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Design With Chon (DWC) – a boutique design studio with defined niches in (1) visual communication, (2) event design and (3) interiors. Each of these industries are huge in themselves, but DWC’s goal is to achieve good design in all its various forms, whether it’s from the branding of your business to saying “I do” to transforming interiors. Let me, “Chon," be your personal design consultant + stylist for your business, wedding or home. A balanced environment makes you feel good, and I am here to inspire your surroundings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Featured Venue: Stan Mansion + Valentine's Day

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, I went to support a favorite wedding venue of mine – Stan Mansion, over in Logan Square in Chicago. Cera Stan, the owner, teamed up with some amazing wedding vendors to host a Valentine's Day wedding event where couples could get a "20 minute" dream wedding. For $200, the bride and groom would get:

- Wedding officiant, Reverend Laszlo Revesz 
- Music
- Bridal bouquet & grooms boutonniere
- Mini cake
- A champagne toast
- Up to 60 guests
- And a professional photographer

In addition, one couple could win a 2-nights stay at the Intercontinental resort in Moorea, Tahiti, offered by Kiki Stamison Kienenberger of Personalized Travel Service & Honeymoons, a well-known honeymoon planning expert.

Vendor partners at this wonderful event were: 

- Luxury fabric and lighting by Deborah Weisenhaus of Art of Imagination
- Music by Stand and Clap
- Floral design by Juliet Tan of Cattelya Bridal
- Cakes by Tania Averian of Le Patisserie
- Champagne toast for wedding couple by D'Absolute Catering
- Photography by Adrian Nastase

The wedding details at the event were simple, but each made their own statement. The 1920's mansion was easily transformed through red and pink magenta tonal lighting. Crystal teardrops were suspended over the ceremonial space, and they twinkled into the night.

Stan Mansion has these great architectural details, and I love how it is juxtaposed and enhanced with these modern elements such as the dramatic, vibrant pink lighting. This venue is truly unique, and it's sooo flexible for any type of wedding.

I met the first couple of three to be wedded that day. Judy, the bride, got engaged back in September of 2010, and they were planning for a 2011 wedding, but a happy surprise came into their lives unexpectedly; she found out she was pregnant. With the new news, they decided to hold off on the wedding, because they couldn't plan a wedding fast enough before she was full term in her pregnancy. Luckily one day, she received an email from Cera at Stan Mansion promoting the Valentine's Day wedding event, and Judy's dream came true after all. She was able to have her very own wedding at the Stan Mansion which was one of her potential wedding venues that she was looking into for their wedding. What a truly spectacular day it was at the Stan Mansion! To see more photos of this event + venue, click on this link.

For those of you interested in the venue, here's some good history on it. Formerly a Masonic temple, the Stan Mansion’s grand facade and elegant interiors reflect the design of Moritz F. Stranch. Built in the 1920’s, completely restored in 2010, Stan Mansion is located in Logan Square, one of the oldest historical neighborhoods of Chicago. When the city was incorporated in 1837, city planners wanted Chicago’s image to reflect the motto, “City Set in a Garden.” As a result, Logan Square became enriched with large tree-lined boulevards and parks, as well as some of the city’s most magnificent gray stone homes and mansions; it’s now referred to as the “Emerald Necklace of Chicago.”

Stan Mansion offers a variety of exterior and interior picturesque settings for your event. The gated mansion is beautifully nestled in a garden setting. The architecture is stunning and provides a gorgeous setting for any wedding theme. An amazing entrance with newly laid marble floors leads to a grand staircase. Two separate ballrooms, on the first and second floor, and the cozy lounge offer the flexibility of occupancy and set-up options.

The first floor ballroom allows 300 guests. On the 2nd floor is the main ballroom with 32” high ceilings, newly restored architectural accents, four elevated platforms, a fabulous center stage to showcase entertainment, and an inviting dance floor for your dynamic parties. This space can accommodate up to 300 guests for a sit-down event, and up to 420 guests for a lively cocktail reception. Also on the 2nd level, facing the ballroom entrance, is a charming lounge area with two built-in bars and vintage European window accents. The lounge can easily be decorated as a VIP room, with stylish ambience created by dramatic draping, atmospheric lighting, and lavish seating.

Couples can truly customize their wedding day. And Cera Stan, the owner, will diligently help you with all the details every step of the way from the beginning through the day of the event. She is quite flexible especially with catering; unlike most venues. Stan Mansion allows you to supply your own alcohol, but it must be served by a licensed, insured catering company. The service here is top-notch, with numerous added perks when you book with this venue. Stan Mansion will be exclusively yours, as we allow only one event at a time!

Not only is Stan Mansion a gorgeous backdrop for your event, it is very accommodating in many other ways, too. Cera Stan provides her clients with 60-inch round tables, twelve 8-foot banquet tables, three 6-feet long tables, three 60-inch square tables, one cake table, and for the lounge area, a couch, six highboys and ten bar stools all available at no additional charge. For chairs, she offers mahogany opera-style chairs at a discounted price of $4.50 per chair (retail value $9.50 each).

For more information, visit or call Cera at 773.276.0099 for a venue showing.

Venue Awards: Planner’s Choice Award for the Most Popular Wedding Venue in USA (, Top 10 Unique Venues in Chicago 2009, and featured twice on 190 North.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

News + Recognition

02.13.11  Chicago Performance Training logo design presented to client. Success!

Just another Sunday, but the work goes on... just finished presenting a new logo design, Chicago Performance Training, to my client earlier. They were very ecstatic with all the designs! And they couldn't decide which of the four logo designs that they wanted to represent their company. It's a great feeling to end my day with. :) In the next month, I will reveal the final product as it will be applied to a business card, a brochure flyer and eventually a website design that will reflect the integrated design.
01.04.11  Yellow Duck PR logo presented, logo is selected, and corporate branded materials are in the works already...

I almost forgot to share the news on this one. This happened over a week ago. Presented another new logo and brand identity design for Yellow Duck PR, too, and the client was also elated with the result! As we speak, I am developing the corporate stationery and collateral brochure that will define her business to her potential clients.
01.03.11  Completed a promotional brochure design, which also promotes DWC services, for Cera at Stan Mansion for the Chicago Social Bride's "Evening of Bridal Luxury".

This project came up literally last minute, and it started, and completed in less than five days due to the tight deadline to get it printed in time for the February 20th event – "Evening of Bridal Luxury". Definitely not the normal schedule for a project like this, but after meeting, talking and getting to know Cera Stan, owner of Stan Mansion, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to work with her. Stan Mansion is truly a unique and stunning venue in Logan Square for a wedding, reception, or any type of private event. It's the hidden gem in the city of Chicago. Do check out the venue's photo gallery. The spacious floor plan, two levels of space, and great 1920s architecture that was restored recently, lends to some magnificent themed events to be hosted here. If I knew of this venue prior to my wedding, this would've seriously been a strong contender for my wedding. This space can accommodate up to 300 guests for a sit-down event, and up to 420 guests for a lively cocktail reception. If you would like to learn more, you can reach Cera at 773.276.0099 for a venue showing. Or contact me, I can even tell you more since I designed the informational brochure on this venue. ;)

{Images ©2010 Adrian Nastase Photography}

I am so glad Cera and I got to work together, and I look forward to many new projects together! Interested in attending Chicago Social Bride's "Evening of Bridal Luxury" at Trump International Hotel, purchase tickets here.
02.14.11  Attending a Valentine's Day wedding event at Stan Mansion. Visit this link to learn about this great sponsored event by Cera at Stan Mansion and several other vendors. I am attending to support the work and will share pics later on...
 02.18.11  Meeting a new photographer to expand knowledge of good photographers within the Chicago community.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Designer Finds at TJ Maxx

Today, I was at TJ Maxx Home Goods browsing for some decor items for a client of mine, and of course, I always venture in all their departments to see what new stuff is in. In their furniture section, I spotted these two awesome green chairs in white wood trim with silver studded details. Very chic, and it would be nice for someone's boudoir, or in a woman's large walk-in closet, or near a front entry way in a large home. There are so many places that these could go. If my home wasn't already decked out, I would be all over this! Check out my other great finds in TJ Maxx Home Goods— woven, leather trunks that can be used as a coffee table and storage for extra blankets, pillows or last minute device to hide the toys before for guests come over. ;) Also, they always have a good selection of designer-like lamps that can accent your side or console tables. I'll be coming back here for a few lamps myself as I renovate our basement. The prices are too good as always.

If you like these chairs, better get on it, because things go fast there. I spotted these at the TJ Maxx Home Goods in Bloomingdale, off of Army Trail Rd. Happy hunting!