Smart Move

If you were planning on checking out DreamHome at the Merchandise Mart, wake up and smell the coffee—organizers have put that inspirational, aspirational show to bed, and you’ve snoozed and loozed. (You can keep the dream alive and kill time before the next annual DreamHome opens in April 2010 by browsing pics and designer info online.) There are, however, several more days to catch the long-running Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry, and I’d urge you not to miss that if you’ve been putting it off. It’s a freestanding, functional home that shows off the latest in green products, energy saving technology, and modern design (thanks in part to the efforts of designer Michelle Fitzpatrick, owner of local sustainable home resource Verde.) Watch how it came together in 90 seconds, (the video should really have Benny Hill music playing in the background) and order tickets for an assigned viewing slot in advance, as they monitor the amount of visitors carefully. It closes on January 3.

Dashing Through the Shows

The holidays, with out-of-town guests and extra days off work, are a great time to show off our local museums and perhaps catch an exhibit or two you’ve been meaning to see. Plus, all that walking around is perfect for burning off some fudge and eggnog: cultural calisthenics. For design minds, I recommend the Konstantin Grcic show at the Art Institute—it’s the first proper exhibition of the important German industrial designer’s work, and also the first time the Modern Wing has devoted those big, crisp new Abbott Galleries on the first floor to a design show. It also happens to be a lot of fun, with playful, interactive aspects and over 100 examples of the vowel-challenged designer’s furniture, tableware, and office accessories. These are his Myto Chairs, inspired and named after a motorbike. If that’s all too mod for Aunt Elaine’s taste, take her over to the ‘Tute’s Apostles of Beauty show, a swooning collection of functional Arts and Crafts treasures that will satisfy the Edith Wharton urges that swell up in a lot of our seasonal souls.

Tom’s Nice Prices

Through Christmas Eve, the fourth-generation, centenarian, Chicago-born family furniture biz Toms-Price Home Furnishings is gifting customers with a 45 percent discount off one piece at any of their four area locations. If you’ve been thinking about investing in a nice piece of Stickley, (T-P carries their line in Chicagoland exclusively) like this handsome bow-armed Morris Chair, now’s the time to act. It’s going to be a long winter, so wouldn’t it be nice to have something sturdy like this to settle down in at the end of a hard day?

Chiasso What?

I found some terrific bargains on gifts for modern-loving friends and family at the Chiasso store’s holiday sale on Clybourn the other day, and they have further sweetened the deals by offering an additional 10 percent off already-reduced sale prices if you mention the code STOREWEB, through December 24. The brick-and-mortar retailer typically prices merchandise 15–20 percent lower than they do at their website or through their catalog, and has an imaginative selection of lighting, furniture, and accessories. This glass cutting board pictures a vegetable vision of Marilyn Monroe (Elvis version available as well) and is reduced to $18 from $28. You could easily interpret her as Lady Gaga, and poke her face every time you make a salad.

Jayson Shines

The semiannual floor-and-more Jayson sale has started, a few days early this year, and continues through January 18. Prices are up to half-off, and that’s not just for floor models—this time they are extending that discount to new backroom stuff as well. There’s nothing to be scared of with this smoothly polished petrified wood stool, (Or is it an end table? You decide.) which they tell me is over 20 million years old, and is reduced to $750 from $1,495. They have a nice selection of these stunning stumps, so if you’re feeling flush you could put together a pretty great coffee-table base.

Suite Sample Sale

There’s no need to wait for the Merchandise Mart’s periodic Design Center sample sales anymore, since they have opened an ongoing Sample Sale Suite that’s open to the public Monday through Friday, from 10–5:00 p.m. That’s great news for fans of lines such as Casa Bella, Ebel, Henredon Furniture, and Atelier Lapchi. All these and more will be offering off-the-floor, pick-up-and-go pieces from the showrooms, located in suite 1563. Call 773-852-6184 with any questions.