Chicago Home editor Jan Parr

Who doesn’t fantasize about having a second home, or decorating one, or lying in a hammock at someone else’s? As the weather warms up, we start finding the idea irresistible. We hope you enjoy the stories in this issue on retreats urbanites have created for themselves away from their home bases in the city.

Things are waking up here in the city, too. Walking down the street near our offices recently, we spotted a new business setting up shop in River North-Raul Carrasco, purveyor of glamorous modern furniture, from Miami. We had Champagne at the opening of Edward Ferrell and Lewis Mittman’s new furniture showroom at the Merchandise Mart, where the company unveiled a fresh new look: fun fabrics on traditional forms. Also at the Mart, Dream Rooms opened, with big-name designers showing off their wares in room settings (open until the end of June). And we’re looking forward to Guerrilla Furniture and Art Truck Show, Morlen Sinoway’s annual alternative outdoor design party in Fulton Market, mid-June.

The balmy temperatures remind us of the glorious days of last summer when we drove through Michigan and Wisconsin scouting out the second homes we feature in this issue. Along the way, we tried to answer the question: is there a distinct cottage style in the Midwest? Designer Susan Fredman thinks so; At Home with Nature, her shop in Union Pier, Michigan, promotes a style she calls Harbor Country (as distinct from Cape Cod). Her whimsical fabrics are witty and fun without being hokey-a fresh take on “country.” On the tour, we also saw several pieces by Floyd Gompf, a former Chicagoan and now

Harbor Country resident whose bright-colored reclaimed barnwood furniture appeals to the urbanite’s sense of country. Speaking of town meeting country, our product and trends editor, Barri Leiner, came back from the New York International Gift Fair brimming with information on stylish vacation home must-haves coming to local stores now. Her gorgeous finds are on page 94.

This issue’s Resources guide (page 110) features dozens of updated sources for windows and doors, window treatments, closet designers, and contractors. For our complete Resources, which can help you find an interior designer, an upholsterer, or just a candlestick, go to and log in with the user name provided and the password from this month’s magazine. Our Web site also features much of our past issues’ contents-a world of fabulous design, right here in Chicago.

Jan Parr, Editor

Coming in July/August
Kitchens and Baths
Our Resources guide will feature:

  • Decorative Hardware
  • Kitchen & Bath
  • Tile, Stone & Flooring