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Chicago’s Biggest Design Minds— Nate, Holly and More!—Tell All The “It” Mistress of Bedroom Chic White-Hot Houses Hit It Big!

SUMMER 2009 $5.95



Chicago 312 755 1414 / Florida 239 947 4005 / Montreal 1 877 527 3468 / Switzerland / Elyps collection by JOLI www.

Chicago Merchandise Mart /15th Floor

516 N.Wells Chicago, IL 60610 T (312) 329-1550 F (312) 329-1556

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Publisher’s Note Summer 



night of my year), I got to sit down for dinner with Rosella Bizazza at Boka restaurant on Halsted Street. Rosella is the head of communications for her family’s Italian mosaic tile company, Bisazza, and the next night would be the grand opening party to celebrate their first Chicago store, near the Merchandise Mart on Kinzie Street. As we chatted about her business and her impressions of our fair city—Rosella said she couldn’t wait to check out the Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Modern Wing—I practically glowed with pride. First of all, when you think of luxury, the Bisazza brand is up there. Second, I was talking to someone with huge global visibility, who’s among the most well-traveled people I’ve ever met. She had such a high opinion of Chicago, and all I could think was, “Well, we deserve it!” Get out there and enjoy. lgibson@


It’s summertime and the living’s easy, especially inside this white-hot issue of CS Interiors. Our pages are full of fresh ideas, big news about big openings, and—what I’m most excited about this season—design insight from some of the brightest minds in the business. Just flipping through our feature about the seven design titans of Chicago—Richard Wright, Holly Hunt, Nate Berkus, Leslie Hindman, Judy Niedermaier, Alan Koppel and Nasir Kassamali—leaves me awestruck at the incredible amount of talent living and working in our fabulous city. I’m always thrilled to talk to visitors about everything Chicago’s design front has to offer, and never more so than when Mayor Daley’s millions of flowers are in bloom and the summer sun illuminates every striking architectural detail. A few weeks ago, right as I was gearing up for the nonstop action of NeoCon (I always say the first night of NeoCon is the busiest

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Summer 2009

Editor’s Note Summer 



to the mix. Located just over the Illinois border in the other direction, this is truly a modern-day utopian environment where architects Ed and Eve Noonan have transformed an old dairy farm into an inspired sustainable development that’s equal parts modern design, prairie grass and hands-on communal living. Our writer, Lisa Cregan, calls it a Mayberryby-the-lake utopia. I call it the ultimate example of how a great environment can actually create the kinds of bonds that make a one-of-a-kind community. After having my second baby boy in February, I, too, have found new meaning in the word community—and not just at home. While I took some precious time off to snuggle with my newborn, a team of beyond-creative writers, editors, photographers and designers were working around the clock to help pick up the slack. Editors Amalie Drury and Alexandria Abramian-Mott left no detail unnoticed, while the rest of the usual suspects on the masthead amped up their own dedication to the cause. CS Interiors even got a brandnew look this time around. I think the results speak for themselves. Just check out our “Mod Squad” package, featuring seven of the city’s most revered design icons, who have all contributed—meaningfully and significantly—to Chicago’s reputation as a force in the world of design. Call them the ultimate community of interior visionaries.


In cities across the country, urbanites are fleeing the cement jungle this very minute for a summertime swath of cool waterfront and into-the-woods nature. In Chicago, there are two decisive camps: those who are lucky enough to “weekend” in a nearby lakehouse—Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan—and those who bask, instead, in the hot city sun—keyword: electively. I have more than a few friends who refuse to vacation between May and September, because Chicago—from its gorgeous lakeshore to its sky-high rooftops—is simply too perfect in the summer. In this issue, we take a look at two over-the-top homes that embrace each faction to a T. Both are done up in stark summer whites, but the similarities end there. From a corner lot in Roscoe Village, one family home touts city living in the form of an indoor pool, a rooftop basketball court overlooking the El tracks and enough visual stimulation to practically preclude a visit to the museum. On the other end of the stunner spectrum, the glorious brainchild of architect Chip von Weise and interior designer Suzanne Lovell uses glass and angled views to highlight its prime, pristine location on the treelined shores of Lake Geneva. Which would I choose to live in myself? It’s impossible to decide. And that kind of choice only gets more difficult when you add Tryon Farm

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Bath & Kitchen Products. Tile & Stone. Design Consultation.

Departments Contents


PUBLISHER’S NOTE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 EDITOR’S NOTE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CONTRIBUTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 HOME FRONT



Plein-air hangouts for design junkies; the hottest in brand-new home shopping; starchictect Renzo Piano upgrades the generic gift shop; Chicago gets FLORed . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


Get ready to hang with some of the coolest new outdoor wattage . . . . . . . 36


Millennium Park packs an even bigger design punch with the addition of two new out-of-the-box pavilions . . . . . . . 38 Gallery gardens are springing up! Where to find A-list art in the great outdoors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

44 36



Stage a sit-in on some of this year’s most daring new seating . . . . . . . . . . 44


A Chicago couple dream-weaves its way to premiere Moroccan-rugpurveyor status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46


Brynne Rinkerknecht masters the art of the five-star bedroom . . . . . . . . . . . 48

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Summer 2009


Stack attack? Get ready for the latest craze in home accessories . . . . . . . . . . 50


CB2 brand director Marta Calle talks mod & pop shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


From the first sketch to the final product, we invest in what matters most, working directly with craftsmen to bring you exclusive furniture at affordable prices. Jasper is just one of dozens of sofa styles created with locally harvested wood and eco-friendly cushions. Made by hand in North Carolina, delivered to you in three weeks or less.

Jasper sofa, $1299 as shown Tagine, Zinnia and Matchstick pillows, $109 - 119 Tolomeo lamp, $670 Keystone rug, $899

we’re here to help 800.952.8455

Departments Contents


54 98

54 60


Great minds design alike! Chicago’s hottest furniture-fusing collaboration hits it big . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54


It’s bloom time for the color pink. Get ready for prime pickings . . . . . . . . . . 56


Who says you can’t have it both ways? Realtor/designer Stephen Somogyi plays both sides, and clients always win . . . . 58 Chicago über-design firm Gensler sets up new office digs that celebrate then and wow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60


Catch the latest design virus with insect-inspired décor . . . . . . . . . . . . 64


A Michigan farm yields a utopian harvest of eco design . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

HOUSE PARTY CHICAGO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 MARKETPLACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 INTERIOR MONOLOGUE Jayson Lawfer rides the Wi-Fi wave to create a new art market . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

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Features Contents


A Lake Geneva home hides nothing when it comes to glass walls, soaring ceilings and white-hot décor . . . . . . . 72


Get ready to romp with a family home that walks the fine line between perfectly pristine and totally playful . . 78


They’re here! The hands-down kings and queens of Chicago’s one-of-akind design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84



Photography: Tony Soluri Styling: D. Graham Kostic Hair: Charles Lord at Ford Artists Makeup: Christina Culinski using Shu Uemura at Ford Artists Model: Dana Taylor at Ford Models Photographer’s Assistant: Tim Nurczyk Stylist’s Assistant: Isaiah Freeman-Schub

White-and-green stripe stretch canvas jacket, $2,295, pants, $1,080, and straw hat, $295, all at Gucci, 312.664.5504. Cotton tank with front pocket, $155, by Suno at Ikram, 312.587.1000. Velvet Cherie ankle strap sandal, $1,220, at Louis Vuitton, 312.944.2010.

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KUBE | Timeless elegance by Giovanni Offredi Design

©2009 Snaidero USA

Good Design™ 2008 Award winning kitchen

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Contributors Summer  1






1) Making her way around the city to interview design stars from CB2’s Marta Calle to Luminaire founder Nasir Kassamali, Amalie Drury found herself leaving each meeting on an inspiration high. “There are so many brilliant creative minds at work in Chicago,” she says. “It was like a master class in design.” Drury’s busy summer schedule includes contributing to a variety of Chicago publications (CS, TimeOut, BizBash and others) and complaining about changes to her favorite malted milk balls on her blog, Same Conversation, Different Location.

4) Art and the outdoors don’t always mix. For every crowd-pleaser like The Bean, there are countless pieces that just get in the way. But in writing about private sculpture gardens and the Millennium Park pavilions by Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel, Thomas Connors was lucky enough to encounter works that don’t ruin a good view. Connors reports on cultural subjects for publications like Town & Country and Art+Auction. His tour of the Gold Coast home of biz wiz Richard Driehaus appears in the September issue of Art & Antiques.

2) “The house is complex. It bends this way and that to respond to its site,” says writer Lisa Cregan of the Lake Geneva retreat built by architect Charles von Weise. “But as a result, life there is simple, and all about living with nature.” Cregan saw nature up close again while writing her story on Tryon Farm. “Eve and Ed Noonan’s enthusiasm is positively contagious,” she says of the couple, who gave her a tour of the bucolic property. When not visiting spectacular local homes, Cregan is busy writing the next House Beautiful book.

5) “A gorgeous bedroom and a gorgeous subject,” says photographer Dane Tashima, describing his shoot with luxury-bedroom designer Brynne Rinderknecht. “A zillion dollars’ worth of Frette linens, and yet what I was most impressed with was the floor-length urinal in the master bathroom. Believe me, I felt very unrefined.” Tashima’s work has been published in Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, and he is currently a contributor to CS and TimeOut Chicago.

3) Photographer Bob Coscarelli calls shooting our feature on Chicago’s design titans “by far, my favorite CS Interiors project to date.” And getting to know the seven subjects? “They were insanely different,” Coscarelli says, “but there was a unifying design spirit. Nate Berkus has such positive energy, a really good soul. Working with Judy Niedermaier was like meeting someone at a cocktail party and talking to them all night.” Coscarelli recently began a new art project, photographing Chicago deviants. “It’s a work in progress, ” he says.

6) Writer Tate Gunnerson was content with one kitchen until he toured the home in “Spare Cribs.” He was wowed by the basketball court and the indoor pool, but the stainless-steel second kitchen really made him envious. Also intriguing was the discrepancy between the home’s modern interior and its traditional family. Gunnerson’s design blog, Strange Closets, was recently described as “eccentric” and “disturbing” by a prominent Manhattan interior designer.

CORRECTIONS 1. In the Spring issue, artist Ken Gold was incorrectly referred to as Mike Gold in the “Factory Whirl” story. 2. In “The Space Maker” from the Spring issue, Joe Lambke was noted as the architect of Great Lake, but owners Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza are responsible for designing the interior. 3. In the House Party photos of the DreamHome preview party from the Winter 2009 issue, the bedroom was photographed by Wayne Cable. CS Interiors regrets the errors.

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your taste defined

What colors and fabrics best reflect your taste? At our Furniture Galleries, you’ll discover an extraordinary assortment of in-stock furniture and custom furnishings offering exceptional quality, craftsmanship and design. An unprecedented selection of fabrics in many colors, patterns and weaves awaits you. Stop in today and take that first step in transforming your home into the comfortable, stylish retreat you deserve.

AT YOUR SERVICE Creating an elegant and comforting retreat is easy! For that personal touch you’re seeking, turn to our experienced Interior Design Studio staff. They’ll gladly help you select the right fabrics and styles for your living space from our vast assortment of luxurious custom furnishings. This complimentary service is only available at our Furniture Galleries.

VISIT ONE OF OUR SIX FURNITURE GALLERIES: Schaumburg 830 East Golf Road Schaumburg (847) 882-2447

Yorktown Two Yorktown Mall Lombard (630) 268-0415

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Fox Valley 404 South Route 59 Naperville (630) 428-7782

Hawthorn 480 Ring Drive Vernon Hills (847) 367-5851

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Pig in the City!


OUT THERE! Melissa Abate designed the restaurant Tocco’s interiors (and bar, left), as well as its new outdoor patio.

Freshened-Up Alfresco Dining Italian-style on this side of the Atlantic usually involves exuberant surroundings: bright colors, burnished woods, warm decorative touches and lush foliage to give the place Old World heft and heart. But exuberance and authenticity do not equate in the motherland itself. “If you go to Rome or Milan, the newest restaurants are clean, streamlined and modern—no wood wine racks, painted pottery, print tablecloths or knickknacks,” says Melissa Abate, the less public half of the stylish couple who opened West Loop Italian hot spot Follia in 2002 and its equally smoldering sibling, Tocco, in Wicker Park early this year. Her husband, Bruno, handles the food

and front-of-the-house, while Melissa, a former graphic designer, takes charge of the interiors and administrative work. At both spots, Melissa went for pared-down chic. “We wanted to make a break from what you usually find in Italian restaurants and express our own aesthetic, which is clean and modern,” says Abate. That they did, especially at the ultra-sleek Tocco, which was formulated to “have a high-end look, casual vibe and frugal gourmet fare,” she explains. And their newest venture, Tocco’s chic alfresco dining area, is rife with ideas to emulate and items we can actually afford. Here’s what to love about it:

Garage Doors

diminutive blindfold table ($169) and West Elm’s stately wood-slat dining table ($379).

This wall was originally slated to be solid brick, but Abate dreamed up a retractable glass option with the help of architect Joe Lambke of Animate.

chair ($14.95) among the new offerings at Calligaris last April. Find the chair in a range of hues at

The Tables The Hero Chair Abate heads to the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan to score the furniture she uses, and found this snappy but sturdy polypropylene 26 |


Summer 2009

Abate needed her tables to be lightweight and collapsible for nightly setups and breakdowns. She mixed two tables for geometric intrigue: CB2’s

The Railing Instead of using prosaic wood or wrought-iron railings, Abate had a fabricator (Chicago’s Breuder Design) echo the steel railings’ interior circle motif, giving them a gleaming white, powdercoated finish.

The Planters Plain-sided planters in the same material as the railings make the perfect foil above for the giddy, effervescent pattern below. Minimal plant materials like New Guinea Impatiens and Fiber Optics grass keep the foliage from overwhelming the carefully choreographed motif. –Lisa Skolnik

Pigs have been garnering the most negative press of all the barnyard animals lately: First, there was the North Shore uproar over a pair of pet potbellies raising a stench on a residential Lake Forest street. Then came the epic swine flu panic. It’s impossible, however, to imagine DFC Mexico’s latest creation—this spunky 16-inch-by16-inch pig planter— inducing anything but a smile. With his flower mohawk and gaping grin, the porcelain porker can just as easily make his home on the dining-room table as he can on the patio. “Everybody stops to check him out,” says Jonathan Goodman of Elements, the exclusive Chicago retailer of the piece. “He’s a happy pig. He’ll cheer you up when you get home.” $485, at Elements Chicago, 741 N. Wells St., 877.642.6574, –Courtney Cregan DFC Mexico’s pig planter.





1357 W Concord Place Chicago IL 60642 773 252 7300 B E NTWOOD





Cottage Living “It was absolutely crazy, opening two stores at once,” says Julie Fernstrom of launching the pair of Andersonville shops, The Cottage and Brimfield, in May of this year. But Fernstrom's instincts served her well; business is ticking along at both shops, with each attracting its own clientele. The Cottage offers shabby-chic furnishings, vintage bedding and home accents for people decorating rustic vacation homes. Brimfield, the larger flagship store, is slightly more luxe and features a masculine mix of antiques and a dizzying array of plaid, including vintage wool blankets and Holland & Sherry fabric—think the “inherited” look. Both stores offer custom upholstery services. The Cottage, 5644 N. Clark St., 312.593.6415; Brimfield, 5219 N. Clark St., 773.271.3501. –Tate Gunnerson





Counter Cred It’s one thing to look pretty, and another thing to have something pretty to look at. Beauty industry pros know we want both, so they’re bringing in big-gun design talents to package potions in bottles any aesthete would be proud to display. Some products we’d buy based on counter appeal alone: Diesel’s new Only the Brave fragrance for men was inspired by artists, icons and rebels, and is modeled after founder Renzo Rosso’s hand—including his RR tattoo. Guerlain’s Rouge G de Guerlain lipstick compact was created by a famed jewelry designer of the Place Vendome: Lorenz Baumer, who was inspired by a bar of gold. La Prairie’s upcoming fall fragrance release, the Life Threads collection, elegantly combines architectural and fashion-derived elements. And Shu Uemura’s latest collection of cleansing oils is decorated with drawings by Japanese contemporary artist Moyoco Anno. –Amalie Drury

1. Diesel’s Only the Brave fragrance, $65, at Macy’s. 2. Guerlain’s Rouge G lipsticks, $45 each, at Neiman Marcus. 3. La Prairie’s Life Threads, $125, at Neiman Marcus in October. 4. Shu Uemura’s Tokyo Kamon Girls cleansing oil, $65, at Barneys New York.

Brimfield in Andersonville.

WOOL MARKET Knit lights at Pavilion Antiques.

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Call it a new category of lighting: cozy and cuddly. Berlin-based Ilotilov design’s latest—a cable light that’s snuggled into a long tube of soft Merino wool—puts task lighting into super-soft focus. “I love this piece because it crosses that design/art boundary,” says Deborah Colman, co-owner of Pavilion Antiques and currently the sole U.S. distributor of the piece, officially dubbed the Matt Light. Hang it from the ceiling above a dining table, coil it on the wall as functional art, or leave it come-as-it-may on a side table: With 39 feet of cable, and two color shades of gray, you’ve got serious options. And not to worry: The fluorescent bulb won’t heat up the wool. It just looks warm and inviting. $700, at Pavilion Antiques, 2055 N. Damen Ave., 773.645.0924. –Alexandria Abramian-Mott


Knit Wit!

Lightning Strikes Nice



From the statement-making neon-yellow lightning bolt built into its glass façade to the blissfully untacky stencil-design carpeting running down its long halls, The Wit hotel at the corner of State and Lake Streets already has a reputation as something of a visual feast. It’s only been open a month, and already the property packs in the trendsetters at each of its many venues, but it’s one of those places where the décor (and views) refuse to be overshadowed by the crowd. Two out-of-town design firms can take credit: Beverly Hills-based Cheryl Rowley Design (known for its work with Kimpton Hotels), which took the reigns on The Wit’s rooms and common areas, and Atlanta-based The Johnson Studio, which was commissioned by Concentric Restaurant Group to create the interiors of the hotel’s two restaurants and rooftop bar. Design lovers shouldn’t miss:

The exterior and the lobby at The Wit.

1. The angel-wing

2. The sensual mural of 4. In the lobby

chandeliers in the lobby, designed by Cheryl Rowley in collaboration with manufacturer Lusive Décor. Groundbreaking from a material and manufacturing standpoint, the chandeliers were featured at this year’s HD Expo in Las Vegas.

nudes by Chicago-born artist Todd Murphy on the ceiling of Cibo Matto, The Wit’s finedining restaurant.

3. Visually striking white tulip umbrellas designed by German firm MDT for the terrace at Roof, The Wit’s 27th-floor bar.

(designed to respond to the surrounding urban landscape), the staircase inspired by the proximity of the El tracks on the street outside and created to mimic actual subway stairs. –A.D.

If beauty is as beauty does, the richly grained ironwood, teak and rosewood planks and slabs Kandis Wrigley is plying at San Juan Ventures, her new and idea-rich River North showroom, are perfect 10s. In their native Bali, the reclaimed woods have already logged time in previous incarnations as boat beams, utility poles, bridges and Jooglos (homes elevated on stilts). And if Wrigley has her way, they’re destined for many more years of service as flooring, beams, wall paneling and custom furniture—along with the equally worthy and eye-catching slabs, roots and tree stumps she’s also unearthed there. The company is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, and retail prices range from $33 to $84 per square foot for flooring to $21,000 for standard exotic-wood table slabs. San Juan Ventures also fabricates other salvaged materials into massive slabs, countertops and towering architectural elements. 664 W. Hubbard St., 312.612.1054, sanjuanventures. com. –Lisa Skolnik The San Juan Ventures showroom at the Merchandise Mart.

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Inside Out For most decorative faults, there’s usually an easy fix—when you’re inside. Outside, it’s a different story. “People landscape their gardens or decks with things that totally screw up their interiors because they don’t think about how the spaces relate to each other. And it’s time-consuming and expensive to redo landscaping and plantings,” says Chicago designer Christopher Michiels. He’s seen so many traditionalists and modernists alike botch the expanses that it was easy for him to say yes to North Shore powerhouse Schmechtig Landscapes when they asked him to be chief creative officer of In-Exteriors, a new design service that treats landscaping as an extension of home. Michiels’ mantra: “No dueling styles or clashing colors.” 847.566.1233, –L.S.

MAN WITH A PLAN Michiels (above) designed the custom outdoor upholstery for this seating arrangement and coordinating abstract polished granite (top) at a home in Hawthorne Woods.


Reviving Beauty

Raise Da Roof! Greening a roof seems like a simple eco improvement to execute. Not so. “You can’t just put material on a roof without confirming the roof can hold it, which involves a structural engineer,” says Kurt Horvath, president of Glenview-based Intrinsic Landscaping—the firm known for high-profile, high-style, large-scale projects that have made Chicago a leader in the green-roof movement nationally (think CTA headquarters, the Merchandise Mart, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Francis W. Parker School and more). But they’re also “the go-to guys for residential,” says fc Studio co-owner Julie Fisher, now that she’s worked her network for the best source to design and install a green roof for the firm’s latest Wicker Park rehab. Her activist client “was really specific about the plant materials. The building had landmark constraints, and the client wanted to use native Illinois prairie plants. They were the only firm who could address all the issues,” says Fisher. That may explain why Intrinsic’s residential work is “growing quickly, despite the economy,” acknowledges Horvath. Intrinsic Landscaping, 847.391.9266, –L.S.



A green roof by Intrinsic Landscaping at the Tyner Center in Glenview.

WINED AND DESIGNED Why settle for boring old wine decanters when you can serve from a carafe modeled after the human heart? Bordeaux-bred sculptor Etienne Meneau has raised the everyday decanter to high art with handmade, limited-edition pieces that go for

upwards of $3,000 a pop. It’s all about the look: “It’s not an oenological instrument,” says Meneau. “It’s a sculpture that can be used as a carafe. Shape comes first, function second.” Sizes range from 7 to 25 inches. Email –Kate Parham

BOTTLE ROCKS! At right: The Petit Coeur decanter and the Carafe No. 2 (far right).

So where’s all the white linen? Gone! Some of Chicago’s hottest restaurants (Province, The Bristol, Mado, Publican and others) are ditching the yardage and leaving tables in the buff. And no, we’re not talking exposed particleboard. With the nude dining ’tude, restaurant designers are now putting a premium on drop-dead materials and finishes. At The Bristol, four-inch-thick cedar tables are all stained in slightly different colors for a wabi-sabi ode to nature, while at Province, chef/ owner Randy Zweiban opted for cork tables and wood frames. “It helps with the sound, and it gives it this clean, modern feel,” he says. And over at Urban Belly, salvaged wooden plants from Indonesian ships and Chinese Elmwood tables make a can’t-miss design statement. The eco silver lining to the new trend? The massive water and energy savings that come from not using linens. –A.A.M. SWANK PLANKS From top: The communal table at Publican; reclaimed wood at Mana; cork tops at Province; wood on every surface at Avec.

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The Bearable Lightness of... Shopping With a building designed by superstar architect Renzo Piano and hallways filled with iconic works of contemporary art, the Art Institute of Chicago knew a generic gift shop would be no way to cap off the visitor experience. Enter award-winning retail designer Charles Sparks, an Art Institute alum who was hired to create a merchandise space that would blend seamlessly into the architecture. “Renzo has developed very refined details that bring a sense of lightness to everything he does,” Sparks says. “We tried to promote a feeling of the ‘comfortably modern.’” Sparks hoped to follow Piano’s example in the retail shop by creating clarity of space and a soft, tonal effect. “A sense of lightness comes from visually anchoring the casework to the flooring material. And the casework on the perimeters blends with the light finishes of the walls,” says Sparks. The outdoors come inside by way of a window wall that grants visitors an expansive view of Millennium Park to the north. “In a cultural institution, the shops become another way to reinforce the message of the institution,” says Sparks. “One must get it right.” –C.C.


Bare Naked Tables

Inside the Modern Wing Shop at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Paint-ron Saint? So what does the father of American modern architecture have to do with the latest in paint swatches? This month, Brit paint company Farrow & Ball introduces the Hollyhock Collection, a limited-edition spectrum of colors inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollywood-based Hollyhock house, which will receive a portion of proceeds. Earth and garden tones in Farrow & Ball’s signature chalky matte finish have been created to complement the 1921 structure and the original, surrounding 36 acres of estate (11 acres of which were donated to the city of L.A. in 1927 for use as a public park). The kicker? They’re all zero VOC, part of the company’s just-launched nontoxic campaign, which includes an expanded line of eco finishes. $79.50 per gallon, at Farrow & Ball, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 105B. –A.A.M.



CHIPS AHOY Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and the paints it inspired.

A black-and-white room gets a burst of color thanks to Flor’s Sitting Pretty rug kit.

Tile in Style A longtime designer secret has opened its first retail store on the Clybourn corridor: Flor, the Elmhurst-based purveyor of modular floor coverings, has been selling carpet tiles to industry pros and DIYers alike through its website since 2002. Initially popular in commercial settings, the carpet-tile concept has crept onto the residential front thanks to ease of installation, affordability and the expanded creative freedom of mixing colors and textures. According to Flor president Greg Colando, “online business has been great, but when you’re working with textiles, people are going to want to touch it at some point.” Chicago designers who dig Flor tell us why we should try it:

Into the Closet Ever wish you could find your favorite pair of


“Some clients want their spaces to look fashionable, so they like the idea of refreshing it themselves without a designer. For myself, as a designer, I prefer to think of carpet as a kind of modular furniture rather than a finish surface attached to the structure.” GERARDO FITZ-GIBBON, AIA LEED AP, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PERKINS + WILL/EVA MADDOX BRANDED ENVIRONMENTS

“I love their sustainability story [Flor customers can bring used tiles to the store for recycling] and the fact that they are the fi rst company to introduce a Climate Neutral product. The TacTiles help make it easier for the installers to install their tiles, and it reduces the environmental impact of adhesives during the carpet installation.” ANN CHIN, LEED AP, SENIOR DESIGNER AT EASTLAKE STUDIO

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Louboutin pumps in your closet as easily as you can find your favorite Crock-Pot in the kitchen? Look no further. Renowned cabinetmaker NEFF Kitchens of Toronto has branched out from organizing kitchens to streamlining the closet experience with the NEFF of Chicago Valet Closet collection. Clients can choose from the ornate Victorian Collection—combed by hand with a faux patina—or the streamlined Polo Collection with vertical divisions and stitched leather trim. But the appearance is only the beginning. The corner space of most closets doesn’t normally lend itself to useful application, but by putting in a rotating chrome spiral hanger, NEFF can make corners hold up to 60 garments. Try that on for size. Prices range from $10,000 to as much as $100,000. –C.C. HANGUPS The Polo Collection luxury closet from NEFF.


“Flor has come so far when it comes to enhancing commercial and residential spaces, both contemporary and traditional. The easy adhesive installation is a great technical feature. I have them in my home, too—with small kids, it helps to be able to change them on an as-needed basis.”



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Marc Sadker’s Tress lights, price upon request at


TRENDS! Ted Muehling’s Moth Lantern, $549, at

Tord Boontje’s Future Flora light, $97, at

Ross Lovegrove’s Pod Lens lights, $144, at

Hang Time By Wendy Wong

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Konstantin Grcic’s Mayday hanging lamp, $125, at

It’s high time to chuck the idea that lanterns come solely in paper form, as designers light the way this season with a crop of hanging lights that are far from your garden-variety orbs. First up, there’s Tord Boontje’s Future Flora light, with a shiny, silver, wings-on-air presence that reminds us of a futuristic butterfly poised for flight. Then there’s British designer Ross Lovegrove, whose industrial-looking Pod Lens

lights are modeled after flower buds but have distinctly industrial leanings (think minimalist traffic signals). And for the truly unusual, Ted Muhling’s sculptural porcelain Moth Lantern for Nymphenburg brings the moth dangerously, deliciously close to the flame. Its subtle wing cutouts team up with a candle’s flicker to create the illusion of a hovering, fluttering insect. Now let there be light!



Out Of The Park! Two megawatt architects add a dose of design daring to Millennium Park

By Thomas Connors | Photography by Greg Gillis

URBAN CONCH Catch a streaming film inside Zaha Hadid’s shell-like pavilion.

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As if the Art Institute of Chicago’s newly opened Modern Wing—with its soaring footbridge to Millennium Park—weren’t enough to up the already considerable appeal of the design, art and music-rich urban oasis, visitors are now being lured by an additional spectacle: Two temporary, people-friendly pavilions built there by a pair of the most wildly creative architects working today, Ben van Berkel of UNStudio in Amsterdam and London-based Zaha Hadid. Keystones of the Burnham Plan Centennial festivities (organized to celebrate architect Daniel Burnham’s 1909 design for reviving the city), these eye-catching structures pay homage to Burnham’s vision while reminding the world that, despite some less-than-forward-looking gestures, Chicago remains a city open to architectural innovation. “We were looking for something that would be highly visible, free and open to the public—something that could stimulate discussion and excitement about how we think about the place Chicago is and where it’s going in the future,” says Emily Harris, executive director of the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee. “And with Millennium Park being, in a sense, the latest descendant of Burnham’s plan for combining open

space with the cultural life of the city, these pavilions just seemed like a perfect convergence.” In selecting Hadid and van Berkel for the project, the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee—in collaboration with Millennium Park Inc., the Art Institute and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs—exhibited a go-for-the gold attitude. Pritzger Prize winner Hadid, whose Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati was touted by The New York Times as “the most important American building to be completed since the end of the Cold War,” is renowned for seemingly unbuildable designs and mind-blowing schemes that make Frank Gehry’s work appear timid. Similarly, van Berkel’s highconcept buildings—such as the streamlined spiral of his Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany— reinforce the art of architecture, reminding everyone that there’s more to a building than a roof and walls. Hadid’s pavilion, fashioned from sturdy Starfire fabric stretched over an aluminum frame, suggests both a shell and the nature-inspired form of a Noguchi lamp. Inside, a film by UK-based Chicagoan Thomas Gray plays across the building’s surface, tracing Chicago’s transformation since 1909. Van Berkel’s structure, meanwhile, is more rectilinear—two planes linked by torqued forms that create openings to the sky, through which one can take a gander at the city’s skyline. One is an enclosed shape; the other, an open form. (“Imagine Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House without the columns and glass walls,” suggests Joseph Rosa, chief curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute.) Each is guaranteed to make even the most casual observer give the built environment a second glance.

GOING DUTCH Ben van Berkel’s pavilion opens to the Chicago sky.



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1. Bill Keating’s dynamic Dream Forest shines in this North Shore garden. 2. Zelda Werner’s Enigma and Revelation. 3. Aurora Cañero’s El Lunático graces Kathy Taslitz’s suburban garden. 4. A sculpture on the grounds of Janis Kanter’s home in Sawyer, Michigan. 5. The vivid blue of this piece by Fletcher Benton echoes the hue of Lake Michigan in the distance.


Way Off The Wall! Cutting-edge collectors create a new breed of art-yard chic

By Thomas Connors | Photography by Greg Gillis

For some, ornamental trees, lush ground cover and a splash of color do the trick. For others, native grasses are the way to go. And then there are those for whom a garden is more like a blank canvas: the perfect setting for art that seems utterly at home outdoors. Along the quiet, leafy streets of the North Shore, fine façades and fastidious landscaping are the rule of the land. But as you round the bend in one neighborhood, it’s Zelda Werner’s Enigma and Revelation that grabs your attention. Set on a manicured lawn with trees whose tops are trimmed to mushroom-cap perfection, this massive series of triangular panels, punctured with elliptical openings, seems to collapse and expand as one moves around it. For the family who took up ... 40 |


Summer 2009


... residence here in the mid ’70s, having large-scale sculpture around the property was as natural as planting annuals in spring. Just outside the front door is another Werner piece, a totemic, phoenix-like form whose whiteness suggests the bones Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint. And out back, overlooking Lake Michigan, pieces by Cobert Collins, Fletcher Benton and Barry Tinsley are disposed across the lawn like gems on velvet. “My parents didn’t buy thinking, ‘I want a piece for this spot in the garden,’” says the daughter of the family. “It was the sculpture and then the garden. You get the piece, and then you think about where to site it. In fact, there came a point where there was more work than that garden could handle, and we convinced my father to buy land in Michigan, where we started a private, 13-acre sculpture park.” The family’s art outpost in Michigan is the antithesis of its suburban spread. A former azalea farm, the property comprises fields of grasses and blackberry bushes, a grove of aspen trees, and two ponds. While the roughness of the landscape might suggest no need to be too particular about where sculpture is placed, that’s not the case at all. “We don’t just plunk things down,” says the daughter. “For a piece by Darrin Hollowell—a kneeling man—we got a big rock to serve as a base, then put it in a clearing, where sunlight through the trees dapples it. And we mow paths with the idea that you never know where they will take you. You’re never quite sure how long it will take you to see a sculpture.” Even a small city garden can support a sculptural element, no matter how large. “I always like the sculptural piece to be big, bold, whimsical at times,” states designer Patrizio Fradiani. So it was no problem for him when a Lincoln Park client came into possession of a pair of playful Beasties by Wisconsin native, Dennis Pearson. When integrating the colorful, cartoonish fiberglass creatures into a tight city space, Fradiani opted for a simple background of pachysandra, yellow euonymus, hostas for texture, ferns and Hakone grass, a soft, lime-green grass that does well in the shade. Interior designer and artist Kathy Taslitz cites the Surrealists as a major influence on her work, but when it comes to orchestrating her garden, she’s more of a minimalist. Her classic North Shore Colonial features a traditional garden, where a flagstone terrace leads to a pool and a dining area under a marquis. Formal boxwood hedges and a bed bursting 42 |


Summer 2009

with roses are among the eye-pleasing details. “I’m not YARD GALLERY! From an abundant collector, because I think everything needs top: Barry Tinsley’s Pottawattamie breathing space. I’m not going to collect artwork just to Crossing in have a lot of interesting things all over the place. That Michigan; Beastie, by Dennis Pearson, would give me a headache.” in Lincoln Park. Currently at work on a large-scale piece for the sculpture garden of a rehab facility in Malibu, Taslitz has adorned her own oasis with a mix of work, both hers and others’. Aurora Cañero’s El Lunático (a bronze piece that references the way Galileo was perceived by the authorities) rests in a raised flower bed. An antique armillary sphere (a representation of the earth positioned inside a mesh of hoops, symbolizing the course of the planets), purchased in England, sits poolside. Pieces Taslitz designed, such as Old Leaf—a bronze work that combines a botanical surface with a vaguely animal-like shape—migrate about the garden. “When I’m creating something for a client,” relates Taslitz, “I think, Would I want to live with that? I may not have the room or the right space for it, but in a perfect world, would it be something I’d want to own? And when I’m working on a commission, I get very involved in siting the work. Because I am so influenced by nature and because I love including art with the natural world, I want to create the perfect piece for the perfect spot.”




Sit and Spin!



By Alexandria Abramian-Mott

Established & Sons Memory armchair, $8,000, at Luminaire.

This just in: A chair may not be just a chair. It might be art. Or sculpture. Or a blob. The latest in high-end seating has the biggest names in the design game turning chairs into high thrones to the imagination. Using out-there materials with even more out-there designs, this year’s Salone Internazaionale del Mobile in Milan took a new tack on wack. So are you ready to table your Bergeres in favor of a little more fun, or maybe even—dare we say it—high art? We say, unseat the predictable and take a stand for fun.

Patricia Urquiola’s Crinoline chair for B&B Italia, $4,870, at

Phlippe Starck and Eugeni Quitlet’s Out/In high chair for Driade.

Ineke Hans’ Fly armchair for Arco, $2,990, at

Chair and stool from the Up Series by Gaetano Pesce, price upon request, at Luminaire.

Richard Woods and Sebastian Wrong’s Bricks & Mortar chair for Established & Sons.

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(without the designer price tag.) $1000 one-time purchase credit (5k min. purchase - some restrictions apply.)

No charge on standard installation & delivery 50% savings on thousands of in-stock silks Complimentary in-home consultation












Marrakesh Expressed Old-world weaves and mod-minded Moroccan designs take to the floor at this off-the-beaten-path rug shop By Craig Keller | Photography by Amber Meirs FLOORED! Nina and Mark Hannoun surrounded by wool works of art at their Lakeview shop, Hannoun Rugs From Morocco.

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Nina Hannoun’s grandfather—legendary Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame—may have preferred the surrey with the fringe on top. But at the unassuming Moroccan rug shop Nina and her husband, Mark, run in Lakeview, the fringe comes courtesy of flat-weave kilims and high-pile Berber carpets. Hannoun Rugs From Morocco— likely the only brick-and-mortar dealer in the U.S. stocked exclusively with Moroccan rugs—has caught the eye of webresearching interior designers nationwide, including Chicago’s Nate Berkus and Kara Mann. It’s music to the ears of Nina, whose versatility in blending fine art, home décor and social entertaining (with services including interior-design consultations) was first stoked by her famous grandfather’s wife, Dorothy, an Upper West Side beacon of Manhattan hospitality. The Hannouns don’t sell Picassos at their store or on their website, but, like the Modern art that once hung on the Rodgers’ walls, they understand the value of blending classic technique and contemporary ideals. The rugs they sell are chameleonic, functional works of art whose compositions evoke abstract paintings but elude period categorization. Mark and Nina Hannoun decided they wouldn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes when, four years ago, they opened their shop on an antiques-dealer-strewn strip of North Lincoln Avenue. Unlike, say, exclusive dealers (such as New York’s Doris Leslie Blau), who carpet-bomb rug browsers with vintage floor coverings starting at around $30,000, the down-to-earth Hannouns (he, a former Middle Eastern restaurateur; she, a trained abstract painter) price the majority of their merch around $2,000, with discounted rugs starting as low as $200.

“They have such different personalities,” Nina says, describing the signature patterns endemic to the 15 or so tribes comprising the Hannouns’ supply network, which they visit a few times each year on buying trips. Most of the weavers are Berber women, who’ve hewed to their indigenous art form for centuries. “You can really feel the person behind them, and the wool itself has so many comforting associations,” she adds. Mark, a native Jordanian whose fluent Arabic ensures fair negotiations and preferred product specifications with merchant reps, seconds the notion. “When you visit these villages—like Khemisset in the mid Atlas Mountains, where they’re known for the kilim, or flat-weave, style—what you find in the weekly markets looks just like the hills or farms around them. It’s 100 percent from nature, including the dyes.” It was the same subtle, organically derived embellishment that inspired Modernists like Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames to accent their interiors with Moroccan carpets. Today, that aesthetic lures local desigers like Berkus and Mann—as well as designers on the coasts, who find the couple’s free-shipping policy hard to resist. “Increasingly, we’ve seen most of our business go online,” says Nina. But in the end, it’s the synergy between the business’s owners that seals the deal, with Mark using his background to forge relationships with weaving communities and Nina using her skills to appraise rugs as she might a painting. “Moroccan rugs are not the sort of mass-produced motif knockoffs you see in Crate & Barrel,” Nina says. “Contrary to what is too often an American point of view, it’s about the expression of identity, not its suppression.” 3817 N. Lincoln Ave., 773.248.0033,

MASTER CLASS Clockwise from far left: Brynne Rinderknecht in a recent bedroom project; a moody bedroom for a bachelor client; a high-drama installation that’s picture perfect.



Boudoir Star A former Playboy set designer crafts a new set of queen-size bedroom skills By Alexandria Abramian-Mott | Photography by Dane Tashima

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that with the elements that you put into that room, you should feel something from them. There should be nothing superficial about it.” Or, if it is superficial—as in the case of one shoe-obsessed client for whom the designer turned an antique birdcage into a leatherlined hanging display case for a fave pair of Pierre Cardin pumps—it should register as a knockout detail. With her set producer’s eye, Rinderknecht is an ace when it comes to just-so lighting (she believes in all adjustable wattage, with some fixtures at face level to avoid a ghostly shadow) and making spaces that are highly flattering. (Note: Mirrors on the ceiling? Not so much. But mottled antiqued mirrors on the walls that reflect a not 100 percent accurate view of ourselves? Big thumbs up from Brynne.) And it turns out that the bedroom shtick is actually a highly savvy business plan: Most clients, says Rinderknecht, end up hiring her to decorate other rooms in the house after the bedroom installation. “I really get to know their style by starting in the bedroom,” she says. “I find out what turns them on, and that provides invaluable information for designing the rest of the house.”

Brynne’s Bedroom Rules 1. Mattress Get a Hastens mattress if you can afford it. If not, Temperpedics are great. 2. TVs Avoid at all costs. It becomes a distraction and deters people from having sex. 3. Mohair headboards They’re so plush and yummy, and mohair wears better than velvet. 4. Pillow Overload Four max. If you’re taking pillows off your bed every night, you’re wasting time when you could be doing other things… 5. Sheets Only judge sheets by how they feel against your body. Don’t get caught up in a brand or thread count.


As a decorator specializing in bedrooms, Brynne Rinderknecht has had more than a few out-there requests: One client wanted a stripper pole installed. Another insisted that a vintage gymnastic vault be part of the space. No one, as of yet, has requested mirrors on the ceiling—at least not since she launched her company, Bedrooms by Brynne, in 2007. Since then, Rinderknecht, who decorated over-the-top bedroom sets for Playboy magazine for more than nine years, has carved a queensize niche for herself as Chicago’s go-to girl for whimsically designed, highly stylized sleeping quarters. “Bedrooms are where you should have great sleep and great sex,” says the 30-year-old designer. “You want things to be perfect in most of your house, but this is a room where you should lose that vanity, where you can let yourself go and even be playful.” Couples, bachelors and would-be Carrie Bradshaws have all conscripted The School of the Art Institute of Chicago grad, whose style runs from traditional with a twist to Balineseinspired retreats to what Rinderknecht refers to as “totally surreal spaces. People can be bashful about talking about their relationship to their bedroom environment. I just feel



Built in the heart of the city, for the heart of your home. L O C AT I O N S







Stack Attack!



By Alexandria Abramian-Mott

Forget crumbling economies. The latest in cutting-edge design is all about going skyhigh, and higher. How about a color-popping storage system making a high-rise statement in your all-white office? Even if you’re angling for more abstract terrain—cue Stephen Johnson’s new Wonderland candleholder collection and Michael Geertsen’s vase, which looks more like a teetering tower of cups—this is one walk in the clouds you won’t want to miss.

Stray Dog Designs’ Bright Color Hat Box Set, $625, at

Ingo Maurer & Axel Schmid’s 5 Pack with adjustable pendants, $900, at Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312.664.9582.

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Summer 2009

Shay Alkalay’s Stack storage system with 13 “floating” drawers, $6,100, at Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312.664.9582.

Stephen Johnson’s Wonderland candleholders, $45 each, at I.D., 3337 N. Halsted St., 773.755.4343.

Michael Geertsen’s Closely Separated Vase for Muuto, $150, at

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Confessions of a Shopaholic HOME FRONT

CB2’s fearless leader marches the brand across the country, around the world, and back to a sleek new Chicago headquarters


By Amalie Drury | Photography by Bob Coscarelli

PRODUCT PRIESTESS! Right: Marta Calle in the CB2 offices. Above: The Piazza sofa (“modern, sexy and incredibly comfortable,” says Calle), and the Alpine White bed, which exemplifies “modern living at a great value.”

As Chicago-based furniture and home accessories purveyor CB2 (the lower-priced Crate & Barrel offshoot) races toward a 10-year anniversary and celebrates the opening of its sixth retail location (in L.A.), the brand is fresh from a major thumbs-up from the corporate bigwigs this spring: permission to leave the nest and move into its own offices in a converted loft building on Ashland Avenue. Marta Calle, 53, is brand director for CB2 and queen of the new digs, and as her beloved troops (“I don’t like being interviewed as a person, because it’s really about our vision,” she says) test-drove their new swivel chairs and started setting up vignettes of the latest yet-to-hit-the-shelves CB2 finds, Calle gave us the grand tour and talked a little shop.

a groovy aesthetic: Eames, Pucci and ethnic art. My dad worked for Herman Miller. I’d wanted to be a buyer since I was 5, and after college, I became a manager at Sanger Harris, which was like the Marshall Field’s of the South. Then I was a merchandise manager for Ley, which is like the Target of Colombia. I moved to Chicago to work for a business called Spaces, which aspired to be like Crate & Barrel but with Container Store-type merchandise. I got into product design with a company called Tag—I owe my career today to its owner, Norman Glassberg, who interviewed me for a year and then sent me to India on my own six months after I started. I later worked for Crate & Barrel for two years before transferring to CB2.

Looks like you’re still unpacking. Yeah, right now it’s a

How do you hunt down CB2 product?

blank slate, but in a year, it’ll be a full-fledged idea lab. We’re thrilled the mother ship allowed us to move out as a team. It’s a real vote of confidence for CB2. We’ve built the brand slowly, always trying to make sure our concept and ideas are fresh. There’s no room for “me too” in this business.

Five or six of us on the team are shoppers, and we travel the world and shop. I’ve been to India over 60 times in my career. I love the craftsmanship, the people, the color. Sometimes we have a vision of what we want, and we ask someone to draw it for us. Other times, we’ll walk into a factory and they’ll have stuff ready for us to see.

Long story short: How’d you land this awesome job?

My parents are from Colombia, and we moved to West Hollywood when I was nine. They had 52 |


Summer 2009

In the office, we have trend meetings, where we all bring pictures How do you decide what’s cool?

of things we’re into—color swatches, cutouts from magazines, shirts—and we pin them up on a board. Sometimes a pattern emerges, and we’ll say, ‘OK, it’s yellow, it’s high-gloss, it’s baroque.’ We scan the images of everything we like and make a book that goes out to agents, factories and designers, so they’ll know what we’re looking for. I’ve never really explained the process in this much detail, but why shouldn’t it be transparent? It takes talent to filter, to edit. It’s not a science. It’s an art. My husband and I moved to Humboldt Park two years ago. Sometimes I just want to hear people speak Spanish! Our new house is a green house, and it’s modern, with a lot of volume. It’s the party house for our family, and our diningroom table seats 16. Half the chairs are Eames; half are Hippie chairs from CB2. We have outdoor furniture from CB2, plus furnishings in our guest bedrooms, and lots of accessories here and there. But we also shop at Design Within Reach, or places like that sell industrial stuff. We buy art when we travel. So while we incorporate things from CB2, it’s a blend. It’s still us talking.

Your house must look like a CB2 catalog.

1112 N. Dearborn #4

1550 N. State #803

This is the highest level unit with French doors over looking Dearborn! 3,200 sq ft on one level with private elevator access and gracious space throughout. Classic detailing with crown moulding and tray ceilings. Cooks kitchen with eat-in island & fabulous appliances. 2-car attached garage included. Private roof top deck space. 3 BR/ 2.1 BA.

Beautiful Gold Coast home in spectacular Benjamin Marshall building! Amazing views from every angle of this gem, featuring new windows, separate living & dining rooms, hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace, new master bath, & gracious room sizes. Large kitchen perfect for entertaining. Building offers exercise room, storage, 24 hr doorman. 2 BR/2 BA.




2247 N. Burling

2110 N. Kenmore

Gorgeous four-story Greystone in Lincoln Park. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout. Grand master suite. Spa bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and dual vanity. Large gourmet eat-in kitchen with chef’s grade appliances. Two large outdoor areas with roof deck above 2-car garage. 6 BR/ 5.1 BA.

Better than new 5,600 sq ft home with gorgeous limestone facade. Unbelievable finishes. Great room opens to two-tiered deck. Top floor penthouse with huge roof deck and outdoor fireplace. LL with “leather” tile, heated floors, huge family room, additional bedroom and mud room. Attached 2car garage. 5 BR/5 .1 BA.



2026 N. Seminary

600 N. Kingsbury #1907

One of the original homes built on the James Morgan farm in the Sheffield Historic district of Lincoln Park in 1893, this fabulous residence offers original old world charm with today’s modern amenities. 6 gracious bedrms. Walnut paneled library. 37.5 ft wide lot w/ a grass yard, bluestone patio, and amazing landscaping. Roof top garage deck with grill, refrigerator, extensive landscaping and lighting. 6 BR/5.1 BA.

Top floor duplex penthouse w/ amazing views of the city. 3,200 sq ft of pure luxury with top of the line kitchen, great room & separate dining room. Custom built-ins and beautiful custom wet bar. Top floor master suite with enormous bath, steam shower, huge tub. Private roof deck with built-in grill. 4 deeded parking spaces in private garage for $125K . 3 BR/3.1 BA.





Fancy Schmanzy A screen-printed brocade collage designed by Molinar.

Mixed Media Connor’s liquor cabinet with hairpin legs and veneered photos.

Pattern Recognition Molinar’s Rx textile screen-printed on cotton.

Collab Fab Two creative minds from different design arenas join forces to make furniture that’s more than the sum of its parts By Courtney Cregan Photography by Anthony Tahlier

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Daily Double Molinar and Conner created one-of-a-kind chairs. Suiting fabric with a personalized screen-printed design is combined with chrome tube frames and ash-wood backs.

The 1970s was a decade of peace, love and a fair amount of questionable design. But when furniture designer Bladon Conner came upon a set of chairs from the period, he saw past the vinyl seats and woven cane backs to recognize what he called “the beautiful simplicity of the frame.” Known for his clever, modern reuse of reclaimed furniture, Conner is an unparalleled mix master: He routinely dismantles pieces and reassembles one-of-a-kind objects that go from mere function to high art form. So when he joined forces with graphic and textile designer Rebecca Molinar—think historically and socially implicative printed patterns on brilliant brocades—to create a set of chairs for equally creative clients, the results were nothing short of inspired. “The couple wanted to use the vintage chair frame, but have

me create a fabric that was representative of who they are together,” says Molinar. A contemporary family crest pulls from a range of personal details: The military vibe was inspired by one of the clients’ father’s service as an air force colonel, while a camera lens was incorporated as an ode to the other’s career as a photographer. The project was such a success, Conner and Molinar are planning to expand on their home-design collaboration. “We want to go to this old aircraft boneyard we heard about and attempt to salvage things from there and incorporate them into refurbished furniture pieces,” says Molinar. The duo intends to continue to use the same combination of Conner’s vintage furniture and Molinar’s upholstery. Says Molinar: “We love how the design plays off of the furniture piece and vice versa.”


Table Talk Bladon Conner’s Elizabeth Street table with New York City graffiti image.




Preview Night October 1, 2009 Purchase Tickets in Advance WHILE ENJOYING THE FAIR VISIT … OPEN HOUSE October 3 S P O N SO R S

Open through December 3


In Pink! By Alexandria Abramian-Mott



Ready for a new-and-improved play on one of design’s most misunderstood hues? This season, it’s a full-tilt, make-no-mistake take on pink—and you can forget about pale rose and first-blush pastels. This is a fully saturated pink that’s impossible to miss, and just the ticket for giving rooms a taste of playful punch. So whether you’re looking to go big with Ligne Roset’s latest reissue of the Pumpkin chair, or you want some smaller takes on the tone with Hable Construction’s magenta mementos, there’s no better way to get out of the red, and into the pink!

Pierre Paulin’s Pumpkin chair, around $1,800, at Ligne Roset, 440 N. Wells St., 312.222.9300.

Danish Crafts’ Electric Pink Rocking Sheep in lambskin and varnished pine, $575, at

Moooi’s Lolita table lamp, $1,078, available at Haute Living, 222 W. Kinzie St., 312.329.9000.

Kate Spade’s Holly Heights accent plate, $22, at Macy’s, 111 N. State St., 312.781.1000.

Ingibjorg Hanna’s Raven Bird Hanger, $32, at

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Petite Baroque Bombe in magenta, $8,250 as shown, at

149 W. Kinzie Street Chicago, IL 60654 1/2 block East of Merchandise Mart 312.222.0167

25,000 sq ft Gallery filled with 17th-21st Century Furniture & Objects d’Art Serving Chicagoland for 37 years




HE REAL DEA teve Somogyi i rniz i ri n- r worker’s cottage

Split Shift Designer/realtor Steve Somogyi plays it both ways to create a win-win for home-hungry clients Real-estate agents and interior designers don’t always see eye to eye. Which shouldn’t be a surprise: Their motives are often completely at odds. While designers would rather see clients buy fixers, realtors usually root for the higher-priced, already-fixed variety. SteveSomogyi—both a realtor and an interior designer—is a crosspollinated exception. Perhaps that explains why he helped a couple with young children to go after a single family home that wasn’t really appropriate for them—or even for sale. “They were coming from a Modernist high-rise and saw a cool, totally open contemporary that won an AIA award. But it wasn’t on the market or family-friendly,” he explains. Somogyi contacted the owner and initiated the deal. Here’s the silver lining: “I also helped them enclose open areas with glass partitions that didn’t obstruct the views and eke out two proper children’s bedrooms,” says Somogyi, whose unlikely combination of skills often yields lightbulb-moment results. “People can’t always assess a property’s problems themselves, let alone solve them,” he says. “When I’m taking clients through a property that doesn’t look like it will work for them on the surface, I’m always throwing out suggestions to make them realize what they can do. They can get a really good deal on those properties, so I help them use their imaginations,” says Somogyi, who was urged by friends to become a designer after the number he did on his own decrepit loft in River North. That was 1999. In 2001, he snagged a job with star broker Chaz Walters, then went out on his own in 2004 while studying part-time at Harrington. Now 32, Somogyi is an agent with the North Clybourn Group and heads a threeperson namesake design firm ( He’s full of ideas that enable his clients to ‘buy low’—or, at least, lower than expected—and renovate economically. Such as? “Every case is personal, but as a designer and Realtor, I have a great idea of what makes an impact and difference. I look at things in terms of scale and flow, and notice things most people in either profession don’t see,” he points out. For a family of five converting a three-flat into a single family, Somogyi suggested downscaling an oversize kitchen island to make way for a ’50s-style, corner-hugging banquette and table, then transform dead space in the formal dining area into cleverly concealed storage area. Instead of tearing down a Victorian frame home, Somogyi 58 |


Summer 2009

showed another family how to mine its potential. Dead-end halls became miniature activity areas for dressing, working and reading with the addition of space-enlarging mirrors, small-scale furnishings and built-ins, while new millwork gave the rooms neoclassical symmetry and more design significance. “Updating these spaces makes them more beautiful and functional. But the changes also add value, because they make a property more attractive when my client decides to sell,” he says. Sounds like a deal to us.

INTERIOR MOTIVES Above, from left: An old-school harvest table meets new-school metal chairs in a vintage church loft conversion; an Eames chaise shares space with a Biedermeier chest; Somogyi upgrades economical knockoff chairs from with new fabric and pairs them with a splurgeworthy desk from Orange Skin.


By Lisa Skolnik | Photography by Nolan Wells

Space Cadets



Designers of the moment take old man Sullivan on a cutting-edge trip to create beyond-cool office digs By Lisa Cregan | Photography by Chris Barrett, Jamie Berg and Peter McCullough

Beetlejuice he ain’t, but the ghost of Louis Sullivan, Chicago’s legendary maestro of architectural embellishment, was almost certainly peering over the shoulders of Gensler designers Carlos Martinez and Anne Gibson as they drew up the plans for their firm’s new offices. That’s because the 55,000 square feet of fresh new space the celebrated architecture firm planned to occupy was carved straight from the old retail heart of Sullivan’s iconic Carson Pirie Scott building at 11 East Madison Street. “As architects, we’re storytellers,” says Lamar Johnson, managing principal at Gensler, of the mandate he gave Martinez and Gibson. “Our office space certainly needed to tell the story of our legacy, but it also needed to tell the story of Louis Sullivan and the legacy of architecture in this great city.” Egad. So all Martinez and Gibson had to do was pay proper obeisance to old man Sullivan and his 1899 masterpiece, layer in the technological bells and whistles expected by their colleagues—180 architects, designers and consultants who critique office space for a living—and, while they were at it, reference Chicago’s long, obsessive love affair with architecture. Nice assignment! 60 |


Summer 2009

Unfazed, Martinez, a Gensler principal (and one of Chicago’s most reliable arbiters of cool) and Gibson, the firm’s design director, decided they’d take their cues from the classic Sullivan touches still punctuating the floor: rows and rows of tall columns with theatrically carved capitals, decorative terra-cotta tiles surrounding the original triple-pane windows, and a circle of colorful stone mosaics gracing the floor of the former ‘Ladies Waiting and Writing’ room. “Louis Sullivan’s genius was in balancing intricate ornament against rigid architectural forms,” says Martinez, who points to the way the powerful upper form of this “Chicago School” building emerges from its impossibly detailed, ornamental iron base. “We tried to respond to that juxtaposition, but in our own modern way.” Somehow (or maybe, as you’d expect), they pulled it off. Since arriving in Chicago 10 years ago, Gensler has been an enormous success, designing award-winning interiors for clients like Wilson, McDonald’s, BP and The Center on Halsted. And the new offices are as much brochure as they are workplace. Take the reception desk, with its sleek naturalwood top and base covered in ...

OFFICE ACE! Clockwise from top: An original exterior wall is now a dramatic interior statement; Gensler design director Anne Gibson and principal Carlos Martinez; the communal meeting area.

THEN AND WOW From top: A floor-to-ceiling door is covered with a photo of Sullivan’s original stairway; the cafeteria’s table is a repurposed bowling-alley lane; conference room windows feature quotes from Sullivan and Daniel Burnham.

... orange and magenta felt fabric by famed Dutch designer Hella Jongerius. “It stands out as art,” says Martinez. The desk’s drama is further heightened by the contrast with the remarkable inkjet-on-steel architectural plans printed on the wall behind it. “It’s a time capsule of the last 10 years,” says Gibson. “Every one of our projects is up there.” Turn around and check out the elevator doors. They’ve been stripped of just their first layer of paint, exposing a cross-section view of 30 years’ worth of color fashions. (The elevators were once open metal cages.) And the adjoining walls are studded with cubbyholes that provide a rotating art show. This month, each employee was asked to wear “really cool shoes,” a photo was taken, and each photo got its own cubby, a sly wink to those aware the space was once the Carson Pirie shoe department. Moving on, visitors come face-to-face with a floorto-ceiling photograph of an ornate iron staircase that ironically conceals—what else?—the original ornate iron staircase. Fire code forbade leaving the Sullivandesigned stairs open to the lobby so, lest those flights fade

Sullivan’s columns tower like watchful patriarchs overseeing young designers in their sleek cubes.

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from memory, Gibson and Martinez mounted a life-size display of them in front of the real thing. In the numerous conference rooms, concrete floors pair with steel or glass walls softened by curtains of gold velvet—all chosen, believe it or not, for their practicality. With the help of handy magnets, the steel walls do double duty as display areas, and the glass walls can be scribbled on with dry erase markers. As for the velvet? “It’s the best acoustical material ever,” Martinez declares. Martinez also felt strongly that the concrete floors be the color of concrete, that the steel walls be the color of steel, and that the wood be, well, wood. “These need to be timeless spaces,” he explains. Alongside Sullivan’s ebullient embellishments, the strong, straightforward materials give the finished ensemble a power far beyond its humble components. There’s probably no better place to see that effect than in the open-plan work area where Sullivan’s columns tower like watchful patriarchs overseeing the work of the young designers in their sleek, modern cubes. Martinez and Gibson note that they arranged the entire office for “very democratic” window proximity. The spaces immediately adjacent to the enormous, 10-foot-by-18foot windows are communal workstations, so there are no ‘window offices.’ Even the designers whose desks sit in the center of the floor get a generous wash of sunlight. An already youthful vibe is accentuated by vibrant murals of children’s art that decorate some of the walls. They’re on loan from Marwen, a nonprofit organization that offers free visual-arts programs to needy Chicago children. As the final flourish, to fill in the timeline of design history and furnish the space, Martinez and Gibson chose contemporary classics in the form of modern furniture and fixtures by Florence Knoll, Eames, Moroso, Le Courbusier and Castiglioni, the sinuous, sculptural quality of which provides the perfect final bridge linking Gilded Age sensuality with Internet Age efficiency. “Carlos and Anne really made this space fit our culture,” says Johnson, “but it also honors Louis Sullivan. From the first day here, I could feel the buzz on the floor, and the energy and excitement has continued every single day.”



1 1 9 W E S T H U B B A R D . F I F T H F L O O R . C H I C A G O , I L L I N O I S 6 0 6 5 4 . T E L . 3 1 2 8 9 3 7 5 9 0 . W W W. K A R A M A N N . C O M

Love Bugs



By Alexandria Abramian-Mott

Don’t call the exterminator just yet. The latest crop of creepy-crawlies comes with fully approved designer cred. Light things up with Brit artist Debra Franses Bean’s Artbag, a table lamp that captures butterflies in mid-flight. Opt for a Miss Tanaka dragonfly from Conran’s that actually “flies” from surface to surface as its suction feet grab and release. Or how about Stray Dog Designs’ papier-mâché snail, made from recycled cement bags and low-VOC paint? This snail may not win the race, but with the bug officially going around this season, who cares? Tord Boontje’s AllegroCrescendo speakers, price upon request at

John Derian’s Red Beetle plate, $48, at Jayson Home & Garden, 1885 N. Clybourn Ave., 800.472.1885.

Debra Franses Bean’s Artbag lamp, $900, at

Miss Tanaka Jungle Bugs, $6 each, at


Stray Dog Designs’ papiermâché snail, $198, at Anthropologie, 1120 State St., 312.255.1848.

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You Can Have it All in the City! This the perfect city retreat. Whether you are entertaining, or just relaxing, the wealth of on-site amenities provides superior convenience. Catch some rays at our newly renovated pool, get a great workout in our exclusive gym, or truly step out the door to the finest restaurants and shopping the city has to offer. N

Whole Foods Market On-Site


Attached Covered Parking

Rentals from


Outdoor Pool and Expansive Sundeck


Internet Lounge and Coffee Bar

Convertibles $1325 – $1600


Elegant Lobby with 24-hour Attendant


Public Transportation at Your Doorstep

One Bedroom $1595 – $1900


State-of-the-Art Cardio and Fitness Club


Ambra European Salon & Spa

Two Bedrooms $2495 – $2895


High-Tech Business Center


Oak Street, Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast Shopping


Located at 1 West Superior (Superior and State Street) Chicago, IL 60610



Farm Fresh Michigan’s Tryon Farm gives city dwellers an eco escape By Lisa Cregan Photography by John Hines and Marina Markopulus

Scratched your Thoreauvian itch lately? If not, take a long, slow Sunday swing around the bottom of Lake Michigan. Just short of the Michigan border you’ll find a place where fresh-mown alfalfa perfumes the air, long-legged herons circle overhead and wildflower-dotted paths connect six intimate clusters of modern homes and the conservation-minded homeowners who love them. It all sounds pretty dreamy, thanks to dreamers Eve and Ed Noonan. Their vision for this idyllic landscape, located just an hour outside of Chicago, became a place called Tryon Farm—170 acres of former dairy pastures just inland from

GREEN HOUSED! Clockwise from above: The Round House with top-floor sleeping porch; a Pond House; a post-and-beam in the Dune Settlement.

Long Beach, Indiana. The Noonans have spent the last six years building these small-footprint, eco-friendly, know-your-neighbor ‘settlements’ for like-minded Chicagoans. It’s kind of a utopian Mayberry by the lake for people who believe nature and great design can not only coexist, but that the two belong together. “We use insulation made from recycled blue jeans, but that doesn’t make good houses, it just makes good insulation,” says Ed. “It’s the social element that makes this place tick.” A third-generation Chicago architect who’s a champion of eco-friendly construction, Ed thinks most developers today are doing it all wrong. “Modern architecture is about being ecologically responsible, yes, but it’s also about community.” He calls his alternative “building in an accidental community—a community where meetings just happen.” For instance, over in the Farmstead Settlement— where pared-down white clapboard cottages mimic the original 1860s farm buildings—there’s the expected 66 |


Summer 2009

community garden (organic, of course), and it’s a popular gathering spot. But Eve and Ed also conceived more subtle instigators of neighborly communion—ideas like mailboxes grouped together with a bench alongside, common carparks instead of private garages, free firewood stacked next to handy pull carts, and narrow, winding roads, which, explains Eve, encourage people to drive slowly. Residents have no choice but to pull over and acknowledge their neighbors. Most of the 58 homes completed so far are connected by meadow paths that follow the natural routes beaten over the years by cows, farmers and deer. The houses are intentionally small and tidy, all under 1,900 square feet (with most around 1,000), reflecting Ed’s philosophy of architectural and ecological restraint. His firm, Chicago Associates Planners and Architects, has designed all but one of the houses so far. That one exception is a second home that award-winning architect Gary Beyerl created for his wife and 9-year-old daughter after learning about the community’s commitment to sustainable architecture. His design ...




OCTOBER 2-5 12th Floor

The Fair features an amazing anthology of works—ranging from rare antiquities to modern design. Fri. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tickets: $15 on site or online



Presenting a daylong shopping experience with new products, celebrity chefs, trunk shows, book signings and hospitality throughout 30 showrooms.

DreamHome, the design house at The Merchandise Mart, is extending its hours during this spectacular weekend of design.

1st-floor LuxeHome® Boutiques

Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Free Admission

1st Floor, North Lobby

Thurs. & Fri., October 1 & 2 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Sat. & Sun., October 3 & 4 10 a.m.–6 p.m.


... ethos doesn’t stray very far from Ed’s. The airy, light-filled house Beyerl built is 1,000 square feet of cedar, corrugated metal and found materials. A paint-spattered scaffold provides living room seating, and sliders open onto the inviting, tall-ceilinged screen porch. “Open these sliding doors, and suddenly you’re out in the woods,” he says, delighted. Since Tryon home buyers are deeded only a small strip of land around their houses (which sell for anywhere from $168,000 to $448,000), the bulk of the farm’s 170 acres is given over to perpetually protected communal space. “We think of this as a land condominium,” says Eve. “This is not a stake-out-my-territory, get-off-of-mylot kind of experience.” Grouped by style in their settlements, the modern buildings are a mélange of creative inspirations: soaring ceilings, bamboo or concrete floors, two-story screen

From left: Huge windows encourage indoor/outdoor living; clean-lined, colorful interiors boast lots of natural light in the Dune Settlement. courtyard.

porches, private courtyards, unexpected balconies, woodburning eco fireplaces and large windows framing long views to meadows, ponds or woodlands. “Even though the houses are clustered close, the largest windows are arranged facing the landscape, not the neighbors, because privacy is a very important part of a good community, too,” says Ed. Lincoln Park residents Kathy and Peter Bresler, parents of Alex, 14, and Abby, 12, were the first to be beguiled by the Woods Settlement, a cluster of tiny, vertical houses nestled amid oaks, dogwoods, sassafras and cranberry bushes. “We fell in love with the idea of building a modern house in the woods,” says Peter. Six years ago, he, Kathy and Ed conceived a 750-squarefoot Modernist retreat with views through the trees to creeks and meadows and a master bedroom that seems to float above the woodland landscape. They liked it so much that when they needed more space for growing kids, they built “Camp Bresler”—a 600-square-foot house a stone’s throw away—instead of building a new, bigger home to accommodate their needs. It has a tiny kitchen, a great room with a wall of bunk beds, an indoor/outdoor room with glass doors opening onto a screened porch, and a nest-like loft for practicing yoga 68 |


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or contemplating the moon through an oval skylight. “The moon and the stars out here are so bright against the dark sky,” marvels Eve. “Sometimes you don’t have to turn on the lights to see at night.” It’s those starry skies and that connection to nature that have drawn most of Tryon’s residents. As Eve explains it: “Once people start saying things like ‘The wood ducks are here already!’, we know we’ve got them.” Take Karl and Kathy Dennis, who moved here fulltime from Chicago, after Karl retired as the executive director of the child welfare agency Kaleidoscope, to build a rambling (by Tryon standards) berm house into the side of a hill in the Pond Settlement. Its green roof is so lushly planted with sedum and grasses that the house

NATURE-SCAPE Eve Noonan in a Meadow Settlement house. Eco-Resin panels can enclose the courtyard. Below: Pond Houses overlook a restored wetlands pond.

It’s so much a part of the landscape, they’ve been startled by blue herons tapping at the windows and deer grazing on the roof. is hardly visible from the road, and it’s so much a part of the landscape that the Dennises say they’ve been startled by blue herons tapping at the windows and woken by deer grazing on their roof. A near full-timer is raw-food chef, barber and Reiki practitioner Mary Ferazza, whose cozy two-story place is clad in rust-coated Corten steel and features a stone-front eco fireplace. She says she spends more and more time here rather than in her Pullman city apartment. “Everybody looks out for everybody else,” says Ferraza, who mentions a rumor that NASA has been investigating a mysterious, swirling “energy vortex” over this area of Indiana. “It’s good energy,” she insists, explaining that the vortex supposedly creates a noticeable sense of rejuvenation in visitors. Someone ought to tell NASA: That’s no energy vortex. It’s just Tryon Farm.


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Glass Act

A see-through modern getaway in Lake Geneva plays terrarium by day, and moody manse by night By Lisa Cregan | Photography by Tony Soluri

A century ago, Frank Lloyd Wright built his dream home a couple of hours’ drive from this spot on the shores of Lake Geneva where, more recently, Chicago architect Charles (Chip) von Weise built his. But unlike Wright, von Weise didn’t get to move in. No, the role of beaming homeowner is played instead by Chicago attorney Barry Montgomery, who commissioned the house for his wife, Shauna, and their two young children. Von Weise calls the glass-walled beauty “the kind of work I want to do for the rest of my career,” but especially interesting, given his pride in the project, is the fact that von Weise is so quick to credit Montgomery’s input for some of the design’s more exciting features. “Barry’s such a smart, articulate client,” says von Weise. “He’s got great taste, and he actually taught me some stuff.” The pair spent months tossing ideas back and forth in the pre-design phase, trying and discarding innumerable notions of style, size and siting. “It was great fun,” says Montgomery, “but it might have been easier to build a skyscraper.” In the end, they reached back to mutual childhood memories of East Coast seaside houses—Nantucket for von Weise and the Jersey shore for Montgomery. That pointed them to the house’s exterior materials (white clapboard, bluestone and cedar shake). But what shape should they take?

The idea of doing a lake cottage in the local vernacular was under consideration, but the pair was determined to come up with the best possible combination of sunlit rooms and long lake views. Montgomery says he found himself referring again and again to a Florida home that revered modern architect Hugh Newell Jacobson had built for a friend. “Chip pulled out his Hugh Newell Jacobson book, and we were inspired. We didn’t want to do a copy, but that’s how we arrived at this pod design with huge windows.” Breaking the living areas into ‘pods’ allowed von Weise to both bend the house to track the sun and reorient its focus toward a stand of three gorgeous old maples at the edge of the lake. “The original design was just a twostory volume,” he explains. “Once we placed the house like this, it put the entertaining space on an axis with the view and the light.” To connect the pods, von Weise suggested floor-to-ceiling glass corridors to tie the compound together without ever losing views of the stunning, Doug Hoerr-designed landscape and lake. “An important part of the relationship between the interior and exterior was the landscape. Hoerr had a lot to do with scripting that feel.” Von Weise says it was also Hoerr who had the brilliant notion to plant aspens and grasses inside the ‘terrariums’ created by the crisscrossing corridors. “It makes the project,

Opposite page: The foyer is flanked by glass-walled interior “terrariums” designed by architect Charles von Wiese. They are open to the sky and planted with aspens and birch trees. Left: Interior designer Suzanne Lovell says the master bedroom “ties to the house’s white theme, but it’s softer, a snowy haven.”

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and I give Barry a lot of credit for taking the risk.” Though only one story high, the finished house has soaring, pyramidal ceilings left open to white-painted rafters like a traditional seaside cottage. Back down at eye level, things look anything but traditional, thanks to dramatic, glass-meets-glass corners and walls of glass doors that fold back, melding the kitchen and living room into the outdoors like the invisible fourth wall of a stage set. The floors throughout are either bluestone slate (echoing the terraces outside), or impossibly rich hemlock from submerged logs dug out of a riverbed by a supplier in Tennessee. And for the bar and bookcases, Von Weise even went so far as to build zinc-covered protrusions into the walls of the house to keep the pieces’ profiles flush with the walls of his sleek glass corridors. Loving the clean lines and the airiness of the place, Shauna Montgomery decided to use as little color as possible, letting the beauty of the house speak for itself. She called upon interior designer Suzanne Lovell (who’d done three previous homes for the family) to help with the puzzle of decorating without intruding. “I think what I do best,” says Lovell, “is listen to my clients, to understand their dream view of the finished project.” What Shauna was dreaming of was white, and more white. “I said,

Left: The chairs are strategically placed to allow views of Lake Geneva. Below: Leather directors’ chairs from Ralph Lauren surround a custom limestone dining table at one side of the living room. Opposite page: Architect von Wiese says he conceived the zinc-lined bookshelves in the living room “to play off the richness of the stone fireplace, white walls and slate floor.”

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‘Please, can’t we just have a little welt?’” says Lovell of the beige trim on the white outdoor fabric she chose for the living room sofas. “We added that welt, and all of a sudden, it was special, custom.” Actually, much of the furniture truly is custom—as in Lovell’s own bespoke designs. For example, she designed the living room sectional with extensions at each end that effectively turns them into chaises facing into the room. “It still looks like a sofa but with no arms to close off the room,” she explains. “Everyone always wants the corner of a sofa, so why not make those corners awesome?” The dining table in the same room is another Lovell invention. “The top is a beautiful blue French limestone,” she says. “Shauna is so good at presentation; this big, thick slab of stone gives her a palette for all sorts of dinner parties. She has great style.” But when asked what furnishings really made the difference in this enormous room, with its soaring, 40-foot-high ceilings, Lovell doesn’t

hesitate: “Those custom lamps we designed for either side of the fireplace,” she answers. “We studied the elevations and realized with that big fireplace opening we needed huge lamps to hold the room together. They make a nice triangle with the dining room table.” Lovell says working with von Weise was terrific because “Chip was open to my ideas. This was a collaborative effort, and that’s what gets the best result.” Although the house was built as a summer place, Montgomery says they’ve come to love being here every season of the year. “Shimmering leaves of aspens, radiant heat everywhere and snow piled up against Chip’s wonderful glass corners like an igloo... We love being inside here in winter, too,” she says. “And Suzanne is a master of texture. She designed us a home that’s both comfortable and elegant. They were a great team.” So that’s what people who live in glass houses throw… bouquets.

Above: For summer, the glass walls can be completely folded away to allow the living room to spill seamlessly onto the poolside terrace. “It’s about openness but also privacy, like we created a family compound with places to be alone as well as places to be together,” says von Weise. The custom sofa is by Suzanne Lovell. Opposite page: At the central axis of the house, von Weise placed a zinc-lined bar that’s highlighted by a painting commissioned by the Montgomerys for the space.

What Shauna was dreaming of was white, and more white.

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Spare Cribs A family of six heats up Roscoe Village with stylin’ city living to the minimalist max. Rooftop basketball court? Check. Indoor pool? Check. All white interiors? Why not? By Tate Gunnerson | Photography by Tony Soluri

When the busy mother of four first laid eyes on her future North Side home, she asked her realtor if they could skip the showing. The boxy, modern structure, formerly a nail factory, didn’t really look like a house, at least not like the more traditional houses in which she and her husband had lived. But the agent, also a longtime friend, knew the family (known to host as many as 80 for Thanksgiving dinner) needed space— something the six-bedroom, six-bathroom house had in spades, so she kept citing the home’s features until her dubious friend agreed to at least walk through. “The house hadn’t been finished, so I couldn’t even make sense of it,” the mother recalls. “But when I saw the basketball court, I realized it could work.” Family is priority number one for her and her husband, and they had no doubt the children would love the home’s indoor pool, media room and large bedrooms, but they were concerned they wouldn’t enjoy living in the home, which just didn’t feel like them. STYLE EXPRESS The homeowners enjoy the urban view of the train line from their narrow outdoor terrace. Magis chairs and Guido Drocco and Franco Mello’s polyurethane Cactus from Luminaire.

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“I like my things,” confesses the mother. “But we felt the house lent itself to a more modern, contemporary design.” To help transform the raw space into a metropolitan home, the couple hired Leo Designs, with whom they were familiar because one of their children attended school with Leo cofounder Georgeann Rivas’ daughter. “I just really liked Georgeann and felt comfortable with her,” explains the mother, who had also admired their work at a mutual friend’s nearby home. The nervous couple gave the designers few specific marching orders, but they did request the design be as comfortable as it would be contemporary, and they asked for lots of storage. “I have a lot of clutter with four kids,” says the mother. “If I was going to embrace this minimalist life, I needed to give the kids a place to put their junk.” With that, the couple turned their focus to family, work and travel, essentially giving Rivas and biz partner

Stephanie Wirth carte blanche to realize their vision. Longtime friends who launched Leo Designs in 1999, Wirth and Rivas had been looking for a project to push them out of their comfort zone, and they’d never tackled a truly modern design. Embracing the challenge, the designers envisioned a stark palette using shades of black, white and sand, a color scheme that picked up on the home’s art: a large piece by artist Francine Turk that hangs in the entry and black and white charcoals from Chicago Art Source that add texture and a sort of controlled chaos to the otherwise austere living room. The designers chose Jean-Marie Massaud’s polished chrome Cubik lamps from Luminaire for the living room. The fixtures’ rectangular shades work with the angular furniture to echo the home’s long, horizontal walls. Wirth and Rivas repeat the theme of metal elements throughout the house; in addition to the lamps and light fixtures, the designers selected stainless

Above: White statuary marble sliding doors open to reveal a window into the clean-lined, minimal kitchen. An asymmetrical light fixture from Florense hangs above the Progetto 1 glass dining table and Otto chairs from B&B Italia. Opposite page: In the living room, neutral colors and natural elements are intentional. “The family provides the color,” says Wirth.

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steel cabinets, counters and appliances for the upstairs kitchen, and a highly polished chrome surround for the master bedroom’s fireplace. Most dramatically, Wirth and Rivas collaborated with metalworker David Greene of Iron & Wire to create a custom iron and glass partition that shields the entryway from Chicago’s winter winds and accommodates the mother’s desire for some sort of delineation between the front door and the rest of the home. “I like a breezeway,” explains the mother. “This was the perfect way to keep it open yet create a separation and keep it interesting.” Wirth and Rivas accommodated the 82 |


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family’s storage request by designing a chic mudroom with wenge wood lockers in the wide hallway between the garage and the home. Each locker is equipped with a power supply for charging cell phones, music devices and electronics. Heeding the family’s directive, the designers devised interesting ways to maintain comfort without sacrificing style. The master bedroom feels almost cozy with its layered cowhide rugs, upholstered headboard and fireplace, and the windowless media room sports ebony-stained built-ins and wall-towall carpeting, a cocoon-like atmosphere for napping or watching a film.

Despite the amiable relationship that existed between the homeowners and the designers, occasionally, the comfort-versus-style discussion became less of a casual conversation and more of a debate. The designers envisioned sleek, low-slung furniture for the living and media rooms, but their choice didn’t, um, sit well with the husband and father, who wanted something that would help ease the transition to the home’s otherwise stark simplicity. After listening to his concerns (and losing the debate), the designers decided to retool, a decision Rivas says helped her and Wirth solve one of their own design dilemmas: finding the right side tables for the media room. The task proved as vexing as Sasquatch spotting in the Pacific Northwest. Wirth’s and Rivas’

search for stylish yet comfortable seating ultimately led them to recliners with straight lines, brushed leather and built-in cup holders, a fitting but practical choice that eliminated the need for side tables. It might be uncommon for a family to shed their old style so dramatically; it’s the “stuff” that tends to comfort and communicate a story to visitors. But the compromises and solutions Wirth and Rivas implemented here resulted in surroundings that are, in fact, comfortable, despite the angular lines. The building may have retained the industrial look of its past, but make no mistake: It has the bones of a traditional family home. Its inhabitants’ busy lives are just expertly stashed in the custom storage beneath their home’s glossy sheen.

Clockwise from above: A custom steel and glass partition helps distinguish the dining room without blocking light. Art by Francine Turk, table from Mobili Mobel and putty leather chairs from Ligne Roset. Barcelona chairs face each other in front of the mirror-framed fireplace, which was chosen to reflect light back into the room. Bubble Chair by Eero Aarnio and Random Light by Moooi. To add a bit of bubblegum pop, art consultant Lisa Gregg helped the family select work by photographer Maggie Meiners.

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Meet the men and women who made Chicago a global design hot spot By Lisa Cregan and Amalie Drury Photography by Bob Coscarelli

The visionaries who’ve shaped our city’s one-of-kind style—from Oprah’s boy wonder to one of mid-century modern’s great arbiters—give up the goods about rising to the top and dish about the people, places and things that make them tick.

Nate Berkus

His star turns on The Oprah Show have tagged Nate Berkus with the hunk-with-a-hammer label, but there’s some real industry cred behind those looks. Since his first televised prestochango room makeover seven years ago, the designer has set new standards for success and visibility among the Merchandise Mart set. In addition to his ongoing role as décor expert to Oprah Inc., Berkus hosts a show on the XM channel Oprah Radio and wrote a best-seller called Home Rules. Once anointed one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive,” Berkus is a designer for the new millennium. “I don’t think you have to have a lot of money to create something beautiful,” he says. After growing up in Minnesota with a decorator mom, Berkus interned his way through Lake Forest College working for Leslie Hindman’s auction house, and he’s been in Chicago ever since. Last fall, Berkus introduced a collection on the Home Shopping Network, which gives him the chance to speak on-air about his designs. He’s passionate—OK, a little obsessive—and constantly traveling the world in search of new ideas. “Chicago,” he says, “is such a good place to come home to.”

Nate Berkus in his West Town studio.

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“The American home has become centered around TV sets. Living rooms should house more than just a sofa, coffee table and flat screen.” The Temple of Angkor Wat.

The Guggenheim Museum, Venice.

“I’ve been drawn to architecture ever since I was a kid. In fact, I used to think that I wanted to be an architect. Today, I’m still fascinated by the vast beauty of buildings and structures like these [above]. I just returned from the Biennale in Venice, and was completely inspired by the Norwegian Pavilion and the Guggenheim Museum there.”

NATE SPACE Above : In his own home, Berkus relies on baskets for easy-access storage. “Next to the metal, the wicker looks rich.” Left : A slipper chair from Berkus’ Home Shopping Network line.

“This velvet studio sofa is a custom upholstered sofa for under $500,” says Berkus. “I designed it to be the perfect size to fold into a room that needs extra seating, or a place at the end of your bed.” His Wish for Home Enlightenment Pillow is another HSN piece.

The Berkus Bible, Home Rules.

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Alan Koppel “We don’t produce doctors and lawyers in our family,” says Alan Koppel, a onetime pre-med student who couldn’t stand the coursework, and who—in his mid 40s—gave up a successful career as a trader to become one of Chicago’s best-known gallerists. Koppel’s wife, Sherry, is an interior designer, and their three sons have all followed creative or entrepreneurial pursuits. “I used to drag them around the world doing cultural things,” Koppel says. “If they were studying medieval history at school, we’d go to Canterbury and Bath, looking at architecture and design. I just wanted to show them things I found interesting.” Showing people things he finds interesting has long been Koppel’s personal and professional MO. His River North gallery (originally located in the Hancock Building) contains only art and furniture he finds appealing. There’s nothing based on trends or outside demand. “Things have to tickle my fancy,” he says. “I don’t buy for clients. If somebody likes my eye, they’ll come to this gallery.” Koppel’s eclectic but decisive aesthetic helped him rise quickly to the upper echelon of Chicago’s gallery scene, though it’s a scene he himself rarely frequents. “A good friend told me people think I’m distant and aloof,” he says. “But I’m passionate. I’m interested in works of art and the reasons they were created, but not necessarily the social aspect of it. I enjoy my own company.” The small but significant roster of artists represented by Koppel— Katharina Bosse, Bruce Conner, Peter Halley, Edward Lipski, Robert Moskowitz and Jacque Villegle—share the spotlight with 20thcentury furniture by Carlo Mollino, Roland Rainer and other pieces Koppel picks up on his travels. It’s an eye-catching mix, and Koppel’s enthusiasm for bringing it to his clients is boundless. Just one rule: Don’t talk about thinking outside the box. “That expression only means that at one point you were in the box,” he says. “I don’t believe in boxes.”

Alan Koppel in his office at his River North gallery.

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Koppel and one of his sons, an artist, worked together to shape and sculpt the plantings in a Surrealist garden Koppel created on the grounds of his house in Sawyer, Michigan. The garden also contains whimsical sculptures designed by Koppel.

Koppel grew up in Queens, New York, with parents who were more book than art-loving. As a child, he was inspired by family visits to MOMA.

Koppel found the second version of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymade LHOOQ on a 1999 trip to Germany (a repro of the Mona Lisa on which the artist drew a pencil moustache and goatee). “The dealer who owned it didn’t quite know what it was, but I had an inkling it was a lost work,” he says. “It’s a major piece in the history of Modernism, and by one of my favorite artists. Finding it was a thrill.” Koppel later sold the work for “hundreds of thousands.” But how much had he paid for it? “A lot less than that.”

DOG DAYS Koppel’s 16-acre Michigan spread includes an 8-acre vineyard. The Concord grapes are sold to Welch’s, but Koppel and designer Jason Pickleman dreamed up this faux label to hand to guests who ask for a taste of the house vino. It features Koppel’s standard poodle, Ella.

Koppel has collected toy robots since a 1970s trip to a Paris flea market with his wife, where they bought the first one. “They became the rage 10 or 15 years later,” he says. “I just like the way they look.” Summer 2009


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Richard Wright Considering that Richard Wright pretty much invented the global marketplace for 20th century furniture, the 45-year-old design prophet is surprisingly uncomfortable with the word auction. “I know we call ourselves Wright Auction,” he says, “but personally, I find auction too restrictive.” And while his primary focus continues to involve curating intelligent sales of designers like George Nakashima, Eero Saarinen, George Nelson, Alvar Aalto, Harry Bertoia—you get the picture—these days, Wright also maintains an online store and gallery, and he’s begun using his cavernous West Hubbard Street space to champion newer artist/designers like Ron Gilad. “Ron’s work is right at the line where design becomes art,” says Wright of the Israeli artist, whose work includes pieces like coffee tables resembling three-dimensional line drawings of houses. “Design is better served when it has a real function. I look for things with a lack of pretension, a sense of honesty.” That solid Midwest-tinged philosophy has served Wright well. Back in 2000, when he launched the business alongside his late wife, Julie (the original mastermind behind the firm’s groundbreaking glossy catalogs), their first sale grossed $400,000. By 2008, that metric had surged to $15 million. In pre-Wright days, the doyens of the antiques autocracy would have had you believe anything truly brave and groundbreaking began life in some rarefied East or West Coast hothouse. Richard Wright has proved them wrong. He’s all ours.

Richard Wright at his auction house with Ron Gilad’s Butler No. 1.

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The Arik Levy opening at Wright.

Furniture designer Arik Levy’s Absent Nature exhibit, at Wright in April 2008, marked the debut of Wright’s commissions program supporting contemporary artists and designers. “Levy transformed the space, and his installation was monumental,” says Wright.

3 1



Wright sold this Pierre Koenig house for $2.8 million. “It was the most expensive piece we’ve sold at auction,” he says.

1. Tejo Remy’s You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories chest of drawers: “This is a defining work of the 1990s.” 2. Wright’s personal Charles and Ray Eames rocker: “Eames is where my career began, and I will always live with their work,” he says. 3. Isamu Noguchi’s coffee table sold for a record price in 2005: $630,000. “It eclipsed my first auction total.” 4. Julie Wright (Richard’s wife) convinced him to keep this George Nelson jewelry cabinet in their collection. “It reaches perfection.”

Wright has helped reinvigorate the career of designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia, whose gilt stainless-steel Dandelion is shown at left. An installation shot of the Wright gallery in preparation for the Ron Gilad exhibition Spaces Etc./An Exercise in Utility.

COVER SHOT This untitled Ray Eames sculpture graced the catalog cover for Wright’s first auction in 1999. “It was a success, and gave me the courage to open my own auction house,” he says.

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Holly Hunt Twenty-six years ago, Holly Hunt, the patron saint of interior designers, had a small idea. “I bought a furniture showroom that was going under,” she says. “I was getting divorced, needed something to do and I thought, ‘I can do this.’” End spectacular understatement. Now a design empire represented at 18 major showrooms around the country (seven of which she owns), Holly Hunt the brand is arguably the world’s most powerful purveyor of furnishings to the interior-design trade. She even has her own line of new modern and transitional furniture, Studio H, designed by Hunt with a team of up-andcoming Chicago designers (who also design lighting, textiles, leather and rugs in-house). The company manufactures and distributes the Christian Liaigre and John Hutton collections exclusively in the U.S., and former Hunt design staffers include Chicago interiors luminaries like Bright Chair savior/wizard Doug Levine; Angela Finney-Hoffman, co-owner of the white-hot Grand Avenue décor store Post 27; and Laura Kirar, whom Hunt calls the “It” girl of Baker Furniture. In the Merchandise Mart alone, Holly Hunt occupies an astounding 40,000 square feet of showroom space filled with iconic lines like Rose Tarlow and Christian Astuguevielle, but this former small-town West Texas girl still spends half the year on the road looking for new talent to partner with. “When I first saw a piece by Christian Liaigre,” says Hunt of her now 16-year business partnership with the revered French furniture designer, “I immediately hopped on a plane to Paris to go see him in person. I just knew his proportions were perfect.” How did she know? “Intuition,” she answers simply. Apparently, that’s all there is to it.

Holly Hunt in her Chicago showroom at the Merchandise Mart.

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The second New York Holly Hunt showroom opened in 2001. The location is considered by the designer to be one of her company’s strongest, and it hosted a Christian Liagre book signing last fall.

A custom chandelier by Alison Berger at the Holly Hunt showroom in the Miami Design District.

LIFE IMITATES ART Hunt brought these Parvine Curie sculptures home from Paris and later used them as the inspiration for her Studio H Broadway Side and Dining tables.

Holly Hunt occupies an astounding 40,000 square feet of showroom space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, and is in 18 other showrooms around the country.

On the first night of NeoCon in 2008, Hunt’s 25th anniversary party was held in a tent in Millennium Park and was attended by 1,200 friends and colleagues. “My son reminded me that 25 years ago, Tom Cruise starred in the film that propelled his career, Risky Business,” Hunt remembers. “Then he said: Looks like both Tom’s and Holly’s risky businesses turned out OK.”

BOOK SMART “If, as Gladwell says, it takes 10,000 hours to learn to do a thing well, then I think 25 years is a good start.”

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Judy Niedermaier Her name has long been synonymous with the Chicago design scene, and her far-reaching influence spans the globe, but as for her first official design-related aha moment? That came when furniture and visual merchandising designer Judy Niedermaier was a little girl living in a lavish, traditional Lake Shore Drive apartment in the 1950s. Another child moved into the building and invited Niedermaier to take a peek. “When I walked in, my eyes lit up,” she says. “It was the first modern apartment I’d ever seen. I thought, ‘My mother didn’t do the right thing.’” As newlyweds in the early ’70s, Niedermaier and her husband, Dale, started a visualmerchandising business, collaborating with all the big department stores in New York and beyond to produce window displays. Soon, the retail bosses were asking the couple to design whole stores, and when they couldn’t find furniture they liked, Niedermaier designed it herself. More than four decades later—and with showrooms in multiple cities, a thriving interior architecture and commercial design business, a high-profile client list that includes Saks Fifth Avenue, Wynn Hotels & Resorts, Macy’s and even Oprah (yes, Niedermaier designed the most famous couch on TV)—she has played no small part in helping Chicago stake its claim on the map of design cities that matter. One of Niedermaier’s greatest pleasures is the mentoring process, and while she helps elevate the careers of her protégés (“It’s a tradeoff,” she says. “They teach me about the latest in technology, and they keep me young”), she also turns for inspiration to her contemporaries in fashion, art, architecture and culture. “I love the ’40s design period in Paris. People like Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Giacommetti, all working together,” Niedermaier says. “Nobody collaborates these days. I’d love to do a project where we’d all get together and do what we do best.”

Judy Niedermaier in her high-rise Gold Coast home.

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Niedermaier was a governor at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago at the time Renzo Piano presented the Modern Wing. “It’s exceptional,” she says. “It makes everyone smile.” 3

Judy Niedermaier’s apartment is filled with objects she adores: 1. A giant crystal perfume bottle by Lalique resides on her bathroom countertop. “It’s irreplacable,” she says. 2. Oriel Harwood’s solid bronze sculpture (purchased at David Gill Galleries in London) stands sentry on a living-room sideboard. 3. Kelly Wearstler’s fiberglass log chairs were such a hit at the Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla that Niedermaier manufactured a set for her own balcony.

Designer Steven B. Jacobs’ lobby at the ultra-trendy Hotel Gansevoort in New York City’s Meatpacking District makes extensive use of Niedermaier furnishings.

“We love the way this hotel looks and were proud to play a role,” Neidermaier says.

SITTING PRETTY Niedermaier manufactured this Vincente Wolf-designed chair. “He’s a first-class New York designer, top 10 in the country,” Niedermaier says. “This chair is for all time. The webbing is done by hand.”

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Nasir Kassamali As a young couple from Kenya, Nasir Kassamali and his wife, Nargis, moved to Miami and, in 1974, opened Luminaire, a small store specializing in European lighting. “When we married, my wife asked what I wanted to do,” says Kassamali, who comes from a family of engineers. But Kassamali had become enamored with a book about the Bauhaus Movement, and his sights were set on a different kind of career. “I told her I wanted to build a church where people would go to worship good design.” That vision came to life as the present-day Luminaire, a world-renowned furniture emporium that is as much a temple to good design as it is a retail business. The second Luminaire opened in Chicago in 1989. “I used to visit Chicago for NeoCon in the early ’80s, and I would think, ‘There’s so much culture and some of the best examples of architecture in the world. We needed to be here.’” Nasir and Nargis (who has retired) built Luminaire in a way that revolutionized the business. “We democratized it,” Kassamali says. “We offered good design directly to the consumer and treated it as a lifestyle philosophy. Before, design was marketed as mere objects and sold only to decorators.” Today, 35 years later, Kassamali’s idea of design as an all-encompassing effort to improve lives reaches beyond the furniture in his showrooms. Luminaire’s PuppyLove and PaperLove fundraisers have brought together designers from around the globe to raise hundreds of thousands for the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (where Nargis has received treatment). “Every day, I think about taking the essential meaning of life and infusing it into design, then communicating it to our clients,” says Kassamali, an ardent proponent of customer education who regularly brings the top names in the biz to lecture at his showrooms. And the ultimate validation? “When the grandchild of a client we helped in the ’70s comes back to us to furnish his apartment, it tells me that good design did affect his life.”

Nasir Kassamali at the Luminaire showroom in River North.

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Designer Marcel Wanders designed this puppy, named Courage, for Luminaire’s 2006 PuppyLove auction. It fetched $42,000 for cancer research.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS Partygoers at Luminaire’s 2008 PaperLove exhibit in Miami check out a paper dress made by Issey Miyake.

Kassamali’s exacting design sense pervades the Luminaire showrooms, resulting in a surreal sense of near-impossible perfection in the surroundings. These four objects exemplify his style: 1. Poul Kjaerholk’s 1965 pk24 chaise lounger in steel, wicker and leather,





Luminaire’s kitchen and bath showroom in Miami is all about Kassamali’s ultimate vision: good design for every aspect of living.

available at Luminaire. 2. Shiro Kuramata’s 1970 revolving cabinet of 20 drawers in red polished metacrylate, available at Luminaire. 3. Piet Stockmans’ 2005 ceramic vases, available at Luminaire. 4. This Semi lamp, the first ever sold at Luminaire’s original location in Miami.

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Leslie Hindman As every Chicago antiques lover knows, Leslie Hindman has built the premier auction house in the Midwest for fine furnishings, art and collectibles… twice. Back in 1997, Hindman sold her successful eponymous auction house to Sotheby’s and thought she’d left auctioneering behind forever. She kept busy with two weekly HGTV shows, wrote a book (Adventures at the Auction), penned a column for the Tribune and launched a website, but her clients never stopped calling. So, six years ago, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers came roaring back, offering as many as 40 auctions a year from new digs in the West Loop. “I love the auction business,” admits Hindman. “The stories behind the pieces, my wonderful consigners, the crazy buyers. I love it all.” These days, those buyers could be anywhere. More than 70 percent of the Hinsdale native’s nearly $20 million in sales comes from bidders outside Illinois, as well as modern marketing tools like and email blasts that extend her reach around the globe. Now the country’s biggest auction source for vintage couture, Hindman has even handled sales for iconic New Yorkers like Leona Helmsley. Up next? Auctions of postwar and contemporary art; 19th and 20th century paintings, drawings and prints; then fine furniture and decorative arts. In October, an auction of Elvis memorabilia will include a snippet of The King’s famed forelock. Also a possibility: a Florida outpost to serve snowbird clients. She may have hammered down hundreds of thousands of lots in her 30year career but, says Hindman, “it’s still so exciting.”

Leslie Hindman holds a Marvin Cone painting that will be sold at auction in September.

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As a teenager, Hindman spent summers living in France and Belgium and working as an au pair. She attended the Sorbonne in 1975. “Paris is my favorite city in the world, and I plan on living there someday,” she says.

Jewelry consigned by private individuals and estates represents roughly a third of all business at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Each of these four diamond rings fetched much higher than estimated prices at auction. Consigned by a Chicago estate, the largest one (bottom left) contains a 16.07-carat fancy yellow diamond purchased by a Chicago collector for $153,600.

Vintage couture is big business for Hindman: This Hermès Birkin fetched $24,000.

PRO SHOP Hindman’s West Loop auction house draws collectors from around the world. Here, the space was set up for an exhibition of property from the estates of Leo Guthman and others.

Ed Paschke’s Ambrosia.

Chicago artist Ed Paschke’s Ambrosia commanded a record price for any Paschke work: $72,000. “He was incredibly influential,” says Hindman. “And a truly extraordinary person.”

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HOUSE PARTY CHICAGO | Alison Victoria at A New Leaf

A LUMINOUS LAUNCH THE PARTY: Guests sipped wine and nibbled cheese as they viewed Alison Victoria Interiors’ debut furniture collection, the Alison Victoria Collection, as well as original works from local artists. Twenty percent of proceeds from the event benefited CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) and Habitat for Humanity THE VENUE: In keeping with the raw and sleek décor of venue A New Leaf, Entertainment Company decorated for the event using a minimalist touch. Hundreds of floating candles in cylinder vases added a glow to the branches, moss and succulent plants that were dispersed throughout the room THE PLAYERS: A DJ spun hits as guests mingled with host Alison Gramenos and featured artists Laura Beth Cartwright, Josh Moulton and Jim McCaffrey –Courtney Cregan

Nick Apostal, Alison Victoria Gramenos, Missy Braman and Diana Apostal

Arianna and Josh Moulton

James Gramenos

Missy Braman and Diana Gramenos

An Alison Victoria table on display

Rachel Schwanz, Josh Moulton and Laura Beth Cartwright

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A New Leaf (on the evening of the event)

HOUSE PARTY CHICAGO | Jayson Home & Garden

Tyler Weisenbeck and Eugenie Pabst

Inside the flea market at Jayson Home & Garden


Eduardo Silva and James Dolenc

John Burkart and Marcia Szewczyk


Elizabeth Shake and Cynthia Heusing

Aaron Goltz and Don Yelenosky

THE PARTY: On an early spring evening, Jayson Home & Garden opened its doors to 250 designers, clients and Chicago tastemakers for the unveiling of its second annual flea market THE SPICE: In keeping with the international origins of the merchandise, the night was spiced up with Belgian- and Argentinean-inspired food and a Flamenco guitar player THE PERKS: Guests were invited to view merchandise from Belgium, France and Argentina, as well as several regions of the U.S., before the items went on sale at the store and website ( Attendees left with 2009 signature Jayson Home & Garden reusable totes in tow â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Courtney Cregan

Jennifer Sweas, Jennifer Owen and Leeland Couchman

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HOUSE PARTY CHICAGO | ASID at Enclave Jason Revalee, Liliya Chernova and Sandra Fohn

Hazem Dawani and Elena Razumihina

Inside the ASID party at Enclave

Nhia and Cory Cassie

Jenn Taggart and Deb Abreu

Shannon Johnson and Taylore Denney

THE PARTY: FIRSTnight kicked off the NeoCon ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) National Conference at River North hot spot Enclave. The event was such a success that it was extended an extra hour so attendees could continue to network and, more importantly, get their grooves on THE FOOD: Guests nibbled from a menu that included Ahi tuna sliders, reverse capreses and Korenna-braised short ribs. But the real treat was dessert: BrownCow milkshakes and chocolate ravioli THE TUNES: Guests, including the ASID board of directors and ASID president Bruce Brigham, bopped to mixes by spinmaster DJ Jason â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Courtney Cregan Stacey and Gloria Cohen

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The Regional Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom celebrated the launch of the new Wolf Outdoor Grill with a backyard barbeque held in their Glendale Heights location. Hosted by Sub-Zero Wolf Regional Sales Manager Jeff Cook, guests mingled and sipped cocktails while sampling food prepared on the new outdoor grill. The partygoers also enjoyed live cooking demonstrations by Chef Justin Thorpe on the new outdoor grill.


WOMAN MADE GALLERY PRESENTS IN GOOD TASTE Woman Made Gallery hosted its annual gala “In Good Taste”, supporting women in the arts. Honoree Alpana Singh of WTTW11’s Check, Please! hosted the event where guests toasted the expansive array of art on display, including featured artist Francine Turk. Partygoers dined on bites and sipped on drinks provided by The Italian Village restaurants, and participated in both live and silent auction, raising more than $50,000 to help support women in the arts.





Dayna Plusker and Nicole Robinson

Sofia Guido, Tina Cervone and Rosella Bisazza

Lucy Cruz, Zoran Stepic and Kendra Tanner

Katie Christy and Colin O’Donnell

Inside Bisazza at the grand-opening party

Jerry Helling, Suzanne Trocmé and Arik Levy

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Summer 2009

Emily Blinn and Kristin Shea

THE PARTY: Moasic-tile maker Bisazza celebrated the opening of its new flagship store in Chicago just in time to nab some of NeoCon’s top players THE FARE: Guests were offered Veuve Clicquot Champagne and mouthwatering bites like figs with goat cheese and prosciutto and asparagus wrapped with salmon, served up on solid-gold Bisazza trays THE PERKS: Attendees went home happy with a copy of Bisazza Contemporary Mosaics, a hard-backed book printed by renowned publishing house Assouline, as well as the store’s glossy bound Projects book, containing images of Bisazza’s most recent installations –Courtney Cregan



                ##$%$$ %" ''# "# % %( $%"$%" !%$)#$"%$%$%' %# ( "$$,#' $%" "$ Visit Marvin Design Gallery by Estates Windows, Ltd. on the web at or stop by our 7,000 sq ft showroom featuring over 40 interactive displays of Marvin Windows and Doors.

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Tracey Ariga and Shelby Hill

Jessica Margot, Kara Mann and Dante Federighi


Inside Kara Mann Design

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Summer 2009

Meta Rose Torchia and Pamela Hewett

Christina Karvelas and Peter Tsantilis

Monique Meloche and Doug Levine

Jennie Bishop and Katy Seng


THE PARTY: Designer Kara Mann’s River North showroom opened its doors to Chicago’s interiorminded gliterrati to celebrate the introduction of new lines Debra Weninger Design, Timorous Beasties, Quadrus Studio and Jean de Merry textiles THE FEAST: Cortes Catering put together an assortment of seasonal hors d’oeuvres and a presentation of domestic and imported cheeses. To wash it all down, sponsor Grey Goose Vodka offered two specialty cocktails: the Citrus Tart and the pear-flavored 100 Stars THE DÉCOR: Kara Mann Showroom collaborated with Monique Meloche Gallery to treat guests to works by celebrated artists Kendell Carter, Carrie Schneider and duo Michael Davis & Robert Langolis –Courtney Cregan

Distributor of Pratt & Larson, Ken Mason, Dirk Elliot, Rocky Mountain, Lunada Bay, McIntyre, Artistic Tile, Saltillo, Mosaics, Leather Tiles, Spanish Tiles, and many, many more... 4948 N. Pulaski, Chicago, IL 60630 ||| Ph: 773-777-8453


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HOUSE PARTY CHICAGO | Antonio Lupi Opening

BATHING BEAUTY THE PARTY: A host of interior-design pros gathered at the new, 1,500-square-foot Antonio Lupi store in River North to help celebrate the grand opening of the Italian brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first North American flagship THE FOOD: Local brewing company Half Acre Beer offered up the suds, while Cork Catering kept appetites at bay with delectable bites THE TUNES: More than 200 attendees (including showroom owners Luca Lanzetta and Maurizio Fiori) mingled amid the sample bathroom installations while listening to the musical stylings of DJ Dan Mihail, who played jams from across the musical spectrum, including both funky lounge sounds and contemporary dance hits â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Courtney Cregan

Valeria Casciu and Maurizio Fiori

Giuseppe Laviano, Daniela Talmelli, Maggie Rei and Ada Yung

Andrea Roberts, Lukas Machnik and Tatjana Ozegovic

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Summer 2009

Tricia Turner and Wael Manasra

Tom Michna and Yvonne Gall


Grace, Luca and Elena Lanzetta

Hickman Design Associates 312-642-7379





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Breathing New Life into Vintage Modern Furniture

Artistica Italian Gallery



3061 N. LINCOLN AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60657 :::02'/,)(+20(&20 Visit our showroom in Lakeview :HG6DWQRRQWRSP6XQQRRQWRSP




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MEET. Conference rooms with A/V, free Wi-Fi and refreshments

EVALUATE. Solutions for kitchens, closets, furniture, offices and more

EXPERIMENT. All the newest sliding systems displayed

SELECT. Expert staff and technical consultants

LEARN. Continuing education classes each month

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(SFFO#BZ3PBEt&WBOTUPO *- (847) 328-7777


Done Dealer

Working from coffee shops, his apartment, airport lounges and anywhere else with a WiFi signal, Jayson Lawfer puts art in the hands of collectors By Amalie Drury | Photography by Dane Tashima

It’s a scenario a lot of guys dream of when they become stockbrokers: Stretched out on the beach, laptop in lap, sipping a Mojito and calmly checking the NASDAQ. When Jayson Lawfer, 35, decided in early 2008 to become a (mostly) online art dealer and consultant, it was that kind of mobility he had in mind. The former director of a Montana art center (Clay Studio in Missoula), ceramics artist and onetime Chicago gallery employee wanted to stay involved in the art community—but he also wanted to jet-set around Italy, where his girlfriend lived. The pair have since parted ways, and Lawfer, a Freeport, Illinois native, is now based exclusively in Chicago and has buckled down to the task of expanding his website, The Nevica Project ( When the recession hit, he was suddenly a forerunner in the art world’s race to find a new business concept that would allow dealers to continue working even as they struggled with the cost of brick-and-mortar operations.

“I create a partnership between the artist, the collector and me, the dealer,” he says of the idea behind Nevica (which is Italian for it’s snowing, since Lawfer hopes his venture will snowball around the globe), where he hosts contemporary art by notables like Sol LeWitt, Cy Twombly, Richard Serra and Tara Donovan. (Chicago artists include Jay Strommen, Matt Harris and Neha Vedpathak.) “I put people together.” Though his transactions take place online, Lawfer also puts in time visiting artists’ studios, meeting interior designers and, if a client makes a major purchase, traveling to meet that person face-to-face and help to install the work. He also hosts site-specific exhibitions to correlate with major shows (like SOFA), and this month, an exhibit Lawfer curated, Drawn & Created, is on view at the Lillstreet Art Center. “It’s important that I still get out there,” he says. “Working from wherever I want is great, but you can’t beat that face-to-face interaction.”

ayson Lawfer at the out ide studio of ay trommen, an artis epresented by Th evic roject

120 |


Summer 2009

JAYSON’S HOTS Cy Twombly drawings, all things Italian, wood-fired pottery, Karyn’s Cooked, Luca D’Altieri, Playing for Change, Lambretta vintage scooters, G-Star Raw denim, Art on Paper magazine, eco-friendly people, places and things JAYSON’S NOTS Obscured facts, fake smiles, the Lawrence Salander scandal, mass-produced anything, trendy diets, Wal-Mart, identity theft



1211 Wilmette Avenue Wilmette, Illinois 60091 847-256-1882

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ERNESTOMEDA CHICAGO The Merchandise Mart Suite 128 Chicago, IL 60654 phone (312) 329-0229

CS Interiors  

Edição de Verão de 2009

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