Hey, how about that—we have a new President! To celebrate the Inauguration and honor the Commander in Chief with something more fitting than a six-pack of Jones’s “Orange You Glad for Change” soda pop, Oak Park’s Careful Peach home boutique has designed and commissioned some exclusive Barack-collectibles with gravitas. Pick up a hand-etched Champagne bottle depicting Obama’s name, election dates and percentages, and a donkey kicking some serious elephant ass for $90. It was crafted by Peter Morava of Morava Glass Studios, who also did the light fixtures in that tricked-out vintage trailer we featured in the Sept.-Oct. issue. (Peter also happens to be married to the Peach’s owner, Karen.) The Peach is also campaigning its sterling silver-and-resin Obama/Biden cuff links, handmade in the O.P. (Karen tells me that at least three pair were actually in D.C. yesterday—maybe you caught a glimpse?). Save some more change at Restoration Hardware, where they pledge to cut $100 off any purchase over $400, including reduced and online sales, until Jan. 26. Mention code RNPR019 at checkout; offer good in red and blue states. And to get your cabinets in order, the Container Store is holding its annual 30 percent-off Elfa shelving sale, through Feb. 9.
In China, 2009 is the Year of the Ox (so stop writing Year of the Rat on your checks already, jeez…), and to celebrate, Pagoda Red is having a Big Ox sale in their warehouse at 1201 W. Washington Street this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-25. Owner Betsy Nathan has been showcasing 19th Century Chinese furniture and artifacts for 13 years at her Wicker Park and Winnetka shops, and this is just the fifth time she’s had a sale. “I’m a voracious collector, and our coffers are bursting,” she says. “It’s time to edit the collection.” There will be provincial tables, armoires, calligraphy brushes, Tibetan carpets, and scholars’ stones, with 20-80 percent discounts. This antique gilt and lacquer lantern was originally $1,680, now you can raise it for $280. Also find an $880 elm feng deng (square stool, if anybody’s asking) that can pull double duty as seating or a cocktail table, marked down to $268. (The number eight is a Chinese lucky number, not a marketing strategy, fyi.) Did you know that Betsy’s mom is Ann Nathan, of the eponymous River North gallery? We’re lucky to have such a visionary and committed Chicago design dynasty in our midst.
Renoir and Degas and Monet, Oh My!
A big chunk of the Art Institute’s most beloved Impressionist paintings went AWOL for what seemed like years—sent on tour, nip-tucked off to labs, or just stashed away in preparation for their new digs. I for one have missed them, but they’re back in an inspiring new installation that incorporates period furniture into the mix. This Friday you can have a few drinks and catch up on old times at the After Dark: Return of the Impressionists event, from 6-10 p.m. $15 for members ($20 if you’re not—but if you’re not, get a membership and it’ll pay for itself in a heartbeat with the museum shop discounts and express-pass options you get).
Much Ado up on Clark Street
This Friday, Jan. 23, from 6-10 p.m., Andersonville retailers (tons of home décor shops among them—look our for our Andersonville shopping tour in the March/April issue of Chicago Home + Garden) stay up late with an evening event that promises discounts deeper than the snowdrifts. These lively shopping strolls are also great for people watching, and restaurants are in on it too, offering deals on meals. Why not make late-night a date-night and book a window table at Anteprima, Big Jones, or Tapas Las Ramblas to toast your bargains?
For one week only, starting Monday, Jan. 26, Refined Rustic will be discounting all furniture items 40-70 percent to prepare for the slew of new merchandise and artwork that’s coming in. There will be vintage European farm hutches, hand-painted tables, dressers, and a whole lot more cool stuff.