A kitchen by DreamHome
In the Haute House

Can it be eight years already that the Merchandise Mart has given Chicago designers pie-in-the-sky budgets to create fantasy rooms for its DreamHome installation? That was a hypothetical question, of course, because this year’s aspirational visions are opening to the public tomorrow in the north lobby of the Mart, and will remain on view until December 7. Nine firms have walked the walk this year, styling spaces from the foyer to the boudoir to the garden, and I hear from a reliable source that the 2012 results are impressive. I’ve granted carte blanche shopping privileges only once before, at Uncle Fun (I’m talking to you, Leah and Jackson), but given a loftier budget, I’d definitely consider hiring Brandy Cohen of Dandamudi’s to design a room or two, based on this kitchen she crafted.

A trophy from Haymaker

Trophy Hunting

If you’re looking for a creative way to tell someone how much you love them, how they’ve got the bestest smile, or how much you’re going to miss their column when they move to California, how about one of these handmade, one-of-a-kind trophies created by Sarah and Joseph Belknap for their Cicero-based company, iamhome? They are assembled from reclaimed wood and poured and painted plastic parts, and come with plaques that say things like “you make me swoon” and “hottest” (custom engravings are available to order). The couple will be introducing the new line at Haymaker’s Local Yield event on Monday, April 16, from 7–10 p.m. at 5507 North Clark Street. These are fun, friendly events celebrating locally made art, food, booze, and crafts, and draw hundreds of people out. On Monday you can nosh on empanadas from a food truck, sample beers from Three Floyds, and request your favorite Wilco song from a local DJ. This is Haymaker’s third Local Yield, and I guarantee it’ll be a charm.

Bronze animals from Primitive

Primal Purges

Both Glen Joffe’s Primitive flagship store (130 North Jefferson Street) and warehouse are busting at the seams with an inventory of all manner of tribal and Asian furniture, art, utilitarian objects, fabric, and jewelry, so the importer is having an unprecedented “Grand Sale” on almost all merchandise, now through April 14. Sale items are at least 30 percent off (or half-off at the warehouse, 1200 West 35th Street), and up to 90-percent off, and you’ve got 60,000 square feet of worldly goods to peruse and possess at cut-rate prices.

An armchair from Post 27

Post 27’s COA

Angela Finney-Hoffman’s Post 27 furniture and design store is downsizing its space and consolidating like a fine Top Chef stock; packing up and moving across the street from its current location at 1819 West Grand Street on May Day (big opening party on May 31, pass it on). To give the movers a break, Angie’s having a moving sale on Tuesday, April 17.

Various tile styles from Floor & Decor

Floor Modeling

The Georgia-based tile and hardwood flooring company Floor & Decor started out with one factory-direct store in Atlanta in 2001, and has since grouted and trowelled its way to more than 25 outlets across the country and an extensive online presence, but it wasn’t until this November that Chicagoland DIYers had a chance to strap on their kneepads and check out the floor samples in person. That’s when F&D opened its 87,000-square-foot showroom in Lombard (1000 North Rohlwing Road), and if you haven’t made the pilgrimage yet, next Wednesday night it’s having a Design, Wine, and Dine event that you might want to mortar-in to your calendar. From 5:30–8:30 p.m. on April 18 you can stop by for free consultations with in-store designers (bring paint chips, pictures, magazines—heck, schlep in your whole inspiration board if you feel like it), who’ll help you piece together the rooms of your dreams. RSVP to Denise Fratto at dfratto@flooranddecoroutlets.com. The store also offers free tiling installation classes every Saturday.