Merchandise Mart Design Center Showrooms Nominate the 2015 Ones To Watch

Chicago’s Up and Coming Interior Design Professionals Toasted during Design Chicago, Wednesday, October 7, 5-7pm

Each year in preparation for Design Chicago, October 6 & 7, the Design Center showrooms at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart nominate and vote on up-and-coming interior designers who have demonstrated creativity, originality and overall great design. Fabulous interior designers know their talent requires a multitude of skill sets – staying true to classic forms, keeping up to date on the latest trends and always making sure their clients are happy. This year’s Ones To Watch winners include three of Chicago’s rising design stars: Brynn Olson of Brynn Olson Group LLC, Jillian Richey of Jillian Richey Interior Design and Stephen Young of Stephen Young Design.2015.0928.NwyDesignCenter-OnesToWatch

“We are thrilled to honor and recognize these three rising stars who have demonstrated their commitment to creating innovative design and who the Design Center showrooms regard as some of the next big names in the industry,” said Julia Chappell, managing director of marketing, Vornado | Merchandise Mart. “The Ones To Watch cocktail reception will bring together the winners, their friends and family and industry peers in Lounge 1447 on the 14th floor of the Merchandise Mart for a night of celebration.”

Brynn Olson, Brynn Olson Group LLC

Trained as an artist from childhood, Brynn began her design career creating large-scale indoor and outdoor painted murals for commercial spaces and residences. After attending Vanderbilt University and pursuing an academic-oriented career, her love for art and design re-ignited years later and she joined Nate Berkus Associates in 2008. She furthered her education in Interior Design at Harrington College of Design while working full-time with the NBA family and managed and designed projects for commercial and private high-end residential clients and celebrities featured on/in The Nate Berkus Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Elle Decor, CS Interiors, and Chicago Home + Garden Magazine. She also assisted with development and rendering of original room designs for major publications and TV programs including Chicago Tribune, The Today Show, and Family Circle Magazine.

Her experience in the design process, project management and client relationships lead to the desire to open her own firm in 2012 under the belief that every environment should boast a timeless foundation infused with an edge that reflects the essence of each client. Brynn’s credence that “How you shape your space will shape your day” is the cornerstone to which each project is approached. The power of a well-designed interior is not only an immediate aesthetic transformation but also an incredible impact on the individual who lives, works or interacts with that space.

“I’m honored every time a new client asks us to be a part of their life in such a personal way,” says Olson.

Jillian Richey, Jillian Richey Interior Design

Jillian Richey knew from a very young age that her passions in life were psychology and interior design. So the NCIDQ-certified designer established her namesake firm Jillian Richey Design to infuse her meticulous transitional style together with her clients’ lifestyles in order to create timeless interiors that are as unique as each individual she designs for.

She started her career by learning one facet of design at a time. Specializing in faucets and fixtures, appliance packages, natural stone tiles and cabinetry, she develop a keen eye for sourcing architectural finishes. This knowledge laid the perfect foundation for residential design.

After establishing the building blocks, Jillian began working for a design build firm, where she learned the painstakingly difficult task of construction management. With a focus in kitchen and bath design, she was inspired by the psychology of humans interacting with their home environment to explore interiors that were first functional but beautiful. She developed an acute sensitivity for reading clients’ needs and is able to ease the difficult home building/renovation process by really getting to know a client, diagnose their problems and make accurate suggestions to lessen the strain of decision making.

Jillian Richey Design promises to help clients discover their own dream environment, because every day you should be able to wake up in a place you love.

Stephen Young, Stephen Young Design

Stephen Young Design (SYD) is a Chicago-based interior design firm focused on creating spaces that reflect a luxury lifestyle. Design Director, Stephen Young, uses his unique perspective on contemporary living to influence each individual residence with a distinctive timeless appeal. A collaborative client-designer relationship is at the core of SYD, developing each project into a distinguished one-of-a-kind residential experience.

With an extensive knowledge of architecture, furniture, and fine finishes, every detail is appointed to achieve a balance between furnishings and architecture. SYD manages and facilitates all elements of the design process from conception to installation; integrating form and function with financial and construction expectations.

A Chicago native, Stephen received his degree in architecture from Miami University in Oxford Ohio. After working and apprenticing for the highly acclaimed designer Doug Nickless, Stephen joined the prestigious firm, Kaufman Segal Design. Stephen has been published in Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago, and has managed construction and furnishing projects in Chicago’s Lincoln Park & Gold Coast neighborhoods. SYD welcomes all opportunities to add enduring workmanship, value, function, and style to your interiors.

The Design Center at the Merchandise MartTM and LuxeHome® will host Design Chicago, Midwest’s largest residential design conference and inspirational trade fair October 6 & 7, 2015 at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Design Chicago will showcase a variety of educational and innovative programming including more than 35 educational presentations and CEU seminars, more than three dozen brand showroom open houses, and a bevy of new products debuting from more than 65 showrooms throughout the Merchandise Mart. The two-day event will welcome leading interior design, architecture, and luxury custom home building professionals for programming on the Merchandise Mart’s 1st, 6th and 14th floors.

The 2015 Ones to Watch reception is sponsored by Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago. To RSVP to the Ones to Watch Reception and to learn more about Design Chicago, visit


The Design Center at The Merchandise Mart, located in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, is home to four floors constituting the world’s largest and finest design center. As a leader in the $65 billion residential home furnishings market, The Design Center offers the largest presentation of high-end, couture, home furnishings worldwide, all under one roof. Encompassing 650,000 square feet, boasting 115 showrooms and featuring more than 2,500 product lines, it is the design professional’s ultimate resource for luxury furniture, fabrics, floor coverings, wall coverings, lighting, antiques and much more.


LuxeHome is the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation located on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

With more than 125,000 square feet of showroom space featured in over 35 boutiques, LuxeHome is host to the finest products for home building and renovation from the most recognized and respected manufacturers worldwide. LuxeHome offers discerning homeowners and trade professionals one-stop shopping convenience with access to the finest kitchen, bath, tile, lighting, cabinetry, appliances, countertops and much more. LuxeHome displays the widest selection of products to suit all upscale design styles, from modern European to classic American to traditional English. In addition to the extensive lineup of premier brands, each boutique offers knowledgeable designers who are available to assist with all phases of each design project. LuxeHome’s boutiques are open for shopping Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit Follow LuxeHome on Facebook and Twitter.