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Design Dilemmas: The wall behind the flat screen TV

Design Dilemmas: The wall behind the flat screen TV

Dear Readers, figuring out what to hang on the wall behind, above and around flat screen TV’s has always vexed me. Currently, I have three Chinese screens, which I bought several years ago at the now shuttered Bucktown store Wow and Zen. I like them well enough, but my aesthetic has continued to evolve, and […]

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What glows within?

What glows within?

I’m drawn to the mysterious glow emanating from these homes. What’s happening behind those walls, and how do I score an invitation? I can practically smell the incense, and it’s easy to envision seances, dancing and chanting. In fact, the answer is likely far less exotic, but lighting can make a very powerful statement in […]

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Trends: Stags, skulls and taxidermy

Trends: Stags, skulls and taxidermy

Despite the fact that stags, skulls and taxidermy often hang on walls, the hot home design trend has legs. Just flip through nearly any shelter publication on the newsstands, and you’re more than likely to spot some antlers. As evidenced by the latest issue of Field & Stream Magazine, even the manly, outdoorsy types have embraced […]

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Birds and decor

Birds and decor

To woo a mate, male bower birds decorates their nests with all manner of objects, including vibrant berries and flowers. Interested females will visit many competing nests, often returning for a second look by comparison. It appears that bower birds even use the rules of perspective to arrange objects in order to emphasize or deemphasize […]

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Design and the age of Ophiuchus (the new astrological sign)

Design and the age of Ophiuchus (the new astrological sign)

Over the last couple of years, I’ve assembled quite a collection of snake prints, including a vintage German educational chart from the 60’s that hangs in the bedroom and a gorgeous antique print I stumbled across at Scout. I thought it was just a personal quirk, but lately I’ve been noticing more snake imagery in […]

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Trending: vintage photographs

Trending: vintage photographs

One of my prized possessions is a 30’s-era photo album, which I found nearly intact at Old Sau’s Resale and Antique Shop on Lincoln Avenue just after I first moved to Chicago in 1997. Its black and white photos chronicle the friendship of two young couples who travel, picnic and celebrate the holidays together. A […]

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Design Rules: Context is king

Design Rules: Context is king

Last week I wrote about the perplexing array of products in the Neiman Marcus home department, and my friend, KitchenLab and design in a bag‘s Rebekah Zaveloff left a thoughtful comment about the important role context plays in shaping our perception. “I kept thinking, it’s all about how pieces are put together and the context […]

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