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Design Dose

July 2008

9 years
ago

 

Small World

I just ran into an old… um, friend? What do you call a person who mercifully pulled over and offered you a ride home when, four years ago, you were walking along North Avenue in the dark, in the about-to-start-pouring rain, holding two overflowing bags from Whole Foods while trying to balance an umbrella under your armpit, because the bus was JUST driving off as you approached the gosh-darn stop?! I think that person is called a friend. (Normally, I don’t hitchhike, but this woman had “good person” written all over her face—and let’s face it, I was desperate.) I ran into Evelyn Daitchman at the studio of artist Michael Thompson (whose super-cool and interesting space will be featured in our November/December issue). She is a massage therapist and has all sorts of celebrity clients, but she’s also a collector of vintage clothing, fabric, and dishes. She sells her wares (the home stuff has a fun Anthropologie feel) out of Thompson’s loft space and at the Randolph Street Flea Market. Look for the name Jackie Ono. Here’s to the kindness of strangers!

9 years
ago

 

C’est Moi

C’est Moi, a delightful shop in Vintage Pine, is closing. The owner says no reasonable offer will be refused on rugs, bedding, candles, oilcloth bags, David Fussenegger throws (shown here) and lots more. 904 W. Blackhawk St., 312-944-2116.

9 years
ago

 

Soft Stuff


 

Pillows are the T-shirts of the home design world.  (Funny—in our last issue, I recall writing that “pillows are the shoes of the home design world”… OK, so the fashion and design worlds have some crossover, and I like to point that out… repeatedly! No big deal.) Anyway, I say this because pillows (like shoes and T-shirts) provide a relatively inexpensive way to express yourself. You can easily tone down a formal room by tossing in a vibrant or, in the case of Jonathan Adler, cheeky pillow. Enter Adler’s latest line of needlepoint pillows, shown above. They may be too precious for some, but I think if you don’t overdo it (like throw the “drugs” AND the “hugs” pillow on your sofa), the look is kind of fun.

9 years
ago

 

House Painting


 

How much do you love your house? Enough to have a portrait of it painted by a professional artist? If you like the idea of having your casa immortalized in watercolor, you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t cost all that much. Send Jim Pinto a photo of your precious and he will deliver a 12-by-18-inch rendering for $350. It’s a little kitschy, maybe even sappy, but sort of sweet, too. Pinto sells gift certificates as well, so you could get your parents a portrait of the home you grew up in before they sell the empty nest and head to Arizona. Most of the photos in his gallery are of traditional homes, but I think it would be fun to shake it up and have him do your ranch. Or an interior shot? What do you think? I think it would be even better if you could get a paint-by-numbers kit of your house. Business idea, anyone?

9 years
ago

 

Me, at the Manor

If you find yourself near Bannockburn Tuesday evening, join me at the Scottish Manor, a concept home by Orren Pickell. I’ll be leading a tour and discussion with Pickell’s Tracy Konrath, the designer who chose the finishes in the 9,000-square-foot manse. If you’re into the barrel-vaulted-ceiling-tons-of-tumbled-stone-and-wood look, you’ll love this 9,000-square-foot home. The event is free, and takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 30 Aberdeen Court (call 847-572-5200 for directions).

9 years
ago

 

Black Walnut Plants New Roots


After three years on Division Street, Robert Wayner’s Black Walnut Gallery has moved to the West Loop gallery district. If you love rustic, rough-edged wood tables and benches with a modern sensibility, and contemporary art with a political slant, this is the place to get both. (Through the rest of July and all of August, check out Tolerance of Belief, a group art exhibit featuring 10 Arab and Jewish artists from around the world, “who are making a stand for peace and understanding in the Middle East by displaying their artwork side-by-side.”) Wayner, an artist and furniture maker, is a very friendly man who loves to share stories about the origins of the reclaimed wood he uses to make his furniture.

9 years
ago

 

Treasure Trove


We just got word from Steven Burgert, owner of I.D., that the shop is now the exclusive Chicago retailer of Trove wallpaper. This gorgeous paper feels more like art than a wall treatment. I actually would like to buy some just to frame it. It costs about $13 to $16 a square foot.

9 years
ago

 

Alt Kids’ Portraits


I saw some of these silhouettes, sort of the modern equivalent of a portrait, in a family home designed by Julia Edelmann. Local photographer Maggie Meiners does them.

9 years
ago

 

Au Revoir, Le Magasin!


I really hate starting a post with an expression of farewell, in any language. Another of my favorite shops, River North’s Le Magasin, is closing July 31. The impossibly charming owner, Didier Milleriot, is moving back to his native France to be near his partner, who is off to Germany for a fellowship. The good news is that many of Milleriot’s lines—including Point à la Ligne vegetable-shaped candles, glassware, and linens from Garnier Thibaut (shown here) and Alexandre Turpault—will now be carried at Oak Park’s year-old Botanica. Milleriot reports that there’s not much left in his shop, but what is there is all 50 percent off. Milleriot will make a special appearance at Botanica on October 16. Details to come.

9 years
ago

 

Fashionably Cool

For more than 40 years, these incredible fashion photos by Mark Shaw (best known for his work documenting the family life of the Kennedys at the White House) went unviewed. In the past few years, Andrew Wilder of Svenska Mobler worked with Shaw’s only heir, David (a childhood friend), and his wife, Juliet Cuming, to make the photos available to the public. Svenksa Mobler in River North, the fantastic showroom filled with Swedish Modernist and Argentine Functionalist furniture, has about 15 of the photos, which Shaw shot in the 1950s and early 1960s for LIFE’s coverage of the European fashion collections, on display. They range from about $800 to $2,000.

9 years
ago

 

Green Kitchen


 

Architect Lisa Elkins of 2 Point Perspective, a firm that specializes in eco-friendly design, just sent over a snapshot of her kitchen. Look at the LED-underlit bamboo panel on the ceiling—I love how this sustainable material continues from the cabinets and draws the eye upward (making for a cool lighting fixture to boot!). Also notice the slate-colored walls and how they play off the recycled-glass countertops, which are sort of blue-ish gray in color. The look is sleek, warm, and unified.

9 years
ago

 

Simes’ Tiles


 

I’m crazy about Simes Studio’s new “eglomise,” or back-painted glass tiles, inspired by textiles. They can be used for backsplashes, cabinet door inserts, niches—you could think of other things. 

9 years
ago

 

Chill Grill


It’s summertime, and the grilling is both easy and stylish when you take this Laptop portable charcoal grill from Design Within Reach on a walk to the park. It folds up to be a little more than a single inch thick, weighs 9 lbs., and has a handle that makes for easy transport. With a spaceage portable cooktop like this, everybody’s going to want to get ALL up in your grill.

 

9 years
ago

 

CB2 Represents for Chicago


When the new CB2 catalog arrives in your mailbox this month, you’ll probably find yourself either perfunctorily or obsessively (depending on your mood) perusing a bunch of sleek-looking sofas, beds, and tables set against backdrops of exposed-brick walls decorated with bold-colored prints featuring either Andy Warhol-esque urban scenes or tree branches. Sound about right? Well, this month, at least a few of those prints—one featuring the Sears Tower and others some local tree branches—will be by Chicago artist Matthew Lew. Somehow the fact that these are images of Chicago branches and Chicago buildings shot by a Chicagoan makes me like them all the more.

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