Warehouse Sale!

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Alicia

In case you have not heard, our Annual Warehouse Sale in Chicago is in full swing starting tomorrow at 11am and running through Sunday. Here’s a sneak peek at what we will be offering below. There will be up to 75% off on sample bedding, blankets, B-quality pillows and table linens. A 2-for-1 deal on outlet pillows (look in the bins!) fabric by the yard, and lots of deals on overstock baby and kids bedding. Plus: select housewares and accessories up to 50% off!IMG_9072IMG_9075 IMG_9076 IMG_9084

This year we are thrilled to have local contemporary apparel boutique Penelope’s join the sale! They will be offering classy items from American & European designers. There will be men’s items from Gitman Vintage, APC, Gerald & Stewart and The Hill-Side and women’s apparel from Ace & Jig, Sessun, Me & Arrow, Berangere Claire and more.

Friday + Saturday 11-6pm // Sunday 12-5pm

Unison Warehouse // 2000 W Fulton St F-109, Chicago

Please use back entrance off Carroll Ave

Annual Warehouse Sale Oct 24-26

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Alicia

Coming up next week is our Annual Warehouse Sale! Up to 75% off on sample bedding, blankets, B-quality pillows and table linens. Enjoy a 2-for-1 deal on select pillow patterns and additional discounts on fabric by the yard, select housewares and accessories up to 50% off. Plus local apparel boutique Penelope’s will have a pop-up within the sale offering overstock men’s and women’s contemporary clothing. See  you there!

Friday + Saturday 11am-6pm

Sunday 12-5pm

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Getting Thirsty for Craft Beer with Michael Kiser

Posted on October 15th, 2014 by Libby Cortez

We’re getting excited about this Thursday’s Perfect Pour event, so we cornered the unquenchable Michael Kiser to help us wet our pre-party whistle.

Michael Kiser of Good Beer HuntingA beer connoisseur and beverage industry expert, Michael helps breweries of all sizes build their brands – and in the process, he travels widely and chronicles his experiences at Good Beer Hunting, offering us all a front-row seat to the explosion of our nation’s craft beer business.

Michael’s passion is destined to pique your taste buds’ curiosity – whether you’re a beer lover or not. Check it out:

First off, you’re clearly passionate about beer. So much so that it’s contagious—and making us thirsty. So what’s all the fuss about?  Why do you love beer so much?
Well, I’m hardly patient zero when it comes to the passion in beer-making. So many brewers have inspired me to see beer in a completely different light than when I was just drinking the stuff.

They get excited about beer just like we do, but they also look at a glass and see a process that mystifies them as much as they wrestle with it to try and pin it down scientifically. What did the yeast do in this batch? Could I change the rate of hop additions? What did it taste like in the barrel in month one versus one year out?

Beer is as much a natural phenomenon as it is a technical process, and that mystery will always draw people with a curious, tinkering mind. It makes brewing feel constantly new and fresh, even when you think you’ve figured it out. I guess that’s why it captured my artistic inclinations, and inspired me to start telling stories and capturing amazing photographs that share this lifestyle in the way that I see it from the inside, now that I work with breweries on a daily basis.

There’s just so much adventure to be had.

Do you see any exciting trends in the world of craft brewing right now? What should we be watching for?
We’ve finally reached the point where old is new again, and that’s exciting for me. For a decade or more, we’ve chased down the hoppiest, strongest beers we can figure out how to make, and it’s been fun.

But now we’re digging into the back catalog of beer history, making goses, a salty, tart wheat beer that essentially went extinct as a German style. Alt biers, honey ales, just beautiful, more subtle beers that had a place in our history. And they have that place again as more and more people get intrigued by beer. That being said, Americans never stop exploring, and right now, it seems like the saison style is our obsession. We’re reinventing the rustic, French, farmhouse style, and we’re getting some unbelievable flavors out of it.

Mmm. Please tell us that you’ll be bringing some such beers to the Unison event.
You bet. One of Chicago’s best brewers, and a bit of a beer historian in a way, is John Laffler and Dave Bleitner from Off Color Brewing. Their first beer in the market last year was a gose called Troublesome. And since then, they’ve gone on to brew a number of subtle palate pleasers that taste unlike anything else on the market today.

I’m going to bring two of their beers that I think exemplify this sophisticated approach: Scurry, a dark, toasty honey ale in the style of a Kottbusser, with a little molasses in the finish. And their newest beer, Ellie, a honey saison made with gin spices. This might be one of the most unique beers I’ve heard of in awhile, with lemon zest, lemon juice, juniper, coriander, chamomile, and rose hips.

I think people are going to love them.

So, what next?
Like I said, beer in America is all about exploration. And just when you think a trend has reached its logical peak, someone adds a new twist. Barrel aging is one of those things.

We think of barrel-aged beers as those big, dark imperial stouts aged in bourbon barrels. Amazing stuff. But now, we’re going in a dozen directions at once with barrels. We’re using wine barrels to impart completely different flavors, either that dry oakiness of a cabernet, or the silky quality of chardonnay. Or liquor barrels like fernet and rum, or whole barrel-aged cocktails like a Manhattan.

It’s a completely different way to think about beer recipes, and as always, we’re getting some amazing flavors from the process.

Store Event: The Perfect Pour October 16th

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by Alicia

Please join us as we welcome local Chicagoans Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and Tristan Coulter of Gaslight Coffee Roasters. These experts will be on hand to demonstrate the importance of the perfect pour using our coffee and barware. Whether you are a coffee or beer enthusiast or both, stop by to learn tips on pouring and even unique pairings. Plus take 20% all Coffee and Barware during the event! Thursday, October 16th from 6-8pm at Unison, 1911 W Division St, Chicago.

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Votes In, Tree Trimmed

Posted on October 8th, 2014 by Libby Cortez

Feeling festive all year long? We bet that you were, and we bet right.

During our Christmas in July vote this summer, we invited Unison fans everywhere to select which ornament collection we should offer this holiday season. And a merry mob of you cast your votes and sent us stitching.

Thanks to all of you who participated, and don’t forget to use that voters-only promo code to make this year’s holiday shopping a bit more merry and bright.

Now, at long last, the winner is…

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So many?! That’s right. Considering the number of people who chimed in and voted, we decided to produce both the #1 & #2 designs.

So when it’s time to shop, you still get to choose: the Soft Bird Ornament Set in red and gray (the berry bright winner) or shades of nature (the fresh & clean runner up). Or both!

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Bird-Ornaments-in-Shades-of-Green

Beginning in early November, these sets will be available online or through our catalog for $20. If you’d like to be notified when they arrive, just drop your e-mail into the form below, and we’ll keep you posted.

 

Sailor Poppy in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by Alicia

We are delighted to see our Sailor Poppy Changer Cover featured in this month’s issue of Pregnancy & Newborn! Selected as part of their Circus theme, under Six Nursery Themes You’ll Love. 

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Stylin’ Squash Bisque

Posted on September 29th, 2014 by Libby Cortez

When we connected with a new food stylist for our holiday catalog shoot, we all got infected with a bit of early cheer.

The wonderful Jim Rude is anything but rude. A 20-year food-styling veteran, he humbly attributes his success to hard work and a little luck – although we can attest to the fact that a lot of talent has gone into the mix as well.

And, since Jim began his career as a chef, he doesn’t just know how to make food look amazing; he knows how to make it taste divine.

The squash bisque he whipped up for us looked particularly delicious. So we tried it for ourselves – then begged for the recipe.

Good thing for all of us, Jim’s kind enough to share:

Butternut Squash Bisque

Garnishing butternut squash bisque with a sprig of sage

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Total time:  75 minutes

Serves 6

1 ea. butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded

2 Tbsps. EVOO, divided

1 med. onion, diced

1 ea. granny smith apple, peeled, seeded, and chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. honey

3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh herbs for butternut squash bisque

Directions:

1. Rub cut sides of squash with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place cut side down in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Bake for one hour or until squash is soft.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or dutch oven, saute onion, apple, and garlic in remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat until softened. Add curry powder and cook an additional minute.

3. When squash is tender, scoop flesh out with a spoon, transferring it to the saucepan with the onion/apple mixture. Add the honey and chicken broth. Simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes or until hot.

4. Puree mixture with a hand blender or regular blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Serve in bowls with sprigs of fresh herbs.

Jim Rude Pours Butternut Squash Bisque at the Unison Holiday Catalog Shoot

“This creamy classic is a great way to kick off the fall season,” Jim explains. “For added flavor, try it with some crumbled biscotti cookies or fried sage leaves on top.”

Check out Rude On Food for more good stuff from Jim.

12 Fresh (and Fabulous) Fabric Ideas

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by Libby Cortez

We at Unison have had an ongoing love affair with fabric for – well – forever. If you know us at all, you know that much.

So we’re always noting great ideas for getting creative with fabric. And why not? One of the easiest ways to inject new life and style into any look is to bring in some material full of bold color or striking pattern.

Step one: choose your fabric. The options for this are virtually endless. But we’ll help you out by humbly mentioning that our collection of fabric offered by the yard is one great place to start.

Now for what to do with it:

Fold an origami-style tote bag

Model holding origami-style fabric tote bag

This is a hip and current look, and there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself in a few relatively easy steps.

Brittany Watson Jepsen has one great how to with lots of photos. (And don’t hesitate to linger. Her blog is chock full of great ideas for using fabric.)

Let the kids go wild

Let’s be honest: you can spend your life savings on a Rembrant, but the framed finger painting that your 5-year-old made in kindergarten is destined to garner more comments.

So why not encourage your little artisans to get creative with your favorite fabrics? Just grab some glue, safety scissors, and a selection of gorgeous material, then see where their imagination takes them. Frame the results for praise-worthy wall art.

Turn scrap fabric into gorgeous twine

Gorgeous twine made from scrap fabric

Bring new life to your gift wrapping with My Poppet’s great tutorial on making roping from scrap fabric. Tie one on and give it away!

Think fabric for wainscoting

Ever muse about doing something bold with those lovely, framed sections of your dining room? Turns out they’re the perfect place to go crazy with patterned fabric.

Why? For one, you’re working in sections that are surrounded by lots of white space (or gray space or black or…you get the picture). So you needn’t worry about overwhelming the room with too bold a look.

But there’s another big benefit: Fabric is easy to remove (unlike that pesky wallpaper). So if you go big and bold and then need a change by next fall, it’s not the end of the world.

Makeover a chair with fabric scrap

Wooden chair with seat made from woven fabric scrap

Pull up a chair and start a conversation with this DIY idea from Sincerely, Kinsey. Who’d have thought that a made over wooden chair could have so much personality?

Braid a basket

Didn’t think you were cut out for basket weaving? Maybe you just need to rethink what you’re putting into it.

Not for the casually crafty, Tiffanie Turner’s DIY fabric basket tutorial is as thorough as it is creative. Get to work now, and you could have a gorgeous collection of hostess gifts in hand for the holiday party season.

Cover some cork

A collection of fabric covered boards in black and white

In our Chicago store, we often use fabric-covered boards as wall art (and as a great way to feature our extensive line of fabrics).

It couldn’t be easier: just be sure that your cork (or whatever core you choose) is acid-free, cover it with your favorite fabric, and hang. Easy + gorgeous = forever favorite.

Wrap in fabric

If you were thinking of sending us a gift, we’d like it wrapped like this please. Who wouldn’t?

Joy Uyeno has an über easy tutorial on her Frock Files blog – simply easy, simply gorgeous. What could be more modern than that?

Switch a switch plate

Switch plate covered in fabric

Light switch plates are a fun place to inject some spark into a room, because they’re small but often seen (and used) by all who enter.

Plus, it’s not too tough to do this yourself with your favorite bit of fabric. Tidy Mom offers a nice tutorial.

Pick a bouquet of fabric flowers

Sew them in, pin them up, tie them on… Whatever you can think to do with these beautiful fabric flowers, we approve.

This tutorial on Flax & Twine is inspiring and thorough – templates and all. Happy handmade indeed.

Light up your life

A lamp with a fabric-covered shade

Just follow the steps from Six Sisters for a beautiful and cost-effective freshen for any lamp.

Create a fabric flag banner

We could list creative takes on this classic all day, but Pinterest already has the options covered in spades. Check out this Fabric Flag Banner board for endless ideas.

 

Keep an eye on our Projects with Fabric Pinterest board for more ideas.

 

Store Event: Block Party Sept 25th

Posted on September 11th, 2014 by Alicia

Join us for our first event of fall to celebrate the launch of our fall collection! We are calling interior designers, architects, loyalists and newbies for a cocktail event featuring our Fall collection and limited edition upholstered furniture pieces. Learn about other creative uses for our fabrics and take 20% off our entire collection. Enjoy cocktails and samples featuring apple brandy from local distillery Rhine Hall. Feel free to rsvp to our Facebook event or to division@unisonhome.com. Thursday, September 25th from 6-8pm at Unison, 1911 W Division St, Chicago.

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White: A Design Staple for All Seasons

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by Alicia

With the passing of Labor Day comes a change in seasons—and with it, a subtle shift in our mood and mindset. Summer is behind us. The rhythm of our days is changing, becoming more structured and contingent on school-day rules.

So we’re fighting back.

How? By throwing one tried-and-untrue rule out the window: instead of boxing up our whitest whites in these post Labor Day days, we’re shining a spotlight on the great white world.

Why We Love White

As much as we at Unison are known for color and pattern, we’re also obsessed with white. Why? It’s a clean palette. A classic backdrop. An inviting canvas on which to display your creativity. An enduring staple of good design.

fulton_white_duvet_980The clean minimalism of white allows your own unique style to capture attention through the color and texture you layer atop it.

In short, it’s one of my favorite “colors.” And it’s perennially in style.

The Wide World of White

Many of today’s foremost designers have a passion for white:

Commes des Garçons often shows white on the runway.

Commes des Garçons often shows white on the runway.

Layering white upon beautiful white, Comme des Garçons proves time and again that great style transcends the seasonal—and transcends that old no-white-after-Labor-Day rule.

One great adopter of such fashion is Karim Rashid, a perennially hip style icon who has made all-white ensembles one of his personal signatures. He proves that white is a class act, as does another favorite style icon, Martin Margiela. This Belgian designer has cultivated a white aesthetic from the start of his career.

The Maison Martin Margielas store in Paris

The Maison Martin Margielas store in Paris

On our honeymoon, we visited his all-white store in Tokyo. It was like a dream to be in that space!

But Not an All-White World

As much as I love white, I couldn’t live in an all-white world. After all, one of the things I most appreciate about white is its gracious ability to let other colors and textures take center stage.

This is why we at Unison do what we do: we design and curate layers of modern beauty, and we let white (or sometimes black or gray) pose as a backdrop for that depth of thoughtful design.

Take white shelving. Dieter Rams‘s Vistoe shelving, for example, creates the perfect first building block in your tower of great design.

And what about white floors?

Sure to feel crisp and clean: Scandinavian-style white floors

Sure to feel crisp and clean: Scandinavian-style white floors

This is a classic interior element in many Scandinavian homes. What better place to begin building your look than from the ground up?