Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module

Design Dose

August 2008

9 years
ago

 

Sarah Drake Stationery


 

Sarah Drake just has it together. The local graphic designer creates beautiful, understated wedding invitations, complete with details like matching envelope liners and custom stamps (love the concept of the custom stamp; wish I was that motivated with my postage). Recently, Drake launched a line of letterpress-printed personalized stationery called Couture Correspondence (shown above). She also has a lovely blog in which she shares her inspirations.

9 years
ago

 

Plant a Tree, Win a Chair


Sign up for the Roche Bobois eco-newsletter, with green tips and trend reports, and you could win this special version of their swanky Maurizio Manzoni Nuage swivel chair, upholstered in bamboo fabric. RB has partnered with American Forests Global ReLEAF (get it?) Program and promises to plant a tree for every person that registers. Hurry up and click though, the drawing will be held on Friday, August 29.

9 years
ago

 

Renovating Nightmares


I’ve been reading an advance copy of Chicago journalist Ed Zotti’s The Barn House: Confessions of an Urban Rehabber, which hits bookstores in September, and I have to say it’s making me feel a lot better about the rehabbing of my own house (his process, complete with not only ugly additions built by previous owners, but burglars, sounds painful). Zotti, who edits the syndicated column “Straight Dope” that appears in the Chicago Reader, chronicles his woes with great humor and detail (sometimes a bit too much detail about things like electrical wiring if you ask me; on the other hand, lots of fun footnotes with tidbits of Chicago history). It’s worth picking up if you want to commiserate and chuckle at Zotti’s dry wit.

9 years
ago

 

Reincarnation of White


 

Walking down Superior Street the other night, I spotted a shapely red fiberglass chair in a window across the street. I crossed Superior to get a better look and saw more colorful fiberglass seating and several other midcentury modern pieces, arrayed amid stacks of rugs. I was intrigued but left hanging: The store was closed, and there was no visible signage. So I walked by again the next day, saw a familiar face inside, and suddenly it all made sense. Juhm, the man with one name behind the recently shuttered White on Kinzie Street, has resurfaced to sell his reproduction classics at Generations Rug Gallery (200 W. Superior St.). He’s scaled back the offerings from his White days but also has some beautiful new pieces in wood—stools in the style of Finn Juhl, an incredible daybed in homage to Hans Wegner, and sleek modern planters. I’ll continue to save my pennies for the real thing, but I’m glad Juhm is back and that instant gratification remains an option. Store hours are Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 7p.m., or by appointment: 312-222-0922.

9 years
ago

 

Hammer Time


 

I’ve been going on and on for a while about how I’d like to bid on something at an auction. I’m scared of them for some reason—even eBay! So the other day after spotting the above table in the catalog for Leslie Hindman’s August 13 Marketplace auction, I mustered up the courage to go for it. OK, to be honest, a coworker of mine—an auction vet—shoved the phone-bid form in my hand and basically forced me to fax in the darn thing. I didn’t have much to lose. The estimated value of the table was $40 to $80. My max was $50.
    “They’ll probably call you and say, ‘We have an opening bid of $70,’ and then you can just say, ‘No thanks,’” my coworker said encouragingly. She also gave me a tip: “Don’t choose a round number like $50 or $100 for your limit; make it $55 or $110, because a lot of people have a round number in mind, and will drop out at that point. You’ll be mad at yourself if you stop at $50 and someone else gets it for just a few dollars more.”
     The next morning at 10:30, a polite gentleman from Leslie Hindman called, and from there on, it’s all a blur. I think he confirmed that I was indeed Gina Bazer, that I wished to bid by phone, that my lot would soon be up. In the background, I heard voices. It was the bidding process for the item preceding mine–“We have $400. Do we hear $425?” I thought, forget it, I’m out of this game. But then my turn came, and the nice man said, “We’re opening at $40. Would you like to bid $40?” And I said yes. There was some rumbling, and then suddenly I heard, “Congratulations. Someone from our accounting department will contact you later in the day.” What? That was it? The table was mine? I felt like I had won on a game show, which is exactly how my friend told me she feels when she gets her pick. The other nugget of info she shared a tad too late—since I was the only bidder, I probably could have gotten that table for $20! Oh, well. Bid and learn.

9 years
ago

 

Art, Smart


 

Aldo Castillo Contemporary in the River East Arts Center is having a large, eclectic group exhibition starting Friday, September 5 with nothing priced over $500. We’re not talking posters and sketches here—these are original paintings, prints, and sculptures, from 40-plus established international artists. Chicago image-makers include Lorna Marsh, Scott Ashley, and Luis Fernando Uribe. There’ll be about 180 pieces on view, and the show stays up through October 11. Seems like a great way to start up or beef up your home art gallery. Me gusto mucho the pieces shown above by Carlos Zamora (left) and Amparo Climent (right). There’s an opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30, and I’m guessing small cubes of cheese and plastic tumblers of chardonnay will be involved. If you’re still hungry, grab some ceviche and drink in the scene next door at over-the-top resto Delacosta.

9 years
ago

 

Rising from the Ashes

   

The emerald ash borer infestation in our area is so sad. We’re likely to lose thousands of trees. A slight silver lining: giving the lumber from the trees a second life in the form of furniture. See what several local designers, including Barry Newstat (whose tables are shown here), Michael Dreeben, and Sean Scott, have designed using ash in a group traveling show. The stops: Morton Arboretum, August 22 to September 7; Hafele America, October 6-7; Design Within Reach, November 7-21, and 445 N. Sacramento Blvd., December 4-February 28.

Photography by Peter Rossi

9 years
ago

 

Andrew Hollingsworth’s Book

Danish Modern furniture dealer Andrew Hollingsworth’s new book, called, simply, Danish Modern (Gibbs Smith), just arrived at our office. It’s hitting bookstores in October, but here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside. 1. Lots of historical information and a good definition of what exactly this movement is, along with profiles on its key players (Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, et al). 2. Pictures of important pieces. 3. Interior shots of homes showing Danish Modern in all its clean-lined glory, with Chicago residences designed by local designers figuring prominently. The book is both well organized and easy to read. Kudos to you, Mr. Hollingsworth-first for bringing us your amazing shop (and, yes, we even forgive you for moving and going to appointment-only!) and, now, this wonderful compendium of your knowledge and passion.

9 years
ago

 

Photo Op

Thos. Moser at Tree Studios on State Street is exhibiting the botanical photography of interior designer Laurel Feldman through October. Framed against white mats and hung in a group, the Georgia O’Keefe–esque photos seem to pop off the walls. Makes sense that a designer would find just the right shots.

9 years
ago

 

V. Amsterdam

I stopped by the Antiquarians Building on Kinzie yesterday to check out the newly expanded V. Amsterdam, which now consumes the entire lower level of the building, and fell in love with the shop’s mid-century collection.
    Owner Marilyn Vogel offers an overwhelming assortment of 20th century American pieces, with an emphasis on Art Deco-period items and Asian influences. The result is a rich and sophisticated look that left me drooling.
    Vogel, a former lawyer who flips houses on the Gold Coast when she’s not busy collecting, opened V. Amsterdam five years ago. I spent much of my time there petting a striking 1940s American, curved-back side chair with tufted gold upholstery, pictured here. One of a pair and a perfect addition to my living room, but, unfortunately, not part of my currently non-existent home-décor budget. Other items I oogled longingly: a funky pair of Danish walnut-twisted leg stools, circa 1880, with a patterned leather upholstery and beaded trim ($1,550, also shown here); a 1950s Chinoiserie mirror with antiqued glass ($500); and a charming pair of late 19th century walnut bedside tables with mesh inset doors ($1,500).
    Lighting is obviously a passion of Vogel’s: lamps of all shapes and styles rest on every tabletop and stand in every corner. Among them was a pair of regal-looking black-shaded 1950s bronze table lamps ($1,400), and a beautiful set of Borghese library lamps ($1,250). I found a great pair of neoclassical-style milk glass table lamps for just $200.

9 years
ago

 

From Arhaus to Yours


 

I’m not usually a fan of patchwork patterns (in home design, not clothes—I live in madras all summer), as the look often comes across as too calico-country-kitchen, but these sassy Casama slipper chairs at Arhaus made me smile when they showed up on the cover of the latest catalog, hanging from trees. Like snowflakes and Meryl Streep roles, they’re one-of-a-kind, and are made of multipatterned color-saturated fabrics in a little village in India. You can choose a bright or a muted combination—I’m thinking one, maybe two brights for a sunroom or porch. The introductory price is $399, until the end of August when they go to $569.

9 years
ago

 

Details, Details

How many times in our pages have we written about details making all the difference in a décor? A leather trim here, a grosgrain border there? Well, the mother of all tapes, tassels, fringes, braids, and more, Samuel & Sons Passementerie, has opened on the sixth floor of the Mart. It’s to-the-trade-only, but it’s an institution, so if you have a designer and you love to sweat the small stuff, this a place to see.

9 years
ago

 

Golden Touch

I popped into The Golden Triangle over lunch today and was completely blown away. While we covered the shop’s move/expansion in the mag, I personally hadn’t been there until today. I often stopped by the old location to browse, but this is something else entirely—a truly gorgeous space (23,000 square feet; they rent it out for parties). I love the dark paint and reclaimed wood on the walls, and the way Art Deco and contemporary pieces are mixed in with the store’s signature Asian collection. The vast space keeps things airy and uncluttered. Also, did you know that Golden Triangle does kitchens? I certainly didn’t. You can have yours re-done out of reclaimed elm from demolished buildings in Beijing. (The showroom has one on display.) If you are in the market for a coffee table (which I am—particularly the one pictured above!), they have plenty to choose from, and can make one for you out of reclaimed wood. Look for great deals at the sidewalk sale (40 to 70 percent off) August 15 to 30.

9 years
ago

 

Hejfina Goes Home


Since Hejfina’s opening day, I’ve swooned and saved my coin to shop the well-edited selection of well-cut and oozingly cool clothing lines for men and women, and the small, artful selection of furniture by the likes of Carson Maddox and Michael Koehler that was in the front of the store. While she is no longer representing the furniture makers, shop owner Heiji Choy Black has caught the home bug harder than ever. The front of the shop now boasts a carefully curated cache of tabletop goods and art, including a sustainable line from Denmark called Mater (see white pitcher above) and Lexon clocks (see clock radio above). This month, Chicago-based artist Noelle Allen’s window display kicks off the shop’s collaboration with local artists, whose work will be shown throughout the space.  Look for a new artist every month, with photographer Doug Fogelson and multimedia artist William J. O’Brien coming soon—as well as more homewares.

9 years
ago

 

Push It Good

 It’s that back-to-school time of year again, and even though I haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in a while I still think about grade school shopping lists of Pink Pearl erasers, number two pencils, and Mead spiral notebooks every time the dog days of August start barking. (Maybe it’s the tree-and-a-half’s worth of circulars that slips out of my Sunday papers every week.) Kids have a lot more options these days, though. I saw some great, stylish school/office supplies the other day at Staples. No kidding. Who’da thunk that this utilitarian supplies chain would come out with a quirky line of stationary and office products that rivals Target in its creativity and sophistication? The line is called M by Staples, and it’s available at select Staples locations (4610 N. Clark Street, for one) with limited online availability. I especially like these pushpins and binder clips that are made to look like old typewriter keys. They’re $5.99 for a set of eight, and they’ve taken my cubicle to the head of the class.

Edit Module