Every year, Travel + Leisure magazine assembles a panel of taste-vetting arbiters to pick the best-designed new products and buildings for its design awards. This year the group included the creative director for Swarovski, fashion icon Norma Kamali, the curator of architecture and design at SFMOMA, and the CEO of ABC Carpet and Home. Quite a meeting of muckety-mucks. The winners were announced last week and will be featured in print, and this sweet little Hozuki Lantern from the outdoor lifestyle company Snow Peak took home Best Gear. Its design was inspired by Chinese paper lanterns, which were in turn inspired by the blossoms of the hozuki plant, and while it’s intended to be used for illumination while camping, I see no reason why more indoor-oriented seekers of light have to be left out. This $90 marvel has three brightness settings as well as a wind-and-sound mode that allows the LED light to flicker like a candle. It can be hung, and a group would look swellegant on an enclosed porch or at a garden party (I know, it’s a stretch to think about alfresco entertaining when it’s so slushy and filthy outside that not even Shel Silverstein has a clue where the sidewalk ends, but hang in there). Hozuki is available locally through Moosejaw, L.L.Bean, and Design Within Reach and REI stores.
The renegade Fulton Market vintage furniture dealer, Revision Home, is hosting another of its quarterly warehouse sales this weekend, with a spin. Sure, owner Katie Ernst will be introducing the finds she’s been hunting, gathering, and restoring over the past few months, but she has also invited a few other local businesses to participate this time. Chicago collective Hinge Design will be on hand with the studio’s line of organic products for the home; Urban Source will be unrolling a new line of wallpaper, Eskayel, and the online-only women’s fashion house TwentyThirtyForty will be offering outfits and separates. I heard it through the grapevine that the showroom is full of color and an inspiring, fresh round of inventory (a blood-orange Dunbar couch and a “killer” vintage campaign desk have piqued my interest). The event is Friday and Saturday at 2132 West Fulton, and it runs from 11–4 both days.
LuxeHome is getting a smidge more luxurious this week, with the addition of the Texas-based cabinetry showroom Bentwood of Chicago (yes, that says bentwood, but think velvety sleek custom woodwork here, and cutting-edge cabinet finishes, not uncomfortable caned bistro chairs hoping to get cast in a Bob Fosse revival. You with me here?). Bentwood will be cozying in to Suite 161 on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart, joining LuxeHome’s constellation of about 30 other boutiques.
Anyone at 85 years old could use a little rejuvenation; high-end, high-style Danish electronics companies included. To mark their octogenarian acheivement, Bang & Olufsen is freshening up the décor of its 609 North State Street location, and having a sweeping floor-sample sale to aid in the process. Futuristic speakers, docking stations, televisions, and other shiny objects of AV desire will be discounted from today through February 21. Items (some preowned) are guaranteed to be in fine condition and carry the firm’s standard three-year warranty. Maybe they’ll have one of those incredible TVs that we ogled last June for you.
It was announced yesterday that Borders booksellers plans to close 15 of its remaining 31 Chicago-area locations, including the behemoth Lincoln Park outpost, the North and Halsted location, the new-ish Uptown hangout, and suburban spots in Evanston, Bolingbrook, Mt. Prospect, et alia. (A complete list of closings can be found here.) Borders is turning to Chapter 11 and filing for bankruptcy protection, and clearance sales are starting this weekend (And not just on books, movies, and music—the chain carries home items like candles, posters, mugs, toys, crafting kits … you name it. I’d get over there fast, as the company has stated it’s losing about $2 million bucks A DAY at the stores slated for closure—that’s quite an incentive for them to do some drastic price-slashing). The company was founded, incidentally, by Tom and Louis Borders (who knew?) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1971.
It’s bed, bath, and beyond over at the Susan Fredman at Home in the City shop and design studio, with 20-percent savings on all bed and bath items, 10-percent discounts on custom orders, and free shipping and gifts. The merchandise skews classy and oft-whimsical at this well-stocked River North emporium; collections include Michael Aram, Voluspa, Arte Italica, Sferra, and Gail Deloach. The sale started yesterday, and will circle the drain on February 26 (you can also shop online and get the same discounts, using BB20 as a code at checkout).