Photos: Matthew Gilson
The Destination Verde, 2100 West Armitage Avenue; 773-486-7750
The Owner Michele Fitzpatrick believes good-and environmentally sustainable-design is not just nicer to live with, but cheaper in the long run. “In five years, a cheap couch is ready for landfill; in ten years, a good couch is ready for recovering,” she explains. After ten years of decorating people’s homes, she ought to know.
The Vibe The original tin ceiling in this old corner hardware store has been spiffed up with white paint, echoing the bleached wood floors and creating a luminous, spacious showcase for the furniture of Fitzpatrick’s own design and a judicious selection of pristinely restored vintage sofas, chairs, and tables. Huge display windows have been stripped of decoration, allowing sunshine to expose the true tones of the fabrics and the fine wood finishes.
The Goods A vignette featuring a 72-inch solid walnut dining table ($7,000) with beefy Spitzer dining chairs ($700 each) and a 1950s Paul McCobb buffet ($2,500) illustrates how Fitzpatrick skillfully blends the old and the new. Real life inspires her, too; Fitzpatrick, the mother of two, created the Cantwell corner banquette (priced by size, starting at $1,200) as a perch for growing families, and let memories of her Kennedy-era childhood inspire the dramatic rolled arms and tucked seat of a reproduction Billy Baldwin sofa ($2,600). All of Fitzpatrick’s furnishings are custom made and covered with your choice of fabric from Verde’s selection of previously Mart-only companies (starting at about $50 a yard).
The Verdict Levels the field for style-savvy homeowners who desire a dose of designer chic.