2017 Press Releases

For Immediate Release 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Whitley Bouma Herbert


Mark D. Sikes to Serve as Honorary Chair of the

Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens 

Tours of a Re-Imagined Howard Van Doren Shaw Estate to be Offered

 April 29, 2017 through May 21, 2017


December 8, 2016--Lake Forest, Ill. -- The Lake Forest Chapter of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago announces the location of its 17th Biennial Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens: an east Lake Forest estate designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. As one of the most respected turn of the century architects, Shaw received a nod in the “The Great Gatsby” as the architect of character Daisy Buchanan’s Lake Forest home.  Also a top designer of his time, Mark D. Sikes, internationally-known interior designer and author of the new book “Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style,” will serve as the honorary chair of the 2017 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens.  The house will open April 29, 2017,, and remain open for tours seven days-a-week until May 21, 2017.  The home benefits the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago which provides an array of services to children, women and men of Chicago's working poor.

The Historic Preservation Award-winning English country estate is set on more than two acres featuring exquisite gardens with bluestone patios, fountains and a large fire pit. The house is a five bedroom and five-and-a-half bath masterpiece with a five-room coach house with kitchen. The house was built in 1922 as a summer residence for a prominent lawyer named J. O. Hinkley. The present owners purchased the house in 2007 and meticulously researched and replaced original materials including mercury glass windows sourced from England.

Howard Van Doren Shaw’s houses are characterized by unexpected groupings of windows and wide-open living spaces with rooms open to each other – forward-looking design at the time. Featured in Stuart Cohen's new book "Inventing the New American House, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Architect," the author refers to many of the homes Shaw designed as big, scaled-up cottages. Shaw is known not only for his residential work but also for designing Market Square in Lake Forest, which Chicago magazine called, “ . . . arguably the first shopping mall in America”


This is a bit of a homecoming for Mark D. Sikes, who grew up in Decatur, Ill. Mark D. Sikes started his interior design firm and launched a lifestyle blog, a daily record of “chic people, glamorous places and stylish things,” when he relocated to Los Angeles from San Francisco in 2011. Since, he has grown his business to include new collections with Soane, Henredon, Merida and Schumacher and his social media following to tens of thousands of followers. In fall of 2016, Mark D. Sikes released his first book “Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style.” His style is timeless yet spirited; simple, classic and all-American.

The Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens Committee has interviewed hundreds of top local interior and landscape designers and architects. Over 30 designers have been selected and will begin transforming the property in February, which includes redesigning the majority of the rooms in the main house and coach house, as well as several outdoor patio and garden areas.

The Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens will be open for tours seven days-a-week from April 29 through May 21, 2017. Honorary Chair Mark D. Sikes will share his lifestyle and design philosophy along with a peek at this new book “Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style” during a lecture to take place on April 30; details to be announced. For up-to-date event information and to purchase tickets visit www.lakeforestshowhouse.com.


Founded in 1911 with a mission to provide fresh milk in response to high infant mortality rates, Infant Welfare Society (IWS) of Chicago now provides an array of services to women and children of Chicago's working poor through its Logan Square clinic. Medical services include pediatric medicine, dentistry and optometry, child and adolescent mental health counseling, early child development assessment and literacy support. For women, the agency offers prenatal family planning, preventative care and management of chronic diseases. Starting this year, the clinic began providing medical care for men. Through fundraisers like the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens and other events, the Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society has donated over $30 million to IWS since its founding in 1913. Widely recognized as one of the top 10 Showhouses in the country, the Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens has raised more than $4 million.

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April 29 through May 21, 2017

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago

2017 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens EVENT TICKETS