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happy st.pat's!

For over 40 years, it’s been a tradition to dye the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. On this day we’re all Irish.



If you’re going green at home, see Colori Chicago for the best selling shades of low VOC green paints. From left to right, C2 LoVo’s primavera, saguaro, and russian olive. Also, Mythic’s apple annie and dragon’s eye by David Bromstad.


visit chicago: for alexander calder

abstract mobile at

A mobile is best described as a hanging sculpture of fluid motion.

Whether starting with a single wire—or balanced on a stand with a pointed tip, a stabile—thin arms with attachments are carefully positioned one off the other so they balance both physically and visually.

As their inventor in 1931, Alexander Calder is synonymous with mobiles. While sculptures that moved via machinery or motors may have inspired the name, Marcel Duchamp suggested it to Calder for his kinetic, or mobile art pieces.

Thru March 21st at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is Alexander Calder in Focus. Don’t miss the opportunity to view this annual exhibition of his mobiles, stabiles, drawings and paintings.

Also, detour into the loop to see Calder’s Flamingo sculpture at the Federal Plaza, shown below.


10 essentials: april

1. The outdoors. Nothing else can compare to sitting on a mountaintop vista or kayaking down a winding river or sunning yourself seaside. The beauty of nature inspires everything around us.

2. Traveling. The farther you go, the more your perspective changes.

3. Red velvet cake—a serious addiction.

4. 60’s Italian cinema, the best hairstyles ever.

5. Museo del Prado has paintings that will make you swoon.

6. The sublime shapes and textures of Verner Panton’s designs never go out of style.

7. Vintage modern architecture like Neutra, Koenig. They built homes that incorporated their surroundings to allow the outside view to have as much impact as the inside view.

photo: lastnightontelevision, flickr.com8. My iPod. Whether I’m in the mood for Ladytron or Verdi’s requiem, it never disappoints.

9. The selma flute. What a gorgeous way to drink champagne!

10. Our loyal companions greeting us at the door when we return home everyday. What else can make you smile like a wildly wagging tail?


lux for a little

Create the look and feel of high-end luxury on a budget by selecting simple shapes with rich textures or reflective finishes.Think soft fabrics mixed with the sparkle of polished chrome and high-gloss lacquer—and a few design details that echo the glam of old Hollywood.

Start with the avec sofa, its soft pewter poly velvet fabric and vintage cross stitching is a perfect beginning.

Add the peekaboo coffee table, for the illusion of a larger space, and throw in the city slicker side table for its white lacquer—not to mention just the right amount of 60’s regency.


Hang a few perspective mirrors for sparkle, add drama with a luxe floor lamp and a few blok candle holders can add romantic glow. Throw the whole collection on top of the lounge natural shag rug for that deep warm luxurious feel.

Now, take a guess on the cost of this ritzy room worthy of the silver screen. Would you believe it’s under $2,500?

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for this submission.


destination: new orleans, la

What better place to be than a city that’s been celebrating Mardi Gras—and their amazing Super Bowl win—for the past few weeks? The spirit here in New Orleans is incredible—there’s an electricity in the air!

Thirsty? First stop is the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. Immortalized in the writings of Ernest Hemingway, the revolving Carousel Bar is a part of New Orleans history. It has a wild circus motif and is often filled with colorful local characters telling their stories.

Hungry? The raw bar at John Besh’s brasserie Luke in the central business district is the best in the city. The casual dining room and delicious flavors of fresh local fish and meats will definitely require a return trip.

Nightcap? No trip to New Orleans would be proper without a Sazerac cocktail. I tested many of these around the city and these two serve the best versions.

Named after what many consider to be the world’s first mixed drink, The Sazerac Bar carries with it as much history and lore as its potable namesake. Just gazing at the famous Paul Ninas murals that flank the long African walnut bar takes you back to the grandeur of old New Orleans. A time when Huey P. Long might stroll in, order a Ramos Gin Fizz, and spend the next few hours talking to his constituents.

The Hermes Bar at Antoine’s also has a wonderful history. Since 1840, world-renowned Antoine’s Restaurant has set the standard that made New Orleans one of the greatest dining centers of the world. Can you believe that this place has been in the same family for three generations and that they were only closed for four months after Hurricane Katrina?

Sleepy? I want to stay up all night so I don’t miss a thing—and this is definitely the place to do it. But too much of a good thing is not so good.

I check in to the Loft 523 hotel, which is only two blocks from the French Quarter (and much quieter). The rooms would make a perfect location for CB2 catalog photoshoots…minimal, warm, and inviting.