May 26, 2011
Domestica: Garden Talk, Randolph Street Market Opening, Vintage Galore
By Bradley Lincoln
Dollars to doughnuts, the eateries of pioneering restaurateurs in under-the-radar hoods leads to an increased number of home design stores and other independent ventures. It’s happened everywhere from Pilsen to West Town to Andersonville, and I’m now sensing retail rumblings in Logan Square. The neighborhood has been a destination for foodies for quite a while now (I’m personally crossing off calendar days until Lula Café expands and starts taking reservations), so it’s nice for diners to have more post-brunch, preshow, shopping opportunities. Cintia Kruschke has been selling pieces of vintage furniture through her blog for about three years, but has had the idea of opening her own store for a long time before that. “I was waiting to find the right space that felt perfect to me,” she says, “and once I did, about six months ago, I really threw myself into getting it open.” That perfect space is at 2620 North Milwaukee Avenue, and Reform Objects opened there at the beginning of this month. The store currently has a distinct mid-century motif going on, but expect that to change. “I’m not sticking to just one style,” says this owner with an art-history background, who loves researching the pieces she finds at estates and auctions. “I’m very interested in industrial pieces, and some of the less ornate Deco stuff. Some 1980s pieces are fun as well.” One thing you probably won’t find are patterned upholstered pieces. (“Unless they are super-kooky and crazy, I have a hard time incorporating patterns. But I am working on making throw pillows out of awesome vintage print fabrics, to give the store a splash of color and pattern.”) Congratulations, Cintia, I hope you have a long Logan’s run!
Meet Ida B. Shopping, star of an online video the Broadway Antique Market put together to promote the mall’s ongoing Vintage Intervention sale. It’s a campy reality-TV drag-queen spoof of Hoarders, if you can wrap your head around that, and Chicago actor Kurt Pickelmann plays both Ida and a therapist who diagnoses her with “vintage addiction.” BAM owner Danny Alias wrote the commercial and it was directed by BAM dealer Mark Contorno, and in it we learn everything in the store is marked down 15 to 50 percent, through May 31. I love poking around this place’s two floors of offerings from 75 dealers, and rarely ever walk out emptyhanded. I’ve got my eye on this 1950s ceramic ship clock, actually, but have a feeling I’d have to put up quite a fight for it.
One of the landscape designers responsible for the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, Holland’s Piet Oudolf, is coming back to town next week to give a lecture on his inspirations and projects (New York’s loudly lauded High Line, among them). Oudolf espouses the selection of outdoor elements more for their forms than for their colors and blooms, which is especially sage advice for those of us who live with gray gardens a disproportionate amount of the year. The free event, sponsored by the Winnetka Garden Club, will be held at six p.m. on Thursday, June 2, on the fifth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, and that means the Randolph Street Market Festival is starting up again, this Saturday and Sunday at 1340 West Washington Street. These monthly fairs have really taken off, and thousands of shoppers turn up to browse antiques, local food products, and clothing made by indie designers, in a festive environment through November. There are some new developments this year, including a lower entrance fee ($8 online, $10 at the door; students $3 and $5; kids under 12 free), $5 or $10 merchandise vouchers with every ticket purchase, free local furniture delivery, and the opportunity for eager beavers to shell out some more bucks for the privilege of pre-shopping two hours early on the first day (8 a.m. vs 10 a.m., $20/$25). Oh and if you want to party with the oldies every month, consider getting a season pass for $100 for two people—that even includes free valet parking. The china shown here is from participating dealer R.A. Maxwell.
There’s an estate sale of some historic significance going on in the Beverly neighborhood this weekend. Mayor Daley gave the owner, respected music teacher Sydonia Brooks, her own day, and she was 1990’s Distinguished Woman of the Year in Music, and she and her husband were avid collectors of 1960s furniture, musical instruments, and haute couture (lots of fun hats, I’m told). The sale is being conducted by An Orange Moon, and it’s going down at 9105 South Perry Avenue tomorrow and Saturday, 7:45 to 2:00. Orange Moon turned two years old this month, and owners Lynne and Ty McDaniel’s seven-year wedding anniversary is next week, so there’s a lot of lunar celebrating going on.