Illinois Chapter





Welcome!  Events are normally held on a monthly basis.

Come for

Networking, gaining industry knowledge from experts and business educational knowledge to grow your business now! 

Jeri Solomon, Chapter President






You're invited to celebrate with us! Please join your fellow IFDA members for the H.O.M.E benefit dinner on April 28th. Our Chapter has supported this charity for many years. We fill one or two tables at the dinner for our members, so it is a great way to connect while supporting a very worthwhile cause.
If you wish to join us please rsvp to the Table Host, Tina Dann-Fenwick at She will register you for the event. Details are below.
Please rsvp by April 16. We hope to see you there!
Over the past 34 years, our friends, donors, board and staff have made a difference in the lives of thousands of older adults by helping them maintain their independence in their own homes and communities. Please join us for a special celebration of H.O.M.E.'s many years of service to Chicago's low-income seniors.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
5:30 pm Reception and Silent Auction
6:30 pm Dinner and Program
Germania Place
108 West Germania Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Honorees: Oak Street Health Dr. Memoona Hasnain, University of Illinois at Chicago Saint Clements Church Mistress of Ceremonies: Robyn Golden Director of Health and Aging at Rush University Medical Center Enjoy a complimentary dinner and reception provided by our sponsors at beautiful and historic Germania Place. There is no cost to attend, but an opportunity to support the work of H.O.M.E. through a financial contribution will be provided.  
Can't make it? Support H.O.M.E.'s work with a contribution.
Visit to see updates on Silent Auction items!
H.O.M.E. MISSION STATEMENT H.O.M.E. helps low-income seniors in Chicago maintain their independence by providing home upkeep and repair, a shopping bus, moving assistance, and three affordable intergenerational buildings.


Starting our year off right with our first 2016 Event:



The Best in Design Competition is back!


The Illinois Chapter of IFDA is once again sponsoring a Best in Design Competition for its Chapter members. Any room installed in 2014 or 2015 is eligible.


Submit your entry by March 31, 2016. Independent judges will review all submissions; and the winner will be announced at the Chapter's evening social in early May.


The link below will take you to the details of the competition.


Click here for information to submit your project:


I know our Chapter members are talented professionals, and I thank you for taking part in this Design Competition. 





Jeri Solomon, AKBD, IFDA

President, Illinois Chapter



A look into some of our events for 2015!Image

The new board for the Illinois Chapter believes in making opportunities come true within our chapter; and our goal remains the same for 2015, to come together as a community of business professionals, to enjoy each other’s company, as well as to learn from professionals in our industry and from each other at the Presentations, Round Table discussions, new product offerings at showrooms (such as Honquest Finishes Arlington Heights and Prosource Buffalo Grove), and to enjoy our exciting IFDA/EF fundraiser event - attending the Steve Harvey show with a back stage tour following.  



2015 Illinois Chapter Board

Front Row left to right:  Lindsay Dingmann, Joan Scheib, Karen Fischer, Jeri Solomon  
Back Row Members left to right: Cathy Fountaine, Tina Dann-Fenwick, Dee Schlagel, Kim Eggert, Penny Homscheid, Julie Shaver

Missing: Jean Addante, Cindy Frenzer, Mollee Johnson, Mary Kay Romanchuk

2015 Program Events


Photography Seminar with Mike Kaskel

Thursday, Septemer 17th, 2015


IFDA Illinois Chapter Photography Seminar
Thursday September 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM CDT
Add to Calendar

Arlington Design Center - Building 3
601 W. Campus Drive
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Driving Directions
Dear Joan, 

Please join us for an informative and fun event with professional design photographer, Mike Kaskel. Mike will be instructing on how to improve your photos of your design work to better help showcase your business. We will be learning new and creative techniques that will take our portfolios to the next level. You don't want to miss this!!
An outline of what Mike will be teaching us:
- Who's  Mike Kaskel?
- Equipment       
- Using your cell phone     
- Preparation before you shoot     
- Using design magazines   
- Post-production - what to do after you've  photographed     
- Downloading to computer
- Editing/cropping
- Websites/Houzz/etc.
- Critiquing your work
...and more!!!
NOTE: If you plan on attending the event and would like Mike to critique your photos prior to the event, please email them to him by 
Sept. 10th
Cost for this event: 
IFDA Members................Free
Click the "Register Now!" link below 
to register today!
(Registration closes Sat., Sept 12th)
Register Now!
This event will be one you don't want to miss! We look forward to seeing you there!


IFDA Educational Foundation Fundraiser - Set Design with Kevin Grace (Steve Harvey Show)

April 30th, 2015

In that past the Illinois Chapter has held walking tours for the IFDA Educational Foundation Annual Fundraiser.  We took in a dozen showrooms with their new product offerings in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, or a variety of local artist showings in the Galleria District, or the hip Andersonville area with the antique and bohemian shops.  This year the Chapter board decided to offer their members a unique outing: luncheon with colleagues followed by watching the taping of the Steve Harvey Show, followed by a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to make a television show’s set successful.


New Strategies for 2015 - with Loren Reid Seaman of LRS Interiors

February 19th, 2015

Join IFDA Illinois Chapter for a dynamic and informative event on how to improve your business in 2015.
Loren will be speaking on topics like:

-       4 Ways to make a killer first impression

-       Get financially fit for 2015

....and more!!

Time:            9:30 - 11:00
Location:       Building 3
                    601 W. Campus
                    Arlington Heights, IL 60004

                             (end of the block at Ridge Avenue) 

                      IFDA charge
                 Non-members....$25 per person

Start your new year out right and don't miss out on this great event!



Want to know what else is in store for IFDA Illinois for 2015???
Below is our tentative schedule for the year. Exact dates will be given as events approach.



April - IFDA Educational Foundation Fundraiser
June – ProSource Buffalo Grove opening (dinner/cocktail event) with a presentation on their new showroom
August - Summer Social
September – Walk the Mart (10-12 showrooms)
October – Round Table


You Missed it!!

Today’s Furniture Finishes

 We all have unlimited choices on materials, finishes, fabrics, and leathers for our furniture selections. The presenters, David and Roberta Honquest, for our mid-January chapter event brought to light new finish choices from metallic finishes of a sharuse technique to wood finishes, and glazes. Those who attended also learned how to care for the wood finishes and leathers, which finishes can be repaired and which cannot, and which finish looks better and gives depth to the piece. If you’d like to learn more about the topic, please come to the next event and we’ll share our notes with you!  See you February 19th !!


Joan Scheib, Co-VP of Communications

"Today's Furniture Finishes" with David and Roberta Honquest

January 15th, 2014

"Today's Furniture Finishes"
Thursday January 15, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM CST

Honquest Workroom
601A Campus Drive
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Dear Joan,

Join us for an educational presentation by David and Roberta Honquest as we explore the world of furniture finishes and discuss how to sell, care for, and maintain today's furniture!


What will we discuss??


"There are so many exciting new finishes and materials in the market place today.  From metallics wood finishes, glazed, to cerused techniques, acrylics, and hand blown glass.  I will speak on how to incorporate these into your projects, and David will speak on how to care for, and service today's furniture." 
- Roberta Honquest

Speakers:  David and Roberta Honquest 



David Honquest is owner of Honquest Furniture Repair and Restoration, and Roberta Honquest is Outside Sales Representative for CAI Designs.

Date:         Thursday, January 15th, 2014

Time:         10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


 ***Light refreshments will be offered***


Location:   Honquest Workroom

                   601A Campus Drive

                   Arlington Heights, IL 60004


***Drive to rear of building to sign on door.***


By January 12th, 2014

Click the 
"Register Now!" 
link below to RSVP
Register Now!
We look forward to seeing you out for a great event!

IFDA Gives Back this Holiday Season

November 2014

In the spirit of the holidays approaching, IFDA Illinois Chapter wanted to take a moment and highlight a cause we are very passionate about. 

For many years now, IFDA Illinois Chapter has partnered with an organization called H.O.M.E (Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly). Our specific focus these past few years was on the Nathalie Salmon House in Roger's Park. 
 What is Nathalie Salmon House?
The Nathalie Salmon House opened in May 1994 and provides comfortable intergenerational living on each of its five floors. This 54-unit building is a fully handicapped accessible facility that accommodates 41 seniors, seven resident assistants, tho security monitors and four families. 
Over the past two years, IFDA has been working with Bruce Otto, Executive Director for HOME, towards re-flooring and "sprucing up" the communal areas with new paint colors and lighting options. Our Chapter has made annual donations towards the project. Here is a picture of one of the fifth floor hallways before renovations:
This year, it was a particular priority for HOME to improve the appearance of the shared living facility on the Fifth floor to attract new residents. The carpets in all the communal  areas were decades old and very worn.  The walls needed painting badly with a new color to add freshness and light to an otherwise gloomy hallway. We had decided early on that we wanted to replace the carpet with hardwood floor, which was much easier to keep clean and maintain.  We chose an LVT that looked like warm wood. Here is a picture of the same hallway above, after renovations:
Pictured in the photo on the right is Bruce Otto and two of our IFDA Board Members. On the left is Tina Dann Fenwick, and on the right is Jean Addante. Both ladies co-chair the Vice President of Community Relations Position on the Board and were the IFDA representatives on the project.
We are currently working on replacing the dated curtains in the shared dining room.  We would love our members to take a few moments to see if you can donate any of the items on HOME's wishlist, see below.

2-8    Bedroom lamps

2-6    Matching dressers and nightstands

3-8    Matching headboards and footboards for twin beds and 

         1 for Queen Bed

2-3    Armoires

3-4    Comfy chairs (lazy boys)

2-6    Twin Mattress and  box spring sets

2-6    Comfortable bedroom chairs


Elderly friendly furniture for the 5th Floor lounge at Nathalie Salmon House, i.e. furniture that is easy for elderly people to get in and out of, not too low and not too soft


H.O.M.E. does  not have the vehicles or staff to pick these items up so delivery or funds to hire a delivery or moving company would be most appreciated. If you do not have a means of transporting any of these items, please let Tina Dann-Fenwick ( know and we will try to arrange delivery.



There is also another way to donate.  Have a clear out ahead of the holidays and make a non cash donation through HOME's website....
HOME is now able to accept cash and process all kinds of noncash donations right on their website! And now you have really begun to imagine the possibilities of what your stuff could do for seniors in ChicagoIt is really an exciting time as we focus on offering more ways for you to support us so that we help seniors maintain their indepedence. On our new system, you can turn your old stuff into good news for seniors:
  • Your old phone or other electronics can help a senior into safe housing
  • Your old car can become a senior's safe transport to the grocery store
  • Your unused gift cards can become a meal for a senior
  • And much more!


IFDA is so excited about our partnership with HOME and we hope you are too!

Don't wait to make your contribution to such a worthy cause!



  IFDA Spring Social Event featuring the 2014 Design Contest Winner

  Thursday,  May 15th, 2014  6:00 - 9:00 PM

  Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaraunt

  100 W. Higgins Rd. 

  South Barrington, IL 


Please join us for drinks & appetizers to celebrate the winner of the 2014 Design Contest. The Winning Entry will be displayed along with all the entries.

It's the perfect night for mingling and networking.

The perfect time to join the IFDA!


Members are Free ... Non-Members $15.00@


RSVP by May 12, 2014 to:

                                     We hope to see everyone there! Pictures to come! 


IFDA Annual Educational Foundation Walk

Thursday,  May 29th, 2014  11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Andersonville - Swedish Historical District

We will spend the day together starting with lunch then visit designated shops in efforts to raise funds to help support the Educational Foundations's drive for scholarships and grants.

Schedule for the Day:

Meet at 11:00 AM at MHenry for lunch (5707 North Clark)

2.  At 1:00 PM we will leave to do our walk.   
3.  Stop #1 - Roost (5634 North Clark)
4.  Stop #2 - Room Service (5438 North Clark)
5.  Stop #3 - White Attic (5225 North Clark)
6.  Stop #4 - Scout (5221 North Clark)
7.  Stop #5 - Brimfield (5219 North Clark)
This should take us to 3:00 PM. We may try to fit in more shops if time allows. 
We look forward to a good turn out from everyone and for a good cause!
IFDA July Seminar
Soft Design Master Lab with Deb Barrett and Jackie Von Tobel
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
       Image    Image
Mark your calendars! Join IFDA for the debut of the
Soft Design Master Lab with Deb Barrett and Jackie Von Tobel!


This will be an intensive, full day .6 CEU accredited program  that focuses on the high profit, soft furnishings market.  

Deb Barrett and Jackie Von Tobel will help you decipher the complicated ins and outs of this lucrative design segment so you can design, specify and deliver couture soft products to your clients.



What to Expect:

This is not your ordinary seminar:

the fast and furious session opens up a whole new world of ideas, inspiration and skills

so you can flourish as a soft furnishings design pro.


In this one day workshop, we will cover the following topics:


-  Choosing the correct fabrics for window treatments, bedding and more

-  Fool proof processes for profitability

-  Trend spotting your soft competitive advantage

-  Turn up your pattern and color quotient

-  Build a soft furnishings portfolio kit


                   ...and more surprises!!


Fee and Information for the Event:


Non IFDA members...............$75.00

IFDA charge


Thursday, July 17th, 2014


 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

.6 CEU's Accredited Seminar


Arlington Design Center

Building 3 - Meeting Room A

Box lunch and drinks will be served



Deb and Jackie will not be offering this 6 hour accredited seminar again at this price. 

Register Now by copying and pasting this link in to the browser bar:



                                              Dee Schlagel                  815-899-3179

                                              Penny Homscheid           630-542-5976 


Your insights are valued and because this is an inaugural presentation, please stay after for a glass of wine and share your thoughts with us. We look forward to seeing you come out for a great day of learning and discussion! 





 Stay tuned for the dates for the Focus Groups coming up in July 2014!




Chapter Snapshots



This Year's Mid May Social Event at Cooper's Hawk

A special thank you to everyone who made it out for our mid May social event! We celebrated the contestants in this year’s Design Competition, with a night at Cooper’s Hawk. All of the contestants displayed wonderful work, and a big congratulations to our winner, Penny Homsheid of Homsheid Interiors for her stunning Kitchen Remodel. It was a great night to take time away from our busy schedules to visit with other designers and to grow and strengthen our Illinois Chapter of IFDA.

 Here are some photo's from the night!




Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image 








Would you like to give back, help out for 1 hour, greet event attendees? Contact Penny Homscheid... the group and getting to know people is a wonderful experience.






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