Yellow door and vintage chair
I Am Curious, Yellow

Three enterprising, like-minded young Chicago interior design grads have formed The Yellow Door Project, a collective studio space to showcase their individual collections of restored and repurposed furniture, artwork, and home design objects, in a former factory loft space at 3065 North Rockwell (corner of Belmont and Rockwell). Kylie Egge, Sosi Mikaelian, and Kara Hladky kicked off the venture with an opening celebration last week, and plan on having more events and design workshops in the future. The ladies have been selling items online and to clients for a while now, and wanted a more communal and periodically public outlet for their wares and services. Egge, of Recovered Interiors jump-starts tired furniture with fresh finishes and fabrics, and offers upholstery and interior design services; Mikaelian makes clever, whimsical sculptures and home and fashion items from found objects; and Hladky, of R.O.A.M. Conviction, espouses her belief that reuse and reinvention should be a part of every design project by tweaking and rethinking vintage objects and mid-century furniture. To get behind the Yellow Door, contact any of the trio through their websites for an appointment.

Luxurious bathroom

Dayton Domiciles

Lissa Weinstein of Sudler Sotheby’s International Realty has organized a summer home tour of available high-end single-family properties on a sweet strip of Lincoln Park’s Dayton Street, between Armitage and Fullerton Avenues, and you’re invited to check out the seven million-dollar babies next Tuesday, July 13 and Sunday, July 18, from 2–4:00 p.m. Architects, designers, and brokers will be on hand to talk about features, and there will be wine tastings and other special bonuses at each home (the property at 2137 N. Dayton will have Kohler reps on hand offering Kohler gift certificates—this and its other swanky loo use Kohler products and were featured on the company’s website). Contact Lissa at 773-405-6315 for details on this home, and the other addresses.

American flags, furniture, and other items for sale at the Vintage Pine flea market

Flea Party

Vintage Pine is going alfresco this Saturday, July 10, with a bigger-than-ever, rain-or-shine, onsite flea market at 904 West Blackhawk from 8–3:00. Owners Sallie and Debby are especially excited to be hosting guest vendors such as the society-event-planning pros Heffernan Morgan, who’ll be trucking in loads of party props and decorations that they’ve used at Chicago events and galas (samples pictured here). Vintage Pine’s stable of VIP dealers will also be serving up deals on merchandise, and the event is cash-and-carry.

Man making pottery

Pottery Born

If you can’t find patio-perfect planters to make yourself proud, why not grab the terra by the cotta and learn how to craft your own? Lillstreet Art Center has a “home and garden” pottery class spinning off the week of July 12, geared to gardeners and entertaining enthusiasts of all ceramic skill levels, which meets on Mondays from 1:30–4:30 p.m. The eight-week session will include demos on different methods and mediums of ceramics, from hand-built stoneware serving platters to large-scale clay urns, and will set non-members back $300. Lillstreet has dozens of other classes and workshops scheduled for the season, for those who would like to leave summer with something more lasting than a suntan and an in-depth familiarity with the Twilight vampires.

Cast of I Am Love

Italian Dressing

There’s a film playing around town now that I’d urge any interior-design fan and fashionista to see pronto, on the big screen—the swell sets, gorgeous cinematography, and chic Jil Sander–Fendi costuming of I Am Love had me wanting to hop on a Vespa and scooter home to edit my coffee tables and closets. (not to mention the wonder that actress Tilda Swinton brings to the table, the delicious melodrama, and the crashingly operatic soundtrack). Swinton plays the stylish matriarch of a wealthy Milanese clan who spends her days orchestrating elaborate dinner parties and a surreptitious affair in spectacular Italian settings, and we’re also treated to sun-drenched garden landscaping and steely London modernism. It’s one of those aesthetically inspirational cinema experiences that just makes you want to step it up a notch, design-wise.

An assortment of garden tools at Hermes

Crème de la Crops

If Swinton’s character in I Am Love had occasion to visit Chicago, she’d definitely drift through the new Hermès store on Oak Street, now located a haute skip-and-a-jump across the street from Barneys New York. I stopped in to check out the luxe location, and the smartly appointed, two-story boutique definitely doesn’t disappoint in terms of design, high-end shopping, and people-watching. The 6,000-square-foot shop was modeled after the original Hermès outpost in Paris, and the home-shopping opportunities are situated mostly on the first floor. Along with its signature neckties, scarves, apparel, parfums, and gasp-inducingly-priced leather goods, the company also sells table settings, trays and boxes, porcelain pretties, and even this set of ooh-la-la gardening tools. The spade, trowel, and weeding fork have rosewood handles and come in a neat little carrying bag, with the neat little price tag of $345.