With sitters, dog-walkers, packages, and guests coming and going, manning the front door of your home can be a full-time job. Starting today, thanks to Sam Jadallah and a team stacked with Chicago natives, you can give that job to Otto, a smart home lock four years in the making. The California-based company says the durable lock can survive more than 250,000 cycles of manual locking, unlocking, and slamming. Worried about security? Otto says it uses “security encryption measures that have never been known to have been hacked.”

The device, sold online, costs $699 and has a limited-time deal for complimentary delivery and installation (usually $150) and comes in three attractive colorways. Chicago spoke with founder Jadallah about the newly launched product.

Chicago: What makes Otto different?

Jadallah: We’re solving the problem of security by eliminating the key and the keypad, the most vulnerable aspects of any lock. We use the highest-quality materials to create a lock that’s the same size as the deadbolt it replaces. And we’re providing a feature set—including remote lock/unlock and push-to-enter—that changes how we interact with our homes.

Chicago: How does it work?

Jadallah: Walk up to your door with your phone in your pocket—be sure Bluetooth is on—and press Otto to unlock. You can also unlock the door using a four-digit entry code, remotely using the Otto app, or manually: From the interior, turn the dial or press Otto to lock or unlock your door.

Interior Intel

Chicago-based kitchen designer and builder Scott Dresner is giving away one Lattissima Pro Nespresso Machine (valued at $520)—plus a copy of his book, Creative Kitchens!—to one lucky wannabe Instagram star. Follow the award-winning designer @dresnerdesign on Instagram, “like” the giveaway post, tag two friends in the comments, and that’s it. The winner will be randomly selected on August 31. Visit dresnerdesign.com for more information.

Art-publishing powerhouse Louise Blouin has just launched her Blouin Shop, a one-stop online shop for browsing and purchasing more than 100,000 pieces of art and objets collected from around the globe. Click through thousands of pages of fine art, books from Taschen and Assouline, antiques, furniture, jewelry, home accessories, and more. Our favorite feature is the “Shop by Museum” function, with posters from iconic exhibitions from the world’s finest cultural institutions.


Blu Dot (1953 N. Clybourn Ave., bludot.com) is offloading a raft of brightly colored rugs, so you can spruce up your well-trodden foyer or living room without redoing the floors. We love the crochet-style Echo and the kilim Golf, in Caribbean blue and blood red, respectively, to add a bold streak to a samey-samey space. They are half off, starting at just $59.

IQmaticsfloor sample sale—where contemporary furnishings are up to 60 percent off— means it’s time to consider refreshing your public spaces. Future classic Tonin Casa Adele coffee tables, in curved metal and walnut or oak, are going for $699. Stop by the airy showroom (230 W. Huron St., iqmatics.com) to see all the pieces in one space for serious inspiration.


This Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Randolph Street Market returns for its fourth summer market, this one themed Back to Cool. Carve out a whole day to wander the West Loop/Fulton Market District event to source antique, vintage, and modern furniture, art, décor, and other goodies from more than 300 vendors. Buy your tickets in advance here.

Seems like everyone’s talking about the disappearance of bees these days, but at Pasquesi Home and Gardens (975 N. Shore Dr., Lake Bluff, pasquesi.com), you can see what all the fuss is about at their What’s the Buzz? seminar with bee expert Allen Kracower. Learn how bees make honey, check out a working beehive, learn which flowers are best for nectar, and come home with an encyclopedia of knowledge—plus plants, seeds, and anything an amateur gardener could need. The one-hour seminar plus Q&A is free, and starts at 11 a.m. on August 26.