Shagreen boxes by R&Y Augousti, at Elements
Weathering Elements

Silver is the traditional gift for a 25-year anniversary, and making it that long is a sterling achievement for any business or relationship. Elements, the wonderland of home accessories and jewelry, celebrates such a milestone this month, and it’s having special designer appearances and trunk shows to mark the occasion. From today through Saturday, 11–3 each day, stylish shopkeepers Toby Glickman and Jeannine Dal Pra will host Yiouri and Ria Augousti (of R&Y Augousti, designers of these handsome shagreen boxes), Iradj Moini, and Christiane Perrochon in their River North store. I’ve long appreciated Toby and Jeannine’s knack for ferreting out treasures on their worldly travels, their much-anticipated annual sales, and the distinctively cool way they gift wrap, and I wish them many more successful years.

A room by Susan Fredman Design Group

Fredman’s New Frontier

The Susan Fredman Design Group has successful retail outposts in Chicago and Michigan, and 35 heralded years under its smartly cinched belt, but recently kicked it up a notch (geographically) by opening a studio and retail store in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, a tony northern suburb of Milwaukee. They will be celebrating the grand opening on Saturday, October 22, from 11–5, with presentations from design and building pros, a Michael Aram trunk show, and a sweet 20-percent discount off everything in the store. If you want to see what SFDG brings to the table, and some of this fleeting fall foliage, it’s not too late to get a ticket for this Saturday’s Harbor Country Kitchen Walk Tour; check yourself in at the Susan Fredman at Home locale in Union Pier, Michigan.

A drawing by Michael McGuire

Arty Parties

The ninth annual Andersonville Arts Weekend kicks up its heels tomorrow night with the popular Night of 100 pARTies, going on in venues throughout the neighborhood (mostly on Clark Street, north and a bit south of Foster Avenue) from 6–10 p.m. Everyone from coffeehouses and restaurants to furniture and clothing stores to churches and museums will be hosting art exhibits and special events throughout the weekend. Participating home and garden faves include Haymaker, Room Service, the Andersonville Galleria, Woolly Mammoth, and Scout, which will be showcasing Michael McGuire’s watercolor waterscapes and architecturally inspired geometric pen-and-ink drawings (pictured here). A couple of anniversary wishes are in order for area businesses as well: George Lowell is celebrating five years, and Las Manos Gallery just turned 18.

High-end tiles from Lowitz & Company

Stylin’ Tilin’

Ted Lowitz’s hefty high-end art tiles are typically available only through such upscale retailers as The Tile Gallery, Ann Sacks, and Urban Archaeology, but next Wednesday, October 19, the company is opening its studio doors to the public for a blowout sale of overstock, prototypes, and ever-so-slightly irregular product. Items from all three Lowitz lines will be reduced by up to 80 percent off retail, which boils down to $4 to $9 per handmade ceramic Talisman relief tiles and $5 to $20 for cast solid bronze tiles from the Foundry Art and Bronzework Studio lines. The sale is from 3–7 p.m. (4401 North Ravenswood Avenue, 773-784-2628), they take cash or checks only, and it might be a good idea to measure the space you need tile for and even bring in a few pictures, so the Lowitz pros can help you design a layout.

The Vecco system, for customizing rugs and carpets


Last month’s home-design-focused street fair, Design Harvest, was a bountiful and informative fun time (albeit a little crowded with canines at times—I’m as doggie a person as they come, but are they really digging the street-fair scene, people?). The weather was stellar on Sunday, and it was nice to see familiar faces and friends showing off their latest and greatest finds and creations. It also provided an opportunity to learn about some new design-driven endeavors going on about town, including Vecco, (which my cohorts at Design Dose discovered a few months ago a local DIY carpet-treatment company that’s encouraging people to customize rugs and runners with a simple template and spray-paint system. Vecco’s booth was buzzing with product demonstrations and tote-bag swag (gift it and they shall come). I like the idea of this, especially since you can vacuum up any mistakes before you apply the sealant, and you can potentially camouflage red-wine stains if your next party gets raucous. Visit Vecco at 912 West Armitage, or order products online.

A chair from Co'tour

Juicy Co’tour

Another new venture to which I had the pleasure of being introduced was LeAnn Dahl and Deborah Moore’s nomadic (some would say pop-up) home furniture and accessories sales, Co’tour. Dahl has fashion experience and a background in apparel design, Moore is a Harrington-trained interior decorator, and the two will be staging periodic short-term sales of the bespoke, bolstered, and bewigged furniture they find and refashion. “It’s sort of what Katie Ernst is doing with her Revision Home events,” the charming Dahl told me, “And we’ll also have new designer samples and market finds.” I was feeling a shiny, glam sort of Hollywood Regency vibe from the booth’s goods, which included a faux-feathered bench, tautly upholstered ottomans and chairs, metallic beaded pillows, and reflective vases. Check it out tomorrow night at Co’tour’s launch party, 5:30 till 8:30 on Randolph Street at North Des Plaines.

A faucet from Dream2O

Luxe Lifestyle

Saturday, in the Mart,
You’d think it was the 15th of October
Saturday, in the Mart,
I’m sure it’s the 15th of October
De Giulio demo-ing, people tasting,
Dream2O having raffles
Selling Italian faucets.
Can you dig it? (yes I can)
Have you been waiting such a long time
For this day?
Will you let designers help you change your world?

(Apologies to all members and fans of the band Chicago.) In honor of National Kitchen and Bath month (that would be October—did you get my greeting card?), LuxeHome has organized this weekend’s Shop This Saturday open house, featuring the unveiling of more than 40 new products, complimentary designer consultations, refreshments, and mini-massages. Thirty showrooms are participating from 10–3, and it’s free and open to the public. I can dig it.

A bottle of extra virgin olive oil


Pressing news from City Olive: the gourmet specialty shop, located at 5408 North Clark Street, has been unable to squeeze out a lease agreement with its landlord, and will be closing its shop this Sunday, October 16. (Owner Karen Rose is looking around for a new location, and the online store remains open.) Rose, a nurse, started the business in 2007 with ambitions of espousing the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet after losing family members to heart disease, and stocked an impressive inventory of beautifully packaged small-batch olive oils, ampules of aged balsamic, tins of truffle salt, imported pastas, and other esoteric foodstuffs, soaps, and home goods. It was one of my go-to stops for out-of-the-ordinary gifts for foodie hosts, and I’ll miss its temporarily absent presence. Slip in on Sunday for sale-priced merch and a glass of sangria, and I’ll let you know where City Olive turns up next year.