-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to Frost Chicago and the Ivy Room. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

October 2015-University of Chicago
What better way to accentuate a brand new theater and performance space than to use floral and lighting elements to highlight and celebrate the room itself. Illuminated frames hung over dining tables much like props suspended over a stage during a show, creating a truly memorable welcome to the new building. See more of this fantastic celebration here.
innovative corporate event design chicagounique-gala-decor-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to the University of Chicago. Fandl Photography for HMR.

October 2015-Ivy Room
Cozy banquettes beneath oversized chandeliers covered in greenery, bold floral atop patterned linens, and perfectly thoughtful details at every turn helped to make this early autumn wedding one that guests won’t soon forget, and a wonderful reminder to our team that we’re lucky to be a part of our clients’ special days.

pretty autumn wedding chicagoautumn-wedding-at-ivy-room-chicagoSpecial thanks to LK Events, Frost Chicago and The Ivy Room. Pen Carlson Photography.

October 2015-Ritz Carlton Chicago
Few weddings so perfectly epitomize our specialty better than this one: creating tailor-made luxury environments in which to celebrate. Hovering shades above custom-made croc and mirror tables turned the Ritz Carlton into a stunning supper club teeming with blushes and golds, and will warm us up for months to come.
luxury chicago autumn wedding

chicago wedding at ritz carlton

Special thanks to So Stacy Events and The Ritz Carlton Chicago. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

October 2015-Peninsula Chicago
Our floral production team never fails to impress, and for this mid-October celebration that can only be described as utterly dreamy, they blew us all away. Soft whites, blushes and greens literally covered a magically lit Peninsula, creating a truly ethereal ambiance not soon to be forgotten.
luxury chicago weddingpeninsula-chicago-wedding-Special thanks to Mindy Weiss, Frost Chicago, and Peninsula Chicago. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

October 2015-Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Almost as much fun as transforming spaces is creating them. What’s even more fun is covering a space, from floor to tabletop and wall to ceiling, with stripes. For obvious reasons, the tented gala for the MCA Art Auction is one that none of us will ever forget.
Enjoy more of this outstanding event here.

wild-gala-decor-in-chicago-with-stripesSpecial thanks to Event Creative and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Kent Drake Photography for HMR.

October 2015-The Field Museum
What better way to welcome the iconic museum’s newest permanent exhibition than with a smashing gala incorporating various wonders of China. Looming bamboo structures, cherry blossoms, lanterns and woks were among the highlights of the delightfully exotic celebration.
Field MuseumOctober 23, 2015Wonders of China Galafield-museum-gala-2015-chicagoSpecial thanks to Frost Chicago and the Field Museum. Photos courtesy of Cheri Eisenberg.

November 2015-Cinespace
We reach the end of our list, and go out with a bang. It took a barrage of creative talent to put together this one-of-a-kind corporate celebration of epic proportions. Overstimulating in the best sense of the word, the highlights included a ceiling covered in undulating triangles of light, ample videography, and custom-made furniture and lighting elements, all of which could be enjoyed from elevated lounges, each offering a different vantage point. Unforgettable in every way, this is one that everyone involved should be ever so proud of.
corporate event designcorporate-event-decor-in-chicagoSpecial thanks to Dave Kelly at Frost Chicago, Greg Jenkins at Jewell Events Catering, Tracey Boward and Cinespace. Fandl Photography for HMR.


On behalf of all of us at HMR Designs, Happy New Year. We can’t wait to see what the next one brings.

A final special thanks to every member of our fantastic team. What a truly remarkable machine.