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Express Yourself
Shortly after launching an online create-your-own photo holiday card company, Sacha Katz decided to use her self-taught computer illustrating skills to the fullest. So the 30-year-old Lincoln Park resident redesigned the product line and, last month, re-launched U Stationery (; 773-942-7657), which now offers... Read more

One of our favorite shops, Willow, is closing its doors. So sad, but the silver lining is that it’s staying in business online—and there’s a blow-out sale at the store today through Monday, March 30.

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Toasted Ox (2470 N. Lincoln Ave.) helped college hoops lovers ring in the most unproductive month of the year by hosting the Lincoln Park Young Professionals' March Martini Madness event on Friday. Formerly known as Lucille's, the recently remodeled bar served hor d'oeuvres to pair with SKYY vodka martinis and wine tasting by... Read more

I walk past the Michigan Avenue Crate & Barrel all the time, and usually I do just that—walk past. But a couple of days ago I saw these gnarly (literally) driftwood end tables and went in to inspect. They are made of three or four hunks of unfinished wood from Java, stand about 25 inches high, and are topped with a circle of glass. I would have liked a thicker top—a designer once told me to go half-inch or go home, and that advice is stuck in my head—but these are nice accent tables nonetheless. They're $399, and if you want one (or two?) I recommend that you go in and pick them out, don't order by phone or cyberspace because they are all very different snowflakes. Some have a nice solid heft, like the one above, but some look like they were cobbled together by a clock-watching factory worker anxious to get home to see who got booted from Indonesia's Next Top Model.   

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List Price: $4.35 million
Sale Price: $3.55 million
The Property: It may look like the successor to some of the great old Gold Coast mansions, but this slender four-story Georgian sits in a much newer neighborhood: the Kinzie Estates section of River North, which until ten years ago was a couple of blocks of defunct warehouses and surface parking lots south of what used to be... Read more

Johnathon, the new-ish Lake View furniture showroom owned by Top Design alum John Gray, is holding a floor sample sale. A big selection of items will be 50 to 75 percent off starting today. Examples: Find sofas that were $4,128, now $1,295. Pillows reduced from $138 to $40. Coffee table from $740 to $375. Side tables from $400 to $200. Chaise longues from $1368 to $685. Low fireside ottoman from $1,386 to $555. A large mosaic Venetian-style mirror from $974 to $349. The items shown here are not necessarily included in the sale but give you an idea of Johnathon’s style. The sale runs ’til all is sold.

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They say you never forget your first love—that’s true for bars and boys, in my case. Both cemented themselves in my heart on a cold January night, post-dinner, in the Loop. The streets were dead, so when my now-husband Ben and I hopped into a cab I assumed we... Read more
List Price: $2.565 million
The Property: The builder Linda Sanchez put up this 4,800-square-foot, six-bedroom contemporary house in the Southport Corridor as the eco-friendly home she wishes she had built for herself eight years ago. At that time, when she was building... Read more

Steven Burgert, owner of I.D., just informed us of some new hot sellers at his shop: Blu Dot’s One Night Stand sofa bed, $1,799 (a sleeper sofa that actually looks good? sign us up!), and designer Tord Boontje’s latest ethereal light-fixture line, Future Flora, made from silver-plated steel, $97 (it comes with a 15-foot electrical cord). Burgert had orders for both of these items before they even arrived at his shop. Now the sofa and at least one of the Future Flora designs is on back-order, but you can still get your request in. Proof that even in a slow economy, the good stuff sells.

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We recently stopped by a gathering of Chicago’s Young Republicans, who, between bites of meatballs and sips of wine, dished on Obama, their party’s future, and more Read more