The Home Is Always Greener. . .

It’s much easier to pay lip service to being green than to seek out the products, but Green Home Experts (823 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park; 708-937-5403, has made it a little bit easier. The new shop specializes in eco-friendly building supplies, cleaning products, and other day-to-day goods, essentially a “green alternative to anything in the home,” says owner Maria Onesto Moran. Find non-toxic cleaners like Biokleen all-purpose cleaner ($6.65), Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap ($4.99), and biodegradable laundry detergent from Charlie’s Soap ($22); these are not only environmentally friendly but hypo-allergenic. Also find baby products like chlorine-free diapers, hemp wipes ($7.50 for a six-pack), and organic cotton blankets ($69), as well as pet supplies and disposable cutlery made from sugar cane ($3.99 for 50 forks), an alternative to plastic. The back of the store is dedicated to building supplies like EcoTimber flooring, which comes from sustainable foresting and is formaldehyde free; Marmoleum, linoleum made from linseed with jute backing; modular carpeting tiles; mosaic tiles made from recycled glass; rubber playground tiles; and paint from AFM Safecoat (starts at $35.90 for a gallon) that is non-toxic and contains no volatile organic compounds. “It’s hard to find a lot of these items when you want to do a green remodel, and I hope we’ve made that a little easier,” Onesto Moran says. She plans to add model kitchens showcasing sustainable cabinetry and countertops and a show bathroom with eco-efficient plumbing, and to offer educational events at the store.

Top Sales This Week

New designer sample sale High Gloss kicks off this weekend, aiming to blend boutique and bargain shopping, offering 50 to 80 percent off merchandise from 20 labels. Designers include Los-Angeles based Velvet, Frenzii, and Rich and Skinny; New York-based Mint; Paris-based Ave Montaigne, Tark, and Siahou, and local designer Phizza’z, among others. All purchases are final. Sale runs April 4th from 5 to 9 p.m., April 5th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 6th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 344 North Ogden Avenue. (The parking lot is behind the building.) For more information, visit
The Lake View boutique Exhibit (2961 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-880-0448) is closing at the end of the month. All items are marked 20 to 75 percent off, including new arrivals, until the planned closing on April 25th. Beginning May 1st, the shop will move to its newly revamped e-commerce site,

The Best of the Rest

  • Newly engaged? Breakfast for the Bride, a bridal vendor open house with jewelry, flowers, food, music and fashion, is April 5th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Erin Gallagher Jewelry (1017 W. Lake St.). One bride will win $10,000 worth of goods and services, and the first 50 brides will receive a gift bag. Steven Rosengard, a contestant from season four of Project Runway, showcases a bridal gown he designed and offers fashion advice to brides-to-be. Admission is free, but space is limited. RSVP to
  • Dominican University’s fashion department hosts its annual student fashion show with this year’s theme “The Future of Fashion,” on April 5th at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and April 6th at 3 p.m. in the Lund Auditorium (7900 W. Division St., River Forest; 708-524-6633). Tickets are 12, or $8 for students.
  • Eco-friendly boutique Pivot (1101 W. Fulton Mkt.; 312-243-4754) holds a trunk show featuring two Chicago-based designers—Annie Novotny of Frei Designs and Alice Berry. Novotny demonstrates her natural dying techniques with pomegranate and creates scarves for guests, while Berry shows her line of jackets made from sustainable materials. The designers (and pomegranate martinis) are present on April 4th from 5:30 to 9 p.m.; the show continues through April 5th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Plein Aire (2036 W. Division St.; 773-227-3772) celebrates its third birthday on April 5th with cake, Champagne, and discounts. Take 40 percent off purchases when doors open at 11 a.m., and discounts decrease by five percent hourly. Customers who bring a birthday card to the shop receive an additional five percent off.
  • Bebe (109 E. Oak St.) opens a 7,500-square-foot Chicago flagship store this week. The first 50 shoppers on April 4th receive a limited edition tote.
  • Take 40 percent off ceramic art throughout the entire month of April during the spring cleaning sale at Lillstreet Art Center (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.; 773-769-4226).
  • Montopoli Custom Clothiers (714 S. Dearborn St.; 312-987-0987) collects suits, sport coats, and pants throughout the month of April to donate to The Cara Program of Chicago, which helps the homeless receive job training. Call ahead before drop off, or schedule a wardrobe consultation with Jeff Landis for an in-home closet consultation and wardrobe update and he will collect donations on site.
  • Receive 20 percent off your entire purchase when you bring in at least one item of non-perishable food to Art Effect (934 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-929-3600) through April 6th, during its food drive for the Lakeview Pantry.
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe; 847-835-5440) holds its Orchid Extravaganza show and sale on April 5th and 6th, with grower displays, expert advice, lectures, and hundreds of orchids for sale. Admission is free, parking is $15.
  • Bloomingdale’s (Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-568-6582; Medinah Temple, 312-324-7665) launches the Michael Aram for Waterford Collection of crystal, stemware, barware, and china, with a personal appearance and signing on Saturday the 5th. Aram appears 10 a.m. to noon at Old Orchard and from 3 to 5 p.m. at Medinah Temple.