Christopher Guy merchandise, and the storefront

I stopped by the new Christopher Guy showroom in Winnetka only moments before it officially opened Thursday, and as I stood gingerly on a brand-new rug just delivered from Nepal, workers in the 9,500-square-foot space were frantically Windexing mirrors, straightening frames, and fluffing pillows even as the designer himself—visiting from his home in Singapore for a cocktail party with customers and VIPs that night—was en route from his downtown hotel. The showroom is owned by Chicago entrepreneur Jim Denos, and it’s the only time Guy has allowed an independent owner to sell his wares in such a setting in the U.S. As the designer toured the space for the first time, he nodded occasionally and commented on how Denos and his team had arranged the high-drama furniture, mirrors, and accessories. “Every showroom has a different look based on the region and the space,” he explained, pointing out that the Winnetka mix is slightly more traditional than it might be in an urban setting. He told me how the high-backed chairs shown above were adapted to serve as the Queen of Hearts’ throne in the recent Alice in Wonderland movie, and pointed out other pieces used in James Bond films and The Devil Wears Prada. Christopher Guy furniture looks great on film because, let’s face it, there’s nothing subtle about it. It’s true, Guy said, curvaceous forms are what he’s all about (“A straight line is easy to do”). And though his creations certainly have larger-than-life appeal, he’s excited to bring them into the real lives of Chicagoans. “Europe might have the best commercial centers,” he suggested, “but the most beautiful homes in the world are in America.”