Best of the New: Steppingstone Brand


Wall system at Jesse

Right out of college, Ikea looked pretty good to you. Now if it’s a sleek Italian vibe but not the super-slick Italian prices you seek, Jesse provides the next rung on the ladder with a “total living” concept—elegantly minimalist customizable closets, wall systems, shelving, and furniture at comfortable prices. “The finishes are still very rich,” says owner Mike Cao, pointing out the seven layers of lacquer (three is standard in most nonstratospheric lines) and beveled edges cut at an attractive 45-degree angle instead of the usual square corners. Home Element opened Jesse last Februrary; the brand’s youthful but refined wares now fill 4,000 of the showroom’s 5,000 square feet. 745 N. Wells St., 312-787-3358,




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