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Design Dose

February 2009

11 years
ago

 

Tile-licious!

 

The new Artistic Tile showroom at Luxe Home at the Mart is beautiful. If you’ve walked by you’ve probably noticed the wavy tile display in the window: it’s the Ambra Collection by Giovanni Barbieri. It undulates and reflects light—who knew stone could do these things? All hand-carved out of one piece of stone, each piece is a work of art and makes me think, once again, that stone does not just belong in the bathroom or kitchen. Ambra retails for $40.00 per square foot and is available in two sizes: 24 inches by 24 inches and 12 inches by 12 inches and three colors: Gris, Lake Blue, and Moss Green. Above are some more shots of the space (the gorgeous Taif chandelier, $2,200, is by Barovier & Toso, inspired by a similar design made in 1980 for the home of a Saudi king).

11 years
ago

 

One to Watch

Several months ago I moderated a panel at the Merchandise Mart about getting interior designers and landscapers to work together. Everyone agrees this is a great idea, but no one’s doing much about it. Now one prominent landscape firm has put its money where its mouth is. Schmechtig Landscape Co. has hired Christopher Michiels, an interior designer who was named “One to Watch” by the Merchandise Mart last year. “There are missed opportunities incorporating the views, both internal and external, with the awe-inspiring interiors and landscapes of our clients,” says Michael Schmechtig, president of the firm. “Coordinating color continuity, style compatibility, and mirroring of the homeowners’ personality will redirect the purpose of the beautiful large windows and doors and landscaping of our client’s homes.” Sounds like a match made in heaven.

11 years
ago

 

V-Day Sale

   

Everything at Zella Brown (besides special orders and consignments) will be 30 percent off on Saturday. 

11 years
ago

 

Mirror, Mirror


Before


After

Seems like every pitch I get these days has claims to be green and low-cost. But here’s one that made me stop and look: MirrorMate Frames, a way to easily frame those big, flat bathroom mirrors found in so much new construction. So instead of throwing away the mirror, you attach a frame around it. You don’t even need to remove the mirror from the wall—just clip and glue the frame on. The company says it’s cheaper than buying a frame or a new mirror. Talk about your quick fix.

11 years
ago

 

Go Fish

Check out these delicately spun crystal vases and bowls that were hand-blown on the Venetian island of Muran……PSYCH!—they’re rubber! A sparkling window display at the MCA lured my eye, so I took the bait and trolled in to investigate. The vessels are produced at architect and designer Gaetano Pesce’s Fish studio in Milan, and the flexible resin pieces jiggle like Jell-O when you touch them. Just the resilient accent piece if you have small kids, frisky dogs, or want to fool your guests by hip-checking one off a side table (they’ll fall for it hook, line, and sinker). Some remind me of striped ribbon hard candy, other anthropomorphic whimsies have the hint of feet or arms. The MCA has stocked quite a nice selection, and all are unique, numbered, and stamped with the Fish logo and G.P.’s moniker.

11 years
ago

 

The New Ethan Allen

We were pleasantly surprised to see the new Ethan Allen catalogue and some of the sharp, modern pieces in it. Two of our favorites, shown here: The Xanadu bench, $439, made of brushed nickel. Choose any fabric for the seat (this white cotton would look great in a bathroom). The Paris Grid series of framed prints are $269 each. These antique-inspired giclées were created by enlarging and rescaling a Paris map from the 1850s. They’re 23 inches wide by 19 inches high and would look great hung en masse. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

11 years
ago

 

Dear Valentine

Dear Valentine (and those of you who might think that all special deliveries are created equal). I know you always mean well. You believe the promise of the florist on the other end of the line, assuring you with kisses on top, that your lovely sentiment will be delivered with love and care in swoopy-goopy script along with the bursting assortment of fresh blooms you’ve ordered. Sorry—not always so. I had my first “I am sure this isn’t what she ordered” moment in college when my Valentine was dear sweet Mom. A wilted mess arrived at 9:03 p.m. just as I was letting the day of love fade into oblivion. I quickly called the number on the card and assured them that if my mom could take a peek at what had just crawled to the door, that I was crystal clear she’d probably want her money back. I’m lucky to have had my share of floral deliveries that have made the grade (I heart a hand-tied bouquet, loose bunch of flowers I can arrange or selection of mixed whites). I think I am a florist’s worst nightmare. On the giving and receiving end. I’ve never told a single sender about my escapades, but often wonder if I am on some blacklist for my blooming bad behavior. Is it a right to get what you think is right? Or do you simply get what you get and don’t get upset? That said, I just received the most refreshing and promising press release from Jayson Home & Garden. While the shop is probably best known for delivering a new sofa or garden bench about town, its floral is always chic. Its Valentine arrangement ideas make me swoon. Not just for the artful mix—hot pink orchids in a black glass vase, a tight bouquet tucked in an onyx box—but for the “I want to keep it” containers. Many are under $100, delivery included. Dear Valentine, I’ve cc’d you here, in case you are still braving arrangements for the 14th. Happy Valentine’s Day.

11 years
ago

 

Built-In Barista

 

I’ve seen dozens of wall-mounted coffeemakers in magazines and showrooms, but never actually had hands-on experience with one until visiting friends in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival a couple weeks ago (Zooey Deschanel says “hey,” by the way—she’s as cute as you’d think, and I wanted to put her in my pocket). I knew that Nassir was planning to redo the kitchen, but not much else, so I was curious to check it out. Wow. Deep chocolatey-gray Poliform cabinets line facing walls, and on one there’s this built-in stainless steel Miele coffeemaker that is just a dream. Punch a few buttons, and in about a yawn-and-a-half you’ll have a freshly ground espresso, cappuccino, or plain old cuppa. Sure helped kept us bright-eyed at 8:30 a.m. film screenings. It is practically silent, everything is stored behind the façade, and the grounds are tamped into neat pellets and plopped in a container until you’re ready to dispose of them. I investigated prices at Abt and found one I like for about $3,000, which translates into about 750 venti caramel macchiatos at Starbucks. Maybe I could switch to Folger’s for a few years….

11 years
ago

 

Party Time

Turns out Bladon Conner, one of our favorite local designers (see our story about him here and his awesome Graffiti cabinet featured here) has some pretty cool neighbors in the Rockwell Industrial Corner, where his studio space is located. The folks behind Green Sawn sustainable furniture (see photo, right) and Kindling , a cool wood accessories line (see photo, above left), create their own masterpieces smack across the hall from Conner (read more about all of them in our upcoming May/June issue). I stopped by the Green Sawn space last week and was utterly taken with owner Aaron Pahmier’s furniture designs, some of which are collaborations with Conner; Aaron’s sister, Megan, designs the Kindling line, which her bro produces.  On February 7 at 3 p.m., at 2612 W. Nelson St., 773-516-8686, the three are gathering their wares for an open house. This is a budding group to watch—and here’s a chance to buy their one-of-a-kind pieces straight from the sources.

11 years
ago

 

Neat IDE-a

Studio IDE , a new architecture and design firm, sent me a photo of a recent commission. The base of this table, which was built using a series of thick notched maple planks, is fully collapsible, using no mechanical fasteners or glue. Cool! You can have one made with a top of transparent or opaque glass, concrete, or stone. And in case you were wondering, IDE stands for Imagination, Design, and Execution. 

11 years
ago

 

Quick Study

Harrington College of Design student Jahaila Sing has won the New Life Student Furniture Design Competition with her design, the sexy Chloe Sofa. Sponsors of t he competition were furniture stores Chicago’s Mig and Tig and Mortise and Tenon  of L.A.

11 years
ago

 

ON A JAG

There’s a new interior design firm in town. Greg Jagmin, who has ten years of experience as a partner with Anne Coyle and at Hudson Home, a design/build firm, also has a past life in accounting, making him the kind of eye you want on the job. I love his surprising color combinations, penchant for fine lines, and the construction and budgeting know-how needed to make a solid and stately plan for a kitchen, bath—or your whole darn house! He’s as dapper as he is casual—the perfect peek into his decorating psyche (check out his childhood pic—he’s still Mr. Sportcoat). With clients in Dallas, Orlando, and here in Chicago, he’s off and running. “I am always interested in creating a classic with modern elements,” he says. “I love French furnishings, fine but fun fabrics, and a little bit of glass, chrome, gilt, or mirror always in the mix.” He has reconditioned and restored a few pieces from the past in my own place, and his surprising take always impresses me.  His new blog, written with older sib Chris, a graphic designer with a fab line of home products we’ve featured in the mag , is my latest addiction. The combination of childhood snaps, back and forth banter, and tales of their two cities—Greg here and Chris in Arizona—make me smile. Sign up, then get Greg’s email, jagming2@gmail.com, and phone, 312-316-0968, on your speed-dial pronto.

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