The Ultimate Dinner Party

Posted on July 27th, 2015 by Alicia

Last month we were fortunate enough to work with Filigree Suppers founders Brita Olsen and Elise Metzger on a fruit themed dinner party. Read more about their dinner parties and the purpose behind these ultra-mod get-togethers on Gapers Block.

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Photo credit: Brad Snyder and Eva Deitch (via Gapers Block)

Featured above: Floral Burst Napkin, $8

 

Want to See Your Home in our Holiday Catalog?

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Alicia

While visions of sugarplums probably aren’t dancing in your head yet, we’re already thinking about the holidays! In fact, we have some stunning tableware and decor that we’re rolling out just in time for the happiest season of all. And we need somewhere to photograph it all!

Do you have a modern home that’s picture perfect? We’re looking for a place to shoot our holiday catalog. If you live within hours of Chicago and think your home would be an excellent place for us to style a festive photo shoot, let us know!

If you’re interested, send an email (and include some home photos) to caitlin@unisonhome.com. Please include the best contact info for you and your address.

Hope to hear from you — cheers to the season ahead!

Current Crush: Binchotan

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by Alicia

Ever thought you’d use charcoal to wash your face? We didn’t, either. But then we discovered Binchotan. It’s a traditional Japanese charcoal that, when ground into a super-fine powder, can be used in a soap to exfoliate skin and absorb impurities. We tried it. We loved it. And now we can’t get enough of it.

We think you’ll soon feel the same way. It’s easy enough to get introduced to Binchotan and its benefits. It appears in a bunch of personal care products, from toothbrushes to washcloths, which we sell online and in our Chicago boutique. Here are some you can snap up now.

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Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrushes, $7; Binchotan Charcoal Washcloth, $18; Lunar Gray Bath Set, $12.50-$24.00

For your body:

Binchotan Charcoal Facial Soap is the little beauty secret that could. It combines Binchotan charcoal powder and natural extracts in a glycerin soap. Not only does it restore the skin by exfoliating, moisturizing and absorbing impurities, but it smells great and lasts a long time. Our co-founder Alicia swears by it!

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Binchotan Charcoal Facial Soap, $28

For your teeth:

Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrushes are TLC for your pearly whites. Binchotan charcoal is blended into each bristle to stop harmful bacteria from growing. It also prevents bad breath, deodorizes and removes plaque. We don’t recommend it for sensitive gums, but think it’s great for travel.

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Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrushes, $7

For your face:

Binchotan Charcoal Washcloths could be called the triathlete of towels. They have ultra-find Binchotan charcoal powder woven into its fibers for high performance. You’ll love its exfoliating power and anti-bacterial qualities that keep it mildew free. While it’s big enough for the whole body, we like to fold it to use on our face.

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Binchotan Charcoal Washcloth, $18

For your hands and feet:

Binchotan Charcoal Pumice Stones gently exfoliate and smooth rough skin on feet, hands, elbows and knees. Use them on wet or damp skin and after each use, rinse them in warm water and air-dry in the shade. Your dermis will thank you!

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Binchotan Pumice Stone, $16

We hope you can discover the benefits of this very cool but little known ingredient soon! If you’ve tried Binchotan charcoal on your skin, let us know how you liked it in the Comments below!

 

Store Sample Sale

Posted on July 20th, 2015 by Alicia

What ranks right up there with sun, fun and unlimited popsicles? A sample sale — and we’ve got one right here for you. Stop by our store between Friday, July 24th – Sunday, July 26th!

Store location: 

1911 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
T. 773.227.3180

Open:
Monday – Saturday 11-7pm
Sunday 12-6pm

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Current Crush: Mazama

Posted on July 14th, 2015 by Alicia

It’s clay time! As you know, we support handmade craftsmanship and have a soft spot for ceramics. Right now, we’re really digging the artisan style of Mazama, a collective of stoneware designers based in the Pacific Northwest.

Mazama’s drinkware (which we sell in our Unison boutique and online) is made through an interesting process. They start by developing sketches, which are refined into technical drawings. From those, laser-cut profile templates are made and used to measure the vessels they throw. It all leads to quality and consistency. But because these pieces are made by hand, there are always subtle differences that add to their charm and character.

At Unison, you can snap up the Mazama sake set and mugs.  Both are sure to give your beverages the attention they deserve by flaunting artful forms and unglazed, tapered bases (for stability and stack-ability!).

We’re loving the buzz around this quality artisan brand. Check them out in our shop and add them to your must list for summer entertaining.

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Mazama Stoneware Sake Service, $22.00 – $100.00. Also available in blue and black.

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Mazama Stoneware Mugs, $34.00 – $38.00. Also available in white and black.

Cozy Up to #PetsInUnison

Posted on July 9th, 2015 by Alicia

Our bedding was made for you and your animal companions — here’s how!

Nothing beats a good catnap — especially if it’s in Unison bedding. But seriously … cats, dogs and other furry friends really have found themselves at home atop our soft, Portugal-cotton sheets lately. And it’s inspired us to slow down, cozy up and enjoy life at a more leisurely pace — just like our animal companions.

Pets love to snuggle in the same places we do. We like to call them #PetsInUnison! Just check out these great snaps from Instagram of animals kicking back on beds adorned with Unison’s signature graphic pop. We hope these four-legged friends inspire you to relax more in comfort and style.

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The cure for those dog days of summer? Some downtime with our Stitch Pewter + White Duvet Covers. (Photo: @suzyquilts)

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Our Tiles Lemon Duvet Cover is a freshly squeezed graphic that cats have a soft spot for. (Photo: @taymauch)

 

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Red polka dots are the cat’s meow — just ask this adorable little fellow. (Photo: @cateragan)

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Aww … a man and his best friend cuddle up on our Stitch Pewter + White Duvet Covers, with a little extra snuggle power from his newborn. (Photo: @jonellsieren)

How do YOU live with #PetsInUnison? Share and tag your photos with us, @Unisonhome!

 

From an Artist’s Studio to Your Table: Floral Burst Tablecloth

Posted on June 29th, 2015 by Alicia

A Q&A With Designer Stephen Eichhorn

Previously, we together dreamed up Aerial, a mesmerizing, earthy graphic based on a collage of canyons. For this summer, we’re going full bloom with Floral Burst, a fresh, bright tablecloth based on one of Stephen’s botanically inspired pieces.

The original Floral Burst collage is actually many colors on a black background, but by inverting all colors it developed into a beautiful range of blues, giving the appearance of flowers floating on water. Producing the tablecloth has been a year in the making to find just the right printer that could retain all colors and textures. Turns out, digital printing was the way to go and finally one of our Portuguese vendors had perfected it on quality fabric that withstood many wash tests.

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Floral Burst Tablecloths, $85.00 – 105.00

It’s the perfect time to get to know this talented artist and discover this project, which has us completely excited. Read our Q&A with Stephen below!

Unison: We loved working with you on Floral Burst. While it took a year to get the printing solidified, the creative process seemed to come about rather organically.

Stephen: Yes, this collaboration was an extension of our previous Aerial work. The floral burst pattern was taken from a relatively small collage that {Unison founders} Robert and Alicia further mediated. That’s been one of the joys of working with Unison – – the re-contextualization of existing work and the fact that we are typically, if not always, on the same page. In fact, the design process is pretty hands off on my end and is more about bouncing product ideas back and forth.

Unison: You often explore nature and organic shapes in your work. Why are you drawn to that theme and forms?

Stephen: I’ve been working on and slowly expanding my use of nature and organic shapes since I started making collage 7-8 years ago. I was initially drawn to the imagery because of its form and structure. Using found imagery and tracking down different collage components has led to other endeavors. For example, I came across orchids (that I’ve used in my studio practice) while hunting for floral imagery.

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Unison: This project is different than Aerial (which looked almost like a photo) because it’s more punchy and graphic in nature. How do you think these works differ and what in your creative process made each unique?

Stephen: They are both born from the same formal exploration of manipulating photographic material, but the imagery and the rules I assign to making them drives unique outcomes. Each piece is the result of making simple gestures with collage — the Floral Burst coming from a mirroring of form in response to the kind of cosmic strata of flowers. The Aerial piece came from a more simplistic stacking of pattern, therefore making a new pattern.

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Unison: What do you imagine as the ideal setting for the Floral Burst tablecloth?

Stephen: I like the idea of the tablecloth being used in a more informal context — outside at a cookout or in a mellow picnic setting.

Unison: How do you keep busy creatively beyond your collaborations with Unison?

Stephen: I am a working, self-employed artist so I am in the studio most days. Right now my time there is split between commissions (for private collections as well as work for several upcoming magazine features), developing new work and starting to make sculpture again.

Thanks, Stephen! We can’t wait to see what’s next from you. And, heads up to all you Unison shoppers: You can snap up the Floral Burst tablecloth online or in the Unison store.

 

Don’t forget to follow Stephen here:
Online:
http://www.stepheneichhorn.com

Blog:
http://stepheneichhorn.tumblr.com

Instagram:
https://instagram.com/stepheneichhorn

A Real Taste of Summer … at the Unison Store!

Posted on June 26th, 2015 by Alicia

Check Out our Recap of our Rare Bird Preserves Tasting

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We’ve been baking a lot these days. Chalk it up to easy-breezy summer: Longer days give us the extra time we need to whip up pastries, cakes and cookies — and eat them all before bedtime.

We think baked goods pair so well with fresh preserves. As luck would have it, we happen to know one of the savviest purveyors in the Chicago area. Elizabeth Madden, owner of Rare Bird Preserves, makes small batches of fruit preserves by hand in her quiet little kitchen. (But don’t be fooled — they end up in hugely popular mega-retailers like Whole Foods.) And she recently came out to our shop to sample her goods and get everyone excited about summer baking possibilities.

We wanted to share photos that recap this delicious event. Let’s start with those glorious preserves — crafted by and hand jarred by Elizabeth herself. She cracked open so many varieties that our heads were spinning. Lemon blueberry. Peach lavender. And more. She spooned dollops atop scones from Chicago baker Scone City. All we have to say is … match made in heaven.

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If you want to re-create the magic in your own kitchen, we’ve got everything to get you equipped.

First, those bowls: Our Falcon Prep Set, made from enamel, takes you straight to egg-beating paradise. Use it to sift flour and mix any number of other things.

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If you prefer glass, these mixing bowls will do you right.

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Finish the prep work with our rolling pin and pop everything in the oven with our graphic mitts. Voilà — baking bliss!

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Thank you, Elizabeth, for doing a tasting in our shop! And, for all you budding bakers out there, we hope these pictures entice you to get going in the kitchen. Have fun and bon appétit!

Summer Warehouse Sale June 27th + 28th

Posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Alicia

Our Summer Warehouse Sale is this weekend! Shop Outlet Pillows up to 70% off,  Kids + Baby Bedding 70% off, Select Bedding 60% off, plus more unique samples than ever before. Hope to see you there!

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Warehouse address: 

2000 W. Fulton Street

Chicago, IL 60612

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We Love Antiquing!

Posted on June 12th, 2015 by Alicia

… and our recent Memorial Day road trip proves it!

Three-day weekends are meant for soaking up sun, escaping from reality and … antiquing! So for Memorial Day this year we road-tripped up to Wisconsin for some R&R and stopped at an amazing antiques shop along the way. We loved it so much we wanted to share our photos here.

The shop was Lloyd and Leota’s Antiques & Restoration in Hebron, Illinois. It doesn’t look like much from the outside — but isn’t that a sign of a true hidden gem? We had a hunch it would yield a bunch of treasures. And we were right.

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While our daughters scampered around, exploring the maze of aisles stocked with furniture and nostalgia (to them, it must have seemed like they were exploring a larger-than-life dollhouse!), we snooped around and looked for design inspiration. Our favorite find was the below Harvest Table with contrast bright blue legs. Isn’t she a beauty?

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Other gems included a gorgeous original-finish cupboard (shown below), glass book unit and large hand-painted armoire — all quite affordable (around $500-$1,000). We love antiquing because you’re almost always sure to hit the jackpot and discover well-made, entirely unique furniture, often at lower prices than new or Ebay.

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On our trip, we also stopped at the Woodstock Farmers Market in historic Woodstock, Illinois. If you haven’t visited this charming burg, be sure to do so! It has galleries, shops and a famed Opera House. Of course we couldn’t leave the market without picking up homemade cider donuts. And speaking of food, let’s not forget our quick trip to Anderson’s Candy Shop in Richmond, Illinois. Again, we made some serious food splurges here. But seeing as everything was homespun and made by hand, we’re more than okay with that!

IMG_0374IMG_0367IMG_0405Here’s wishing you a summer filled with incredible road trips and new discoveries!

~ Alicia & Robert,

Founders of Unison