Socially Driven: Exploring My CHICAGO

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio

Today I’m partnering with Mercedes-Benz

to share my version of Chicago.
Find my #MBSociallyDriven story on IG right here.

If you have followed Hello Lovely for a stretch,

you already know some of my ChiTown
favorites…and if you’re designfreaky

like moi and have a day to spend in Chicago,

here are 5 Lovely Ideas to Take For a Spin.


Waldorf Chicago front entrance circle driveway
Waldorf Astoria Chicago (11 East Walton)

I’m partial to The Waldorf Astoria Chicago,

a timeless and tranquil design lover’s
dream hotel… with architecture by
Lucien Lagrange, interiors by
Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary,
and luxury accommodations.

The Waldorf’s interiors take their cue from 1920s Parisian fashion including a Coco Chanel inspired sunburst chandelier in the lobby, kick-pleated drapes (riffing on Christian Dior), Greek busts, and a vibrant green painting near the reception desk.

Outside, the Waldorf Chicago’s cobblestone
motor court features a gorgeous fountain and
antique light fixtures against a limestone façade…

it all adds up to a memorable first impression
when you arrive!

Marble art deco 1920s Paris inspired lobby Waldorf Chicago photo by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – the breathtaking lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

It’s such a special place for occasions (anniversaries, girlfriend

getaways, birthdays), and I always make time for the spa
which offers top-notch massage and
an incredibly relaxing saline pool.

Elegant spa swimming pool Waldorf Chicago Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – Spa swimming pool at Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Michele in 1960s lace wedding gown in guest room Waldorf Chicago Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – wearing a vintage 60s ivory lace wedding gown in a guest room at Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Elegant hotel room Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – hotel room at Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Three friends on balcony Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
A summer girlfriend weekend at Waldorf Astoria Chicago (my photo)
Oval coffee table with room service breakfast Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
Room service breakfast at Waldorf Astoria Chicago (my photo)
Blonde on balcony Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
Photos on the balcony are a must! (my photo)
Four blondes in white spa robes Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
What Camp Hello Lovely feels like. (my photo)
Limestone facade and iron balcony at Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
A taste of Paris! (my photo)
Rooftop gardens and skyscrapers in downtown Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
I can’t get enough of the geometry! (my photo)
Blonde seated on iron balcony Waldorf Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My partner in crime and lovely (also, couldn’t she be an Ambassador for BANGS?) (my photo)
View from Waldorf Chicago balcony by Hello Lovely Studio
Photo ops from every angle. (my photo)

Since Chicagoans DEMAND good food,

you’ll find it everywhere.

For fancy, James Beard award-winner Michael Mina

is opening Margeaux within Waldorf Chicago

in May and Petit Margeaux in April.

For informal fare, I cannot go too long

without my Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza fix…
there’s a location just a 3-minute

walk from the Waldorf at 1120 N. State.

Two joints where service and prices are friendly include

Pegasus (130 S. Halsted) and Wishbone (1001 W. Washington Blvd.)…

order the shrimp and grits at Wishbone!

For cocktails, we recently had an amazing cousin reunion
at the Ritz Carlton’s rooftop lounge and bar Deca,

where the food and wine were memorable.


Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.)

to see modern art in every possible medium by artists of

local and international renown…expect off-beat,

experimental, and provocative exhibitions,

programs, and collections.

In another post, I shared the experience of seeing 


at the museum, and what a thrill that was.

David Bowie Is poster at Museum Contemporary Art Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – David Bowie exhibit at MCA Chicago
posing with giant David Bowie photograph at mca chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
Goofing with giant Bowie photographs
Orange steps with David Bowie song titles at MCA Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – David Bowie songs archived on the museum’s steps


Keep it simple…head to The Mart!

The Mart – The Merchandise Mart in Chicago
View of river from inside the Mart Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – I snapped this outside a window in The Mart (my photo)

My favorite annual events at The Mart
are Dream Home Chicago,
(a showhouse for charity, featuring work
from local interior  designers) and Design Chicago.

Michael Del Piero vignette in Dream Home Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
A tablescape by Michael Del Piero in Dream Home Chicago in The Mart (my photo)
Bar cabinet by Baker Furniture in Hunter Kaiser room at Dream Home Chicago at The Mart by Hello Lovely Studio
Bar cart and Francine Turk nude in Hunter Kaiser space at Dream Home Chicago (my photo)
Hunter Kaiser tablescape at Dream Home Chicago 2016 in The Mart by Hello Lovely Studio
Hunter Kaiser tablescape at Dream Home Chicago (my photo)

Within the Mart, visit the Design Center and Luxe Home.

Upcoming events include:

Business of Design Lecture Series (March 22, 2017)

One of a Kind Show+Sale (April 28-30, 2017)

If you’re a fan of the interiors spotlighted on Hello Lovely,

you are likely an admirer of the work of

Chicago designer Michael Del Piero.

Visit her fabulous shop (428 N.Wolcott)

while in the Windy City


Take an Architectural Tour in a Wendella Boat
with your friends…sip champagne, make friends on board,
learn about the buildings, and score gorgeous photos.

Downtown Chicago river and buildings by Hello Lovely Studio
My kind of town. (my photo)
Two women taking photos of skyscrapers in Chicago
Sisters who can’t stop snapping.
Downtown Chicago boat on river and skyline with golden sky by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – Boat ride in Chicago (my photo)





  1. an idler or lounger.

We don’t have to travel to Paris to get our

flaneur on! Stroll the streets of Chicago

with no particular destination in mind,

soaking up the sights and sounds of

Midwest urban splendor.

limestone building Chicago woman walking pugs by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – Chicago
Downtown Chicago bridge over river by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – Chicago

I’d love to hear about YOUR favorites in your city.

Harbor in Chicago by Hello Lovely Studio
My photo – Chicago

Your Turn.

If you live in or plan to visit NYC, LA, Chicago,
Austin, Miami, or Denver, Mercedes-Benz invites you

to share your city in a simple artful way on Instagram.

BTW, are you following @hellolovelystudio?

It’s Super easy!

Create a quick (but lovely) animated album of 5 of your best geotagged photos and upload it to Instagram.

Then, share your album on your feed with the hashtag #MBsociallydriven—and your photos could be featured on the Mercedes-Benz website!

Ready to rediscover your city?

Have a Chicago favorite to share?

Peace to you right where you are.


PIN ME to save for later!


  1. February 28, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Love this post, right down to the vintage wedding gown! I want to sign up for Camp Hello LLovely!!

    • March 1, 2017 / 6:09 am

      You're in like flynn, mama!

  2. February 28, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Rocking that vintage wedding gown!!! And you ladies are having too much fun 🙂 Can I crash your party? xoxo

    • March 1, 2017 / 6:13 am

      Thanks, friend…you are also in (but you are in like Finn, the Scandinavian version). Be prepared for laughter…we are dangerous together!

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