Feb 2, 2012
Room Service Expands, Randolph Street Market Takes it Inside
By Bradley Lincoln
The sharp Andersonville home store Room Service sunk to new lows yesterday (physically, of course, not ethically) when it officially unveiled its basement showroom, called The Foundation. Owner Paul Lechlinski needed more space to showcase the mid-century furniture he restores, the lines of new tableware, accessories, and candles he reps, and the cool confluence of assorted merchandise like houseplants, books, branches, shells, and vintage lamps. Lots to see here, and I like the artful way it’s displayed. I toured the subterranean space last week, and it’s a swell-looking gem of a room –– handsomely painted and lit, and fitted with custom wooden display platforms and quirky details such as the original air-conditioning system, polished up and gleaming in a corner, like a piece of modern art. (One caveat: watch your heads, you tall drinks of water –– there are some low-hanging pipes that could be worrisome for the willowy.) Get over to Room Service soon, and check out the silent auction of neighborhood restaurant and salon gift certificates and vintage items that are being sold to benefit Fred Says, a local charity that helps teens whose lives have been impacted by HIV. Bidding stops on February 11.
Passions and Vanities
Sounds a lot like a Mexican telenovela, doesn’t it? Actually it’s the focus of the first winter sale at Sally Schwartz’s Randolph Street Market, taking place this Saturday, Feb. 4 (12–6) and Sunday, Feb. 5 (10–5) on all three charmingly dishabille floors of the historic Plumber’s Hall, 1340 W. Washington St. Dealers will be showing “endearing vices” such as jewelry, couture, and antiques; Paper Honey will be setting up a love-letter station with handmade paper and cards; style guru Ramsey Prince will be styling on mannequins; and the Nude Sketch Salon will be on hand to capture you in the buff (hope it’s not too drafty in there). Admission is $10, which includes parking, and you can snag discounted tickets in advance here. Oh and if you’re concerned about missing any of the Bowl that is Super, don’t worry: There is a big-screen TV lounge serving chili and beer on Sunday. Here’s a shot of dealer Diane Passi’s offerings.
Works of Heart
He didn’t win the Bravo reality show Work of Art, but Young Sun Han was a standout character, won piles of money, and made it to the final episode of the competition. The Chicago artist will be mounting a photography show and launching his new art book, sooner later, at Las Manos Gallery this Saturday night, Feb. 4, 6–10 p.m., with half the proceeds from sales going to help North Korean Refugees. Young will be at the gallery, so come out and support a fine cause, and dish with him to find out if China Chow ever fell off her heels or poked anyone in the eye with her ginormous Elizabethan collars. The show is up only one week, through Feb. 12.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the floral delivery company H.Bloom has partnered with Jonathan Adler and Truffleberry Market to host a “Give Love That Lasts” contest in Chicago and each of H.B.’s other three markets (San Fran, D.C., and NYC). Nominate your favorite Chicago-area couple or yourself in one of three categories (been together less than 15 years; been together more than 15 years; or non-romantic, family-bonding flavor of love) on the Facebook page, then work the heck out of social media to garner votes. Stakes are pretty high––one couple in each city will win a year subscription of biweekly flower arrangements, monthly meal deliveries from Truffleberry, and a Simon Doonan package consisting of his new book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat, and his namesake flower bouquet in an Adler Vidalia vase. Submit a photo and a persuasive paragraph ASAP to get started, as voting ends on Feb. 14, lovers.
Gertie Stein had a point when she penned “a rose is a rose is a rose,” I think, especially around February 14. Like little black cocktail dresses and Merchant Ivory films they are elegant, perennial, and enjoyable to look at, but often trend predictable and sometimes could use an element of surprise or a jooszh to make them stand out. Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques (1101 West Webster, 773-248-1516) has come up with a classy little twist to elevate long-stemmed roses––each of the blinged-out blooms has been collared with a simple stripe of rhinestones or pearls. They can be arranged or boxed for presentation, and a dozen will set you back $125.
Pop It to Me, Baby!
Jonathan Adler sure has his impish, bubbly irons in a lot of fires these days, methinks. You can surround yourself with Adler creations in the bathroom, the dining room, the kitchen, the bedroom, and the outdoors; I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that he has a Ben and Jerry’s flavor coming out. It’s hard to be down in the dumps when you visit his Chicago store (676 N. Wabash Ave.), but that’s a lot of pizzazz for most people to commit to in their own homes. Which is why I like this new line of peel-and-stick wall art that he’s designed for WallPops, by Brewster Home Fashions. They come in Adler’s signature motifs (here’s the 1960s-London-channeling Carnaby pattern in blue, silver, and teal, with Mylar accents), they are at a good price point (a set like this costs about $40), they’re available this month online and at big-box home stores such as Lowes and Home Depot, and, perhaps best of all, it’s no big deal if you discover you’re not a sassy-purple-paisley-elephant type of person after all.