This Week’s Top Story

Barbara Sallick is the founder of high-end bath and kitchen brand Waterworks (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, and a pioneer on all things related to home and water. During Design Chicago, she spoke with Chicago about what she’s seen during her 40 years in the business of making functional living spaces luxurious.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in bathroom design lately?

In the early 1980s, we couldn’t keep traditional Edwardian faucets in stock. Then in the 1990s, people started going to spas and wanted that at home. In the past decade or so, we’ve seen a shift to the bathroom as a space for relaxation—one that is large enough to accommodate furniture so couples can even spend quality time in that room.

Anything pop up that you have to coax buyers toward?

Tile and stone still continue to sell, of course, but it takes confidence to do bold things like mosaics on the floor and mixing up textures and patterns. If you want some interest but aren’t ready to go all out, go with grey instead of just white. White feels like the default now.

What about in the kitchen?

The midcentury look is still very present. People are dressing up cabinetry with pulls and handles with lots of different designs. Our Henry line was inspired by architect Walter Gropius and references the Industrial Age, and that sells a lot. And we’re just now seeing color pop into kitchens—the interiors of cabinets can add a splash of drama—as well as pendant lights that give the kitchen a luxuriousness.

So, how would you describe the ultimate bath/kitchen look of 2017?

Lots of texture, varied materials, faucets and handles that look good and feel good in the hand and make you want to use the space. Today’s look is whatever makes you happy.

Interior Intel

Interior design firm Studio Gild’s Bucktown showroom, Gild Assembly (2110 N. Damen Ave.,, has just added a few new vendors to the gallery’s line-up of art, accessories, furniture, and collectibles. Look for pieces from Chicago-based Felicia Ferrone, like her indoor/outdoor powder-coated-steel Jaeho Tables that can be used right side up or upside down, and the Netherlads’ Studio Oddness’s Bubblegraphy series of quirky glazed vases.

Storage solutions are all the rage at Pagoda Red (400 N. Morgan St.,, where a cache of shelves has just arrived from China. Check out the Shanxi Elmwood bookshelves or a pine lattice system from Hebei.

Now when fur flies, you can protect your sofa with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’s (1555 N. Halsted St., must-have Pet Throws. They can be bought off the shelf or custom-made to match your sofa, chair, or lounge. Choose from the brand’s 300-plus fabrics to add contrast and make all that fluff fade into the background.


Because it’s nearly Halloween, it’s time to get your home tricked out. Head to Michaels (3131 N. Clark St., for 50 percent off any trick-or-treat décor, and while you’re there buy one wall frame and get the second half off (surely those spooky decorations will make your home photo-worthy).

Z Gallerie (Roosevelt Collection Shops, 1023 S. Delano Ct., is offering a host of Fall Style Steals that run the gamut from furniture (up to $1,000 off) to mirrors and contemporary lighting (save up to $150 on each). You can even stock up on sparkly pumpkins of all sizes and shapes.


At the Graham Foundation (4 W. Burton Pl.,, Israeli architect Moshe Safdie will be taking about how architects can “humanize” buildings to megascale. He’ll be speaking on October 30 at 6 p.m., but tickets are going fast. Get them here. Bonus: You get to meet the architect and see the gorgeous Madlener House.