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Scottish Manor Grand Opening

The Grand Opening May 28th

Complete with bagpipes and kilts, the only thing missing from the grand opening of The Scottish Manor on May 28th was the Highland fling. Nearly 600 guests attended the newly finished concept home by Orren Pickell Designers & Builders to tour the gorgeous 9,000-square-foot showhouse in Bannockburn. In between exploring the rooms and mingling, guests participated in a raffle and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

IM’ing Estrogen Fest 2008

I rallied an office crew to the midnight premiere of Sex and the City at Webster Place, which means that right now I’m sort of fried. The movie didn’t start until way after midnight, it lasted two-plus hours, and then I had to circle my ‘hood desperately looking for a parking space at 3:30 a.m. It was all worth it, though, to come to the office and threaten the ladies at work with my ability to spoil the ending. Both Web editor Esther Kang and I are running on three hours of sleep, but we couldn’t resist IM’ing about the film—and about the Trixies who turned out in droves. Don’t worry: No spoilers here…

Shedding Light on Color

Anyone who’s ever tried to paint a wall yellow knows that color can be extremely tricky and changes in different lights. That’s why we were excited to hear that Benjamin Moore is opening a showroom in the Mart by June 9 in suite 1686. It will be open only to designers and architects, so if you have one, get yours to take you over for expert color viewing. They’re tricking the place out with state-of-the-art lighting technology that lets you see colors in a range of lights (daylight, natural, incandescent, and halogen).

Photograph courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Get Out!

Alfresco Fanfare for Free

Call it a lesson in carpe sunny diem: If we’ve learned anything this spring, it’s that winter lurks around almost every corner. So if the weather cooperates on Tuesday, June 3rd, don’t dillydally inside; head outdoors for Tuesdays on the Terrace at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010). First up in the annual alfresco jazz series is local rising-star trumpeter Corey Wilkes, whose repertoire ranges from classic standards to his own funky compositions. What’s more, admission is free, and it’s…

The Accidental Bride: What I’ve Learned

Eight lessons I’ve learned so far about wedding blogging. And I haven’t even picked out the cake yet.

1. If I continue writing about my wedding plans (check out these no-holds-barred comments), the haters may do the unthinkable, like throwing LGS over for Billy Dec’s blog. (He must have one. Doesn’t everyone?)

2. Readers want to hear from The Fiancé. Today after work, he’s meeting my mom and me for the first of many florist appointments, this one with Richard Remiard

The Flea Marketeers

Adam Moroschan, our trusty associate art director, had another big idea. Why not head to opening day at the Randolph Market Festival and design a room on location using our favorite finds? We could call it “On the Spot” and post big Chicago Home + Garden signs at the market promoting it.  I believe he used the words “make it a spectacle.” Then, he said, we’ll publish the results in our special September/October eco-chic-design issue (after all, isn’t reusing and repurposing old treasures the best way to recycle?). So in true Adam form, he got it all together, right down to the perfectly art-directed fine weather!

I pull into port on Saturday, May 24, at 7:57 a.m. (the market opens at 10 but we spy plenty of in-the-know early birds.) The first find of the day? Front-of-the-gate, rock star parking. Let this be a sign. I head in, heart already racing (did I mention I am a flea market junkie?) to find Larry Vodak of Scout already perusing the rows (his home will get its close-up in our next issue, after all). I meet the crew  (shown above from left to right; I’m the one crouched at the bottom): Matt Gilson (photog and fellow collector), Nellie Williams (intern of all interns!), David Ettinger (Matt’s ace assistant), and the aforementioned Adam. We set up our backdrop and let the fun begin.

Dashing up and down the aisles snapping pics of ideas and taking copious notes (thanks, Nellie), we decide a few of our finds would anchor well on a ruddy red and grey Turkish rug. It is said to have mystical powers. Who wouldn’t want that? We haul it over, and begin to build our room. Pairs of chairs, a settee, a mod coffee table (hey, is that Saarinen?). A wooden ironing board (yes, we repurpose it in our room). Hmmm. Feel like home yet? One of the most exciting parts of the day is that our picks begin to sell right off the set. My favorite part is adding the extras (dealers call them smalls – I call them personality) that make it look like someone lives there. Vintage specs on a side table and a retro cocktail glass. Shells from a vacation destination. Auction catalogs and old books. It’s nearing 11:12 a.m., and Matt snaps some pics. The crowd gathers. They are brimming with queries and offers to buy.

Shown at top right is a sneak peek of a few of our finds. Stay tuned for more in the September/October issue. To hear about some of my favorite ideas on flea marketing, tune in here for a recent interview with Sally Schwartz (owner of the market) and me on Nate Berkus’s Oprah and Friends show on XM Radio. A big shout out to Sally for her support (shown above, to the right of Nate). It’s good old-fashioned fun.