The destination in Chicago for shoppers on a design pilgrimage is Luminaire.
This multi-level shop located in River North has floor to ceiling windows and cement floors with plenty of square footage in which to show off the rockstar furniture that Luminare is known for. It's a perfect neighbor to all of the galleries that populate the surrounding blocks. The stock here is eye candy just as much as the artwork hanging on the walls at the galleries.
It's a pleasure to walk around and check out the goods - the space may seem somewhat intimidating at first but don't let it put you off. We've attended the first day of their stock sale and everyone we spoke with was very helpful and accommodating - even though things were hectic and crowded.
Which designers do they carry? Here is just a sample: Patricia Urquiola, Denis Santachiara, Achille & Pier Castiglioni, Arne Jacobsen, Jasper Morrison, Piero Lissoni - the list goes on and on. They sell the design classics and the newest of the new - there is a large selection of items (including those pictured to the left) that were first shown in Milan at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
Prices are, as you would expect, very high. No getting around that - if you want the real stuff, this is what it costs. The sales that crop up during the year are well attended for a reason - but don't wait for them to visit, going to Luminaire is always pure inspiration.
(Re-edited from a post originally published 05.01.06)