Dec 8, 2011
Houndstooth Vintage, Bernacki Sale, Chiasso Reinvented
By Bradley Lincoln
I was first introduced to the singular design aesthetic and sharp eye of furniture and home accessories dealer Andrew Schultz at the Vintage Bazaar, and I’ve since come to look forward to his clever booth displays and quirky merchandise at the various markets he participates in under the moniker of Houndstooth. He’s found a style soul sister in Chris Geoghegan, the proprietor of Forest Park’s Moss shop, and this weekend will be busting out his moves there (7405 West Madison) with a pop-up show. “We both are attracted to unusual objects,” says Schultz, “and have very particular ways of placing them. When Chris suggested I do a trunk show, I knew it would be a great match. Lately I’ve been drawn to brass and copper, and vintage items made of natural materials, so expect a lot of those, and other vintage home accessories and small furniture items.” The opening reception is tomorrow from 6–8 p.m., and the show continues through Sunday.
One of Chicago’s insider go-to spots for antique and fine art restoration and conservation is Stan Bernacki’s eponymous business, and this Friday and Saturday it’s having an open house and a sale of unclaimed inventory. Stop by Bernacki & Associates workshop (424 N. Oakley Blvd.) for studio tours, refreshments, and the opportunity to pick up deals on Limoges and Wedgwood china, Biedermeier and mid-century furniture, ballroom chairs, gilded picture frames, fine art, and a lot more cool stuff. Bernacki also does period reupholstery and caning, so if you have a project pending, bring some snaps with you.
Chiasso on the Cusp
When I heard that Chris Segal bought the modern home design company Chiasso from bankruptcy about ten years ago, I had a feeling there would be big changes brewing for the shop that started in a stylish little Gold Coast storefront in 1985. Chris is the son of Gordon and Carol Segal, the founders of Crate & Barrel, and his brother Robert started the bedding and tabletop company Unison, which shares similar design sensibilities. (Can you imagine the agita involved in gift giving within that retail clan?) Chiasso quickly upped its furniture offerings and has started a hospitality division, so the next time something looks familiar in the lobby of a W hotel, you’ll know where it was sourced. It also just opened a 7,000-square-foot Wilmette store (twice the size of its flagship at 2112 North Clybourn), and plans to cultivate the business further with other locations. Tufted vinyl ottomans and stainless steel sunburst clocks for everyone! The North Shore Chiasso is at 108 Skokie Boulevard, in fine design company with neighbors Ethan Allen, Toms-Price, and Room & Board.
In other home-stores-with-Italian-names-starting-with-a-CH-that’s-actually-pronounced-K news, Chiaroscuro has expanded its colorful empire by taking over the kiosk where Oprah used to hawk Harpo T-shirts and key chains on the second floor of Water Tower, right outside the LEGO store. (And what a LEGO store that is, with a wall of bricks and other parts you scoop up like candy; all the kits in the company’s architectural model series; massive LEGO sculptures including a dragon undulating through the store walls; and a resting/play station for shoppers and kids.) But I digress: The adjunct Chiaroscuro location stocks a small selection of the main store’s more giftable trinkets, jewelry, Chicago souvenirs, ceramics, and games, and they are well-served by this edited selection and more sedate display. The labyrinthine flagship store (pictured), half a mall away, is so stocked with whimsical painted ceramics and tabletop accessories that it can be hard to see the tree for the forest. Water Tower Place feels as if it’s is in the nascent stages of a retail renaissance—it’s much more interesting, cleaned-up, and populated than it was even a few years ago, and since Henri Bendel opened its brown and white striped doors last month, there is even more incentive to visit.
Pilsen’s prepped to be popping tomorrow night for the neighborhood’s monthly Second Friday stroll, a gallery gander and shopping event organized by the Chicago Arts District. This is going to be a doozy, with the enthusiastic participation of the area’s vintage shops (stocking lots of small home items and retro serving pieces), flamenco dancing, theatrical feats, and self-guided tours of artists’ studios and exhibition spaces, including the gotta-see-to-believe, jam-packed digs of “Mambo Marilyn” Houlberg, (733 West 18th Street) a dealer of Haitian, African, folk, and outsider art and an avid Elvis buff. Just look at all these scheduled exhibits, specials, discounts, and performances. Things get rolling around 6 p.m. and continue till 10; most of the action is centered along South Halsted and 18th, and maps are available at the information center at 1821 South Halsted.
There are a couple of fun party opportunities tomorrow night where you can check out the work of Chicago’s Strand Design, Ted and Sharon Burdett’s product design studio that dreams up furniture, lighting, and objects emphasizing sustainability and high style. Mr. Burdett, an industrial design instructor at UIC, will be celebrating the holiday season with 13 of his students (and quesadillas and beer) at an end of the year home goods show at Strand’s headquarters (1008 West Randolph St.), from 6–9 p.m., free admission. Across town, Mrs. Burdett will be mingling with members and friends of the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the ReBuilding Exchange (where the 6–10 p.m. event is being held; 2160 North Ashland) at High Design Holiday, a cocktail party showcasing locally made furniture and home goods. Tickets are $50 at the door and include food and drinks, a silent auction, and a presentation of the entries in AIA’s design competition. This year’s challenge was to whip something smart up with those blandly generic, repurposed hollow core doors (I know, right?), and don’t tell mama, but I found out that Strand won. This is the winsome table that did the deed.
Get Your Goat
Want to sample Stephanie Izard’s cooking, but can’t get a timely seating at Girl & the Goat? (The last time I called for a table, I was told I could dine at 4:30 or 10:30 p.m., and that was with more than a month’s advance notice. Don’t get me wrong: It’s worth the wait—the food is delicious, and the success couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more grounded person than Stephanie.) Here’s a heads-up on how you can nosh on some GATG nibbles with no reservations, for free. Stop by Jayson Home (1885 N. Clybourn Ave.) next Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6–8 p.m.; the store is hosting the top chef for a signing of her new cookbook, Girl in the Kitchen, and serving bites and bubbles from the restaurant. Ten percent of sales that night will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
BAM for the Holidays
The Broadway Antique Market is having its madcap holiday party tonight from 6–9 p.m., at 6130 North Broadway, and you’re all invited to stop by for “an insane spread,” copious wining and beering (BAM turned 21 years old this year, so it’s finally legal), and sweet discounted merch from more than 70 vendors. This place only has one or two sales a year, so when it does, it’s serious. Everything in the store will be marked down 20% to 50%; deals continue through Dec. 15. Seems like a great time to see what’s new from favorite old dealers and check out fresh-faced booths from BAM newbie Study, the vintage dealer and design company that is debuting its handsome first-floor space (pictured) tonight at the party.