Navigating Maze

After a soft launch in December, interior designer Cindy Bardes Galvin’s Winnetka home store, Maze, is now officially open for business at 735 Elm Street, in the posh suburb’s East Elm business district. Galvin moved to Winnetka in 1980 and started a design firm, Bardes Interiors, out of her own home. Fast-forward a few decades to when the successful socialite and stylista decided the time was right to dive into retail, so she stocked this sunny 3,400-square-foot storefront with Parisian flea-market finds, high-end linens, accessories, and furniture (some of her own design), and a handsome host of hostess gifts. Galvin continues to offer design services, and both businesses are booming. With North Shore neighbors such as Material Possessions, Bedside Manor, Sawbridge Studios, Duxiana beds, Pierre Deux, and Village Carpets, there’s big design noise going on in Winnetka—it’s become a distinctive, focused shopping destination.

Revision Revealed

Vintage dealer Katie Ernst has amassed tons of new furniture and objects for her typically by-appointment-only Fulton Market studio, Revision Home, so it’s just about time for one of her open-house sales to show it all off and make room for more acquisitions. (Katie’s a democratic, devoted shopper with a great eye, picking up eclectic pieces everywhere from estate sales to flea markets, and also uses her space to trumpet the work of local artists and furniture makers—we’ve told you about her business ventures before, remember? Sure you do.) This revised chapter opens next Thursday, February 18, 5:30–7:30 p.m. at a preview for the fresh inventory and reception for ceramicist Jay Strommen and assemblage artist Connie Noyes. These are Strommen’s handbuilt clay and glass objects, which he fires in a woodburning kiln using 16th-century Japanese techniques and recycled glass. They range from about six to eight inches in height, and cost $195 to $595. The sale will run Friday to Sunday, February 19 to 21, from noon till five p.m.

Moroccan Savings Time

For the month of February, Galerie du Maroc is offering designer-level discounts on all rugs and handmade mosaic tables. Owner Jim Engleman travels to Marrakech and its surrounds frequently, and gets to know the artisans and back stories of all the pieces he purchases and commissions for resale in his Ogden Avenue den of exotica. He snapped this shot of weavers, for example, preparing wool for carpets that will one day cushion some lucky stateside sitting rooms and walls. The dyes used are derived from ground flower petals and seeds, mixed with olive oil to make distinctive, subtle colors for the handwoven rugs, and the tables are crafted from fossilized marble tops and wrought iron bases. Stop by for a look and for travel tips—Engleman is so enthusiastic in his passion for the country that you may just leave with your next vacation itinerary all laid out.

Tile Folders

I’m digging Urban Archaeology’s dimensional Origami tile collection: With its subtly creased surfaces and edgy appeal, it’s one of the most wily wall options I’ve seen around. (Obviously I’m not alone here—the pattern won Interior Design magazine’s Best of the Year award in the wallcoverings category for 2009.) The six-by-six-inch ceramic tiles come in 23 colors and three finishes, and would look sharp put together on a bathroom or accent wall. Check them out at the store’s glittery LuxeHome showroom on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart. Through February the company is offering a crisp 10 percent off these and all tile patterns, as well as Urban A’s manufactured tubs, lighting, washstands, and other muscular products, inspired by the company’s roots in architectural salvage.

Domicile’s Downtown Debut

Modern furniture retailer Domicile has been in business since 1974, but the family-owned resource primarily sells out of its 80,000-square-foot Lincolnwood location, or online, or an Evanston outlet on the weekends. For a little in-your-face urban exposure, the company has popped-up with a curated selection of beds, sofas, lamps, rugs, artwork, and other offerings on display in the storefront windows of the ritzy new Streeter apartment building, at 345 East Ohio Street. (“Just steps from the Magnificent Mile,” as copywriters are frequently wont to say.) Domicile offers reproductions of mod classics as well as made-to-order trappings, and although they have a swell online site, it’s important to see the merchandise first. There are placards with prices and ordering information, and all pieces are available for rental—presumably to appeal to short-term renters who are just breezing through the Windy City. I like this symbiotic, renegade approach to home design marketing, and expect to see more hybrid happenings in the future.

Designing Women

Arts & Crafts alert: Oak Park’s Pleasant Home Foundation and the Oak Park Public Library have just announced the lineup for a 2010 free lecture series, beginning next week, and this year it’s all about the ladies who made a difference in Chicago’s arts and crafts movement. Topics include the largely unsung artists who designed and created lamps for Tiffany Studios; Chicago ceramicists; and even local female metalsmiths, including Oak Park native Jessie Preston (her inkwell, pictured here, is in the collection of the Chicago Art Institute), who forged their artistic way in the period. The talks will be held on Thursday evenings at seven o’clock at the main branch, 834 Lake Street, and a complete schedule is on the library’s website.