A Chicago architect designs an urban apartment that makes the most of its environment thanks to a green roof, clever design, and plenty of open space
An architecturally significant 1930s house in Northfield gets an update that honors its pedigreed past.
A. Teco is art pottery that was made in Terra Cotta (now Crystal Lake), Illinois, from the late 1800s to the early 1920s. The name comes from the first syllables of "terra" and "cotta." The company that produced Teco pottery, Gates Potteries, was an offshoot of the American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Company, owned by … Read more
A. You’re already acquainted with the best stool. Depending on how old you are, it was your mother’s, grandmother’s, or your own vinyl kitchen chair, most likely red, with a chrome frame. Underneath the seat were two steps that flipped out to function as a footrest or ladder. Pull it up to the kitchen counter, … Read more
A. Owners of antique daybeds or Euro-sized twin beds can rest easy, and so can nonstandard-size people: mattress solutions abound in and around Chicago. The Verlo Mattress Factory Store, which has several area locations, custom makes mattresses for round beds, cribs, and platform beds, as well as for people tall, wide, or both. Tom Wisniewski, … Read more
A. "Built-in" is the term you’re looking for. Built-in, shallow-depth refrigerators are 24 inches deep, including the door, and so, in all likelihood, are your counters. The term to beware of is "freestanding." A freestanding, shallow-depth refrigerator has a 24-inch-deep cabinet and two-inch-deep doors, meaning it will stick out two inches past your counter. Built-ins … Read more
A. If you have something specific in mind, consider having a mantel created just for you. Many custom woodworkers take on such projects, and can also create surrounding alcoves, bookshelves, and paneling. A local business that specializes in fireplace woodwork is Emerald Mantels (1901 W. Belmont Ave., 773-244-0041; emeraldmantels.com). Everything Emerald sells is handcrafted and … Read more
Five design pros reveal where they scrimp—and where they won’t
Dedicated thrifting and the occasional splurge make for spirited hippie-chic décor
In the South Loop, an innovative architect designs an entire home around a sun-drenched atrium and puts a grassy yard right where he wants it—on the roof.