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Design Dose

July 2009

8 years
ago

 

Baumeister’s Back

We were shocked when we heard that Baumeister Electronic Architects, one of the city’s top integrators (the guys who automate your home’s lights, security, thermostats, music, movies, and video games) fell victim to the recession in January, leaving clients in a lurch as the firm was liquidated. But wait! There’s a happy ending. John Baumeister has been hired by Automated Lifestyles here as business development manager, and the firm bought Baumeister’s remaining assets from liquidators. Baumeister’s former service and maintenance manager is on board, too, to work with Baumeister’s previous clients. That must be music to their ears.

8 years
ago

 

Coveted Closet

 

Who hasn’t dreamed of a closet like this? This new luxe system, called Valet, is from Neff. The modular design offers tons of cool features, including wooden hangers with stitched leather; leather-faced toe kicks and ceiling scribes; chrome spiral hangers to hold up to 60 garments for corner storage; and roll-out, leather-trimmed shirt shelves with softly curved glass fronts (the better for viewing your bespoke creations). Are you worthy? Pat Borg of Neff promises to soon show us a Valet system he’s installing in an area home—it sounds incredible. In the meantime, ogle the model on display on the first floor of the Mart in LuxeHome, near the Neff showroom.

8 years
ago

 

Brimfield, Meet Bleeker Street

Bleeker Street (847 W. Grand Ave.), a fun, well-edited antique shop run by Denise Odell now has a 400-square-foot satellite shop in the back of Brimfield (a great antique shop owned by Julie Fernstrom located at 5219 N. Clark St. Find everything from big wooden planters and dough bowls to cows skulls and vintage furniture.

8 years
ago

 

Just Add Sand

 

York Wallcoverings claims to be the first American manufacturer to add sand to wallpaper, and we are inclined to believe them. The company describes the process as “a lot like a child’s glitter-and-glue project,” but as you can see, the results are grown-up indeed. The sand adds subtle texture. Shown here is lattice on charcoal non-woven with white sand from Candice Olson Dimensional Surfaces ($130 per roll). Buy it locally through Finishing Touches Interiors, 227 W. North Ave., 312-787-5404.

8 years
ago

 

Robert Bergelin Closes

 

It’s always sad to see a family-owned company shut its doors, but after 15 years of selling handcrafted traditional furniture, Robert Bergelin Company is going out of business. All remaining merchandise will be liquidated over the course of the next few Fridays and Saturdays, or until supplies last. See the Web site for details.

8 years
ago

 

A House Tour

 

Tate Gunnerson, who also contributes to Chicago Home + Garden, has blogged about our Oak Park home on StrangeClosets. His photos are really lovely, and it makes me want to put the house on a tour all over again. Having the talented Lauren and Courtney of Kelly + Olive stage our house was a complete happy trip. They staged it for the tour, but ended up staging it for our life. We haven’t changed a thing since they spruced up the place (using all of our own stuff) for the South Oak Park Style tour. The hammock we strung between our two giant pines because we thought it would look good has become a favorite spot for reading. The living room arrangement is far more comfortable. I actually now want to hang out on the front porch, with its defined dining area, and the newly fab front study. I buy flowers just for us. The lessons: 1. Bring in a pro! Another set of eyes really helps, no matter who you are. (It really helps to like your pros. We had a blast with Courtney and Lauren, who really seemed to get our style and had an appreciation for both old and new, and a talent for both furniture placement and vignette styling). 2. Set a deadline! A big party is ideal. 3. Enjoy it! It’s not about staging your home for other people; it’s about loving it every day.

8 years
ago

 

In the Bag

 

Need a new custom look for your kitchen but can’t afford to shell out the money for a design consult? Not interested in spending hours going from showroom to showroom trying to figure out what tile goes with the countertops you like? A local kitchen design firm, KitchenLab, has come up with a solution they call Design in a Bag. Rebekah Zaveloff, the designer behind KitchenLab, created designinabag.com with her husband, John Nichols, to give homeowners a simple and inexpensive way to get professionally coordinated finishes for their kitchens. Chose your style (modern, classic, vintage), and then select from several different looks (shown here: the Highgate). Bags are priced between $99 and $199 and include samples of cabinetry, countertop, tile, glass, and four 8” x 10” paint samples. You also get four color 3D renderings showing your finishes with the different wall colors, plus info on how to buy and care for your finishes. Coming soon: Design in a Bag for the bath.

8 years
ago

 

Green and Stylin’ Office

HOK, a global architectural and design firm, just sent us some images of its new Chicago office space in the CNA Building. Besides being cool, it has received LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of green-ness offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. I’m green with envy.

8 years
ago

 

Jammin’

 

The new Ukrainian Village brunch spot Jam doesn’t only offer a yummy gourmet brunch at a reasonable price—it’s got some great design going on, too. An open kitchen keeps things casual, while chic, modern touches throughout the space give it an upscale flavor. The décor is simple: gray walls broken up with lots of white moldings and mirrors. Ligne Roset’s Plexi light fixtures (from the Josephine 5d collection) add some glamour on the walls, while CB2’s pressed vinyl Dot placemats by Chilewich in citrine lend some punch—and civility—atop charcoal-hued stone tables. If you’re in a decorating, um, jam, find some inspiration here. Jam, 937 North Damen Ave., 773-489-0302

8 years
ago

 

Dandy-lions!

 

These fun chairs by Anna Hrecka, inspired by the dandelion, are newly available at IQMatics in Schaumburg, one of the suburbs’ hippest furniture stores. The Comfee, as it’s called, comes in black or white mesh ($699) or aniline leather ($2,299) in several colors and stitched patterns.

8 years
ago

 

Dispatch from Paris

 

A friend of mine just went to Paris and, knowing that Design Dose readers would appreciate it, snapped this photo of Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten’s boutique there. My friend said it best: “It was the perfect blend of done and undone, luxe but not pretentious. And so original—just like Dries himself.” The New York Times covered its 2007 opening here. The space was formerly a bookstore and I love how Dries kept that feeling alive with the tall shelves, replacing books with clothing and using those tomato red boxes as accents. The use of color is fantastic. 

8 years
ago

 

Kitchen Walk!

 

If you haven’t seen the Chicago Home + Garden July/August Kitchen & Bath issue yet, we thought we’d get you in the right frame of mind by sharing notes from our colleague, Kristin Shea, after she attended the Parenthesis Kitchen Walk in Oak Park this spring. Here, five things she found very impressive.

Porcelain tile floor that mimics the look of hardwood
We came across a dark wood floor (above, top) that was actually porcelain tile! The designer of the kitchen was Pamela Polvere.
 
Stainless steel-like countertops
Also in Polvere’s kitchen, we saw a very sleek, shiny silver countertop. I’m not sure if the material was chrome or stainless or if it was just the finish applied onto a stone, but we thought it was cool.  
 
Barbara Barry for Ann Sacks backsplash
I loved the diamond pattern of the Barbara Barry tile that designer Jean Stoffer used in her kitchen (above, center).
 
Lots of refrigerator and freezer drawers
We toured a lot of smaller kitchens with limited space. While this isn’t a new idea, we were still impressed by the use of space. We also liked the sink made from a solid block of granite (above, bottom) by Designs For Living.   

8 years
ago

 

Toms-Price Sale

Toms-Price’s annual furniture warehouse blowout is this weekend. Stickley, Baker, Henkel, Harris, and other manufacturers are sending truckloads of excess inventory to liquidate at 40 to 70 percent off retail. Find lots of rugs, Ephraim Pottery, and more. 279 Madsen Dr., Bloomingdale, 630-924-2070. 

8 years
ago

 

Go Cubs, Go!

Despite my Texas roots—born and bred—I’m acutely aware of Chicago’s love for the Cubbies. I’m reminded of this romance each time my train glides past Wrigley field to and from work, or when I bump into a fan on game day. So when I came across Valspar’s new line of Cubs paint I thought, “Now that is love.” Valspar recently provided Wrigley Field with the paint to restore its marquee and scoreboard, and to commemorate the occassion, Valspar came out with three limited-edition colors—Pinstripe Blue, Ivy Green, and Marquee Red. The colors are perfect for a kids’ room or game room, although I’m already picturing husbands across Chicago trying to pull fast ones on their wives. “But you said you wanted a blue bedroom, Sweetie!” Available at all Chicagoland Lowe’s stores through December. A gallon is $25.

8 years
ago

 

Raw Deal

Union Eighteen’s funky Raw rugs, creatively assembled from rug manufacturers’ scraps, are now available through At Work Design in Forest Park. This is how it works: Come to the shop with paint or fabric swatches in the color family you want, order the size you need through At Work ($25 per square foot), and Union Eighteen will create a neutral-toned rug with color accents 
matching your specs as closely as possible. Your rug will be ready in about four weeks. At Work will host a meet-and-greet with the founders of Union Eighteen at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 17. Starting then, for two weeks, the rugs will be ten percent off.

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