A painting by Bret Grafton
Props for Champagne

Chicago House has been providing housing and services for people affected by HIV and AIDS since 1985, and has a terrific track record for pulling off fun, stylish fund-raisers heavy on the well-heeled denizens of the design community. Next Thursday, January 26, it’s taking efforts to new heights, with the tenth annual Champagne Wrapture: Clicquot in the Sky. Literally new heights——this year the much-anticipated party is on the 99th floor of Willis (née Sears) Tower, and will include an auction of Champagne-inspired artwork by local designers, artists, architects, and celebs. Thirty bubbly creations by muck-a-mucks from such companies as Studio Gang, Room & Board, and Brentano Fabrics will be on the block, as well as pieces by designer Richard Dayhoff and artist-photog Bret Grafton, whose contribution is pictured here, a print inspired by the clinking bottle trees of New Orleans. (You may be familiar with Grafton’s work from his commercial collaborations with CB2 and Office Max; he’s also the lead photographer for the fashion houses of Lara Miller and Kirk James.) The arty party runs 5:30 to 9 p.m., and tickets are $99 in advance (phone 773-248-5200, x303) or $110 at the door.

A table set from Coyle & Herr

Re: Coyle & Herr

There’s a new player in Chicago’s upscale furniture and design consignment game, and given the owners’ pedigrees and resources, I’m stoked to see what they have up their smartly tailored sleeves. Mary Beth Herr is a University of Illinois–trained architect who has also worked for interior designer Berta Shapiro and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs (for 20 years, planning events and exhibits), and her partner is Dorothy Coyle, the city’s office of tourism director. Spurred by the encouragement of their pal Leslie Hindman, who often runs across less-than-auction-quality furniture, the ladies have opened Coyle & Herr in the Bridgeport Arts Center (1200 W. 35th St., 773-575-9880), a 12,000-square-foot space that Herr describes as, in part, “a consignment shop for interior designers’ leftovers.” Look for, among other goodies, couches with good bones that just need a little upholstery love. The resale business will be open once a month for 10-day sales, the first of which starts tomorrow and runs through January 30, every day from 10–6; and by-appointment at other times. Coyle & Herr also provides design advice, free parking, and a covered loading dock for easy loading and unloading.

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

Maxwell, Smart

The popular blog Apartment Therapy is one of the warhorses of the online home designasphere, with more than 8.5 million visitors each month who check in to find interior design advice and inspiration, recipes, photo tours, tech tips, and environmental awareness. One of AT’s fortes since its inception in 2004, (and one of my favorite aspects of the site), is dealing with small-space living, and founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan is coming to Chicago for a little therapy session next Tuesday, January 24, at the Mag Mile HomeGoods store (600 N. Michigan Ave.), at 6 p.m. He’ll be discussing everything from storage to furniture selection, geared toward Windy City citizens looking to maximize space, and the talk begins at 6:30. RSVP here, and there’s a chance you’ll receive a free signed copy of Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces (for the first 25 people who sign up and show up).

A Kona Beach vanity

Fanfare of the Vanities

The Dallas-based bathroom furniture manufacturer Cole + Co. made a splash when it launched its Designer Series collection of creative bathroom cabinetry several years ago, and it has just announced the 2012 addition of 45 new designs to the line. Cole’s w.c. blockbusters are made entirely by hand from a wildly eclectic mix of chests and cabinets, and are ready to accommodate plumbing and sink installs. The drawers are functional, so there’s tons of storage, and clients can request custom cuts for the top configuration. The styles range from coldly and severely modern, to colorful hand-painted harlequin, to a brassy, glittering zebra pattern that would be right at home in Snooki’s salon. I’m partial to this mahogany British Colonial–ish Kona Beach model, with ropy patinaed drawer pulls. The collection is priced from $2,495, and available locally at Ferguson’s six locales, Banner Plumbing, and Studio 41.

Outside Honquest Furniture for Living

Smokin’ Whitefish

I told you about some design happenings up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin a few months ago, and now I hear there are even more reasons to visit the affluent Milwaukee suburb. Richard and Rachel Honquest have opened a 12,100-square-foot furniture and design outpost of Honquest Furniture for Living, the Barrington business that began more than 50 years ago when Richard launched a drapery biz from the back of his station wagon. Both stores offer window treatments, Oriental rugs, handmade mattresses, and furniture from the likes of Pearson, Hancock & Moore, Century, Hickory Chair, and Sligh. The new store is at 133 East Silver Spring Drive (414-988-4078), and open every day but Sunday.

A print by Diana Sudyka

Lauded Locals

As a framer, Artists Frame Service (1867 N. Clybourn Ave.) sees a constant parade of artwork coming in and going out of the shop, and it has decided to showcase some of the employees’ favorites by mounting small exhibitions of affordable local art pieces. Currently they are featuring the prints of Diana Sudyka, an artist who mastered printmaking by working in presses such as Big Cat and Landfall. Her framed pieces range in price from $300 to $500, and the work will be up through April 1 (no kidding). Diana also works as an illustrator, and has done posters for bands like Feist, Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam, and Andrew Bird, and album and book illos as well. Check out her charmingly intricate hand on The Tiny Aviary, a blog that documents her volunteer work at the Field Museum.

Urban Folk Circuit logo

Small Crafts Warning

January isn’t usually host to very many arts and crafts shows, for obvious reasons, but Kelli Wefenstette and Jess Duff, founders of Urban Folk Circuit, aren’t interested in business as usual. They met at a craft show in 2010 (Kelli: recycled tote bags, Jess: soy wax candles) and decided to start their own traveling fair, with very egalitarian principles. Artists pay $40 to participate; the venues are donated and host for an afternoon, rather than an entire weekend; there is no admission fee for the public; and UFCs are held monthly year-round, not just in the summer or holiday season. Check out the offerings this Saturday, January 21, when the crafters invade Lincoln Square to set up at The Grafton Irish Pub, 4530 N. Lincoln Ave., from 1–5 p.m.