Titanic TV

Bored with your big screen? Bang & Olufsen has created this monster 103-inch plasma television monitor and plans to prove how much size really does matter at a cocktail-party launch tomorrow, June 18, from 5-8 p.m. at their North American corporate office in Arlington Heights (RSVP to Ann Hof at 847-590-4909 or ahf@bang-olufsen.dk). The BeoVision 4 has a motorized floor stand, full surround-sound, and a ten center-channel loudspeaker (which flashes me back to the Maxell poster that was tacked on every other dorm room wall when I was in college, of that guy getting blasted out of his Corbu chair). It’s hard to wrap my head around a 103-inch TV…that’s about the size of the second screen at the Music Box, right? I hope it comes with sunglasses, for Kathy Griffin fans. It’s not what anyone would call an impulse purchase at, ahem, $111,000, but you can cut corners with the wall-mounted version for $93K. They are only available to order, so don’t sit around waiting for a fire sale.


F is for the fantastic variety of modular carpet tiles they offer, L is for the laurels this company has received for its eco-friendly manufacturing and recycling policies, O is for the original designs they create in collaboration with Martha Stewart, Disney, Alexander Girard, et al, and R is for the retail store they’re opening this Friday at 1873 N. Clybourn Avenue at 9 a.m. Subsets of FLOR tiles have been available at select shops in the area for a while now, but this is the first time Chicagoans can play around with all the patterns under one roof (there are two other flagship stores—in Santa Monica and Atlanta) and consult with a FLOR-fostered design team to craft a fitting floor plan.


Hundreds of architects and designers flock to Chicago in June for the Mart’s big annual world trade show geared to interior design commerce, NeoCon, and lots of local showrooms and home stores take advantage of the haute hubbub by hosting welcoming receptions and events to show off their wares and celebrate the season. This Monday I managed to check out a few happenings, starting with the shiny happy launch of Italian luxe tile company Bisazza’s first Chicago store, at 226 W. Kinzie St. in the shadow of the Mart itself. Wow. The well-heeled crowd was clearly impressed by the elegant, arty offerings and the floor-to-ceiling tile displays. A model pranced around in a glazed-tile evening gown, (as much as one can prance through a mob of stylistas) and the Veuve Clicquot and chocolate strawberries were flowing. Bisazza has paired with design superstars like Tord Boontje, Andrée Putman, and Patricia Urquiola to create a home collection of furniture and accessories that’s mosaicking me crazy—love these curvy ottoman/tables by Marcel Wenders, and the sparkling folding screens that line the lower-level gallery. Florense was celebrating as well—the Brazilian company has been selling sleek furniture and cabinet systems for a year now at its elegant River North showroom, and toasted the anniversary with basil-infused Veev acai cocktails (it’s not quite a vodka, not quite a liquor, but quite delicious) and curried chicken canapes from Cork catering. Last stop of the night for us was the Orange Skin party, where a burly doorman was doing double-duty to keep out party crashers. Inside, a DJ was spinning, chilled sake and Sapporo washed down assorted dim sum presented in Chinese takeout boxes, and scenesters lined up for calligraphic temporary tattoos. (It’s a good thing a lot of Orange Skin’s furniture is plastic—those saketini rings will wipe right off.) Thanks to all those involved for a really fun night!

Frame Focus

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers wants to make your pictures perfect with a great-looking antique frame from the one-day auction next Wednesday, June 24 at noon. Hindman has halted the eBay-powered approach that they’ve been using forever, and implemented their own online system that’s super-easy to navigate, browse, and bid. More than 200 early American, Continental, and English wood frames ranging in style from austere to ornate will be offered, and old-school bidders are welcome to attend the sale in person. If you’d like to look before you bid, call Jim Sharp at 312—334-4203 for an appointment.

Modest House

The South Oak Park Style Housewalk is going down this Saturday, June 20 from 3-7 p.m., and it’s an inspirational and attainable showcase of design within reach as seen in eight-and-a-half homes (including our editor’s). Whaddaya mean, HALF a home? Buy a $30 ticket—proceeds benefit the Oak Park and River Forest Day Nursery—and find out for yourself! Hint: Wheels are involved.