The annual Pagoda Red warehouse sale is coming up this weekend, and owner Betsy Nathan says it’s going to be a whopper. “This year it will be gigantic,” Bets told me, “because we’re relocating our warehouse to be closer to the Bucktown showroom, and we really want to lighten our load before the move.” Expect discounts up to 80 percent on quality 18th- and 19th-century Chinese furniture and artifacts, and a selection of as-is merchandise that was damaged en route from Asia (maybe the boat wasn’t slow enough?), priced at cost—just the thing for handy collectors on a budget. This low-slung, lacquered Elmwood pedestal bench is from the Anhui Province, circa 1800, and is reduced to $980 from $3,980. Hit up the sale Saturday and Sunday at 30 North Racine Avenue, from 10a.m.–5 p.m.
Indulge your passions for home decor, art, and philanthropy at an unusual collaborative design event opportunity next Wednesday night, Jan. 13, when East Coast contemporary art dealer Asher Neiman will be making its Chicago area debut at a two-story, private Ukranian Village home decorated by the Susan Fredman Design Group. The gallery will be showing work by five artists (including Jill Ricci, whose mixed media piece is pictured here), the award-winning SFDG will be showcasing furnishings and interior designs, and the whole shebang is also geared to raising money for the Designs for Dignity, a group of professional designers who provide free decorating services to underserved area shelters, health clinics, and other non-profit charities. The enchanted evening runs from 5–9 p.m., and there is a suggested $10 donation at the door. RSVP to Lori Frederick at 732-945-5412.
The new issue of Chicago Home + Garden just showed up in my mailbox, and it’s the best. Literally, it’s our Best of Chicago Design edition, and this year we’ve vetted dozens of shops, designers, services, and inspirations in such specialized categories as Selection of Decorative Hardware, (Clark and Barlow) New Floors From Old Trees, (Carlisle Wide Plank Floors), See-It-Before-You-Buy-It Rooftop Deck Design, (Chicago Specialty Gardens) and Arty Asian Vibe (Pagoda Red—now you really need to check out that warehouse sale, right?). The issue also includes a feature on rearrangers, those design pros that work with what you already own; a profile of auctioneer Richard Wright, a gorgeous home in the Palmolive Building that was designed by Nate Berkus, and a cleverly naturalized landscape job for a traditional Evanston front yard. The design sources that have been a popular feature in every issue have been moved online, which means there are now even more pages to showcase photography and product design. Get a subscription here.
Another of our besties this year, in the category of Handcrafted Wood Furniture to Pass on to the Kids, is Thos. Moser, and that isn’t the only exciting news for the Maine furniture makers. Interior Design magazine has selected David Moser’s sinuous Pasadena Rocker as the winner of its 2009 Best of Year award for residential seating. This sculptural beauty has a finish that’s smooth as butter, and is well-deserving of the honor.
Like the look of stained-glass windows, but maybe not the expense and permanence? Brewster Home Fashions, a well-established East Coast company specializing in wallpapers and not-just-dormish wall decals, has come out with a relatively inexpensive option that’s a breeze to install over your existing windows. (Having taken a streak of stained-glass workshops over the years and graduated with nothing but blisters, cuts, and a finished product that would boost a Shrinky Dink’s self-esteem, I feel qualified to state that there is nothing easy about traditional stained- glass action.) Brewster’s flexible stained-glass appliqués really do pull off the look, with their thick, textured 3-D design that fractures light, black “leaded” cordage, and separate pieces that can be positioned any which way you like, on the inside of windows or glass cabinet doors. They currently come in four different patterns, in clear or color options, and are available in Chicago at the Jo-Ann fabric and craft store at 2639 North Elston Avenue (or call 800-366-1700 for other specialty retailers).
The weather outside? Frightful. But bundle up and venture out for some bargain hunting anyway. Elements’ sale comes but once a year, and to say that it’s anticipated is an understatement—people line up hours early for big deals (30 to 70 percent off) on exclusive table and home accents, and jewelry and accessories that would be right at home in a museum gift shop. The sale is this Sunday at 741 North Wells Street, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tabula Tua’ weekend sale (Friday-Sunday, at 1015 West Armitage Avenue and online) is another opportunity to spruce up your tabletop. In honor of the New Year, they’re taking 20.10 percent off of almost everything, including this painfully cute set of city glasses from Catstudio ($48 for four tumblers, and they also make pillows in the same civic designs).