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Ligne Roset’s Master Craftsman on How He Makes Furniture with You in Mind

Plus, pre-holiday sales, winter greenery, and a talk on design-minded books.

Ligne Roset Master Upholsterer Daniel Berthaud gives a rare live demonstration of how he creates the brand’s classic Togo Lounge.
Ligne Roset Master Upholsterer Daniel Berthaud gives a rare live demonstration of how he creates the brand’s classic Togo Lounge. Photo: Courtesy of Ligne Roset

This Week’s Top Story

Everyone loves a piece of furniture that tells a great story, and French high-end furniture brand Ligne Roset (440 N. Wells St., ligne-roset.com) spins a tale so well. This week, the family-owned company—which began as a cane- and umbrella-maker in 1860—flew in Master Upholsterer Daniel Berthaud from France to give a rare live demonstration of the artistry and skill that goes into making the brand’s iconic Togo sofa. Berthaud spoke to Chicago about what it’s like to create a piece that will be lived with and loved.

So, humans make these sectionals?
There are five of us. We take great care knowing that someone will live with this in their home, with their family. I usually imagine the customer while I’m sewing, since each piece is made for a specific client.

Can you tell which sofa is yours?
I trained for a year and have worked at Ligne Roset for 39 years, after five years working with stone. If I look closely at the seams and the buttons that keep the folds in place, I can usually tell if it’s mine.

How does the Togo arrive to you?
The pieces are 100 percent foam, but there are three different densities and five segments that arrive glued together. I receive the fabric with a Dacron back, and it’s my job to apply the upholstery cover by hand. It usually takes about two hours per piece.

What’s it like to work for a family-run business?
This company started in 1860 and now it’s being transitioned to the next generation, Olivier and Antoine Roset. We all take great pride in making these pieces that are the No. 1 best-seller for the company worldwide. These are investment pieces, and what we’re making will last for a very long time.

Interior Intel

Leather-clad interior architect Peter Marino has partnered with century-old Italian contemporary glassware company Venini to create a distinct line of hand-blown Murano glass vases. Sold exclusively through Kneen & Co. (399 W. Fullerton Pkwy., kneenandco.com), Black Belt by Peter Marino come in 12 sizes and shapes, ranging from figure-eight to triangular, each with Marino’s signature splashes of black. “The power of light and materiality are paramount to all my architectural projects—the Black Belt collection of vases evolved from these considerations,” says the architect.

Now through December 31, the Golden Triangle (330 N. Clark St., goldentriangle.biz) is running Revealing Mardi Gras Indians: Beaded Art of a Hidden Culture, an exhibition of colorful beaded and feathered suits. It’s the largest such exhibition of Mardi Gras Indian artwork ever held, and features 14 exhibits ranging from full suits to beaded fragments. “Here’s a secret tribe of people producing a gorgeously rich and fascinating story-filled body of artwork, and it’s not in some remote hillside in India or China. It’s right here in the United States,” says Doug Van Tress, owner of The Golden Triangle.

Sales

If you’re looking to light up your home this holiday season, head to Idlewood Electric’s Highland Park Showroom (114 Skokie Valley Rd., idlewoodelectric.com). The third-generation family-owned business’s holiday sale runs today through November 25. Shop for an elegant dining room pendant to illuminate your holiday table or a gold chandelier for a powder room to dazzle your guests.

Redefined Décor (1819 W. Grand Ave., redefineddecor.com) has started its pre-holiday sale. It goes through November 19 and offers shoppers 30 percent off furniture and 25 percent off everything else.

Events

Join Christy Webber Farm & Garden (2834 W. Grand Ave., cwfng.com) for its Winter Show on November 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. Prepared to be inspired by gorgeous holiday greenery, including fresh trees from Michigan, garlands, wreaths, and more. While you’re there, schedule a winter décor service with decorators while sipping wine and enjoying live music.

The Graham Foundation has partnered with the Chicago Architectural Biennial to create the first the Chicago Art Book Fair (cabf.no-coast.org), now through November 19 at the Chicago Athletic Association (12 S. Michigan Ave.). Come by to purchase works from more than 100 exhibitors who work at small presses or create zines and comic books. On Friday, from 12:30 to 6 p.m., exhibitors will share their current work and discuss the process of designing visually driven tomes.

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