Mixing It Up

August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday, Rob MacNeill spent his last day working for me in my office. I only have superlatives to describe him. He is heading to North Carolina. More importantly for him, is his artwork. His work is great. He has a unique ability to take found objects and offer to them some choreography and hierarchy. I am a fan, always been, of the Nevelsonian attitude that any 3 dimensional thing that lack style or taste might just need a fresh coat of paint. I think Rob is of like mind.

Save travels, Rob.

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Postcard From The Road

August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

About 1.5 months ago, I started a renovation project in Lincoln Park. It involved rehabbing 3 baths and a kitchen, refinishing the floors, replacing the carpet and handrails, repainting everything from head to toe, and tossing in a few design details. Thought it’d be fun to offer a taste of the process. This is the master bathroom, before, mid demo, and ready for tile…… stay tuned.

Friends in Art Places

August 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Before I landed in Andersonville, I was a Bucktown/Wicker Park guy. I was lucky enough to live, for about a year and a half, in a loft, across the hall from Lora Fosberg. Lora is not only a dear friend, but a gifted artist who works in a variety of materials, often involving some sort of mark making or printing, and often using collage techniques. Her compositional ability is unparalleled, and her imagery is always compelling. And best, her interesting concepts and striking work is always balanced with a hint of her great wit.

Recently she gave a talk at Linda Warren Gallery, and I was struck by her conceptual inspiration which seemed to be anchored in an opposites living together paradigm. Although she’s no longer in Chicago, she is here often and her openings are always great happenings.

Value Added

August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

I got a call from a prospective client that I went out to see in Hinsdale. This house was a challenge, to say the least. The first floor, which the clients wanted to rework, was a layout mess, and looked like every renovation that this poor house had suffered through, was done in conjunction with the introduction of a new and different style of trim. They really wanted to redo their kitchen as a central focus and made the rest of this space more functional and usable.

The first move was to open the wall between the sunroom/dining room and living room. The clients wanted to transform the sunroom from a dining room into a living room, but with it’s narrow footprint and its walls all having windows or passageways, there was really no way to do that.  It does have less than optimal implications for the living room furniture, but, all told, it was worth it to open the plan and get more natural light into the living room.

Next up was addressing the kitchen area. Had to loose those triangular cabinets that were a complete waste of space, both in terms of storage, and the room, and worse, cut the kitchen off. Then we moved the wall that is shared with the dining room, and move the opening between them to the center of that wall. This allowed us to create a place for the refrigerator, get some aesthetic balance on that wall, with the kitchen cabinetry, and allow for enough central space for a healthy island (3’6” x 5’), which added a great deal to the flow of the space. With that, a banquette in front of the window allowed them to keep the space cohesive and give them some economical seating that they could use as a lounge area.

I was very excited about this plan as it transformed this awkward space into a plan with flow and accessibility.

Library Branch

August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Branch 27 gets its name because it’s housed in an old library branch. We were there on one of those amazing Chicago nights where the weather is totally cooperative. The space was really well designed, and really enhanced this great tasting meal, all four of us had winners all around. The comfy custom walnut chairs were the perfect compliment to the brick walls that frame the main dining hall. The light fixtures also were of note. With their translucent glowing planes, they felt like illuminated books. The space was warm and urban and perfectly lit for a great meal out.

Larry and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Friday night up in the hood, Andersonville, there was a great lamp show at @Scout. If you have never heard of Scout, you should pop up here and take a look. Larry Vodak is the purveyor of this amazingly well edited antique furniture, lamp, and fine art decor store. From living room furniture to lamps for the bedroom to gorgeous wood buffets, always different, always tasteful. Friday night belonged to Ted Harris, though. The creative mind behind lights made out of found objects, made with love and a sense of humor. If you are looking for an interesting lamp or two, look check out his work, first.

So Fa, So Good

August 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

As I am just getting this “blog” thang rolling, figured I’d toss up for consumption one of my favorite sofas. I keep wanting to place it, but haven’t yet. It’s from Bright Chair, and I just love that for a piece of living room furniture it is so versatile. It’s easy to envision this piece in a more casual setting, with pillows in different fabrics, or in a more formal, with, say, pillows in the same color as the sofa frame but with more sheen.

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