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Design Dose

February 2010

7 years
ago

 

Oak Park Shuffle

 

A handful of design boutiques in Oak Park are shifting shape, and we’ve got the scoop. Careful Peach is relocating from 128 Harrison St. to 1024 North Blvd.—and gaining 300 square feet of retail space. The new location, slated to open April 1, will boast more room for vignettes and an expanded inventory of home goods. We can’t wait to browse imported French dinnerware by Jars and upholstery fabrics from Broderies Langlet, not to mention jewelry by Parisian designer Anne-Laure Frizot. Tres chic, non? Nearby Maison Suzanne is shaking things up, too. Mid-March, the antiques dealer will close its Glen Ellyn location and expand its 206 S. Marion St. shop to encompass the neighboring storefront at 208 S. Marion, a space that’s currently occupied by Michael FitzSimmons Decorative Arts. (FitzSimmons will be shacking up with Barley Twist over at 144 N. Oak Park Ave.) The expansion will boost Maison Suzanne’s square footage from 4,000 to 8,000, allowing for a deeper selection of European and Asian antiques, custom pillows, and vintage textiles.

7 years
ago

 

We Heart Holland

 

As if we needed any more convincing that Holland is totally cool, this tulip-happy design-savvy country that serves spacecakes at its cafes has recently launched a marketing campaign with the slogan “Just Be. In Holland.” I would love to just be. In Holland. Right about now. But here I am blogging about it instead! I suppose it’s to make us all feel better (and to get us on their promotional email list) that the tourism board of Holland has launched a contest (that started yesterday and lasts until March 3), offering the opportunity to win a Moooi Carbon Chair, designed by Dutch designers Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders. All you need to do is visit www.holland.com and answer the quiz displayed after you hit: “Just click. To win.”

7 years
ago

 

Function Meets Art

Recently I went to see my friends John and Frances to view the new art-furniture piece they had commissioned. They had asked the artist Matt Hanner (thebuildup71@gmail.com) to have his way with an old wooden dresser. They gave him no restrictions on the design, and now they are so in love with the results that they actually display the dresser as sculpture. In my friend’s own words: “Matt surprised me today when he asked what we were keeping in the drawers. I still don’t think he has any idea how much we enjoy these drawers as living-room sculpture. We do not find this chest to be empty… it is quite full.” Just shows that there are no rules when it comes to decorating.

7 years
ago

 

We’re Fans

This is the coolest fan I’ve ever seen. The Air Multiplier from Dyson is safe, easy to clean, and generates smooth airflow (for about $300, in 10- and 12-inch table models). “The blades on conventional fans cause unpleasant buffeting because they chop the air before it hits you,” Dyson says. Who needs unpleasant buffeting? It’s sold at Luminaire here and will be at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, and Target the end of March.

7 years
ago

 

A Big Bucket of Ugly

The scene: Chicago magazine conference room. The cast: a couple of WGN staffers, Shelterrific blogger Katie Donbavand, me, and some Tile Shop folks, fresh off the plane from HQ in Minnesota. (They brought beer! A local brew called Lakemaid.) Our task: to find the ugliest bathroom in the Chicago area. Some 300 Chicago-area homeowners submitted photos or video of their sorry bathrooms, and made a case for winning the prize from The Tile Shop: all new tile and fixtures for a new bathroom, valued up to $50,000. You may ask: what qualifies a person to judge an ugly bathroom contest? And I would answer that I’m not sure, but we knew ugly when we saw it, what was workable and what was atrocious. Mostly we agreed. A few entries we reviewed were deemed just not ugly enough. The stories were good, and so many people seemed truly deserving of a new bath. In the end, we chose the entry shown above, belonging to Suzanne and Matt Witt of Evergreen Park. The Witts bought the home seven months ago from an owner who had lived there 30 years. It shows: The bathroom floor is covered with pink linoleum square tiles, circa 1960s. The walls are covered in a combination of green and light yellow plastic tiles, some missing. The shower stall is built with a plastic surround with stubborn mold. The Witts, who are expecting a baby, will take on the project themselves, with design help from The Tile Shop. We spread the love around: Rich Richter of Rolling Meadows won all new tile to remodel his classic 1970s gold bathroom, and Jennifer Healy of Palatine won a $500 gift certificate from The Tile Shop to remodel her lime green bathroom. All in all, good clean fun!

7 years
ago

 

Martha Peck Antiques

Everything is marked down 20-50% at Martha Peck Antiques in Northfield. Her lease is up so she’s closing shop March 31, though she’ll continue to sell at shows (including the Chicago Botanic Garden Antique and Garden Show in April), by appointment, or through her website. Peck specializes in 18th and 19th century American, English, and Continental furniture and accessories.

7 years
ago

 

Anna’s Mostly Mahogany Sale

Sunday is the last day for the pink tag sale at Anna’s Mostly Mahogany. Save 30% on all items marked with a pink tag (there’s still lots to choose from in this 25,000 square-foot space, a sales clerk reports). Lamps, both table and floor models, are half off. The other antiques vendors in Anna’s space are also holding a sale.

7 years
ago

 

Revisiting Revision

   

Vintage collector extraordinaire Katie Ernst is opening the doors to her normally by-appointment-only showroom Revision Home at 2132 W. Fulton for her second three-day sale this Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. There will also be a preview of the merch on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Also on Thursday night, nearby Supreme Novelty Fabrics  at 2156 W. Fulton (open to the trade only) opens its doors for a reception. Though Supreme stocks a big selection of bridal fabrics, it carries about the same amount of home decor fabrics.

7 years
ago

 

Stonewood

 

A few weeks back I was rushing through the Mart and Robert Briggs of Granite & Marble Resources beckoned me into his showroom to show off Stonewood, a pioneering product exclusive to Granite & Marble in the U.S. If you like the look of wood but need your floors to have the properties of stone, check it out. Made mostly of quartzitic limestone or marble, which is dense and non-absorbent, it doesn’t warp or contract when in contact with water and can be placed in the bathroom (even showers), lower levels, and kitchens. It’s scratch-resistant, looks like exotic wood, and comes in eight colors. It’s stocked in the Chicago area for faster delivery, and you can get countertops in large slabs or mosaics to match. If there are some other materials out there that you’d like to mimic with good old durable tile, check out our story Copy Cats, which features tile that looks like linen, wood, bamboo, and more.

7 years
ago

 

Design Contest

DIY-ers take note: you can win prizes for your decorating prowess. Show off a great bedroom, living room, or dining room by entering The Painted Lady’s design and decor competition. The judges, including The Painted Lady’s owner Beth Harlow, Annie Wasserman of Nate Berkus Associates, and yours truly—will review photos of the spaces for originality of vision, layout, and proportion, and overall ambiance. Winners will be announced on April 8 during a cocktail reception at The Painted Lady. Prizes include gift baskets from North Bucktown merchants, subscriptions to Chicago Home & Garden magazine, and gift certificates from The Painted Lady. Deadline is March 11. More details are at thepaintedladychicago.com.

7 years
ago

 

50% off at Midnight Sun

I just snagged this 1958 painting by Allan Erwo at Midnight Sun Antiques in Libertyville for half off. I’ve had my eye on it for some months, and owner Annika Christensen was savvy enough to contact me when she started her sale. All old inventory (certain items excluded) is marked down through February 20.

7 years
ago

 

I Heart NY(IGF)

Back from the New York International Gift Fair for a week, but can’t stop thinking about a few of my favorites making their way to a store near you soon. Kikkerland’s “fake grass” charging station is kitschy meets practical. I am unpatriotically obsessed with Union Jacks these days, and loved Halo’s giant Union Jack Bensington foot stool. Jill Rosenwald’s pottery and lamps made me have to lie down. The vintage reproductions made the Go Home, and Design Legacy booths feel like a trip to the flea market. Loved the ‘Tini tables from Oomph—just tiny enough for your martini—get it? We’ve been obsessed with the tiny table trend for quite some time—I think every chair should have a table. Rumor has it Chiasso picked up Camilla House Imports clear-backed and patent Louis chairs, and I saw a buyer from Branca taking a peek at Alice Supply Co.’s cheeky chic household helpers. We have more showstoppers up our sleeve—but have to save some for upcoming issues. Stay tuned!

7 years
ago

 

A Little Trendy: NY Gift Fair

 

The name of the game for covering the New York International Gift Fair is not just what’s new—but hedging your bets (and byline) on what’s next. I remember covering my first show for Chicago Home + Garden in 2008. After combing the football field–sized scores of floors, I rang the office to weigh in on my trend declaration! Hey, breaking news—“peace sign = the new owl,” “mushrooms are the new birds,” “metallic is the new black.” And boy, do we LOVE when we’re right! This show, the BIGGEST news was SMALLS. Jonathan Adler introduced more than 200 new products this season including Jonathan Adler Junior. Diminutive and witty little versions of his furniture and furnishings for only the coolest kiddos. We heart the idea of buying a teeny alpaca throw,  included Oly Petite Seating—tables and shelves too! Look for them this spring at Jayson Home & Garden. Little Nest had the most mod of the minis, replicas of iconic favorites scaled down to suit “budding design enthusiasts” (see photo). Stay tuned so we can share their imminent whereabouts here in town. Garden spot Sprout was ahead of the game with its recycled outdoor offerings from Iman, look for them in our March-April issue.

7 years
ago

 

Kinzie Street

Lots of changes are afoot on Kinzie Street near the Mart. This week the 100 West block is getting a new resident: Pauline Grace, a contemporary furniture showroom that had been on Kingsbury. Pauline Grace joins Thomas Jolly Antiques and Oscar Isberian Rugs , which moved next door to a new space. P. A. Larkin closed its storefront but is now selling its Asian furniture out of Vintage Pine. Evanstonia also closed its River North doors, but is still open in Ravenswood. Got all that?

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