Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Thursday, September 1, 2011

lovely things: vignettes from merchandise mart

Mer­chan­dise Mart in Chicago is a great place for design ideas. Show­room vignettes often fea­ture cutting-edge looks, but on this trip I found many that appeared delight­fully livable.

pink and plush from Scalamandre - at merchandise mart chicagopink and plush from Scala­man­dre — at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
warm and sophisticated from John Rosselli at merchandise mart chicagowarm and sophis­ti­cated from John Rosselli at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
shoreline chic from Lee Jofa at merchandise mart chicagoshore­line chic from Lee Jofa at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
traditional elegance from Lee Jofa at merchandise mart chicagotra­di­tional ele­gance from Lee Jofa at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
ethnic pop from Kravet at merchandise mart chicagoeth­nic pop from Kravet at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
lovely lines from Century at merchandise mart chicagolovely lines from Cen­tury at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
fresh citrus from Schumacher at merchandise mart chicagofresh cit­rus from Schu­macher at mer­chan­dise mart chicago

Notice how some­thing as sim­ple as pil­lows can ele­vate a space.

modern colors from Kravet at merchandise mart chicagomod­ern col­ors from Kravet at mer­chan­dise mart chicago
fresh and fun from Kravet at merchandise mart chicagofresh and fun from Kravet at mer­chan­dise mart chicago

Do these vignettes spark some­thing with you?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

travel tuesday – hotel burnham in chicago

On my recent week­long stay in Chicago, I dis­cov­ered there is much to love at the Hotel Burn­ham. There are also a few areas in need of minor improve­ment – from my per­spec­tive as both inte­rior designer and trav­eler. I must say the loca­tion and the build­ing itself are terrific!

The hotel occu­pies a ren­o­vated office build­ing built in 1895 and many beau­ti­ful archi­tec­tural fea­tures remain. We stayed in suite 804 – below is the room’s old office door and the charm­ing 8th floor ele­va­tor lobby.

hotel burnham suite 804 door

hotel burn­ham suite 804 door

burnham hotel 8th floor elevator lobby

hotel burn­ham 8th floor ele­va­tor lobby

The com­mon areas on the first floor are equally beau­ti­ful. The small lobby hosts a wine recep­tion each evening, a Kimp­ton trade­mark. I adore the orange chairs! Note the con­trast welt and cutout back on the lobby sofa. Details make a difference!

burnham hotel lobby

hotel burn­ham lobby

burnham hotel lobby

hotel burn­ham lobby

details make a difference - burnham hotel lobby

details make a dif­fer­ence — hotel burn­ham lobby

The largest rooms/suites at the Burn­ham fea­ture a bed­room and liv­ing space, sep­a­rated by French doors. Unfor­tu­nately, the French doors only have sheer cur­tains, so any­one try­ing to sleep in the bed­room is sub­jected to light from the liv­ing area. The king bed is very com­fort­able. There is a canopy of sorts over the bed, which doesn’t appear to have any rela­tion­ship to the room, although it does cam­ou­flage the smoke detec­tor and sprin­kler head. The ceil­ings are quite high, adding vol­ume to a small floor space (the French doors scrape along the side of the bed as you try to close them). The left cor­ner quarter-round side table is styl­ishly delight­ful, but the lamps in both rooms appear under-scale.

bedroom at burnham hotel

bed­room at hotel burnham

funky little corner table at burnham hotel

funky lit­tle cor­ner table at hotel burnham

The seat­ing area fea­tures a fab­u­lous mir­ror and a tiny set­tee. Sadly, the set­tee is uncom­fort­able for one per­son, and impos­si­ble for two! The only other seat in the room is the desk chair. Also, that lit­tle set­tee does not turn into a pull-out, which seems a lost oppor­tu­nity for flex­i­bil­ity, espe­cially for a hotel as friendly to chil­dren as the Burnham.

cute but impractical settee at burnham hotel

cute but imprac­ti­cal set­tee at hotel burnham

The bath­room is very small but well appointed. Aveda toi­letries ele­vate the expe­ri­ence. Of course, the trade­mark Kimp­ton ani­mal print robes are at hand.Suite 804 had win­dows on two sides, both with excel­lent down­town views. The hotel is easy walk­ing dis­tance to many Chicago attrac­tions, includ­ing Mil­le­nium Park, the Cloud Gate (jelly­bean) and the Jay Pritzger Pavil­ion, seen in the back­ground below.

the view from one side of room 804 in hotel burnham

the view from one side of room 804 in hotel burnham

Ser­vice at the hotel is gen­er­ally quite good and always friendly. The restau­rant, Atwood Café, serves a won­der­ful break­fast. Ser­vice here was out­stand­ing in the morn­ing. In the evening, we did have din­ner here once, and ser­vice was not as good. Also, the menu is fairly eclec­tic, mak­ing it trick­ing to feed a picky young diner. There are bet­ter nearby options for din­ner if you are trav­el­ing with young chil­dren, but adults would thor­oughly enjoy the fare. Any place that serves up Red Vel­vet Cookie Dough for dessert is worth a try in my book!

One per­sonal dif­fi­culty at the Atwood: the ban­quette seat­ing at the tables clos­est to the win­dows. It's hard to see in the pic­ture below, but the ban­quettes look ter­rific with an asym­met­ri­cal back. Unfor­tu­nately, the lower side of that back pro­vides zero sup­port for din­ers and hit my back at a painfully low height.  Just a word of cau­tion for any­one above aver­age height.

atwood cafe at hotel burnham
atwood café at hotel burnham

Over­all, we enjoyed our stay at the Burn­ham. How­ever, after a week, the room issues I men­tioned were loom­ing large for our party of three. I do rec­om­mend the hotel, but would myself opt for a larger space in another hotel next time. The Burnham's rooms are ide­ally suited to a max­i­mum of two travelers.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

happy chic — chicago's jonathan adler store

While in Chicago, I had a chance to wan­der hap­pily through the Jonathan Adler store. So much fun packed into one small space! Even my 7 year old enjoyed it — he wanted their Union Jack rug for his bed­room, but left smil­ing with a groovy deck of play­ing cards! Enjoy the stroll… Jonathan Adler Chicago


YUM! at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
orange crush at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
lush lac­quer at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
LOVE this lamp at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
a menagerie at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
ele­gance at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
hot dogs at Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
Jonathan Adler Chicago
great advice at Jonathan Adler Chicago

I hoped you enjoyed this vir­tual browse! For the full selec­tion, visit Jonathan Adler online!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

summertime, summertime

“It’s sum­mer­time, and the liv­ing is easy” or so Sam Cooke assures us. The demands of a new gar­den, the lure of vaca­tion, a child’s sched­ule is flux – along with enough work to fill every day – leaves me to doubt Cooke’s words. And so you, my Dear Read­ers, are left with­out a new post.  The ideas are swirling in my brain, await­ing their chance at freedom.

Real life con­nec­tions trump those in the vir­tual world every time. While I do trea­sure my vir­tual con­nec­tions, the imme­di­acy of those around me each day in the flesh can­not be ignored. I am hope­ful August will afford me the oppor­tu­nity to share some of my sum­mer finds and adventures.

For today, I leave you with these two events to look for­ward to:

Designer Spaces & Mar­ket Places returns for a sec­ond year, and it's going to be amaz­ing! Save the date for our Pass­port Party:

spaces and places

SAVE THE DATE! Spaces & Places Pass­port Party

And this, spot­ted at West­Farms, made my heart do a lit­tle jig!

anthropologie westfarms

anthro­polo­gie com­ing soon to westfarms!

But don't wish away the sum­mer — go out into the world, enjoy, and be sure to laugh!

laughing in Chicago

Go ahead and laugh!!

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