If you’ve had your eye on any of the big-ticket furniture items at Haymaker (5507 North Clark Street), this weekend is the very best time to shop, you understand. Owner Arrin Williams is having a supersecret (I was sworn to secrecy with my hand on an inlaid repurposed-maple cutting board) three-day flash sale, offering 20 percent off everything in the store, March 2–4. It’s a great place for smaller items, too, like tiny bags of soap in the shape of hands (capisce?), hand-screened posters of Chicago neighborhoods, and beeswax candles, but the more you spend, the more you’ll save. Most everything in the place is handmade by local artists and designers, including this oak and steel chair from Modern Industry (was $500, so you’ll save a Benji this weekend).
I went to see that much-maligned Madonna movie, W./E., recently (the problems could stem from a title that no one seems to agree on how to pronounce), and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Watching it is pretty tedious, to be honest, but the posh settings, ornate costumes, and high-WASP accoutrements combine to make the experience something like flipping through one of those Vanity Fair profiles of some obscure royal or fringe Kennedy for 90 minutes. Mrs. Ciccone-Penn-Ritchie-Ciccone did her homework regarding the period, apparently, as it seems quite accurate, right down to the 11 pug pillows the Duchess of Windsor kept on a bench at the foot of her bed in her Paris home. I had my own Wallis Simpson moment a few days ago when I saw these new like-minded pillows at River North’s For Dog’s Sake (207 West Superior Street). They come in different colors and breeds, are allowed on the furniture, and, when you consider that Wally’s set sold for $13,800 at Sotheby’s in 1997, are totally worth abdicating $40 per pup to take home.
Table for Tua
I have Tabula Tua’s annual warehouse sales to thank for some of my favorite serving pieces (everything looks delicious on a alligator-handled pewter tray from Mariposa, IMHO), and this weekend owner Grace Tsao-Wu is having an especially ambitious one for the ninth incarnation. The store, at 1015 West Armitage Avenue, has cleared out all full-price merchandise (it has furniture, rugs, and pillows, too, not just tableware) and marked all sale items down by 40 to 70 percent. Which means you might be able to pick up this $6,700 FTF Yoga Bench for $2,680, if you’re lucky. The sale runs Friday through Sunday.
You don’t have to wait for Unison’s periodic studio sales to get together with the company’s bold and modern housewares, linens, and pillows anymore, because Robert and Alicia have decided to open their doors to the public every Friday. There’s a preview party at 2000 West Fulton tonight from 6–8 (RSVP to email@example.com), with food from In Fine Spirits’ Marianne Sundquist and drinks from Longman & Eagle. If the fare is anything like Unison’s merchandise, I expect it to be crisp, bubbly, clean-lined, and colorful. Then starting tomorrow they’ll be open Fridays from noon till six, and offering 15 percent off all in-store purchases during March.
What’s that cheeky vintage shop Urban Mischief been up to, you ask? Well, aside from hiring nearly naked burlesque boys to dance on a boudoir swing during Late Night Andersonville (business rule number one: target thine audience!), the store has also temporarily expanded into a neighboring vacant storefront. Owner-“Madam” Shelly Elfstrom doesn’t like to crowd her merchandise, so she jumped at the chance to display some overflow furniture, artwork, and home accessories next door at 5137 North Clark Street, in the old Patina space. “I’ve got a lot of Milo Baughman pieces in there,” she told me, “including a floating rosewood buffet with Lucite ends [pictured], some barrel chairs, a glass-and-chrome table, and a black vinyl sofa. Artwork by Martha Graham and Kiyoshi Satio, and incredible vases by Sergio Asti for Knoll—that make me want to cry, seriously—and the largest set of graphite-gray Russel Wright dishware I’ve ever seen.” Visit sooner rather than later (and bring Shelly a tissue), as the pop-up’s open only through March.
Sorry for the short notice, but if you’re looking for something fun and noble to do tomorrow night, consider attending the 20th annual benefit for the Inspiration Corporation, a charity that helps homeless people increase self-sufficiency by providing affordable housing, meals, educational programs, and vocational training. In addition to the usual food, bar, and live music you’d expect at these sorts of shindigs, there will be a juried live and silent auction of more than 90 paintings and sculptures, and popular Chicago artist Francine Turk will be painting work live to sell Friday night. (Here’s a splash of Turk’s brushwork; she’s having a banner year so far—her recent BADASS show at Gallery KH almost sold out, and designer Jillian O’Neill is using one of her pieces in the foyer of this year’s DreamHome.) Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the honorary chair of the event, which takes place from 6–10 p.m. at the Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall (1340 West Washington Blvd.), and tickets are $125 at the door or $100 in advance. Bring your appetite, your checkbook, and a drop cloth for the back seat in case that painting you bought isn’t dry yet.
Photograph: (Haymaker's Mark) Courtesy of Jessica Zimmer