I’ll be the first to admit, Jonathan Adler’s shagadelic Valley of the Dolls–meets–1970s Palm Springs aesthetic isn’t for everyone (“Honey, that’s why there’s more than one dress shop,” my dear friend Renée always says), but even if you’re not sold on Adler’s colorful and aggressively vivacious vision for an entire room or home, I bet a daily dose of Adler would be welcome in your life with his new spin on such mundane necessities as magnet boards, markers, mugs, pens, and laptop and phone cases, available now at the Chicago location and online. They’re affordable and fun, and perfect for office gifts. These spunky spiral-bound day-planners, for example, are $18.95 each.
As of last month, another place to acquire some Jonathan Adler merch is Notice, the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, gift and accessories shop that also has a location in Highland Park. Notice is participating in this weekend’s Lake Geneva Holiday Open House by hosting a special Friday night shindig from 5–8 p.m., with 25-percent discounts offered on everything in the store (including Adler’s accents, such as these fragrant diffusers that can be repurposed as bud vases when the scent dissipates). It will be open Saturday and Sunday for the holiday stroll, along with 20-some other shops and businesses in this northerly little resort community. The weather’s great and the fall colors are still showing off, so why not treat yourself to a bonus weekend getaway and go check out the scene?
It’s hard to believe it, but Revision Home is celebrating its one-year birthday this weekend with an anniversary open house sale at the 2132 West Fulton location. Preview the va-va-vintage goods tonight from 5:30–7:30, or stop by the warehouse sale Friday and Saturday from 11–4.
With the Merchandise Mart’s new-ish concierge service, it’s easy to arrange access to previously to-the-trade showrooms anytime you want, but its heralded sample sales only take place a few times a year, and this Friday and Saturday is one of those times. Thirty-two dealers will be participating in the high-end tag sale this weekend, where you can pick up deals on furniture, fine art, fabrics, rugs, antiques, and loads of other niceties. Stop by showrooms on floors six and 15–18 on Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. for items discounted up to 75 percent, including these plucky Barbara Cosgrove quail lamps from Kenneth Ludwig Home Furnishings, reduced to $225 from $345. (Niedermaier is discounting to the beat of a slightly different drummer by running its sample sale November 10–12, showroom 1742.) You can also schedule a gratis gab session with an interior designer in the Members Lounge on 15—reserve your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 312-527-7991 in advance.
Wild Pansy Party
Up in the Harbor Country recently, I got a great deal on some big ceramic urns at one of those roadside markets you come across in Michigan or Mexico (as well as some of our suburbs of a more recent vintage), but one catch—they are an odd squarish shape and they didn’t come with any saucers. These cachepots are going to be used for houseplants, and I can’t have my dieffenbachia drooling all over the sunroom, so I ran over to Gethsemene Garden Center the other day to pick up some trays. It looks and smells like the holidays suddenly exploded all over the place in there, with seasonal gifts, bejeweled trees, velvet squash with real stems, and a few of these charming click-on dioramas in retro television sets. Festive stuff (if also a slap-in-the-face reminder of how fast the year is going). Gethsemene’s Wild Pansy Gift Shop is having a pre-holiday open house this Saturday and Sunday from 10–4, and it sounds like a fun time, kicking off with a coffee and pastry station that switches over to wine and snacks in the afternoon, and live music. Maybe I’ll see you there—I have to exchange some saucers (note to self: measure pots next time).
Whole Latke Lovin’
Hanukkah usually falls pretty close to Christmas, but this year the Festival of Lights starts December 1, due to a quirk in the Jewish (lunar) and Gregorian (solar) calendars. (Go ahead‑Google it.) Potato pancakes are a crucially delicious part of the festivities, and now you have an opportunity to expand your repertoire at the Spertus Institute’s Latke-palooza cooking class next Wednesday night, November 17, at 6:30. Chef Laura Frankel will be showcasing eight different vegetal varieties at the demo/tasting, and it’s a mere 18 shekels. Check out the Spertus gift shop’s expanded offerings of modern Judaica and home accessories while you’re in the building‑they’ll be staying open until nine that night.