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Design Dose

May 2009

8 years
ago

 

Oh Baby!

 

Full disclosure: The following paragraph contains shameless self-promotion. Please proceed with cautious optimism! In my “spare” time away from mommydom and scouting scoop and styling for Chicago Home + Garden, I am a partner in crime at M&B Vintage, a jewelry company that was started with long-time BFF and styling cohort, Marie Moss. We were recently asked by interior designer and all-around-generous-pal and client Nate Berkus (he recently gave our charmers to Marc Jacobs and chef Jamie Oliver’s new daughter, Petal) to be guests on his Oprah and Friends radio show. You see,  a few years back, when the search for one-of-a-kind baby gear turned up cookie-cutter finds for our own daughters, Marie and I headed to the flea market. We shared the ideas and inspiration in our book, Flea Market Baby (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). It’s a little you-can-do-it-too guide for decorating and gift-giving with a hint of history. Nate helps share our scoop on nurseries, memory making and our own M&B style with his listeners May 30 at 10AM EST on XM 156 and Sirius 195. We hope you’ll tune in to hear us dish about our digs. Thanks Nate!

Flea Market Baby photography, courtesy Aimee Herring

M&B Vintage necklace, courtesy Tyllie Barbosa

8 years
ago

 

V&Mmmmm Just Got More Delicious

 

Vintage and Modern—is my new 1st dibs. Well, a price-friendlier, more accessible resource in my stash–with a similar vibe. (I still Jones for a dib now and again!) If you’ve not visited, V&M is a well-curated, dealer-direct site of online storefronts selling antiques, modern furnishings, collectibles, art, and jewelry. Its new, 2.0 version just launched and now offers global services in 40 different languages—it translates, and even converts pricing to the users’ native currency (easy for even a non-techy novice like me to buy from abroad!). Also new is a “Facebook-like” function where you can meet and greet and connect with dealers and buyers—including viewing their pics and stats. Listings include shops, decorators, and stylists in your area, too. You’ll recognize a few locals, (UberModern, Scout, Hudson Home, Scentimental Gardens, Zig Zag, and more). It can be a great way to preview the merch before taking a trek to a store, or doing a pre-shop for gift or decorating needs. Photos are stellar, many color-corrected in Photoshop so there are no surprises. I heart the E collection for my daughter Emma. New inventory gets posted Tuesday mornings, so wake with the birds to nudge in-the-know-designers outta the way for fresh finds.

Photographs courtesy of Vintage & Modern

8 years
ago

 

In the Eye of the Dome

 

If you have not been to the Mart’s south lobby lately, do yourself a favor and check it out. There you’ll find an incredible installation of Buckminster Fuller’s “Fly’s Eye Dome,” which was built for the Mart’s recent Artropolis exhibit (and to promote the Buckminster Fuller exhibit at the MCA. Made of 50 fiberglass sections, it’s 24 feet high, and weighs 3,500 pounds. Fuller, an architect and all-around visionary had originally conceived of this design as pre-fab affordable housing (the holes were for windows). So it’s appropriate that the Mart incarnation is filled with—and surrounded by—futuristic-looking furniture from the Vitra showroom, including the cool Vegetal chairs (whose design is inspired by the shape of a mature tree) and the funky high-backed Alcove sofas, both by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, shown above. The amazing green mass that hangs around the chandelier inside the dome is also from Vitra—called Algues, it’s actually a puzzle-like plastic room divider comprised of branches that can be assembled and molded into any shape or size. The dome and furniture will be on display through mid-June, coming down after the Mart’s major commercial furnishings show, NeoCon.

8 years
ago

 

Center Stage

Some months ago I agreed to put our house on a tour in Oak Park on June 20, called South Oak Park Style: A Tour of Modest Homes. Our home is indeed modest (it’s a 1,700-square-foot Prairie-style bungalow). Worthy of a tour? Don’t ask me. I’m the editor of a design magazine, of all things, so as you might imagine, I’m exposed to tons of gorgeous interiors everyday in my job that I can’t afford and don’t have the time to execute in my own home (I believe you are familiar with the cobbler’s children….) .
    One reason I agreed to the tour is: stagers. That is, People Who Take What You Have and Rearrange it to Look Nice for the Tour. And maybe bring a few accessories/flowers in. And get you to hide things in closets. My stagers, from the firm Kelly + Olive, introduced their low-cost, transparent decorating service to me via e-mail one day and the two seemed perfect for the task. Lauren and Courtney (Lauren is the brunette) are young, enthusiastic, and full of great ideas. On Monday they showed up and started moving everything around. Using what we already have, they rearranged and edited.  I opened beers, and it became a party. When they demanded (OK, suggested) that I trim back an out-of-control hanging plant, I immediately complied. “Look at that! They squealed. You have a dining room!” OK, it’s true that the plant had taken over the space.
    They suggested we move my most treasured painting, by local artist Traci Ostmann-Haschke (see above), to a place of prominence, where guests could see it immediately upon entering. Why didn’t I think of that? They rearranged the living room furniture. We love it. They arranged pottery and a Michael Aram candelabra on the fireplace where it can be seen, diplomatically rejected some items (what fun it is to evaluate all one’s objects objectively!), got tired, and left. They will return. And I’ll blog and post some more photos.

8 years
ago

 

Andersonville Galleria, Revisited

 

The threat of bad weather wasn’t enough to keep a crowd from last Friday night’s grand re-opening of Andersonville Galleria. This unique indie-market/bazaar now offers three floors and more than 90 local vendors of art, fashion, sweet treats, and home décor. Some of my favorites included colorful hanging votives from City Scents; graphic silk pillows from Design Hut; organic hand-printed canvasses by Kuketa; and some fantastic chrome-plated log stools from Blue Bell Bazaar. If you missed the party, make the Galleria a must-stop on your next home-shopping foray through Andersonville, which we thoughtfully already mapped out for you in our March/April 2009 issue (check it out here).

8 years
ago

 

Harbor Country

 

It’s summer, and that means finding reasons to head to Harbor Country. Two good ones in the next few weeks: an event called Revive Your Green Retreat on May 30 at Susan Fredman’s At Home With Nature in Union Pier, and the Heartland Alliance house walk June 6. At the Revive Your Retreat event, speakers throughout the day (including me, talking about green décor trends) will discuss the nuts and bolts of creating a healthy, environmentally friendly home. Learn about eco-color trends, composting, finding tax breaks and home loans for green homes, and creating a green wedding. For the kids: ice cream, and getting crafty with recycled materials. See the full schedule and RSVP on the site. The next Saturday, The Heartland Alliance Celebration of Home & Garden Tour starts at 10 a.m. and features seven impressive Harbor Country homes, from an antiques-filled Normandy-style house to a Hamptons-style cottage. Proceeds go toward the development of affordable housing.

8 years
ago

 

To Market with Decorator Laura Soskin!

Chicago Home + Garden will be at the opening day (Saturday, May 23) of the Randolph Street Market with decorator Laura Soskin, who will pull together a fab room furnished with her favorite finds at the Market that day—and she will do so over the course of several hours! The room will be on display Saturday only on the second floor stage inside the Hall. All items in the room will be for sale (last year, when our stylist Barri Leiner pulled of the same feat, the items sold right off the set)! Look for behind-the-scenes coverage on our blog and a peek at the final product in our September/October issue.

8 years
ago

 

Buchanan Arrives!

Looking for some fun this weekend? Head to Buchanan, Michigan, just west of Three Oaks and about an hour-and-a-half drive, where several businesses are opening their storefronts to serve wine and nibbles to celebrate the birth of a revitalized downtown there. Highlights are antiques shops owned by a couple of Chicagoans: Alan Robandt and Thomas Jolly. See our story on the two here. The Buchanan Museum of Fine Art is celebrating its grand opening, too. The party takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 23, on Front Street.

8 years
ago

 

Sweet Dreams

 

For the first time in the U.S., Hastens, the luxury bedding company, is putting some of its all-natural, made-by-hand in Sweden beds on sale. The Excel is marked down 23 percent;  the Continental, 26 percent. 430 N. Wells St. and 976 Green bay Rd., Winnetka. Sale starts May 15 and runs through July 1. 

8 years
ago

 

Winging It

Zoe Ryan, the enthusiastic and talented design curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, gave me a brief tour of the department’s new space in the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing the other day. She and her colleagues have put together some terrific displays of functional art. I especially loved the exhibit of iconic seating by Ron Arad, Marcel Wanders, Konstantin Grcic, along with lighting by Ingo Mauer, among others (see it ’til January). Along with gorgeous flatware in one case were elegantly simple, reversible drinking glasses by an under-the-radar Chicagoan, Felicia Ferrone (more on her in the next issue of Chicago Home + Garden).

8 years
ago

 

Getting Juicy

 

Interior designer Jessie Davidson of Juicy & Co. is hosting a Country Antique Market featuring items she’s brought back from the Brimfield Antique Market in Massachusetts and the Scott Market in Atlanta, as well as some furniture of her own design. All of her finds will be staged under a striped tent in a garden setting. Friday, May 29, noon to 3 p.m. and Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 210 East Center Ave. in Lake Bluff.

8 years
ago

 

The Suite Life

 

Ever checked into Fort Pitt? Known for its warehouse full of used hotel furnishings from across the country, they’ve recently hit the penthouse! The Ritz-Carlton Chicago is redecorating 23 top-floor suites and Fort Pitt is selling the furniture and accessories the hotel is unloading—Louis XVI styles complete with ball and claw foots details, solid and stately pieces from big-name makers Traditional Hickory, Thomasville, Baker, as well as Frederick Cooper lamps in marble and solid brass (owner Scott Zawitz scored a few for his hip homestead—see his place in the July/August issue of Chicago Home + Garden). I’d love the half-moon tables in an entry hall, decorative side tables mixed into a more modern interior, elegant armoires, sleeper sofas as instant guest quarters. It’s all in great shape but a tad traditional for our eye. At these prices ($99–$299) we say the occasional upholstered chairs are ripe for your reupholstery, and fine wood pieces ready for a repainting, refinishing, or lush coat of lacquer. DIY or ring Agnes Barron, at Meble Custom Design Studio, 773-772-8200; she’s done the trick on many a find. See the Ritz haul at 1400 W. 37th St., Saturdays 9:30AM to 5:30PM and Sundays noon-5PM.

8 years
ago

 

A Little Birdie Told Us

Is your yard full of demanding, design-conscious finches? Are you in need of a very cool, artist- or architect-designed birdhouse? This one, made of wood and aluminum by architect Sig Froelich, is one of 50 to be auctioned off June 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. at artist Wesley Kimler’s studio, 2046 W. Carroll Ave. Tickets, which cover an open bar and appetizers, are $20 in advance through the Friends of Pritzker. Proceeds will go toward the building costs for a preschool and kindergarten playground at the Pritzker School. Your local feathered friends are guaranteed to sleep better.

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