Spiffy Salvage in Bucktown

Antique Appeal

Two of the city’s salvage experts— Architectural Artifacts and Urban Remains—have joined in a newly opened retail venture, Mongo Home (1753 N. Damen Ave.; 773-486-6200) in Bucktown. The resulting home décor boutique takes goods from the two parent stores and shines them up for consumers who may not want to refinish antiques themselves.  “We have free rein with their items,” says Marisa Swystun, a design consultant who works at the shop. Unlike many of the items at the parent stores that are untouched treasures, the…

Faux No They Didn’t!

There’s a terrifically clever furniture and design show going on right now at the Cultural Center that’s going to put a smile on your face, I guarantee it. Deceptive Design was organized by a collaboration between the Chicago Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America and the Chicago Furniture Designers Association, and consists of 18 objects that play with our conceptions of furniture. The trompe l’oeil living room includes a chair (“Caveat Sittor”) with what appears to be a thumbtack sticking up out of the seat, a dresser with drawers that only open from the back, and “Wolf in Sheep’s Lighting”—a sweet little sheep lamp that casts a menacing shadow when it’s turned on. I really liked this adaptable shelving unit by Mark Kinsley that forms art when you fold it flat against the wall, Andrew Peerless’s  “Herd” Table, and Craighton Berman’s “Coil Lamp,” made from an industrial extension cord. The show is up until Jan. 4.. Don’t miss it.

"Herd Table", above left. "Riveli Shelves", above right, "Coil Lamp", right.

And the Winner Is…


Crimson Lounge was packed for the final event in the Basil Hayden Tastemakers competition, where Nate Berkus presented an oversized $10,000 check at the end of the evening to crowd favorite Rion Stassi for his chandelier, and gave a heartfelt speech about the effect such an award can have on the trajectory of a young designer’s career. I was impressed by the quality of the prototypes that he, Sarah Tranum, and Bryan Lump crafted—each semi-finalist got $2,500 to bring their Berkus-selected designs to life—and they’re all winners in my book! 


PHOTO: Frank Failin


Sale of the Week: Gadzooks! Teardown Planned for Hinsdale Tudor

List Price: $3,900,000
Sale Price: $3,575,000
The Property: This mammoth, lavishly detailed Tudor mansion, completed in 1932 in a section of Hinsdale known as the Woodlands, was sold in late September to only its fourth owner—who plans to demolish it and build a new home on the 2.2-acre lot. The Chicago architecture firm Armstrong, Furst and Tilton designed the 14-room house, which was built for the family that…

Sad But True

The Ambiente Collection, the River North shop that specializes in contemporary European (mostly German and Swiss) furniture is clearing its merchandise and shuttering in January. The manager informed me that he just sold a couch for $900 that would normally go for about $3,800. As sorry as we are to hear of this news, more good buys are waiting. 

The Monster Mashup

When Aliens Attack
Nearly 70 years ago to the day, Orson Welles scared the bejeezus out of America by declaring that Martians had invaded a small New Jersey town. In Martian Invasion! Decoding the War of the Worlds, a live edition of the syndicated public radio show Radiolab, hosts Jab Abumrad and Robert Krulwich pair original radio footage with new audio in an attempt to…