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Design Dose

January 2010

7 years
ago

 

Art at Scout

This Sunday, January 31, at 2 p.m., Scout will be showing eight watercolors by the late Chicago architect and artist Robert Tague, courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery. At the same time, a sampling of wine will be served, courtesy of Andersonville Wine and Spirits. Soothing watercolors and wine in a cozy shop. What a pleasant way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon.

7 years
ago

 

Porter’s of Racine

After 152 years in business, Porter’s of Racine, a fine furniture store, is closing. North Shore-ites are among the customers who have made the trek over the border for furniture by Stickley, Henredon, Baker, Century, and other big names. Now everything must go, and price reductions are huge. It’s a big blow for downtown Racine, but an opportunity for anyone in the market for new furniture.

7 years
ago

 

New Faves at Room & Board

Yesterday we checked out the new collections at Room & Board and let’s just say we were not disappointed. Every year the company introduces a new signature chair, and this year’s Louis is an elegant, well-priced one ($899) that’s stocked in a navy blue and houndstooth fabric (also available in leather for $1,699)—at once modern and classic. Another cool chair: the Tiffany, a lovely polycarbonate—it’s that Lucite look we love¬—number that’s durable enough for outdoor use and fabulous enough for your dining room ($199 for side chair, $249 for arm chair; available in solid colors as well). Moving on from the seating options, I really like felt rugs and I also like square-shaped rugs (so often area rugs only come in rectangular configurations—though you can get custom sizes through R&B), so I fell in love with the Fuller felted rug ($1,715 for 7 by 7 feet), shown above. I was also so impressed by the workmanship of the Munich storage/media cabinet. Available in solid walnut or cherry, the sliding veneered tambour door panels look completely smooth when closed (see photo above). With a stainless steel base and handles, it’s a true beauty ($2,799). I’m off to save my pennies.

7 years
ago

 

Table Jewelry

   

Over the holidays I went to a party at my friend Jeanne’s home (she of Figaro Parisian Interiors) and met Janet Torelli, who makes handcrafted silver napkin rings (featuring semiprecious stones), serving pieces, ice tongs, martini pics, cocktail stirrers, and more. Her designs, some of which have a Michael Aram vibe to them, would dress up any table. Shown here: sterling/semiprecious gem napkin rings ($675 for eight) and a ginkgo bonbon server ($160).

7 years
ago

 

Lovely Soaps

 

I just got an email from the Careful Peach in Oak Park about these soaps by Savon de Marseille. Don’t you just want to eat them? Perhaps I felt this way because it was about 4 p.m. and my stomach was growling when they appeared, in all their lusciousness, in my InBox yesterday. Available in five varieties (including unscented, rose petals, and lavender) these guys are made of Mediterranean sea salt, ash from Mediterranean sea plants, olive oil and, in some cases, crushed flowers or herbs. You can use them not only to clean your skin, but to do laundry, and wash your dishes (just don’t eat them). They come in 300-gram bars (unscented $8, with pressed flowers/herbs, $13). What a lovely counterpart to any sink.

7 years
ago

 

Pouf!

These fabulous poufs have just arrived at @Work Design in Forest Park. Think of them as throw pillows for your floor. Frank (red), 13½ inch diameter by 15¾ inches high, $617, and Henry (black), 16 by 16 inches, $317.

7 years
ago

 

Down Under Design

It’s summer in Australia right now and Chicago’s Aussies are missing the motherland. That’s why this Sunday from January 24, from 1 to 5 p.m., a bunch of mates are getting together at The Trump Hotel for Experience Australia. Dozens of Outbackers will be selling artisanal cheeses, specialty seafood and meat selections, desserts, aboriginal art, and more; there will also be live performances by popular Australian musicians Anthony Snape and Claire Windham. Among the vendors will be one of our favorite Aussies, Jenny Rossignuolo, co-owner of Urban Source, who will display the lovely wallpaper of fellow countrywoman Florence Broadhurst, which is carried exclusively at Urban. Buy a $35 ticket and you’ll get a chance to win two rolls. That would make it a G’day!

7 years
ago

 

Architectural Anarchy

   

Gosia Korsakowski, an entrepreneur we’ve long admired for her keen eye for vintage home accessories and furniture, has started a new venture with an industrial antiques veteran. The new space is called Architectural Anarchy, and it’s next to Gosia’s booth in the Andersonville Galleria. Her partner is William Rawski, who has run Zap Antiques & Props for more than 20 years, outfitting movies filmed in town as well as many local restaurants. The two met when Gosia started shopping at Zap. Gosia says Anarchy will be home to “funkier, more industrial finds.” Friday would be a great time to visit; that’s the night of Andersonville on Sale, an evening of food, drinks, and discounts at some of our favorite neighborhood retailers and restaurants.

7 years
ago

 

Nifty Knobs

Oh, Facebook. What can’t you do? Reconnect me with old friends, make it easier to know what my buds are up to. You’ve also introduced me to new people and things. When I saw that my pal Martin Giese (a talented artist) was in a new relationship with someone named Jude Gries (Giese/Gries: I know, I know!), of course I had to click to see more. Turns out that (among other arty things), she creates custom decorative hand-painted cabinet hardware. The knobs are made of wood and finished so that they look like porcelain or ceramic, but they won’t break, chip, or crackle. What kid wouldn’t love these on a dresser?

7 years
ago

 

Name Your House

   

After reading our blog about the elegance of monogramming a few weeks ago, Don Raney and Jaymes Richardson, the duo behind Civility Design introduced us to a new concept. Why not name your residence, they proposed—as in the Vanderbilts’ Biltmore Estate or Nixon’s California estate, La Casa Pacifica—to “add further depth of personality within your home, just as art, family photos, and other personal treasures provide that glimpse into the spirit of its owner.” The possibilities are endless, they say, suggesting putting your home’s name on a cashmere throw, cocktail napkins, stationery, matchbooks, serving trays, and china. Civility Design’s turn-to sources for monogramming are A Little Bit of This and Queen of Cashmere. Like this idea? You’d better really like the name you choose. Raney and Richardson have some tips:

•For a whimsical touch, how about naming your 400-sqaure-foot studio something like “Buckingham Arms?” Think grandiose.

•For an easy option, combine the names of the homes’ owners, a la “Pickfair,” the Beverly Hills estate of film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

•Still at a loss? You can always fill in the blanks: “________ more” or “ ___________ haven.” Just insert a portion of your surname and it automatically sounds like old money. Think of “Biltmore,” the famous and legendary home of George Vanderbilt in North Carolina.

Thanks for the idea!

7 years
ago

 

Spa Bedding

 

Our hometown source for down, United Feather and Down, has teamed up with the famed cosmetic company Borghese for a new luxe bedding line. The new comforters and pillows are made of 300-thread-count Italian Tile Dobby Cotton and finished with an aloe vera treatment to make them super soft. All bedding comes with samples of Borghese skin-care products. Villa di Borghese bedding is sold exclusively at Bloomingale’s. A king-sized comforter is $500. Hmmm. Wonder if any of this will eventually find its way to one of United’s popular warehouse sales?

7 years
ago

 

Thomas Jolly Antiques

I stopped in to see my friend Tom yesterday (he’s in the midst of revamping his shop to include more mid-century items) and fell for this lamp—the base is a stunning clear blue. It looks like it came from Holly Golightly’s apartment, but it’d look great in yours, I bet. It’s one of a pair. 

7 years
ago

 

New Shop in Winnetka

   

By popular demand from her clients, Cindy Galvin of Bardes Interiors has opened a new shop in Winnetka called Maze Home, filled with new and antique furnishings ranging from sofas, tables, and chairs to lamps, pillows, and linens—all with a sophisticated-yet-cozy European feel. In addition to carrying her own line of upholstered pieces (in the most amazing, richly embellished fabrics), Galvin also exclusively represents in the area New Jersey–based artist John C. Traynor (a collection of his peaceful pastoral scenes and still-lifes fills a room in the store), along with the Parisian linen company D. Porthault, which was founded in 1920 and is famous for its colorful screen-printed patterns that have graced the beds of Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, and many other luminaries (the company also makes towels, robes, and pajamas).

7 years
ago

 

Win a Bathroom Makeover

Got a bathroom in need of serious revamping? The Tile Shop is holding a contest to find the ugliest bathroom in the area. When they find it, they will bestow upon the owner tile, cabinets, fixtures, lighting, paint, and professional design and installation advice. Find all the details and enter by February 4 here.

Photograph: Courtesy HGTV.com

7 years
ago

 

Enter Turquoise

Just the other day I blogged about the staying power of yellow, but the folks at Pantone have other ideas. The color authority has selected 15-5519 Turquoise as the 2010 color of the year. Come to think of it, I have been craving a turquoise purse lately, and I got a scarf in that color last year, and have been happy to have it this season. Stop controlling my mind, Pantone! Still, for my home, I’m not loving this hue. Too harsh, I think. (Although Kartell’s Frilly chairs by Patricia Urquiola, shown above, are pretty fun. So is the floor in this Nantucket boathouse kitchen, featured in the current issue of House Beautiful.) Any other opinions on the matter?

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