Oriental Rug from Ten Thousand Villages
Unharried Potter

Joanne Trestrail, one of Chicago Home + Garden’s senior editors, wears a lot of hats. In addition to being a fellow copy-cat, she runs all over town as a food critic for Chicago magazine, has taught photography at Jane Addams Hull House, and is an accomplished artist. The Hyde Park Art Center is having a show of her meticulous, intricately coiled stoneware pieces, opening this Sunday, September 27, with a reception from 3­–5 p.m., continuing through January 17. As she says in an artist statement, “The sensation of experiencing life in small bites—moments, words, coffee spoons…can be hard to see, much less enjoy. Gradual pile-ups have a stealthier take on time.” I’m looking forward to seeing my colleague and friend’s cerebral ceramics.

Martha, Martha, Martha

In breaking Martha Stewart news, the domestic doyenne has just announced a partnership with Home Depot, and will be launching a line of outdoor furniture in January, with other home décor to follow. I was in the checkout lane the other day and saw her mug on five different covers (not exaggerating), so hopefully that line will include a sturdy magazine rack, maybe a coffee table. Big Martha is watching, but if I’m entertaining at her six-piece Palermo patio set that I picked up for $899, maybe having some nectarines and iced tea, that’s all right by me.

Design 101

It’s officially autumn now that the kids are back in school, Oprah’s off the Avenue, the pumpkins are plopped in grocery store lots, and we’re not constantly hearing about staycations. (Can we think of something else to call hanging at home and saving some dime, please? Because that is getting on my nerves. No-journs? Something?) It’s a collegial time of year, and to help the frosh at UIC personalize and maximize their dorm forms, Target sponsored a field trip and brought in style pros to talk about tips and trends, which can apply to anyone trying to make the most of a space-compromised situation. Uni-monikered furniture designer Dror, who has started to design a few things for Target and who I’ve mentioned be-for, had some thoughts to share. “Pay attention to the bed, [Um, Dror? This is college. I wouldn’t worry about that…] because it’s a large space and is good for seating,” he says. “Add pillows and décor around it to make it inviting for friends. Space is at a premium, so look for products that serve multiple functions, like a storage ottoman or nesting bookshelves.” Sounds good to me, as long as there’s a place for my corduroy backrest pillow and hot-air popcorn popper.

Wide Releases

Cancel that sunrise yoga class on Friday, because there are some happening home design parties going on tomorrow night, Thursday, Sept. 24, and you’re invited. Danish furniture store BoConcept has just launched its 2010 collection and catalog, and to celebrate they have been hoisting disco balls and chilling cocktails for release parties in their 115 stores spread over 27 countries, billing it as the longest worldwide release party ev-ah. The Chicago showroom is located at 1901 North Clybourn Avenue, and you can check out the sleek, colorful new modern furniture and accessories over music and hors d’oeuvres (and maybe even win a chair) from 6–9 p.m. I like Bo’s concept of high style, contemporary designs with a smidge of sass at an attainable price point (think elevated Ikea), and I really like some of these statement lamps from the new season. Design Studio Furniture is also opening its Chicago doors at 225 West Hubbard Street on Thursday for an evening of furniture paired with fine art from the Chicago Art Exchange. There will be tidbits from Tapas Valecia and sips from South Loop Wine Cellar, 6-9 p.m. as well, free parking, and a fine-art raffle. See you there!

River North Roundabout

After 14 years as a house and homes editor at the Chicago Tribune, Elaine Matsushita has launched The Snoopster, a design-minded Web site that highlights celebrity home tours, giveaways, and snoopy sales and discounts all over Illinois. To introduce the venture, Elaine’s been throwing Snoopster Hunt parties in her favorite, fashionable ‘hoods, and this Friday she’s bringing it on in River North from 5–7 p.m. Get your game on at Sawbridge Studios, where you’ll pick up the rules (and maybe a goody bag if you’re one of the first 100 playas), then follow the lead to seven other shops in the area, answering trivia questions along the way in the hopes of winning gift certificates and prizes from the likes of Ligne Roset, Golden Triangle, Arrelle Fine Linens, At Home in the City, Guerramo Gallery, and p.a. Larkin. (HINT: I’ll take Lampe Berger for $200 please, Alex…) Gosh, that’s a lot of ground to cover in two hours. Mig & Tig is also participating, and here’s a tip from us: Saturday, September 26 will be its last day in the River North location, and they are clearing out everything for 50–70% off. Tag—you’re it!