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Best of Chicago Design: Manly-Man Style

Brimfield US Keeping her many male customers in mind, Julie Fernstrom, owner of Andersonville’s Brimfield, devoted the lower level of the shop to a new concept: Brimfield US, where she focuses on Swiss Army signage, mid-century furniture reupholstered with U.S. Navy blankets, and pillows made from old Marine uniforms. She also reconcepted Brimfield’s sister shop, … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: Landscaper to call for a vegetable garden the neighbors will covet

Mariani Landscape Frank Mariani, Jr.’s own vegetable and cutting garden We don’t hide vegetables in the backyard, we design them into the garden,” says Mariani client representative Shari Precht. The key? Structure. Well-defined beds might be bordered with boxwood and separated by pea gravel or crushed granite walkways. Alliums, thyme, and other “steppable” plants add … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: 007-worthy Italian style

Maxalto A sumptuous chaise longue from the Febo collection The furniture in James Bond’s hotel room at the (fictional) Grand Hotel Bolivar in Panama in his last movie was by Maxalto. It’s a B&B Italia line by Milanese architect Antonio Citterio, inspired by French designs of the 1920s through the 1940s. The pieces are glamorous, … Read more

Out-of-Sight Offices

Q: I need a home office but I don’t have dedicated space for one. How can I create a workspace that’s easily hidden or transformed when not in use?

Best of Chicago Design: Groovy Office Supplies

@WorkDesign   Given how many of us work from home these days, it was high time somebody created a one-stop source for stylish home-office supplies. Julia Archer did just that with @WorkDesign, which carries everything from mod desks and cool messenger bags to slick standing files and spill-shaped rubber coasters (shown below, right). With lines … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: Rugs of all stripes

Rexx Rug Get ready to find yourself in a 6,000-square-foot crush of high-end carpet—silk, wool, cashmere, yak, jute, and more. Some stock is ordered directly from mills and in quantity, so it can run half the price of buying elsewhere. Offerings from Missoni, Schumacher, Wilton, and Rexx’s popular exclusive line, S. Julian (which clients can … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: Retro-Artsy Gifts

FourSided, TwoSided Filled with such quirky items as old rubber Big Boy figures ($32), theatre marquee letters ($5-$13), and vintage educational flashcards ($.50-$5 each), Andersonville’s FourSided (primarily a frame store) and Lake View’s TwoSided inspire all manner of inventive gift-giving. Owner Todd Mack is also a fantastic collage artist and represents several other people who … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: Farmhouse Style

Patina Alan Shull’s take on the cottage concept is on display at this charming, uncluttered, burlap-walled shop in Andersonville. Shull is sticking to his country-boy roots (he grew up in Oregon, Illinois), dotting Patina with large-scale reproductions of small-townish signs he paints and distresses (at press time, he had one advertising a general store), old … Read more

Best of Chicago Design: Restorer of Pedigreed Modern Pieces

Grucza Studios For the past 25 years, Michael Grucza has been restoring 20th-century decorative art, furniture, and sculpture for up-there clients like the Art Institute of Chicago and Wright auction house. He can work in virtually any medium (be it matching a leg for a wooden chair, rebuilding a crumbling stone statue, or returning the … Read more