Calling all design lovers: The beloved Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens returns this spring with an exquisite setting and A-list talent aplenty.


The 2020 edition of the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens featured this smart kitchen by The ABL Group and Dovetails Cabinetry.

Over its nearly 40-year history, the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens has grown into one of the most anticipated events on the Chicago-area design calendar, not to mention one of the nation’s top showhouses. It’s easy to see why, given the impressive array of industry VIPs who line up to take part in transforming a property—this year, a red brick Georgian-style abode from the late 1960s by architect William Frazier—into a transcendent display of exquisite design. Plus, for the first time, food and beverages will be served at the Showhouse via The Lunchroom, which pops up for six days (May 12-14 and June 2-4).


Ashley Whittaker serves as honorary event cochair with fellow NYC-based designer Timothy Whealon.

With a 16-room main house, a seven-room coach house and a gentleman’s outbuilding with vaulted ceilings, all on nearly 10 acres close to one of Lake Forest Open Lands’ largest and oldest nature preserves, the estate offers plenty of blank canvas for the Showhouse’s team of more than 35 landscape and interior designers. That also translates into plenty of reasons for renowned NYC-based designers and honorary event chairs Ashley Whittaker and Timothy Whealon to get excited, not least of which is that the event doubles as a fundraiser for the Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, having raised more than $5 million and counting over the years.


Timothy Whealon

“I can’t wait to see the work of each designer and to invite the community in to support a great cause,” notes Whittaker, with Whealon adding, “I am proud to have been born in the Midwest and have embraced that design aesthetic and strong values into my work around the world. It’s exciting to see so many illustrious designers taking part in this prestigious Showhouse, which has historically been one of the country’s premier destinations for great architecture, innovative design and high-style interiors. That, accompanied by the fact that it raises money to support the medically underserved in Chicago, makes the Lake Forest Showhouse a must-see event.” May 6-June 4


The 2023 event will feature this red brick Georgian-style home in Lake Forest as reimagined by a team of 35 landscape and interior designers.