Antique Chinese Furniture, Pagoda Red, Lacquered Chair
Craving Chinese?

Last week, Pagoda Red launched a new site with searchable capabilities—just the thing for anyone with a taste for Chinese furniture and a size-restrictive space to fill. In addition to combing through the collection by category or key words, you can punch in dimensions and see a selection of items that fit the bill. Sign up for the informative newsletter and you’ll get weekly previews of sale items, notices of special events, and monthly editions of the Pagoda Red Book, a journal of Chinese art, culture, and design. Subscribe before May 30 and you’ll also have a chance to win this groovy green-lacquered 19th Century roundback chair, delivered free to anyone in the lower 48. The Web site wasn’t the only birth in the Pagoda family—owner Betsy Nathan just had her fourth baby boy, Nate, and “hands are full and so is life,” she reports.

Golden Opportunity

Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams are offering a 20 percent discount off all custom upholstered furniture until May 10, and promise an impressive delivery time of about six weeks. That’s hundreds in savings on more than 450 frame styles of chairs, sectionals, beds, sofas, and ottomans, expertly sheathed in one of more than 300 fabrics or 40-plus leather options. The sale extends to case goods as well (that’s armoires, chests, tables, desks, etc., just in case…), and you can grab the deals locally at Jayson Home & Garden or Michaelian & Kohlberg.

Macy’s Flower Show Tableware, Rebecca Moses, china

Heart and Soul

If you need nudging to check out the Macy’s Flower Show that’s going on downtown, listen up. Designer Rebecca Moses will be showing off her new, exclusive-to-Macy’s, Heart Style Soul tablewear (as opposed to tableWARE—that’s just how she rolls) this Friday, April 10, from noon until 2:00. She’ll be demonstrating settings while you have some snacks and feel the love with a $10 gift card, provided you RSVP to 1-800-329-8667. Macy’s also offers tours of the Flower Show led by master gardeners, Thursdays through Sundays (‘cept Easter) at 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00.

Haus Hunting

The house lights dimmed recently when Greg Steffens announced that he was closing his classy Andersonville furniture and home store, Haus. Through April, all merchandise and store fixtures are priced to move, up to 70 percent off. I’ll miss the artistic window displays and unique offerings at this little storefront gallery.

Yard Sale Sentinel

One of these days it’s going to warm up (enough with the April blizzards already!), and that means primetime for backyard bargains and moving-sale savings. Katherine Raz is keeping an eye on the action at, her lauded blog that compiles a weekly agenda of Chicago-area estate sales, flea markets, and curated CraigsList offerings so we don’t have to rummage through the classifieds anymore or loiter at grocery store bulletin boards, and can finally scrape off those I STOP FOR YARD SALES bumper stickers. When she was growing up, Katherine’s dad liked to scout and refinish flea market finds in the carport of their Grand Rapids, Michigan home, and she inherited his talent to thrift. She even does Twitter updates with on-the-spot finds, some with photos.

Material Possessions, Jason Messenger Paintings

Material Obsessions

Anytime I’m on the Gold Coast, I like to stop by and check out Material Possessions, which never fails to impress with its vast selection of unusual housewares, artwork, tabletop trimmery, bathroom accessories (there’s an entire wall of wastebins and tissue cozies on display, to suit just about any W.C.), candles, bedding…this gift shop is Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium for home-design enthusiasts, and oh, did I mention they also have jewelry? It’s a feast of the senses and almost overwhelming, but I took a few yoga breaths and calmed down for a tour of new offerings with co-manager Susan Bainbridge. I liked these smart Urban Sentinel glazed tile paintings by local artist Jason Messenger—they’re 8” square and inspired by utility poles. Nifty, nubby pillows made of silk neckties are popular sellers, Susan told me. “I love to see the crafty ladies come in and study these,” she said, “trying to figure out how to make them at home.” At a budget-friendly $90 each, I’d say that it probably isn’t worth a raid on your tie rack or the strain on your eyesight.