Welcome to the first issue of Domestica, Chicago Home + Garden’s subscription e-newsletter. We’ll be delivering fresh weekly blasts of local design news, openings, killer sales tips, and inspirations. Whether you’re a hard-core minimalist who sorts the mail outside and only allows the kids to play with gray cubes, or a Buatta-buff fond of twee, toile-trimmed rooms that take a few minutes to settle down after a good sneeze, Domestica wants to be there for you, and thinks we can all be friends. Design is fun, and Chicago has it for you in spades.
Cock of the Walk
Indulge your nesting instincts at the charming new Andersonville shop Roost (5634 N. Clark St., 773-450-1290), which artist and graphic designer Daniel “Red” Malone has jam-packed with rustic wooden furniture from his native West Virginia, the creamy pottery stylings of McCoy and the gang, drippy glazed-tin camp cookware in odd colors, and cast iron ornamentation. Nice rural-ternatives to the plethora of sleek accessories available. A bushel of oversized barn pulleys awaits a home—maybe in one of Roost’s storied wooden salad bowls, for a table display you’re not likely to see at Pottery Barn.
Mellow With Yellow?
The Pantone Color Institute, a think tank that studies trends for the design industry, has announced The Color of 2009 is Mimosa; a bright yellow that they predict will be coming soon to our closets and homes. We checked with some Chicago style-makers to see if they’re ready to let that particular sun shine in. “I think it’s great,” enthuses designer John Robert Wiltgen. “Hopefully it will replace that limey-apple color that we’ve been inundated with for the past ten years. It will pop up in dishes and accessories first, then furniture, fabrics, and rugs. I’m way ready for it!” White Attic’s Terry Ledford says thumbs-up, with some caveats. “It’s polarizing—you love it or you hate it. A little goes a long way, so if you’re working with furniture, use it on pieces that don’t have a lot of weight. I’m doing a yellow bamboo console with a glass top for spring.” Designer Joseph Sacco thinks the hue might do in warmer climes, but doesn’t think it’s appropriate in sophisticated urban interiors. “Yellow is one of my favorite colors,” he says, “but I rarely incorporate it into my work, other than art, unless it’s in the softest tints.” Others are not so diplomatic. When the Mimosa news broke, art director and illustrator Randee Ladden says a collective gasp of “are-you-KIDDING-me?” went around the industry. “But it doesn’t really matter what they pick,” she says. “Last year it was bright blue, and that’s what you’re seeing now on all the clearance racks.”
On an unexpected strip of Irving Park Road, artists and musicians Jim Licka and Emily Appenzeller have opened the Volcan Gallery, a storefront showroom and performance space with a boho feel and a line of unusual lighting fixtures that have traveled all the way from Belgium. The swirling nouveau–Art Nouveau iron and glass chandeliers, lamps, and sconces are a family affair—père Walter Duportail forges the steel bases and mère Brigitta makes the blown-glass shades, to the designs of their son Kevin. If you don’t find exactly what you want from inventory, they’ll help you design the light of your life, and install it when it clears customs.
’Twas the season to be jolly, now ’tis the time to cash in on some great home sales. One of the most anticipated events of the year is the Elements one-day sale this Sunday, Jan. 11, 10-5, when the River North boutique knocks down prices up to 70 percent, even on some stuff that never gets discounted (Nymphenburg, maybe? One can hope.) Toby and Jeannine have a fervent following, so get there early for the best deals. Euro Furniture (née European Furniture Warehouse) is having a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale thru January—sounds like a great time to stock a few extra dining chairs so poor Aunt Patty doesn’t have to sit so low at the next family gathering. Art Effect is now discounting up to 50 percent off selected items, Virtu is chilling all January with a clean 10 percent slice off everything in stock (including Laura Zindel’s creepy-cool bug pottery and the most mod mezuzahs I’ve ever fondled), and Sawbridge Studio’s Winnetka outpost needs to clear some floor space, so we get 40 percent off sample rugs (made by hand, as is all the inventory there).