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Design Dose

January 2009

8 years
ago

 

Super Bowls

 

War—HUH!—What is it good for? Inspiring this bowl I saw at I.D., for one thing. At first glance it looks like fine porcelain, but it’s actually made of melted plastic toy soldiers, some from each side of the battle (you can see the arms and guns of partially melted soldiers sticking out from the surface). The white version that I.D. has in reserve was inspired by the English Civil War, and the designer (Dominic Wilcox, for Thorsten van Elten) also makes one in blue for the Waterloo War and a red one for the Zulu War. They’re 17.5” in diameter, and retail for $400.  Toy soldiers not included.             

8 years
ago

 

Obsessive Gardeners Unite

Need a great gift idea for someone with a little more than your average green thumb? The type of person who actually knows the ideal time to plant bulbs and loves to talk about the life cycles of herbs at parties? We’ve found just the thing. Local graphic designer (and self-confessed obsessive gardener) Bob Zeni has created The Obsessive Gardener Disorder Calendar, a fact-filled and beautifully designed piece that helps the obsessed track everything from optimal planting dates to average daily temperatures in Chicago. Plus it looks great on your wall or even flat on your desk, and it’s a steal at $10. The best part: your friend satisfies his inner botanist and you share in the wealth (who doesn’t love free veggies?) To see the calendar close-up and to order, check out the equally well-designed Web site here.

8 years
ago

 

Rug Sale

Looking for that special something to pull your room together? Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is holding a rug tag sale in conjunction with Oscar Isberian Rugs Friday, January 30 through Sunday, February 8, from noon to 5 at the auction house. More than 500 rugs will be on display in a variety of prices and sizes.

8 years
ago

 

Sit on This

IQMatics in Schaumburg just started carrying this very commercial-looking furniture line from a UK– and Poland–based company called Tomek Rygalik. If you sorta like the idea of your living room looking like a futuristic airport terminal seating area, the line, called Tremo, is just the, um, ticket.

8 years
ago

 

Bright light for The Allerton

The historic Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue has undergone a top-to-bottom renovation; local firm New Metal Crafts was enlisted to do the custom lighting fixture in the lobby. Shown here, the fixture is composed of five translucent white acrylic boxes with a decorative cut metal overlay. It’s illuminated by LED strips. Picturing this in your foyer? New Metal Crafts can build it in any size.

photo by  Nathan Kirkman

8 years
ago

 

Sale at Pagoda

Pagoda Red, purveyor of Asian antiques and artifacts, is having a warehouse sale this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10-5) at 1201 W. Washington Blvd. Look for discounts of up to 80 percent. All sales are final.

8 years
ago

 

In Bed with Kindel

Bedside Manor, a boutique that sells luxe linens, has signed a deal with Kindel Furniture Co. in Grand Rapids to carry a selected collection of the company’s handcrated pieces. Kindel has been making furniture in the U.S. since 1901 (it is sold locally at Macy’s and a couple other stores). At its four Chicago-area locations starting in March, Bedside Manor will feature a Louis XVI poster bed, occasional tables and chest from the Dorothy Draper collection, and upholstered bedroom chairs.

9 years
ago

 

Kitchens 101

Does your kitchen look like the one at left? Want it to look more like the one at right? Drury Design kicks off a series of kitchen and bath design workshops this Saturday with “Champagne Kitchens on a Beer Budget.” The workshop, which starts at 9 a.m. at Drury’s showroom in Glen Ellyn and includes coffee and breakfast treats, aims to teach you how to prioritize, compromise, or both; how low budget doesn’t have to look cheap; and the basics of how room size affects your budget. Reserve a place by calling 630-469-4980 or email info@drurydesigns.com. See the other workshops here. Ikea, the modern home store giant, is also offering walk-in kitchen planning workshops at 9 a.m. every Saturday at both locations.

9 years
ago

 

What’s in Your Suitcase?

   

In the don’t-really-need-it-but-want-it department, I spotted these cute little cases at Paper Source. Prices range from $8 to $42, depending on size. Cute for an office, kid’s room, or whatever. Just cute. Nuff said.

9 years
ago

 

CB2 Has Some ‘Splaining To Do

     

So I’m flipping through the new CB2 catalog that just arrived, okay, (they obviously got the memo that bright yellow is the color of the year—it’s all over these pages), and came across some wack room set-ups that have me all kerfuffled. I can’t figure out what’s going on in this living room scenario—there’s a rotary phone, receiver off the hook, no phone cord. Was someone having a chat with her imaginary 1970s friend when she smelled fire from the kitchen? (“Hold on a sec, Willie, I’ve got cookies in the oven!”) And what’s that for dinner on page 11—a big plate of raw squid tentacles and about three pounds of lemons? Mmm, chewy. Just the thing after a hard day at the office. You’ll need a lot more than that wee carafe of pinot grigio to get the taste out of your mouth. Don’t even get me started on the bathtub full of glass balls and pearls…maybe that ugly tie-dyed shower curtain inspired the set dresser to light up one of those funny cigarettes. Don’t smoke and style, people. My head hurts.  

9 years
ago

 

Handy Dandy

As he installed my new pedestal sink the other day, my handyman mentioned that in his spare time, he makes hubcap clocks in a workshop out of the basement of his Beverly home. Interesting, I thought. Later, I looked them up on Etsy (under the shop name All Gearhead) and they are pretty darn cool—great for a teenaged boy’s room, dad’s home office, or any space that needs a little found-in-the alleys of Chicago grit to give it some edge. I like the 1960s Volvo one, shown above (he’s got four of them, $30 each). And wouldn’t you know it, his wife is on Etsy, too—with a slightly daintier offering: hand-silkscreened organic pillows that she designs and makes herself under the shop name KarenBucinaDesign (also $30). I’m a fan of the zebra print. Oh, and I like my new sink, too! The Bancroft from Kohler, which I found at Lowe’s.

9 years
ago

 

Who You Calling Paper?

 

While I was waiting for the barista to finish my Americano at the Coffee Studio (medium, black, extra shot, per favore) the other day, I checked out the small selection of java-related merch opposite the counter. This “I am not a paper cup” is fun and, I think, practical. It’s an insulated thermal porcelain cup with a flexible rubber lid, made to look like those take-out cups from all the delis. It’s eco-reusable, $20, you can fill up the inner chamber with hot water to keep your beverage warm longer, and it’s dishwasher-safe. Makes a latte sense.   

9 years
ago

 

Wall-Easy

I was admiring some of my friend Kelly’s art at a cocktail party she hosted, and was surprised to hear her admit that some of the framed pieces I thought were pricey prints are actually just sheets of gift wrap. She found them at the Old Town stationery and gift shop, Greer, got some inexpensive white frames at a Hobby Lobby or a Michael’s or some store like that, and voilà—a clever, changeable gallery. Elum Designs “Winter Solstice” was my favorite, and it troubles me that someone would crease and tape it up to wrap a present. A sheet of the recycled, matte paper is 22 inches x 34 inches and will set you back four bucks. Clever, Kelly. 

9 years
ago

 

New at Urban Archaeology

 

The newly introduced mirrored bath cabinet from Urban Archaeology is such a fabulous alternative to a wall-mounted medicine cabinet, especially since it can hold towels and other bath sundries as well (I’m assuming here that most of us don’t have enough actual medicine to fill the whole thing—though those bottles of NyQuil do tend to multiply). It’s 68 inches high by 27.5 inches wide by 15 inches deep, and it comes in 50 colors and a variety of metal trims. Come to think of it, why limit this beauty to the bathroom? It could look cool filled with books or dishes, too. It will set you back $8,500.

9 years
ago

 

Stud or Dud?

In our September/October issue, we asked four shop owners and managers to give us their predictions of what the top sellers would be at their respective stores. The results are in: Steven Burgert of I.D. predicted it would be the balloon stool from Umbra ($300). “The stool did very well,” he reports. “The ones in the shop sold immediately when they arrived and we had many requests for them as well. It is now on an indefinite back-order.” Devin Kirk of Jayson Home & Garden says this about the ram’s skull lamp ($675) on which he put his money: “This was far and away the top-selling new lamp of last year. What a relief, since my reputation was on the on the line!” (Editorial note: Reputations are definitely not at stake here.) Jonathan Goodman of Elements was quite pleased with his bet as well—a monogrammed metal tray for $650. “We sold 12 of them,” he says. “Not bad for a $700 tray.” What recession? The people need trays! The one pick gone awry was Orange Skin’s Graunk Enzenberger’s: the egg-shaped footrest ($987). “We had tons of inquiries but no orders yet on the footstool,” he says. The surprise big seller there was the Pasmore lounge chair (around $5,400 in leather, shown above), which sat for a while on the showroom floor before it got any bites. “A little unusual that it was suddenly so popular since it’s expensive, but that’s how these things go sometimes,” he said.

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