Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module

Design Dose

November 2008

8 years
ago

 

Presents of Mind

 

I was a personal shopper for a day. A personal shopper with an assistant (our art director, Megan Duffy Rostan), and no actual client. Our mission: to identify some great holiday gifts in the 900 North Shops. We focused on home décor and accessories, and came up with a great group of items, from stocking stuffers to expensive gifts for a very special person. The gifts were on display at a Four Seasons luncheon hosted by our magazine, Chicago, and 900 North Shops. You can also see them on display at the mall on Level 3 next to Mark Shale. Here’s what we found:

A hot pink Burberry cashmere scarf from Bloomingdales that would double as a fab table runner, art books beautifully packaged from Silk Trading Co., L’Occitane candles and soaps (you can never go wrong with this wonderfully packaged stuff), and a heat- and cold-resistant silver bowl from Northern Possessions.

Tumblers that can double as votives from Genevieve Lethu (a bargain at $78 for a set of 6; I want these for myself!), cardboard coasters (just $15!) and a paperweight from Jane Weber, Ink!, tissue covers from Silk Trading Co., and an adjustable silver candelabrum from Christofle.

A glass cheese board and knife from Genevieve Lethu, Rosle’s life-changing garlic press (it’s amazing! I have one) and paper-and-resin cutting board from Williams Sonoma, and elegant goblets (put pencils or toothbrushes in them) from Bernardaud ($70 each).

Photography: Randy Belice

8 years
ago

 

White Attic

Our friend Tate Gunnerson, who blogs about home design at Strange Closets, reports that Terry Ledford has opened a second White Attic in Bucktown at 1842 N. Damen Ave. (773-252-8844). See more photos of this wonderful store—known for painted furniture—here.

Photo: Tate Gunnerson 

8 years
ago

 

Tray Chic

I just saw these on the Stitch Web site. How fun for serving appetizers on Thanksgiving (you know, the whole bird theme and all). Or just hang one on your dining room wall and get your guests talking. They are so bizarre but in the most fabulous way. Price: $175; 10 percent off through November 28.

8 years
ago

 

United Nations: Design Division


Teroforma is an interesting new Connecticut-based company that just debuted at the New York International Gift Fair this past August. This company is built around (from the description in their press materials): “identifying promising young designers around the world and ‘matchmaking’ them with master artisans who hand-craft their works—a designer of glass tumblers in Norway was introduced to a master glassblower in the Czech Republic; a small studio outside Beijing keeping a vanishing traditional pottery craft alive was the perfect choice to hand-fabricate bone china designed in the U.K….” Not only do we like the idea of this global consortium of talent, but we like the results: all sorts of beautiful tabletop wares, from glassware to dinnerware to linens. In Chicago, Teroforma is carried at Elements. The shop currently carries only glass (“all non-lead crystal, mouthblown by master blowers”; tumblers are $20 to 28), but can order other pieces as well.

8 years
ago

 

Silk Trading Company

Our art director, Megan Duffy Rostan, and I went on an unusual shopping spree today. Our mission was to find great holiday gifts at the 900 North Michigan Shops. We were selecting items for a lunch I will be hosting to promote shopping at the mall. I’ll post our finds later on this blog, but one thing that really impressed us today was Silk Trading Company. We wrote about the company’s “Drapery Out-of-a-Box” collection when it debuted, but neither us of had ever been in the showroom. We loved the teal blue ottoman displayed at the foot of a bed, and really admired the furniture styles, such as the chairs shown here (I don’t care for the striped fabric on the one chair, but the chair itself has great bones). All furniture can be made in any one of the hundreds of fabrics Silk Trading carries.

8 years
ago

 

Blu Dot at I.D.


I.D. has carried select Blu Dot pieces for some time, but now the store is expanding its Blu Dot selection and creating a store within-a-store for the line. Blu Dot’s founders will be on hand tonight at a party at I.D. to celebrate the partnership. (If all goes well, we’ll be there, too.) Hooray, we say! We can’t get enough Blu Dot.

8 years
ago

 

Dinner and a Work of Art

Friday night I hit Andersonville for dinner at Hopleaf (love!) and to check out the work of Meriellen Johnson at Scout, where owner Larry Vodak was hosting a reception for her. I’d seen her primitive yet somehow sophisticated and very endearing charcoals and pastels of plants and flowers before at Scout, and was eager to see more of her stuff. The pieces, many in vintage frames from Argentina from Architectural Artifacts were vivid and wonderful and the place was packed. There are still some left, so be sure to check them out. Across the street at Las Manos Gallery was another great exhibit by a local artist: Chuck Meyers (shown at right). Most of the paintings there were of scenes in Andersonville. How appropriate for a night out in this always fun hood.

8 years
ago

 

Modern—in Sickness and in Health

The Jewish marriage contract, or Ketubah, is something every couple that gets married before a rabbi must sign. It’s also something many newlyweds like to turn into art for their homes. Plenty of Web sites and Judaica shops offer services that will transform your Ketubah into a “work of art,” but few (if any) offer a modern sensibility (which is in large part—the other part is pure laziness—why my own Ketubah is on 8½ by 11 Xerox paper, folded up, in a drawer). Mod Jewish couples listen up: Jason Pickleman of JNL Graphic Design (see our story about his home here ), the creative mind behind all that cool lettering on the walls at the Montrose station on the Brown line and much more, just emailed us about his latest venture, CoolKetubah. His hip designs would really fit into any decor.

8 years
ago

 

Gifts for All


If you haven’t already checked out our November/December story “Great Gifts Under $50,” click here for some great ideas. And for a few more, may I also suggest hitting up the MCA’s gift shop? The quirky selection is perfect for small gifts that pack a punch and don’t deplete the pocketbook. Here are two fun ones: These cutely packaged acetaminophen tablets ($7.50) crack me up and would probably put a smile on my face even if I had a headache. I also love notebooks of any kind, and the MCA store has plenty! This fun 160-page journal is only $12.  See more clever options here. Does anyone else have favorite places to shop for cheap and chic gifts?

8 years
ago

 

Top Nadeau

Cycle two of Bravo’s Top Design competition has come to an end, and the esteemed judges picked Nathan as the winner of the $100,000 cash and the four-page spread in Elle Décor magazine. Woo hoo. It seemed like the contestants were picked for their annoying laughs, celebrity relatives, or ability to perform shirtless, not for any great discernible design vision, and I mostly just watched to see what that crazy Kelly Wearstler would be wearing (a glitter beret and ankle socks with heels—cool!) and to hear Jonathan Adler’s snarky comments (these people were obviously working on his last, bare-ankled nerve by finals) rather than for design ideas. For the last challenge, the final three playas were given some cash and set off to furnish a townhouse. Beefy, Baldy, and Boho ran around L.A., and I was pleased to see them make a stop at Nadeau Imports. I’ve been a fan of the Chicago branch since it opened—they have a jam-packed warehouse full of solid wood furniture and accessories at unbelievable prices. One of the pieces Nathan picked was a huge Indian chest made of reclaimed wood, and Nadeau’s Midwest manager Keith Heric tells me they have one in stock that’s very similar (pictured above, 60” x 33” x 37”, $646). Using it in a smallish room with neutral furnishings almost cost Nathan his tiara (probably didn’t help that he referred to it as “an S&M sarcophagus”) but I think it’s got a great goth look, and would make a swell table base in a more suitable mise-en-scene. See you later, decorator! 

8 years
ago

 

Faire Fun

   

Don’t miss the St. Chrysostom’s Day School Holiday Faire this weekend, offering home accessories, jewelry, clothing, and more from dozens of local vendors, including interior design doyenne Alessandra Branca (witness her gorgeous taste in photo at left) and Home + Garden’s own style guru, contributing editor Barri Leiner, whose jewelry line, M&B Vintage (examples shown at right), is about as charming as it gets. The fair also offers free activities for kids and entertainment for adults. 1424 N. Dearborn Pkwy., 312-642-3422.

8 years
ago

 

Dining By Design

 
 
 
 

Dining by Design, DIFFA’s big annual fundraiser, roared into town again last week at the Mart. At the cocktail party on Thursday, designphiles munched on crab cake, chicken, and shredded-pork sliders, sipped cocktails and Beringer wines, and took in the designer-designed tables. Shown here: Kara Mann’s goth forest space complete with Nymphenburg china, a mod and totally happy table by the students at Harrington College of Design (the trend of mixing modern chairs with traditional wood tables is one we’re seeing everywhere—these vintage chairs were donated by a faculty member), Sheri Zeman of Faux Design Studio’s faux-finished space (table, table base, walls, and floor are all faux-finished), and Susan Fredman Design Group’s elegant entry. Delicious.

Credit: Fredman photo by Nick Novelli, Novelli Photodesign. 

8 years
ago

 

Thrown!


 The owner of Haus fell in love with the pottery of Mark Williams before he ever opened his shop. Now, Gregory Stephens is featuring the Michigan artist’s pots and bowls in a spotlight event through November. Williams, who works out of a studio near South Haven, combines the pottery techniques of textured slab and throwing on a pottery wheel. It’s all dishwasher- and oven-safe.

8 years
ago

 

Found!

Vintage wallpaper rollers become candle holders. Chicken coops become light fixtures. A vintage sieve becomes a mirror. Found objects find a new home as furniture and accessories in the hands of Philip Sassano and his crew at Refined Rustic Studio & Gallery. Last week Sassano threw a party for the opening of his new showroom at 3924 N. Milwaukee Ave. (he has a studio in Harvard, too). He also does design consultations and is the exclusive area retailer for Romo, a fabric and wallcoverings company out of England with fantastic designs that would work equally well in modern or more traditional interiors.

8 years
ago

 

Domesticular Gastronomy

I went down to Grant Park to cheer on a friend who ran the Chicago Marathon last month (way to go, Franklin!), and stopped by the last day of the Wired NextFest since it was right there, in a big ol’ tent. Maybe because the show was in its waning hours, nothing seemed to be working. I busted out my best Marcel Marceau–moves in front of a robot that was supposed to mimic human gestures, but all I got was public humiliation. Plus it was hella hot up in there…color me nonplussed. Then I came across an elegant display of futuristic sculptures, which turned out to be custom serving pieces designed for Grant Achatz’s Alinea restaurant. Did a little research, and discovered they are made by Crucial Detail, a Chicago design studio headed up by Martin Kastner. Kastner’s a Czech who trained as a blacksmith, and he offers these “delivery systems” for sale on his Web site. I’ve never been to Alinea, but I’m guessing that most of its foodie fans are usually celebrating a birthday, popping a big question, or toasting a momentous life event—at any rate, it’s not the sort of resto you’d go to when feeling vaguely peckish. A gift of some of these contraptions would make a great remembrance of the occasion, maybe even paired with the luscious Alinea cookbook that just came out. Shown above (counterclockwise) are: the Antiplate (put a spoon in the middle of it with an amuse bouche, $15), Squid (balance food in the middle of the wires, $35), Bow (hang food off of it, $35), and Sectional (a little pedestal for a bite, $10). After all, if you’re going to the trouble of hollowing out a grape, stuffing it with truffle foam, and balancing it on a frozen bubble of unicorn tears, you don’t want to plop it on Chinet, now do you?

Photos from Crucial Detail

Edit Module