Dynamic Duo

A mother and son who find inspiration in unusual places create a home décor hot spot on a burgeoning stretch of Belmont Avenue.

The Destination
Idlewild, 1836 West Belmont Avenue; 773-244-3771

The Owners
When Kevin Saxon started designing interiors in 1988, “you did a room in silver or in gold,” he recalls. Now things couldn’t be more different. Saxon and his artist mother, Kathleen Valentine, are a potent combination of color savvy and design know-how. Together, they have the resources to pull together a room-and to create a store that draws walk-ins and interior design colleagues alike.

The Vibe
Elegant but not intimidating. At first glance, it’s easy to assume that this is just another home décor store. But a second look reveals a spirited assemblage of original furniture and lovingly collected accessories. The personal touch is obvious from large, lacy corals, which Valentine flew up from Florida, to the floor samples of sofas and chairs, which Saxon designed and plans to discount once a quarter.

The Goods
A pair of lavender 1930s lusterware vases ($250 for the pair) sit atop a Guéridon black granite and brass side table ($739, also available in nickel) while mounted slabs of glossy rose gypsum ($379) and citrine ($1,699) glow under chunky crystal lamps ($349). Saxon, who considers fabrics to be the most exciting part of his job, draws from an extensive library of swatches from Donghia, Brentano, Rodolph, and Kravet to cover plump pillows (from $100 to $300) and upholster custom-designed furniture. His pieces range from a three-legged Parsons sofa ($4,350) to tapered barstools ($719).

The Verdict
Drop in for inspiration, a consultation, or immediate gratification.

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