A table with items from les Tableaux
Tableaux Vivant

This painterly sampling of items will be available at Les Tableaux’s pre-holiday open house and overstock sale this Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10–5. Les Tableaux is an Oak Park rental company specializing in luxurious china, flatware, and everything else you need to tastefully tart up your table settings. Expect discounts of 50 percent and deeper on things like these Chilewich napkins, Truro flatware and candlesticks, Michael Wainwright Giotto porcelain dinnerware, Marc Blackwell lion’s head soup tureens, and black crocodile candles by L’Objet. Les Tableaux is at 182 North Marion Street; if you can’t make the sale, you can always schedule a private appointment by calling 708-524-8200.

A poster for The Golden Triangle's Chateau Chic show

Chateau Chic

The Golden Triangle is a class act that has been selling Asian antiques (and an increasing quantity of European art and clean-lined newly designed furniture) and mounting elaborate themed exhibitions for decades now, so when owner Douglas Van Tress told me that the show opening tomorrow is “the biggest and most complex” he’s ever produced, I took notice for sure. It’s called Chateau Chic, and mixes French and Chinese and South Asian antiques to create “a hybrid mansion of the future in downtown Chicago.” Sounds swell to me! Highlights include several sets of leather club chairs, a cast-iron bust of Apollo, and Chinese wardrobe cabinets and altar tables. The show continues through November 19.

The Wabi Nabe pot from ODL

Major League News

The Pilsen-based design group ODL (Object Design League) has just launched an online retail site, ODLCO, so now we don’t have to wait for the next Guerrilla Truck Show or indie pop-up exhibition to shop for the smart, spirited, handmade household products on which ODL has been building its growing reputation. One of the newest limited-edition offerings is this Wabi Nabe cast-iron cooking pot dreamt up by Chicago designer Gabriel Hargrove. The handsome 1.5-quart kettle can be used on campfires and fireplaces as well as the stove, and its handles are cast from bits of charred wood collected near California wildfires. The run was financed through Kickstarter, and if you order one now ($150) you’ll have it by the end of the year.

H.Bloom's CEO, Bryan Burkhart, and directors Laura Schilling and Alex Cohen

Fresh-Cut Fun

H.Bloom is a new flower power in town, and it had a festive opening celebration last week in its River North office/studio to introduce its services. This is the third city the subscription florist has sprouted up in so far, after New York and D.C., and they offer hand-delivered, affordable (starting at $29) bouquets that arrive at your home or business weekly or monthly for as long as you want. (New customers get 30 percent off their first bundle of joy if they enter the code DOMESTICA and join by November 31.) I like the arrange-your-own plan (who needs any more generic glass vases hanging around?), which is supplemented by online video demonstrations by H.Bloom designers, and the element-of-surprise aspect you can opt for by letting the florists mix the freshest cuts for you like a sushi chef does a combo plate, riffing on themes such as Classic, Tall, Exotic, and Contemporary. The catering by Truffleberry Market was exceptionally creative: truffled risotto balls on tiny forks sticking out of beds of buds, edible orchids with pesto tortellini pistils, and shepherds’ pies nestled in tiny new potatoes. Here’s part of the super-nice team: CEO Bryan Burkhart and directors Laura Schilling and Alex Cohen. Welcome to Chicago, H.Bloomers.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard and friend

Bookish Bullard

Design Chicago, the interior design educational trade show, brought a lot of people to the Merchandise Mart and a lot of high-profile design stars to Chicago last week, including Juan Montoya, Roger Thomas, Kathryn Ireland, and the gentleman on the right in this photo—Martyn Lawrence Bullard, one of my favorite characters on Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators. Bullard was in town to present a talk at Design Chicago on landing a fabric-design collection, and he took advantage of the trip to promote his new book Live, Love & Decorate. He’s pictured here with my friend (and frequent MDD viewing partner Robb) at a party and book-signing rolled out by the über major Rug Company, which has joined forces with Bullard to produce some delicious rugs and fabrics. Bullard has designed homes for Sir Elton, Cher, Kid Rock, the Osbournes, and Cheryl Tiegs, and many of those projects appear in the book, published this month by Rizzoli.

River rock ottomans

Rock On

After seven years, interior designer Bill Bruss has moved his eclectic retail gallery and home-design showroom several blocks due west, and is now operating Design Inc. at 1847 West Grand Avenue. I stepped outside the tent during the recent Design Harvest to check out the new space, and found a jam-packed collection of upholstered and leather furniture, colorful paintings and sculpture, and shiny-happy accessories, veering into glitzy Z Gallerie territory. Bruss is definitely not afraid of glamour and humor in home design (if you’re looking for golf-club sculptures, he’s got them in spades); I also spotted a lot of more restrained pillows and accents, like these ersatz–river rock ottomans made of textural tufted wool.

Bottles of wine

Oeno Files

The holidays are coming, and nobody wants to be caught with a dodgy wine selection when guests show up (plus there are such sparkling wine racks and carts out there that look best when fully loaded). This Saturday night provides an intoxicating opportunity to stock up on vintage labels at the Trump Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, as it hosts the inaugural auction of New York’s Upper West Side wine merchant Acker Merrall & Condit, in business since 1820. More than $4 million worth of fine and rare wines are on the block, there is no charge to attend, and samples will be flowing. (“We’ll be pouring an extensive complimentary selection of some fabulous wines all evening,” AMC auctioneer Edward Brooks told me.) I’ll drink to that! An optional dinner will also be available for $95 per person (refunded if you drop $1,000 or more on auction purchases). The evening uncorks at 5 p.m.; register by emailing Kristin at kristin@ackerwines.com.

The Roy's Home Furnishings storefront

Roy Story

I have a Proustian soft spot for Roy’s Home Furnishings in Lakeview, as it was the no-frills place a lot of my friends and I shopped for post-collegiate furniture when we couldn’t tolerate back-jabbing futons, lumpy low-slung sleeping pallets, and splintery papasan chairs any longer. For more than 25 years Roy’s has been selling sturdy and affordable beds, sofas, and chairs, and tomorrow night, Friday, October 21 from 5–9, it’s having a customer appreciation event with a storewide 10-percent discount, bubbly, and light apps from Bivona Ristorante, plus the chance to win a $500 gift certificate to the Wit hotel (use it to stay, spa, sup, or swill; your call). Roy’s is at 2455 North Sheffield Avenue, and you’ll need to RSVP here.


Photograph: (Tableaux Vivant) COURTESY OF JIM PFEIFFER