This Week’s Top Story

It’s harder to pronounce than to practice, but hygge is one trend you’ll want to embrace this season. The Danish obsession with getting cozy (sounds like a cross between “hyoo-guh” “hoo-guh,” related to the English word “hug”) is all over showrooms at the Design Center (222 Merchandize Mart Plaza,—and coming to a living room near you.

Colette Conway of Romo’s Chicago fabric showroom cites the introduction of Villa Nova’s new Norrland collection as a sign of this Scandi invasion. “It’s really about effortlessness, wellbeing, and a connection to nature,” she says. The collection is rich with textures and colors that emphasize simplicity, comfort, and organic materials.

The team at Made Goods in the Design Center has watched hygge-happy buyers feel their way through the showroom, as well. “We’re seeing classic products reimagined using simple, organic materials” such as rope and horn, says manager Dean Marshall.

While most of these products are available for the trade, the Design Center offers a Designer-on-Call program that pairs D.I.Y.-ers with more than 40 designers (one-hour consults are free) to help create a custom, hygge look for your soon-to-be super-cozy home.

Interior Intel

After 10 years reimagining Gold Coast co-ops and Wicker Park single-family homes, interior designers Michael Stornello and Tom Konopiots are celebrating their milestone by moving their HQ to River North. Stop by the new, improved Vincere (124 W. Kinzie St., offices that adhere to the duo’s design philosophy: to allow scale and elegance to seamlessly integrate with livability and function.

This June, Apartment Therapy partnered with Annie Selke Companies to launch the first-ever Annie Selke Rug Design Challenge. One of the winning designs was created by Chicago blogger Nicole Balch, of Making it Lovely. Her Indigo Geometric Designed Rug was inspired in part by quilting. “The triangle pattern fill in the center can be found in many quilts and in a coverlet from Annie Selke,” says Balch. “Fringed edges are the finishing touch.” The 15 winning designs (including Balch’s) will be presented during April’s High Point Market in North Carolina.


Pagoda Red is opening its Bucktown warehouse (1740 W. Webster St., to the public for a very rare Warehouse Sale. This weekend only, take a peek at what 20 years of collecting looks like, and score some unique collectibles that are discounted up to 80 percent off. Hours are Saturday, September 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be ample parking, but those painted coffers and scholar stones will go fast.

Lightology (215 W. Chicago Ave., just put a cache of new fixtures on sale, most notably the pendants by SkLO Studio. We love the Double Lasso and the Drape Composition to add a chic, warm glow to any room.


On September 12, the Art Institute of Chicago (159 E. Monroe St., opens “Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute,” an installation in the Modern Wing devoted to the museum’s collection of architectural drawings and furniture from the 20th and 21st centuries. Highlighting works by icons from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to Jeanne Gang, the show aims to start a discussion about how architecture and design impact our daily lives.

Walter E. Smithe (2009 N. Clybourn Ave., is hosting a “Wine & Design” career night on Wednesday, September 13, at the Lincoln Park showroom from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is a chance to meet the Smithe team, see their latest designs and meet recruiters. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to turn that D.I.Y. spirit into a full-time job.

The River North Fall Gallery Walk takes place on Friday, September 8. This year’s line-up starts at Lightology (215 W. Chicago Ave., at 5 p.m., with Champagne flowing, then double-decker buses shuttle design fans to Glenview Haus and Christopher Guy at Chicago Luxury Furniture Centre (371 W. Ontario St., The walk ends with an after-party hosted by The Golden Triangle (330 N. Clark St.,, where you can discuss your favorite vignettes—which will remain on display until October 13—over a treat of Vosges Chocolates.

Get your tickets now for the 9th Annual Chicago VIP Luxury Gala, taking place on Wednesday, October 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the Merchandise Mart. The evening will honor the best in architecture, interior design, and residential development and is the signature event of Design Chicago, the Midwest’s largest residential design conference. With 800 attendees expected to show, you can bet tickets for the gala will be hard to come by in a few weeks. Plan ahead and buy them now ($100 per person) here.