Our top five picks for things to do this week: Highlights include a green-tinged pub crawl courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Stephen Sondheim live at the Harris, and a screening of William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, with Penny Arcade, as part of the second annual CIMM Fest. Read more
The Museum of Science and Industry’s popular Smart Home exhibit is unveiling its totally revamped interiors tomorrow, and if this chic sneak of the dining room is any indication, I think I’m going to heart Smart Home 3.0—seriously, what’s not to like about this room? (Although one of those “pops” of color... Read more

A handful of design boutiques in Oak Park are shifting shape, and we’ve got the scoop. Careful Peach is relocating from 128 Harrison St. to 1024 North Blvd.—and gaining 300 square feet of retail space. The new location, slated to open April 1, will boast more room for vignettes and an expanded inventory of home goods. We can’t wait to browse imported French dinnerware by Jars and upholstery fabrics from Broderies Langlet, not to mention jewelry by Parisian designer Anne-Laure Frizot. Tres chic, non? Nearby Maison Suzanne is shaking things up, too. Mid-March, the antiques dealer will close its Glen Ellyn location and expand its 206 S. Marion St. shop to encompass the neighboring storefront at 208 S. Marion, a space that’s currently occupied by Michael FitzSimmons Decorative Arts. (FitzSimmons will be shacking up with Barley Twist over at 144 N. Oak Park Ave.) The expansion will boost Maison Suzanne’s square footage from 4,000 to 8,000, allowing for a deeper selection of European and Asian antiques, custom pillows, and vintage textiles.

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As if we needed any more convincing that Holland is totally cool, this tulip-happy design-savvy country that serves spacecakes at its cafes has recently launched a marketing campaign with the slogan “Just Be. In Holland.” I would love to just be. In Holland. Right about now. But here I am blogging about it instead! I suppose it’s to make us all feel better (and to get us on their promotional email list) that the tourism board of Holland has launched a contest (that started yesterday and lasts until March 3), offering the opportunity to win a Moooi Carbon Chair, designed by Dutch designers Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders. All you need to do is visit www.holland.com and answer the quiz displayed after you hit: "Just click. To win."

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We used to drive by this one bowling alley all the time when I was growing up, and their sign said it all: Fun Is Bowling. The letters were tall and yellow against dull brown siding, with a smiley face tacked on the end for good measure. The message was simple but true: Fun is bowling.

Especially tailored to my personal requirements is the phenomenon of fancy bowling—you know, those... Read more

Recently I went to see my friends John and Frances to view the new art-furniture piece they had commissioned. They had asked the artist Matt Hanner (thebuildup71@gmail.com) to have his way with an old wooden dresser. They gave him no restrictions on the design, and now they are so in love with the results that they actually display the dresser as sculpture. In my friend’s own words: “Matt surprised me today when he asked what we were keeping in the drawers. I still don't think he has any idea how much we enjoy these drawers as living-room sculpture. We do not find this chest to be empty... it is quite full.” Just shows that there are no rules when it comes to decorating.

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List Price: $1.23 million
The Property: This 112-year-old home in Wheaton once served as a golf getaway for the Chicago engineer Charles Strobel, a pioneer in the development of the steel-frame skyscraper. Jarvis Hunt, who designed the house for Strobel and his first wife, Henrietta, was also the architect of the clubhouse at the nearby Chicago Golf Club, where Strobel was a founding member. Read more
Like resale bargains with hipster cred, but not the schlepping all over town, from parks Wicker and Rogers to Andersonville, to peruse the inventories of our dozens of dealers? This Saturday is the first of Katherine Raz’s (left in pic) and Libby Alexander’s (on the right) pop-up flea markets, called The Vintage Bazaar, with more than 40 invited... Read more