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Meet Chicago Designer Brock Lane Mettz

Plus: customized gifts, a suburban First Friday, and a design expo debuts at Navy Pier.

Brock Lane Mettz (right) and the nursery he designed as part of a River North project   Photos: Jason W. Kaumeyer Photography

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Following its quiet launch in late 2016, Brock Lane Mettz Design (brocklanemettz.com) is putting its touch on residences throughout the city, from Andersonville and Ravenswood to River North and the Loop.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Mettz got his first taste of interior design when, as a seven-year-old, his parents tasked him with redesigning his bedroom. “That was such a formative experience,” says Mettz. “Of course, I think she was gently guiding me in the direction of what she wanted, but I was able to choose paint color, wallpaper, carpet color, the comforter on my bed… I remember going through the process and setting all of the pieces out and figuring out if everything went together.” (For the record, he went with a decidedly nautical aesthetic, with sailboat-themed wallpaper, pale blue-painted walls, and a red bedspread.)

These days, the North Side resident finds inspiration from his urban clientele. “I really love to get to know where they’re coming from—their point of view—and then establish this overarching concept,” he says. To wit, a recent project in River North began with a complete master bathroom renovation and ultimately evolved to include more rooms, including a boldly patterned nursery space. “We really pulled a continuing thread throughout the whole [space],” Mettz says of the white, black, and blue color scheme, “so every room works together.”

Interior Intel

Mark your calendar for April 11, when Room & Board (roomandboard.com) unveils its latest accessories including made-in-Illinois pieces (like Delish Glass–crafted vases which do double-duty as candle holders when turned upside down), and in-store-only items like framed New Yorker magazines and handwoven Hmong textiles. Bonus: The downtown Chicago location (55 E. Ohio St.) now offers three hours of free validated parking at two nearby lots.

Through April 23, Material Possessions (954 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, materialpossessions.com) is offering complimentary engraving with the purchase of select Simon Pearce pieces. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or stocking up on thoughtful gifts (friendly reminder that wedding season is right around the corner), master engraver Mary Trefney will customize an array of items from the American-made line. View the Simon Pearce offering.

Events

Hubbard Woods Design District (Green Bay Rd. between Scott Ave. and Tower Rd., Winnetka, shophwdd.com) hosts its First Friday event tomorrow evening on the North Shore. From 5 to 8 p.m., select showrooms like Robert Bryan Home, Sawbridge Studios, and Vivid Art Gallery will highlight unique designers and offer refreshments. View a map of participating First Friday locations.

From 6 to 8 p.m. this Saturday, Cultivate Urban Rainforest (704 Main St., Evanston, cultivateurbanrainforest.com) will host an opening reception for Unfurling Tender Vitality. Just in time for Earth Month, the exhibit highlights macro images of nature by photographer Ilze Arajs. RSVP for the free event.

New expo alert: The Chicago Art & Design Show (600 E. Grand Ave., Exhibit Hall A, amdurproductions.com/the-chicago-art-show-at-navy-pier) will make its debut at Navy Pier this weekend. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the free-admission juried art show will showcase ceramics, furniture, glass, photography, sculpture, and more works from 100 designers.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Architectural Artifacts (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., architecturalartifacts.com) will hold an auction complete with standout pieces from the Ravenswood treasure trove’s three-decade history. Beginning at noon on April 13, visit Wright (1440 W. Hubbard St., wright20.com) to bid on one-of-a-kind finds including a Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan-designed T-Plate from the Chicago Stock Exchange, and a pair of Frank Lloyd Wright–designed windows from the demolished Oscar M. Steffens House. Take a look at the nearly 120 lots.

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