Items from Seek
Seek and Ye Shall Find

Longtime buds and nonrepentant thriftaholics Chris Hunt and Audra Yeomans have opened up a smartly edited new vintage shop at 1432 West Chicago Avenue, Seek, specializing in, well, special. The 1,300-square-foot space is loaded with items the pair have personally picked up on cross-country culling adventures and polished up, and it’s full to the rafters with kitschy house trappings, racks of clothing and jewelry, and select furniture finds (they’re bringing in a lot more home goods in the next couple of weeks, Chris told me). I found a nice selection of Pyrex cookware, Bakelite bangles, Halston gowns, and Mad Men-era cocktail shakers. “We live for when we spot something truly special in the most unlikely of places,” says Hunt. “If it didn’t stop one of us in our tracks, you won’t find it on the shelves of Seek.”

Benjamin Moore experts

All About the Benjamin

If you’re a shelter-mag fan like me, you’ve probably seen the new ad campaign for Benjamin Moore paints (“Paint With the Very Best: For Those Who Know More”) At a glance, it looks like a Vanity Fair spread (and it was in fact inspired by the celeb conglomerations Annie Leibowitz puts together for the mag’s annual Hollywood issues), but these are stars of the home-design, not movie, variety. The eight experts, including that hometown gent on the left, Jeff Hester of Chicago-based Hester Painting and Decorating Company, think Moore’s the merrier when it comes to paint quality and color selection, and they’ve created online video conversations with advice and tips, available to explore on Facebook. Hester is in fine, well-heeled company—some of his co-models in the $15 million campaign include celebrity decorators Jamie Drake, Celerie Kemble, and Amy Lau.

Madden Home display

Madden Matters

Sheryl Roy, interior designer and the owner of Deerfield’s Madden Home store, is having a Mother’s Day sale at her eclectic shop through Sunday, marking everything down a very maternal 20 percent off retail. (Your mother gave you the gift of life, don’t you think you could at least give her a porcelain doll crafted from antique tea boxes?) Roy also reports that she is furnishing several rooms in the upcoming Winnetka Home of Distinction, a LEED-certified green home that will be showcasing eco building trends and be open for tour from May 13 through May 30, Thursdays to Sundays. The tour’s admission fee of $10 goes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Kitchen Aid

You can also treat your mamacita to an afternoon in Hinsdale, snooping through private kitchens on the Hinsdale Cooks Kitchen Walk this Friday, May 7, 10:00–3:00. Forty bucks ($35 in advance) gets you inspiration and inside looks at five swanky sculleries, with refreshments from Cyrano’s Bistrot, Whole Foods Catering, and mixologist Adam Seger. (Plus it benefits the Hinsdale Historical Society, which you’ll also have the opportunity to tour.)

Charcuterie assortment courtesy of Sable Kitchen & Bar's chef, Heather Tehune

Shelf Appeal

The swanky new Hotel Palomar Chicago held a kick-ass kick-off party for Art Chicago and NEXT recently, and it left me with not only excitement for the art overload that was held last weekend in the Mart, but also some creative, unorthodox ideas on food presentation. Nibbles and bevs came courtesy of chef Heather Tehune, the driving force behind the hotel’s lauded Sable Kitchen & Bar, and her method of serving a charcuterie assortment was downright revelatory. Along one wall of the Gallery Ballroom, which served as party central for the fashion show, DJ, and art installations, was what appeared to be glass bookshelves—here purposed as serving stations for mounds of prosciutto, speck, pancetta, and a variety of other salumi, cheeses, nuts, and olives. This is news you can use, I thought, especially if you’re throwing a cocktail party and you don’t have a lot of square footage. Why not clear out a couple of shelves of books and trinkets, give them an attentive scrub-down and use the space to serve some snacks? It’s unexpected and fun, and you can use small bowls to hold the unruly roly-polies such as olives and nuts.

Floor lamp from Florense

Waxing Brazilian

Florense’s boys from Brazil are pretty excited about the 2011 lines of furniture, kitchen and bath systems, and lighting that will be zhushing up their River North showroom soon; in the meantime they’re making room for the new attitude by having a floor sample sale with up to 50 percent reductions. This Pallucco Fortuny Ornament floor lamp with its quiet-on-the-set-please vibe is going to be $3,114, down from $5,190, and there will be dozens of deals on other Brazilian manufactured sexy sleekness (even some full-on kitchen set-ups starting at $22,575—that’s including cooktops and installation). The sale starts Saturday, May 8 and continues for one week, and you can preview all the items, with pricing and dimensions, at Florense’s Facebook page.