Designs for Living
The richness of River North home resources just got a boost with the opening of RJA Design showroom, on the third floor of the vintage Boylston Building on Illinois Street. Owner Richard Abrahamson is an interior designer with a varied background in such fields as painting, art and antique dealing, event planning, and landscape and floral design. He stripped the new digs down to exposed brick walls and natural wood beams (keeping the great old birdcage elevator, of course) to better showcase the one-of-a-kind home accessories he sells. Associate Jake Theisen says that in days to come they’ll also be showcasing more of the furniture that’s designed in-house.
In response to These Trying Economic Times, Home Depot has abruptly decided to close all 34 of its upscale Expo Design Centers across the country, including Illinois’ Downers Grove and Vernon Hills locations. “We’ve been on conference calls with staff and management all day,” said a somewhat frazzled Downers Grove manager on Monday afternoon. “The liquidators have been called in, and everything will be priced to sell, as is, starting immediately. The sale could take a couple of weeks or a couple of months.” It’s sad to see them go, but the orange-box Home Depots are just making some fiscal decisions in order to keep going strong with their original mission. Sounds like severe savings on window treatments, lighting, furniture, and kitchen and bath fittings.
1st Dibs, the eclectic, carefully curated furniture site that’s popular with designers, has started having weekly Saturday sales in an effort to “re-imagine the tradition of weekend yard and barn sales.” Dealers from all over the country will be posting hundreds of fresh items at 7 a.m. Chicago time, so you’ll need to rise, shine, and log-in to get the pick of the goods, just like real tag sales. The only things missing are the lemonade stand and the VHS work-out tapes. Participating Chicago dealers include Thomas Jolly, Architectural Artifacts, DouglasRosin, and Malcolm Franklin. The inaugural event last week had more than 800 new postings, most priced to move quickly.
Tricks of the Trade
Carson Pirie Scott’s Furniture Gallery is having a presentation on furniture trends and industry secrets this Saturday, Jan. 31, from noon til 2:00 p.m. at the Orland Square location. Hors d’oeuvres will be passed, pros such as Carson’s home furnishing director will be on hand for consultations, and the store is offering free delivery and $200 off purchases of more than $1,000. No charge, but call 708-873-3256 to reserve a spot.
I.D. Chicago Halsted Street’s mod little amalgam of furniture showroom and high-end optical shop (and official Dot Spot retailer—don’t forget the Blu Dot!) is extending its winter sale until Jan. 31, offering 25 to 75 percent off all in-stock accessories.