Locally based modular-carpet floor-tile company FLOR has achieved great success in the design world, with shout-outs from Martha Stewart and praise for its eco-aware manufacturing, piece-of-cake installation, and recycling policies, but it’s not about to rest on its FLORals. The Clybourn Avenue showroom has redesigned the space and introduced new services and patterns, and is celebrating with a party next Wednesday, June 2, from 6–8 p.m. (RSVP here by this Friday). The new store design features photo murals from the catalog displayed with the actual products shooting out of them (how’s that for 3-D, Mr. Cameron?) and a new design lab to experiment with patterns and layout. As for services, you can now schedule complimentary in-store or $99 in-home design consults (waived if you spend $1,000), and hire installers to come over and hook you up with anything from an area rug to wall-to-wall. I like the urbanism of this new Character Sketch pattern—it looks like Banksy snuck in and graffitied your floor, but it’s actually the work of popular illustrator Thom Glick.
This Memorial Day weekend is the kick-off of the Randolph Street Market Festival, which has been going on for seven years now over in this increasingly stylish stretch of the West Loop. Sally Schwartz, the founder, has planned activities and wrangled up more than 200 dealers to create a frenetic carnival atmosphere at these monthly events held during the summer. There will be kid-friendly arts and crafts and gaming opportunities, fancy food and drinks, a swap meet, and live music all weekend long (culminating in my friend Al Simon’s rockabilly band The Devil Dogs taking the stage on Sunday at noon—these guys are so hot that a woman’s hair literally caught on fire the last time they performed!). The big draw continues to be all the cool stuff for sale, however, including antiques, vintage furniture and clothing, vinyl, indie fashion, and art. One new participating local furniture and textile collective, Hinge Design Studio, will be familiar to readers—we’ve profiled furniture makers Aaron Pahmier and Bladon Connor in the magazine before, and they are the men behind HDS (that’s one of Connor’s reclaimed-wood benches pictured). Admission is ten bucks (fee drops to $8 if you order online) and street parking is pretty easy.
If you’ve got any bright ideas about what to do with these flexible light strips, Lightology wants to hear from you. The River North company is having a contest, open to anyone who’s blown out candles on at least 18 birthday cakes, to come up with original ideas using a foot or more of Lightology LED Soft Strip (thin, extremely bendable lighting that comes in both white and color-changing styles). Submit up to five sketches of your original design, which can be architectural, practical, or as whimsical as a new hat for the Lady Gaga. A panel of judges (including auctioneer-gallerist Richard Wright) will select 15 finalists, and these elite strip-club members will have to create prototypes of their designs with materials provided by Lightology. There’s a grand prize of a $2,000 gift card, a people’s choice award of $1,000, and the deadline for initial submissions is June 30. If you’re in the dark about anything, view an illuminating little video and the rules here.
More than 45 of the country’s top Arts and Crafts dealers are lovingly crating up their Rookwood pottery, Limbert lamps, and stained glass menageries in preparation for the fifth annual Antique Mission Show and Sale this weekend at Concordia University in River Forest. This esteemed exhibition features authentic pieces of furniture and accessories from the American and English A&C movements, spanning 1890 to 1920, as well as repro versions of metalwork, furniture, fabrics, and contemporary artwork. This Gustav Stickley Onondaga daybed is from California Historical Design in Berkeley. With all the Craftsmen homes sprinkled throughout Chicagoland, River Forest is an exceedingly apropos location for this convention. Turn-of-the-century homeowners should stop by and chat up the experts to discern appropriate furnishings and pick up ideas from the vintage reference books that will be available. Get the bunga-lowdown on directions, exhibitors, and hours here, where you can also print out a discount coupon for the $7 admission.
There are big home-design doings in southwestern Michigan’s Harbor Country this weekend and next, no doubt to take advantage of all the Memorial Day visitors and provide something to do between barbecues and fireworks. The Whole 9 Yards, a tented outdoor art and antique show with 19 exhibitors, is taking over the Judith Racht Gallery in Harbert, on Saturday and Sunday. Judith’s elegant vacation home on the Michigan shoreline is pictured in the current issue of Chicago Home + Garden magazine—she’s got great taste in art and objects, so this is sure to be an eclectic collection of treasures. The costumer (a.k.a. clothes rack) pictured here is from Elephants Breath Antiques in St. Joseph, Michigan. Chicago’s McCormick Gallery will be among the dealers, Racht has curated a group show of her contemporary gallery artists (Archer Prewitt among them), and Harbert’s Seasons Harvest gourmet foods will be dishing out snacks featuring their salsas, sauces, and dessert toppings.
The following Saturday, June 5, another of our faves, Susan Fredman’s At Home With Nature design studio and shop in Union Pier, Michigan, is putting on its fourth annual Revive Your Retreat event. Make plans to attend some of the free daylong talks and demos on healthy living and environmentally smarter design options on the home front, and RSVP here.