Aug 18, 2011
Our New Book, Racy Retail, Delectable Art
By Bradley Lincoln
Buy the Book
The entire Chicago Home + Garden team has been pulling a lot of double shifts lately to get a hot new coffee-table book ready for the printers, and the fruits of their labor are about to pay off. You can thumb the $45 tome when Chicago Spaces: Inspiring Interiors hits stores on October 11, but a smart cookie would take advantage of a pre-publication price of $30, offered through September 1, right here. The book is divided into two sections, with the first featuring complete home projects and the second homing in on specific room categories, such as foyers, bedrooms, dens, and kids’ cribs. Nate Berkus penned the foreword and CH+G editor Jan Parr wrote the intro, and it’s 220-plus pages of stimulating design.
Classy and Sassy
Urban Mischief, a flirty new home store, sashayed onto the Andersonville scene last week and is celebrating the venture with a grand opening party tonight from 6–9 at 5135 North Clark Street. Owner Shelly Elfstrom has a longtime love of vintage furniture (she personally refinishes and revamps a lot of the pieces you’ll find here) and a professional background as a nonprofit consultant (losing her job sparked this boutique’s birth). The well-played front of the store displays affordable home accoutrements—accessories run $5 to $50, and furniture tops out at about $700—but the PG hanky-panky is going on in the back, where there’s a special little curtained-off area that sports a tasseled and ruched burlesque swing and proffers “provocative lifestyle items” such as body butters, sensual oils, and pinup art.
Leave it to the Chicago Artists’ Coalition to come up with creative ways to raise money for its local advocacy programs, dedicated to improving the lives of artists and small arts and design organizations by providing insurance options, exhibition opportunities, and counseling. Tonight CAC presents its Starving Artist fundraiser: Four top Chicago chefs collaborating with four heralded Chicago artists, trading inspiration and tools to come up with edible and non-edible art that will be alternately eaten and auctioned at the event, held at 217 North Carpenter Street. The chefs are from Girl & the Goat, one sixtyblue, Province, and Avec; the artists are Richard Hull, Tim Anderson, Judy Ledgerwood, and Lauren Brescia. Brescia was paired with one sixtyblue’s pastry chef, Hillary Blanchard-Rikower, and created this pseudo s’more out of air-dry clay, paint, string-gel medium, and glass beads. (A larger sculpture that’s a more complex, gooey, topsy-turvy version of this will be sold to the highest benefit bidder.) Tickets are available here or at the door tonight for $150, and insider dining experiences will also be included in the silent auction.
Out at the ORD
A lot of us think of going to Rosemont only when Stevie Nicks or the touring cast of Glee makes a stop at one of its big music venues, or we’ll occasionally make a pit stop on the way to O’Hare. This weekend there is a reason to visit that doesn’t involve swirling fringed shawls or shrieky auto-tuned cover songs. The 36th annual Chicago O’Hare Summer Antiques Show is setting up at the Donald Stephens Convention Center Friday through Sunday, August 19–21, and 75 North American dealers of furniture, silver, tribal arts, rugs, and more will be participating, including Lake Forest’s Crescent Worth Art and Antiques, whose stoic Wedgwood basalt sphinxes are pictured here. Visitors get free parking with paid admission, which is ten bucks and includes return entry. Save $1 by printing out and bringing in this page.
Oak Park resident Mary Wessels started the Hephzibah Children’s Association in 1897, when she opened her home to orphans that had been displaced by an orphanage fire. It’s considered to be the oldest charitable organization in Oak Park, and you can support them next week (and indulge in some retail therapy yourself) by shopping at CarefulPeach on Thursday, August 25 (which falls in the middle of CP’s annual storewide summer sale, running August 20–27, offering at least 30 percent and up to 50 percent off all in-stock items). The home and gift shop is cutting Hephzibah a sweet 15-percent slice of that day’s in-store and online sales, so if you’ve been thinking about splurging on some of these Le Jacquard Francais table linens, there’s no time like the present.
Florals and Hardies
Grand Street Gardens is having its first-ever yard sale this weekend, come rain or come shine, at its 2200 West Grand Avenue center. The motivation was to clear out room for fall arrivals (all plants will be discounted up to 75 percent), but the owners have really emptied out the closets and will be offering lots of “goofy stuff” and one-of-a-kind items. The sale runs tomorrow through Sunday, so shop early for best selection (or late for best price? Ay, there’s the rub of the green). Cookie Man and his mobile Cookies w/Flavor will be on hand, and PAWS will be selling lemonade.
After five bright years in River North, Ursula Guyer and Stacy Senechelle are calling off the engagement at their upscale designer bridal shop White Chicago. The gleaming garden-level boutique grabbed headlines for its innovative retail mix of new, sample, and resale wedding gowns from such chichi houses as Reem Acra, Badgley Mischka, Monique Lhuillier, and Vera Wang. I never had occasion to check out the stock, but I’ve often walked by and admired the look of the place. Ursula had a baby boy last December, and Stacy is about thisclose to birthing another sibling to the son she had in 2009, so the business partners are closing the store and website on August 31 and offering great deals on matrimonial material. The shop’s chic sofas, desks, lighting, and office equipment are also for sale, so give them a jingle at 312-397-1571 if you’re in the market.
Photograph: (Urban Mischief) courtesy of jeremy bressman