Friday, March 24, 2017

The 2017 International Home + Housewares Show

This year was just my second time attending the International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place. It was almost overwhelming to be surrounded by such a vast array of beautiful products. There were many beautifully designed booths, though photography is not allowed at the event and permission can be hard to come by. But at least the people at Con-Tact Paper were happy to let me photograph the lovely sculptures that some artists made with their products. These birds are my favorite.

There were so many innovative products there. Corner Housewares featured their folding convertible furniture. Their Radiant Circular Folding Table is one of the most beautiful folding tables I've seen. It comes together beautifully without exposed hinges and folds for storage. Great for small spaces.

If pretty placemats are what you need, you should definitely check out Victoria Lekach's collection. These stunning pieces really make a statement on a tabletop and there are many styles and options.

Wheaton, Illinois based Collector Mount offers display solutions for comic book, action figure, and vinyl album collectors. Their mounts allow each piece to stand out from the wall without a distracting frame around it.

Several of my favorite housewares brands were there. Here are a few of my favorite new things from them.

Vigar America's new polka dot floral brushes make cleaning fun.

Umbra keeps adding nice furniture to their mix, like this Lexy Side Table.

Flash Furniture continues to expand is great line of budget-friendly commercial and residential offerings, like these (Tolix-inspired) metal chairs that come in a lot of great colors.

Design Ideas has the Cooper line of organizers which look great and can store little things like office supplies and makeup brushes.

Orla Kiely's funky mod flowers give her newest housewares a groovy 70's vibe, like this butter dish.

French Bull's new Terazzo collection is a whimsical rendering of a traditional finish.

Le Creuset has added two new colors to their line, Marine and Oyster, reflecting the two most popular neutrals right now.

Speaking of color trends, jewel tones are still popular. For metals, brass and copper dominate.

 And iridescent finishes are having a moment, as you can see with this ring holder from Umbra.

Finding the right finishing touches for a space can be a challenge, so it's great that the Housewares Show makes it so convenient to find so many under one roof. I look forward to next year's show and hope to get to use some of these resources for my next clients.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Love in a Time of Hate, or Fall in Love with Art 2017

"This is a story of love in a time of hate."
—Princess Amneris, Aida

Lately it's been hard to stay motivated to make new work, but I've realized that putting something beautiful in the world is one way to combat the ugliness of our current state of affairs. These four new mini collages, which I made just in time for my Friday open studio, are a small step in that direction.

Giving the gift of original art is a great way to say, "I love you," don't you think?

Miss Kinzie is resplendent in her pink and white, standing beside a little reminder to "open your heart."

Midge and Ken know that they are good together, just like the colors in the collage they're admiring.

Midge and Nikki want you to know that these mini collages are $20 each and come with an easel for display.

They also want you to know that Valentine's Day is a great time to celebrate a special friendship. If you and your BFF make a harmonic combination, why not let her know?

You can purchase these mini collages, in addition to many more pieces of original artwork, at my open studio this Friday. It's free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. Here are all the details:

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