Upstairs at Tiffany’s
Don’t wait for a proposal to venture through Tiffany’s doors—they have terrific, modern, not-as-pricey-as-you’d-think home items as well as the jaw-dropping gems on which the store built its reputation. I popped in the Michigan Avenue store to shop for a gift the other day, strolled right past all the quintuple-digit diamonds settled on their first-floor, and took the stairs at the back, up to the gifts floor. Elsa Peretti has a sexy new collection of sterling-silver picture frames that look like liquid mercury, and the store is offering free engraving on them until Feb. 9. Her crystal vases, candlesticks, and vessels are pretty spectacular too, and you’ll also find crenulated Frank Gehry bone china bowls, tons of colorful ceramic accent pieces, and a selection of cut-glass nut bowls that will do your Planter’s proud. (I saw Audrey Hepburn once shopping on Michigan Avenue, but not at Tiffany’s. Holly was going lightly around the kitchen section at Crate & Barrel in a pristine camel hair coat, picking up flatware and enthusing over pieces in that breathy patrician patois. “Oh my, isn’t this just marvelous?” I overheard her say from my respectful distance. It was shortly before she died, in 1993, and I’ll never forget it.)
Tickets just went on sale for the Chicago screening of an ambitious new documentary, Objectified, about the relationships we have with design in our everyday lives. Director Gary Hustwit, whose resume includes the Wilco-expose I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and Helvetica, talked to some of the world’s most influential designers (Target superstar Karim Rashid, Braun design director Dieter Rams, Apple’s Jonathan Ive, etc.) and tastemakers (MOMA’s Paola Antonelli, New York Times critic Rob Walker, et al.) for his latest film, and it’s showing for one night only on April 28 at the Music Box, with a post-flick director and cast Q&A. That’s down the road, yes, but screenings in other cities have sold out quickly. Watch the trailer here and buy your $20 tickets here.
Champagne Within Reach
It’s time to vote in DWR’s annual champagne chair contest, where 50 finalists have crafted tiny seats from the foil, label, cage and cork of a bottle of bubbly. Make your voice heard all this week, then mark your calendar for the viewing and party at the Chicago Design Within Reach’s Tree Studio location, Friday, April 10, 6-8:30 p.m.
You can tell by the arrival of Easter cards at Walgreen’s that Valentine’s Day is almost here. We’re sweet on Susan Fredman’s River North At Home in the City shop all year—LUV the way all that HOT STUFF is displayed by domestic themes. This Saturday they’re hosting a “Romancing Your Room” seminar from 1-3 p.m., which PROMISES 4 EVR to teach us how to serve up a romantic dinner for two, introduces new tabletop collections, and SHOWS OFF a new scent line, Zents. RSVP at email@example.com. UR A QT, Susan. Oak Park’s Careful Peach[www.carefulpeach.com] is also feeling the hearts with a Wed., Feb. 11 event from 6-8 p.m. There will be raffles, a Lush rosé wine tasting, truffles from Robert Emery, and a Juliska trunk show of “possibly the most beautiful glassware in the world.” I’m liking these opaque black serving pieces, myself.
New @ Nadeau
A slow boat from China has arrived in Ravenswood, filling Nadeau Imports already packed showroom to the rafters with hundreds of new pieces. “We only get a shipment from China about once a year, so this is special,” says store manager Keith Heric. “I also had six shipments in January, which is more than double an average month—there’s more of a selection here than we’ve ever had.” Find traditional Chinese chests and screens, sure, but also surprisingly modern stuff like these lacquered trunks.
For years in Chicago, the tradition of gallery openings on the first Friday of every month has pretty much reigned supreme. CADA, the Art Dealers’ Association of Chicago, recognized that that isn’t always the most convenient time to get your art on, especially for second-home owners anxious to get out of the city or stressed out TGIF types, so they came up with First Thursday events in both the River North and the West Loop hoods. Meet some friends out from 5-7 p.m., see some great exhibits, and consider buying something to spruce up your walls.