Jia console (above) with hand-rubbed chocolate lacquer and cinnabar edges, $6,900; Astrid end tables (below) with walnut tops and ebony-finished maple bases, $1,890 each
The new Raul Carrasco showroom in River North-the first outside of Miami-is a gleaming example of how to do global right. Not only does the 5,000-square-foot, bi-level space deftly meld giant, Miami-esque bird-of-paradise plants with Chicago-style exposed pipes and cement floors, but it also brings together modern design and exotic flavor with panache. A marble Buddha statue is marvelous next to a luxurious chocolate hide couch; an antique Vietnamese hash pipe looks right at home with a glamorous flared-arm sofa in an oatmeal-colored nubby raw silk. It’s over-the-top Miami for the Midwest palette . . . with a hint of burning incense in the air.
"The cold, cubic modern look has become really generic, so we give it all a lush, multiethnic humanity," explains manager Josh Bracken. Look for beds, tables, and bookcases in wenge and solid oak; pedestal end tables made of petrified wood; and all manner of accessories from Syria, Italy, Africa, and France. Raul Carrasco, 116 W. Hubbard St., 312-527-1900; raulcarrasco.com