New Office Open House

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Holiday Gift Guide

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Chicago Scene: Holiday Season 2018

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Chicago Ideas Week 2018

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Collaborating With an Interior Designer

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Behind the Scenes with Wayward Machine Co.

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From metal signs and bar tops to light fixtures and sculptures, Wayward Machine Co. does it all.

The artisan metal fabrication shop and design studio was founded in 2016 by Bobby Middleton, who honed his skills through restoring vintage motorcycles. He transferred his skills to design and now creates one of a kind metalwork pieces for restaurants, bars and some interior design firms.

We’re especially excited to be partnering with Wayward Machine Co. on a current client project that includes decorative screen panels, glass and metal cabinet door inserts, bunk room ladders, and a master bathroom shower enclosure. We can’t wait to see the results of our collaboration!

Wayward Machine Co.’s work has been featured in some incredible Chicago restaurants, such as Beatnik, El Che Bar, The Herbarium, Estereo, Pleasant House Pub and Bad Hunter.

Bar stool bases fabricated for Prairie School cocktail bar in Chicago.

Room dividers and table bases fabricated for El Che bar in Chicago.

The studio also sells one of a kind metal sculptures and decor pieces, created by co-owner Kathrine Middleton. The pieces are made of molten bronze and glass, melted and fused together to form gilded, abstract sculptures.

The collection, called Circa 3230, is meant to be reminiscent of a fictional long-lost civilization’s ancient artifacts. Since, according to Kathrine, the pieces are a “historical blank slate,” viewers can create their own narratives for the glittering conversation starters.

Learn more about Wayward Machine Co. and contact the team at www.waywardmachineco.com.

All photos via Wayward Machine Co.

Susan Brunstrum

Chair Building with Kravet

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I’ll share a secret, I love manufacturing and plant tours! I’ve been behind the scenes to see and understand how beer, whiskey, jelly beans, chocolate, IV bags, surgeon’s gloves, catalogs, cough syrup, light fixtures, surgical instruments and even jewelry is made. And I am probably forgetting as many tours as I have mentioned.

Recently I had the opportunity to watch Steve Bolick, Head of Customization at Kravet, build a chair while attending a conference in Houston with Design Trust Ltd., a national think-tank of designers. It was fascinating! Each piece is bench-made in the US by this 100-year-old American company. The hardwood frames are guaranteed for life, and the springs are eight-way hand-tied for durability – that’s a tricky technique! The most skilled workers in a furniture factory are the ones who hand-tie seats. It requires a high level of precision and dexterity to do this complicated task.

We often select Kravet because we believe the craftsmanship, quality of materials and variety of fabrics – more than 60,000 – are all top notch. We customize each piece by size, finish and fabric to make it work with our clients’ lifestyles and personalities. From placing an order to the day of delivery takes roughly six to ten weeks. That might sound like a long time, but it’s actually pretty speedy considering the amount and quality of work that goes into each piece. And Kravet continues to make my favorite – our Sweet Peas Design custom designed angled love seats. And Steve inspects each and every one before it leaves the Kravet factory.

Susan Brunstrum





Oh, Man!

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Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Calling all single guys: Please join me for a men’s event Tuesday, October 24, featuring my presentation on the latest in men’s interior design trends, a spirits tasting by Breakthru Beverage and fashion trends by Knot Standard, sponsored by Conlon Real Estate.

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design, Photography by A.J. Kane

I will be covering a wide range of topics – color palettes, fabrics and furnishing styles. Kitchen and bath design. Art, fireplace construction and party-ready patios and game rooms – all of that and more! It all happens from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Hayden West Loop Sales Gallery, 25 N. May St., Chicago. Snacks and libations will be served. Please RSVP by October 20 to Taylor@ConlonRealEstate.com. Hope to see you there!

Susan Brunstrum

RNDD Gallery Walk & Art Talk

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Need an art fix? Mark your calendars – the 3rd Annual River North Design District Fall Gallery Walk returns on Friday, September 8, from 4 to 9 PM, and we are thrilled to be participating again!

The Gallery Walk pairs artists and interior designers with some of River North’s top showrooms for an inspiring evening of art and conversation, curated by Daniel Kinkade Fine art http://www.danielkinkade.com/index2.php#!/HOME, and this year we have a couple of exciting new twists. Each designer is creating a room vignette in the showrooms to highlight the artwork, and I will be part of a panel discussion in my showroom from 6:30 to 8 PM on “How to Curate Art in Your Home.” I hope you can join my team and me at Chicago Luxury Beds, 440 N. Wells St., where we are designing a bedroom vignette for the work of Florida artist Casey Matthews http://caseymatthews.com/home.html.

We have chosen rugs from Organic Looms, furniture from Donghia and Golden Triangle, and beds and bedding from Chicago Luxury Beds, almost all River North Design District showrooms, and the interior painting was done by Paul Minnihan Studios. We would love to have you stop by. Casey will be one of the panelists on curating art home – it will be a lively and informative discussion – and her work is wonderful! She has an abstract expressionist style that is colorful, emotional and full of energy – it really draws me in.

Here’s a sneak peek at a piece of art from Casey Matthews, who will be featured in our vignette at the River North Design District Gallery Walk, hosted by @rndesigndistrict curated by @danielkinkadefineart, #RNDDGalleryWalk. Photo Courtesy of https://artcld.com/artist/casey-matthews

The event is free and open to the public. More details about all the participating artists, interior designers, showrooms and special ticketed events, including a VIP Kickoff party and After Party, are available at https://rivernorthdesigndistrict.com/fall-gallery-walk/.

This is a fabulous way to head into fall!

Susan Brunstrum

Show House Opens Saturday!

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Ta-da! After weeks of preparation, the curtain will rise Saturday, April 29, on the 2017 Lake Forest Showhouse.  (For ticket information, hours of operation, parking and much more, visit www.lakeforestshowhouse.com.) Be sure to mark your calendars for this must-see event, which runs through Sunday, May 21, and features our master bedroom as well as the work of more than 30 other Chicago-area designers. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather ideas and inspiration for your home. We are so excited to have this space – it has sparked so much creativity! Our vision was to create a safe haven for self-actualization, recharging, goal setting, creativity, and of course, relaxation!

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

The bed is the centerpiece of the room. We custom designed it with curved wings at the head and foot, and placed it in the middle of the room to encourage the free flow of dreams, ideas and imagination! Among the other custom pieces we designed is a pair of luxurious suede chairs with pearl trim down the back (under construction in the photo above), a glass-topped table, supported by stacks of acrylic blocks, and a pair of rugs. I also commissioned original artwork by Chicago artists.

Photo Courtesy of FineArtLamps.com 

We fell hard for the understated, organic elegance of this stunning chandelier from Fine Art Lamps. The glass spires mimic natural crystal formations which are mounted within a gold leaf band. It can be installed with the crystals pointing up or down!

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

We’re not sure if you can see the future in these crystal balls, but they do appear to be filled with dream-like clouds- perfect for a master bedroom!The orbs and the rustic, stacked stools are among several items we chose from Pagoda Red.

Photo Courtesy of JWCDaily.com 

This year the biennial event is being held in an east Lake Forest estate designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, a Chicago native and one of the most respected turn-of-the-century architects. The award-winning, English country estate is set on more than two acres of lovely gardens, bluestone patios and fountains. The residence itself is a five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath masterpiece that includes a five-room coach house with kitchen. We feel so honored to participate for the third time in this worthwhile and popular event, sponsored by the Lake Forest chapter of the Infant Welfare Society. Proceeds benefit Chicago-area children in need. We hope to see you there!

Susan Brunstrum