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month at the museum: begins today

What: Month at the Museum
Where: Museum of Science+Industry Chicago
When: October 20-November 18, 2010  

Today the Museum of Science and Industry’s new roommate, Chicagoan Kate McGroarty, begins a historical thirty days as their first live-in visitor. A 3-sided, 16x16’ glass cube just outside the main rotunda will remind daily visitors that Kate’s there 24/7—but she’ll also be out and about doing some research, collecting her thoughts, writing and blogging about living in this home to more than 35,000 artifacts and one of the largest science museums in the world—not to mention an architectural gem.

Built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, ‘The Palace of Fine Arts’ is the only surviving permanent structure from the fair. Designed to follow principles of the Beaux Arts movement highlighting symmetry and splendor, it officially opened as a museum in 1933.

In preparation for her stay, the out-in-the-open cube and behind-the-scenes living quarters were designed and set-up by another Kate, our Lincoln Park designer. Her job was to translate a briefing by selecting pieces to meet Kate’s needs. Architectural details provided a spectacular backdrop, but modern furniture and bold colors that add energy and excitement are all key to this very modern exhibit.

What pieces were chosen and why?
Our hope is that the cielo sectional will help Kate feel comfortable in her temporary home—she can cozy up in the corner or sprawl out on the chaise to write or watch TV on her laptop. To compliment it, the slot coffee table offers some privacy with its hidden compartment while she’s in the open, on display. In addition, the fold desk is durable and hints of an industrial lab for any science experiments she takes on—and while the glass cube allows visitors to see Kate from just about any angle, the positioning of the furniture allows them to observe without feeling intrusive.

Tucked inside the sprawling 14-acre museum, her living quarters are a prime example of small-space urban living—which also had to be modern, functional, and just as fun as the exhibits outside.

Painted a cool grey and with the architecture as a key element, brilliant white multi-functional furniture pieces set a bold stage and are great for small spaces. An odyssey dining table doubles for dining or work, and with city slicker as a side table, ottoman, or extra seating in a pinch—it’s lightweight so Kate can move it around as needed. Alpine was chosen for its space-saving headboard/nightstand and a theo duvet keeps the overall color palette strong and ties in with the Museum’s contest graphics. A parlour sofa is the focal point in lemongrass and a shop chest adds another pop of color to the room—not to mention ample storage for Kate’s 30 t-shirts, one for every day of her stay so you can’t miss her. Go to these links to follow her on twitter or facebook.

Thanks to kate, store designer lincoln park, for contributing to this submission.

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