Sep 8, 2011
Sales at Branca and Twice, Street Fests
By Bradley Lincoln
Kelly Rauch’s interior design studio Twice is typically open only by appointment, but tomorrow night you can stop by 5400 West Belmont Avenue and check out all the services and products that are offered out of the atelier. There’s a fall opening preview from 6–9 p.m., and if you mention Domestica you’ll save 20 percent on selected fabrics and 10 percent off design consultation, drapery, and upholstery services purchased from September 9–16. Twice specializes in tweaking vintage and antique furniture finds to clients’ tastes in finishes and fabrics (or bring in your own diamonds in the rough and have them polished and prettied up for you), and also stocks a selection of refinished cash-and-carry items. Rauch, a Chicago Art Institute grad who concentrated on painting and printmaking and has more than 15 years of interior design experience under her belt, also provides custom hand-painted wall treatments.
The Italian interior designer Alessandra Branca has been a high-profile presence on the Chicago scene since she started her design firm here in 1981, which led to a rarefied retail store at 17 East Pearson Street in 2008. Her tasteful finds grace the homes of socialites and CEOs, and her work has been featured in many a glossy shelter mag.To prepare for a fresh fall look, she’s cleaning house with a sweeping “warehouse” sale, offering 30-to-50-percent discounts on antiques, furniture, and accessories, starting today and continuing through October 1. I’ve always admired the way Alessandra stirs color and humor into often staid, Waspish territory, and am looking forward to checking out such pieces as these Nautilus shells mounted on silver-plated stands (reduced from $1,200 to $600).
If you’re a coed in need of a few tapestries, a fresh shower curtain, or some album frames for your vinyl to take dorm-room décor to the head of the class, it would be a smart move to audit the Urban Outfitters 935 North Rush Street location tonight from 4–9 p.m. for its College Night savings event. Show a valid college ID and enjoy 30 percent off all sale merchandise and 10 percent off full-priced inventory.
The sweaty summer street fairs have pretty much evaporated, but that doesn’t mean you have to hunker down inside and browse Etsy to get your arts-and-crafts on, just yet at least. Fall’s my favorite flavor, and with it comes some attention worthy outdoor expos, including this weekend’s Lakeview East Festival of the Arts, going down on Saturday and Sunday on Broadway, from Belmont to Roscoe. For its seventh annual incarnation, the local chamber of commerce has wrassled up more than 150 artists to showcase, in the realms of photography, furniture, jewelry, sculpture, and printmaking. Anastasia Mak’s Owls Over Windy City was selected to brand this year’s fest, which also includes a full lineup of live music and family activities.
Another artsy alfresco offering this weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair, taking over Division Street in Wicker Park on Saturday and Sunday from 11–7. It’s free, it’s fun, there will be more than 300 participants, and it’s Nate Berkus–endorsed, if you need any more convincing than that.
Go Bold and Go Home
The new issue of Chicago Home + Garden magazine is on newsstands (if you’re a subscriber you’ve already read it cover to cover, I’m sure), and this time it’s all about hue, baby! The September/October issue is our color special—find advice on developing room-to-room palettes for the whole house from pros at Colori, Gregga Jordan Smieszny, and ABN Interiors; ogle eye-popping new products our team has scouted; consider some smart curtain-free options for winsome window treatments; and explore the brave new world of Gypset (that’s Gypsy + jet set, and it’s probably my new favorite word). No shrinking violets here.