Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Wonderful Celebration!

What an exciting evening for us! The night was a celebration of so many things. A newly redesigned space to reflect what our business has become, a book signing featuring our own Jean Alan, a celebration of health and happiness and the ability to help others. We welcomed Nancy R. Hiller, author and Kendall Reeves, photographer of A Home of Her Own to sign their book as well as meet our friends, clients, associates and so many near and dear to us. Below are some highlights of the evening.

Our new window scape featuring a custom screen to create a well defined display area. Jean Alan talking with a guest. The delicious items our guests dined on.

Jean, Nancy Nugent, and Ruthie Alan sharing a laugh. Kendall Reeves, photographer of A Home of Her Own signing books. Joe Partipilo of Olde Chicago Antiques with Ruthie. Nancy R. Heller, author of A Home of Her Own signing books.

Jean with Rosaire Nottage and Eunice Ward. Michelle Pennington and Beth Allen Tiernan of the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest. 

Nancy talking about her work and the book with Susan and Noel, Ruthie and Suzann Craig, featured in the book. Jean with Dr. Lixin Sha. Jean talking about design with Elizabeth Raspolich and Kevin Wheeler. Jean with Danny Popuch of Daniel's Antiques.

Ines Augiar and Peggy. One-of-a kind Turkish pillow designed by Jean. Jean signing books.

Ruthie with Dr. Lixin Sha. No celebration is complete without thinking of others. Guests enjoying the evening.

We hope you enjoyed celebrating with us as much as we enjoyed having you. If you were unable to make it to the party we hope to see you soon. Books are still available for purchase and make great holiday gifts!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Home of Her Own and a Newly Redesigned Space For Us!

Our own Jean Alan is featured in the new book A Home of Her Own, by Nancy R. Hiller. A Home of Her Own is a collection of stories of women and their homes, the connections and relationships they have with their spaces and the work they put in to making it happen. The stories of these remarkable women are chronicled not only though their words but also the beautiful photographs of Kendall Reeves. Jean’s own story is highlighted as well as her work with a client and the home created for her.

A Home of Her Own Book Cover

Jean Alan Residence Entryway

When your space doesn’t reflect who you are what do you do? You change it. Recent reevaluation of many aspects of our business caused us to make some very important changes including a beautiful new logo and website. Since putting our space together in 1999 we realized that we simply did not get it right. In addition, the book signing for A Home of Her Own was providing us a grand reason to make significant changes to our space.

All along we struggled with the complicated issues of our main entry and the awkward transition into our space. With numerous aspects of our business changing we realized we had the opportunity to really address our entrance as part of the overall change of our studio space. We spent the better part of a month tossing ideas around, none of which stuck for various reasons and it was when Jean saw that very graphic floor at the Spring 2012 Balenciaga runway show she knew she had finally found her inspiration and answer. Using a material known as Stone Wood from our friend Robert Briggs at Marble and Granite Resources, Inc. Jean was able to design a bold graphic pattern and at the same time raise the level of our floor solving the awkwardness of our entry. This is what we do as decorators, we take very real and practical needs and create solutions that are artful and reflective of whom our clients are in addition to addressing their needs. In this case, our new stone floor is a very real example of that truth.

Alan Design Studio Section of Stone Wood Floor

In addition to the floor we have made other changes to our space to impart a gallery feel in the space. Our window space is being redesigned to allow us to better showcase our one of a kind pieces and allow for seasonal changes. We look forward to sharing our 'new' space on November 18th with everyone!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kick Up Your Feet: Custom Coffee Tables

One of our specialities at Alan Design Studio is creating bespoke, custom pieces for clients. And lately we've had many requests for custom coffee (also acceptable: low, cocktail) tables. We wanted to share with you a few of our favorites.

This custom coffee table top was added to an existing base - one which elevates it to make it appear as if it were floating. The sustainable, solid walnut top was harvested from a local city tree, with planks individually selected for grain and figuring.

For this young bachelor, we scouted a cool, vintage industrial cart made of cast iron. For the top, we had fabricated a thick concrete stop stained a custom earthy color.

With inspiration from design icon Jacques Adnet, this sophisticated low table was custom fabricated for a library overlooking Lake Michigan. The thick glass top is polished on one side and highly textures on the other, and held in place with two mahogany sides. A clever support system is concealed behind a sleek metal rod.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take a Look: Alan Design Studio on eBay

Custom JA Chair, $3750

As many of you may or may not know, we have a select inventory of refinished, reupholstered and as-is vintage pieces for sale on our eBay store. We've added some new items and reduced a few prices, so take a look! Recently we had two "JA Chairs" newly made right here in Chicago, using local artisans and materials (photo at left). They are hand-crafted from solid walnut with mortise and tenon joinery, upholstered in locally-sourced ivory leather, and hand upholstered using old world European techniques.  This chair can be customized utilizing a variety of wood species and fabric options for each client.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Alan Design Studio on The Nate Berkus Show Monday!

Set your DVR! Don't miss Monday's all new episode of The Nate Berkus Show, airing at 2 PM CST on Chicago's NBC 5. Nate features this powder room by Alan Design Studio. We're very thrilled to be included. Thanks, Nate!