This Week’s Top Story

All Deirdre Jordan and Bob Robinson wanted to do was create handcrafted furnishings from sustainable resources. The pair, who both studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, got together in 1999 and formed the furniture company Troscan Design (400–406 N. Oakley Blvd.,

The couple (in life and in work) says they use their relationship to balance their creative visions, focusing on “simple, refined, modern, and warm” pieces that eliminate waste and support a healthy environment. Since items are handmade in Chicago, they don’t follow usual seasonal releases—they are ready when they’re ready. You can purchase their bedframes, cabinets, and occasional tables at Bright Room showrooms in New York, Boston, and Dallas, as well as at other noteworthy locations in LA and Miami, but only in Chicago do they have their own boutique, filled with walnut, rosewood, leather, polished lacquer, and even limestone collectibles.

Troscan Design’s latest release features upholstered or cane chairs and unexpected shapes for dining and side tables. “Our design is led by three principles: clarity, sparseness, and quality,” says Jordan, “which is undeniable in our latest collection.” Troscan just signed a deal to create custom furniture (tables, chairs, and side tables) for international restaurants and hotels in Europe. The details are still under wraps, so come to the store now before everyone’s in on our local secret.

And don’t forget to check the online sample sale, which currently shows stunning planters, side tables, ottomans, and benches, among many other treasures.

Interior Intel

Calling all urban growers! Ravenswood home emporium District (4835 N. Damen Ave., just got its Tripod Planters delivered for the summer. Available in three sizes, they each come in a choice of black or white pots, with stainless steel or solid brass tripods. Owner Chris Murphy designed each planter and had them manufactured at a machine shop right outside of Chicago. Prices range from $75 to $100, and they are only for sale in-store.


Starting this week, everything—rugs, pillow, ceramics, furniture, you name it—at Humboldt House (1045 N. California, is 20 percent off. Also, Chicago-based ceramicist Manal Kara is having a pop-up this Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. with all sorts of one-of-a-kind goods.

For all of July, Art Van (2606 N. Elston Ave., is running a Master Bedroom sale. Save $200 to $300 on bedroom sets, dressers, night stands, chests, and more at the Elston store.

Get 30 percent off French linens at the Gethsemane Garden Center (5739 N. Clark St., While you’re there, sign up for this July 16 “101 Learning Series” event on the Art of Bonsai.


Through August 1, Walter E. Smithe (11 locations,—the family-owned Chicago icon, founded in 1945 on the Northwest side—will hold its annual Design Event, where guests can get a free home consultation and save up to 25 percent on all purchases. Walter E. Smithe Jr. pioneered the concept of custom-order upholstery in the area.