Thursday, December 30, 2010

Side Tables That Make A Statement

We have three side table/nightstands that were stripped of their old-fashioned ways and replaced with a new outlook on their soon to be grand second life.  They are such a smart proportion, especially in the depth - only 15".  the pieces.  Two tables have a shelves.  And all come with all the style you'd possibly want.  Come make them yours soon.  These won't last.

30" long x 15" deep x 28" high

Our Steel Stripper Has Our Unbending Love and Admiration

Look at this beauty.  Here in Chicago, Scout was the first to take original Steelcase casegoods and strip them of their old patina, revealing gorgeous steel buffed to a nice matte finish - sealed with clear coat enamel, these tables have become a Scout standard.  Clean-lined, built-like-a-truck quality with a decidedly modern sensibility.  Pair this table up with almost any style and the metal is such a nice "break" from the sometimes overdone wood found in most homes.  Bring this table home and call the neighbors.  It is party time!

78" long x 37" wide x 29" high

Pair of Leather Lounge Chairs

Originally custom made for the Lounge of the owner of the Indiana Pacers, these tan club chairs have what I call, "all the goods".  They are a perfect size for today's city home.  Note the low silhouette - not too high in the back.  They are squarish in their overall proportion.  And, they are in a soft supple leather in a neutral but not bland tan.  Thanks to my dear friend Deborah Phillips, owner of the magnificent Scentimental Gardens in Geneva and the new and always interesting urban outpost, SG on Grand, for sharing with me her "overstock" so that I can look as good as her stores do.  This pair will not last, so come see them soon.  They are really perfect.

Large Steelcase Sliding Door Cabinet

We had two of these, now there is one.  Large, oversized - meaning wider and slimmer.  These perfectly colored gray steel science cabinets came from the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Labs, being demolished to make way for newer facilities.  We have had the honor of taking particular items from this special place, and reinvent them.  This cabinet with sliding glass doors is a real treat.  The right piece for a larger area.  Six adjustable shelves make this ideal for the family with lots of stuff and nowhere to put it.  Know anyone like that?

47" wide x 16" deep x 84" high

Tan Steelcase Sliding Door Cabinet

One thing I've learned in my years of scouting for Scout:  we can't have enough storage pieces.  Not just your typical blob of wood that hides everything, but a piece that both stores and displays.  These steel cabinets with sliding glass doors are from the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Labs, being demolished after providing 60 years of service.  We got the best stuff inside, and we have two of these on our floor - yes two.  We would love to see them side by side, as I think they'd look incredible that way.  Adjustable shelves and a great neutral color  (or they can be repainted or stripped).  This is the best example of taking pieces from a totally unrelated place to the home, and just by bringing them into the home space, they instantly become something different and incredibly relevant and special to the home. 

35" wide x 22" deep x 84" high

The Coolest Green Shutter Mirror

I'm always a bit leary of things I would describe as "country" or rustic.  Too often that is a code word for "not special enough" and too often I find the look to be way overdone.  But, every once in a while I find something in the genre that blows me away. This is that piece: authentic Maine shudders, dating to the late 1890's.  The line is very clean and linear - nothing fussy.  The color is the best green I've seen in a long, long time.  And, the two lower shudders actually close over the mirror, allowing you to adjust the look depending on time of day or what's happening in your home.  This is that rare signature piece for that wall you've been saving for something this special. 

33.5" wide (shutter doors closed) 60" wide (shutter doors open)
4.5" deep (shutter doors open) x 62" high

Hard To Find Barrister Bookcases

In our six years of finding and selling special items, we've never had a pair of matching steel barristers.  Now we do.  This dark, dark green pair is an original Steelcase, probably from the late 40's or 50's.  They are elegant, functional and proportionately perfect.  With only 12" of depth, they can be used in combination with upholstery positioned in front of them, or simply use them like you'd use art.  They can be added to almost any style.  You can tell I'm pretty proud of having them in Scout.  Consider the possibilities.

Each stack: 35.75" wide x 11.5" deep x 72.25" high

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chuck Rolwing's Special Painting Makes Scout Look Its Best

Thanks to Las Manos - I am always able to borrow the best stuff to make the store feel special.  Chuck Rolwing has been with Las Manos for many years, and I remain truly in love with his earlier works - like this one.  Special colors, iconic images and a classic look in new art.  What could be better?  And, because Chuck gives off such goodness, his art also is giving off the best "energy" in town.  I had a lovely woman come into Scout this afternoon who is expecting this posting, so she could reveal her new love to her husband.  Let's take a vote - do you think he'll understand this new love that his wife has brought to him.  I vote yes, but in case he's still unsure, I'll bring it to their home for a "date night" - this piece is special.

46" x 60" Oil on Canvas


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lindsay Meets Steelcase

We were first introduced to John Lindsay and his business partner Alessandro Paradiso of New Breed Furniture Network when we were given the opportunity to sell their custom made fixtures from the Uptown Writers Studio.  Their work stations and tables became an instant hit with all our shoppers.  Now we're working with John to bring you his Dandelion Series table tops thoughtfully married to vintage table bases such as this stripped metal Steelcase base. 

65" diameter x 30.25" high


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Perfect Vintage Gift

Black Lacquer Has Never Looked Better

For those who follow Scout, they know I love lacquered wood - preferably ebony - or "ebonized" for short.  I think it gives everything a great second (or third) life.  Classic, elegant and a bit edgy, you can't resist.  Nor can I.  Now, cut to today - Ted Harris, our lamp man extraordinaire, finds bowls, trays and boxes (oh my!) all year long, and holes up in his studio a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and "ebonizes" all his finds, and then proudly brings them to us for the holidays.  (Think bad souvenirs from Hawaii given a second chance in life...)

So many shapes and sizes to choose from, they are very much a Scout staple around the holidays.  Try a small bowl with red pistachios in them for your next host or hostess gift.  You'll be a star.  Tell them it was your idea.  I won't tell. 

$10 - $95

Nickel-Wrapped Glass Counter Display Case

Make Your Beautiful Things Even More Beautiful

Display them in this incredibly proportioned tablet-top display case.  Originally from an old fashioned general store, this piece has room for two levels of glass - only one is in now, and is open on all four sides.  Hard to find something so beautiful in a display piece.  Watch out, it just may look better than what you put in it!


19 1/2" deep x 31" high

Franco Albini Wicker Ottomans

Take A Seat!  (Or Two!)

These lovely textured ottomans are iconic in their shape and form.  And, an engineering feat of wonder.  Try sitting on them, and you'll become a devoted fan.  We got two from a dear friend of Scout - Brad Brody, who used to run a lovely antique shop on Lincoln Avenue.  Thank Brad for bringing them to us, and encourage him to bring more beautiful things.  He is a man with an eye.  Now, Scout claims all the credit.  (Shhhh, don't tell anyone the truth.)

14 3/4" high x 24" deep

Vintage Steel Table

Stripped and Acid-Washed and Waxed

Sounds like something new from the local day spa, doesn't it?  Not really.  We loved this table so much we couldn't help ourselves - we wanted to make it better.  The finish has to be seen to be believed.  Dining table or desk height.  Pair with black chairs - it can easily seat 8.  (10 if everyone likes each other!)

11' long x 29 1/2" deep x 35 3/4" high

Special Butcher Block Table

Perfectly Proportioned Work Table or Kitchen Island or...?

All original elements in this lovingly restored work table.  From a south side manufacturing plant, this piece has been refined, waxed and sanded - filling in all the holes on the top, and finishing off with a smooth-as-can-be spar varnish.  The topper is the lonely but dimensionally correct single green drawer right in the middle of the piece.  Hurry, because if this doesn't find a good home soon, I will be bringing it home to mine for the holidays.  But, for all who really know me, they know it will come back sooner or later.  Take your chances!

72" long x 29" deep x 36" high

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Extravaganza in Steel

Iron and Steel Extravaganza!

This solid iron work table has cast grey legs, and we've stripped the top - revealing a bit of silver with not all the patina removed.  The result is a piece of extraordinary size, stature and impact.  The grey/steel color makes is suitable for all decors, and it can be easily dressed up or down.


54" x 36.5" x 34.5"

Thank You Furniture Revival!

Dan And Garth's Handiwork

Scout's most valued and creative furniture resource is in the capable hands of Dan and Garth, owners of Furniture Revival.  These men have built a company that constantly takes my vision and improves it.  When the three of us stand in front of a yet-to-be-worked on piece, we all make our wishes as to what we want to happen, and how we want it to look.  These guys ALWAYS make me and our product look better than it has a right to.  They are miracle workers and I am proud to call them my partners.  No, beyond proud - I am giddy to have them on my team.  Garth and Dan, you make everything we work on beautiful and I am always amazed at how much fun we have doing it.  Is this work, really?   Bravo, Gentlemen.

Perfect example of their work: this 11' plank table - made of solid fir wood - has the original cobalt blue iron base.  Standing 36" high, it can function as a work table or dining table - just pair it with 24" stools, and you've got a signature piece for your home or office.  Total dimensions are 11" x 29.5" wide x 36" tall. Tall, dark and handsome - this is probably one of the best tables of this genre we've ever found.  Dan, Garth and their wonderful team of men and women waxed and sanded - x5 - but kept all the soulfulness of the original.
I told them, "make it Scout-like" and they upped the ante.  I can honestly say Scout has never looked better.  It is standing tall right down the midway of the store!

11' x 29 1/2" x 35 3/4"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Scout in the Chicago Tribune

Scout is featured in the Chicago Tribune's Living Section today, December 3rd, 2010. Shopkeeper Larry Vodak is mentioned by Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Owner of Las Manos Gallery. The Gallery and Scout encourage their customers to visit the other business, keeping commerce flowing, and clients happy with new art and furniture!

Click HERE for a link!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tambour Door Console

  Tambour Door Console

Found in an industrial company that is moving to the suburbs, this incredible 8' console has been in the same executive office since 1952.  Smart, stylish and functional, this piece is made of walnut, and the tambour door works perfectly.  Opens fully, to reveal lot's of storage space. A true gem.  Found only at Scout.  We had two, now there is one.   

8' x 18" x 30"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fricks Reed Company Maple Tuxedo Chairs

 A stunning pair of Fricks Reed Company Maple Tuxedo Chairs, reborn with black leather - all new foam, wrapped in muslin with smart piping and small details only found on important chairs.  New webbing underneath and a commitment to making these 1940's chairs come alive.  Probably in our top three of smart club chairs we've been fortunate enough to call our own.