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Merchandise Mart Design Center
The Nancy Corzine showroom at the Merchandise Mart.

Sure we?d love to hire experts to help us tackle design and remodeling projects, but it?s never been in our budget?until now.

With the Merchandise Mart?s free Designer on Call program, you can tap into a professional?s expertise and get access to a maze of showrooms traditionally open only to industry types.

Make an appointment to meet with one of 25 designers at the Mart?s Design Center, which just got a face-lift and now includes a sleek lounge for brainstorming or decamping while your friend finishes her crazed lamp-buying spree. Bring questions, photos of rooms you like, measurements and whatever else is in your project file.

For an hour, a designer will offer tips on avoiding expensive mistakes (think wallpaper in bathrooms where it only gets steamed off) and steer you clear of trends you?ll soon be sick of. (Geometric-patterned upholstery ring a bell?) Finally, your pro will show you furniture in Mart showrooms that matches your vision and budget.

Make sure your tour includes a stop in the Sample Sale Suite, where you?ll find great deals on designer furniture that might otherwise break the bank.

Even if you don?t leave with a new coffee table or couch, at least you?ll be brimming with ideas.

Merchandise Mart Design Center, 222 Merchandise Plaza, 14th fl.; 800-677-6278 or

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