Chicago Archives – A Little Leopard
Chicago Archives – A Little Leopard

Chicago Archives – A Little Leopard

My love for historic, vintage greystones and brownstones is pretty well established at this point — especially ones with an eclectic touch that artfully blend multiple styles. Well, that’s exactly what we’re taking a peek at today: the Chicago home of Suzanne D’Addario, a local philanthropist whose living space just oozes rock and roll glam. It can go toe-to-toe with the coolest of Brooklyn brownstones, for sure.

The rock and roll piece definitely makes sense, since according to Rue, Suzanne reached out to Chicago design firm Inspired Interior to incorporate her “impressive music background into the design” and build “a concept around the edgy and sophisticated aesthetics of 1970s music scene.” Mission? Definitely accomplished.

The home has amazing bones (that fireplace!), which Suzanne and the Inspired Interior team juxtaposed with more modern pieces like a custom Nikki Rudolph book sculpture. Glam bam thank you, ma’am, indeed.

Image: Rue

There’s the custom book sculpture – I love the mix of glam with the velvet sofa and mongolian fur chair with more natural elements, like the tribal wall art.

Image: Rue

Oh, look – a Marshall speaker! That hot-pink rug and chandelier combination is the stuff dreams are made of… my interior dreams, anyway.

Image: Rue

A view into the dining room. I’ve been into concrete pieces and accents lately, and this coffee table is great. It perfectly blends industrial with glam thanks to the mirrored top, too.

Image: Rue

And finally, the dining room. I am swooning over those dark walls and amazing domed accent chairs. For more photos of this inspiring space, hop on over to Rue, and shop rock-and-roll inspired pieces for your own space below:

I have a couple of friends with birthdays this month and next, which has got me thinking about places to celebrate in Chicago. Sure, yeah, the private dining room at Girl and the Goat would be great, but let’s be real – no one’s planning that far in advance.

(Although… my birthday’s in October. Think I should see if it’s available for that, just in case I’m feeling fancy and richer than I am now?)

So without further ado, here are five great restaurants for celebrating a Chicago birthday dinner:

Image: Dining Chicago

Dusek’s Board and Beer

This is where I originally wanted to go for my birthday last year. Pro tip: organize your birthday more than three days in advance, especially if it’s on a Saturday. Anyway, Dusek’s is in the uber-hip Pilsen neighborhood, and sister concept to Thalia Hall and Punch House. They’re all in the same building, and there’s even a great little cocktail bar inside Dusek’s, Tack Room. This means you can have your entire birthday experience in the same awesome spot – start at Tack Room, eat at Dusek’s, then end the night at Punch House. Heck, catch the show at Thalia Hall, depending on who’s playing. Sounds like a pretty great way to celebrate to me.

Image: The Chicago Chic

The Dawson

This is where we ended up for my birthday last year, and it’s one of my favorite spots in the city. The food is good, but you’re really here for the drinks and the atmosphere. The space sprawls over two levels and a patio – stay in the cozy downstairs, or venture outside to the patio if it’s warm out. When we were there, we ordered plate after plate of appetizers and lots of drinks. Every single cocktail I sampled was great, but I was particularly partial to the “Ghost Town Fizz,” an autumnal twist on a pisco sour. Because I love pisco sours. Doesn’t hurt when the manager stops by, finds out it’s your birthday, and surprises the table with a bottle of champagne, either.

So basically, yes, I love The Dawson and I think you will too.

Image: The Publican

The Publican

With its long communal table, The Publican is just begging to be the site of a birthday celebration. The menu is all about beer and pork, so vegetarians beware – but this is some of the best beer and pork you will ever taste. Plus, since it’s located in the heart of Fulton Market and borders the trendy West Loop, there are plenty of cool bars to pop into once you’ve stuffed yourself – like Fulton Market Kitchen, The Betty and more. (I love, love both of those bars. You really can’t go wrong at either.)

Image: Chicago Athletic Association


Winter birthday? No matter. Cindy’s – and its sweeping views of Millennium Park – is open for your enjoyment year-round. Bonus: the massive portions at this rooftop bar are meant for sharing. They even have giant cocktails that serve 20 people, with fun names like The Hesitant Elephant. I don’t know what’s in that, but I want to drink it. (Edit: apparently it’s a rye-based drink with coffee. Dark liquor is not usually my jam, but when you name it The Hesitant Elephant, I can make an exception.)

Image: Architectural Digest

Pump Room

Feelin’ fancy? The Pump Room, located in the Public Hotel, is a Chicago institution and a great place to celebrate a milestone birthday or event. The restaurant has been around since 1938 and if it’s good enough for the likes of Frank Sinatra and David Bowie, it’s good enough for you. Seriously, just check out the restaurant’s Wikipedia page – some seriously famous folks have dined here. Get there early so you can experience either the swanky Pump Room bar or cozy Library Bar before dinner.

With a gig as the director of Havenly (an on-demand online decorating service), it’s no surprise Shelby Girard has always had amazing apartments. I remember seeing her former Gold Coast studio on Apartment Therapy and thinking, wow, what an amazing space! Now that she’s upgraded to a two-bedroom Logan Square loft-style apartment… well, I basically want to move in.

Like my first interior crush, Shelby has mastered the art of the mix. Her apartment feels totally well-designed and slightly glam, but lots of her pieces are from super accessible, affordable places like IKEA, CB2 and Apt2B. She blends trendy midcentury modern pieces (the tulip table) with more traditional touches (bistro chairs) – in fact, that breakfast nook is probably my favorite corner of the entire apartment. Allegedly the benches are IKEA coffee tables with Pier 1 cushions on top, but I cannot for the life of me figure out which IKEA coffee tables! Still, I’d absolutely love to create a similar vibe in my own kitchen – which currently features my lovely little “marble” card table and lots of empty moving boxes.

There’s the trusty IKEA Kallax unit again, in single-row version. Shelby popped it up on a base to elevate the look, both literally and figuratively. Again, she blends clean lines and Scandinavian design with more ornate touches, like the gallery wall of mirrors behind the TV – which help to reflect light and open up the space, too. Shelby’s apartment, with its abundance of natural greenery, is also a great example of how plants can really bring a space to life.

“I love the simplicity of midcentury styles mixed with the more decorative shapes of antique mirrors or the woven texture of French bistro chairs,” Shelby told My Domaine. “I also am a big fan of mixing textures, so I achieved that with the layered pillows, rug, and sheepskin throws.” I love the effect all the neutrals and different textures have in the space, and how rich they feel playing off each other.

Shelby’s layering skills extend from her living area to her bar cart, which, like the rest of her loft apartment, is expertly styled. Most of her little trinkets and knick-knacks are from budget-friendly stores like Target, H&M Home and Zara Home. (PS – Chicago residents, the H&M on Michigan Avenue has a home section now and it is the best.)

Click over to My Domaine to see the full profile and more photos of Shelby’s gorgeous space!

All images: My Domaine

I don’t have a bike, but every time I stop into Heritage General Store in Lakeview, I end up wanting one. (It helps that Beyonce loves them…) Luckily, this super charming spot focuses on both bikes and coffee, giving me an excuse to pop in. And the coffee? It’s good.

The spot is run by a husband-wife team, integrating “bike and coffee culture.” But let’s be real – I’m there for the coffee culture, and here, the coffee culture involves homemade lavender syrup. While the coffee now only accounts for 35% of the store’s profits, it’s so popular that they are opening three more coffee-only locations: two in Uptown (one of which is open now) and one in Fulton Market.

Since I don’t have $800+ to drop on a custom bike right now, I’ll have to content myself with the amazing Stumptown coffee and Southport Grocery food served here. (Seriously, guys, have I mentioned the lavender syrup? Lavender-vanilla cold brew might be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.) Plus… just look at the place! Sure, it’s exactly the sort of spot Socality Barbie would love, but that’s kind of what makes it so great. The seating is limited, but if you visit when it’s nice out, grab a seat on the adorable patio complete with airstream trailer.

Heritage General Store is located at 2959 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Fall is here: we’re a few days into October and the air has officially turned crisp and cool. It’s by far my favorite season, and I can’t wait to see what this autumn has in store.

September was the perfect goodbye to summer, from the weather to the outfits. It also probably helped that I crossed a few restaurants and coffee shops off my “to try” list – here’s a look at my September adventures, via Instagram:

{ A Sunday afternoon blogging session at Heritage Bicycles with my friend Haley of My Funshine }

{ picking up juice + Asrai Garden flowers from my favorite, Owen + Alchemy }

{ spruced up my lovely card table with a coat of paint and some marble contact paper }

{ picking out fall lip shades with the help of my sister. The winners? Diva with Burgundy lip pencil and Peachstock with Oyster Girl lipglass }

{ new reads from Amy Odell + Mindy Kaling with coffee in my favorite Anthropologie mug – the gold version usually comes out around holiday! }

{ embarked on an impromptu West Loop food crawl with my friend Hailey – follow her for Chicago food + travel pics! –  and finally crossed Au Cheval off my Chicago dining bucket list. You guys. This burger so lives up to the hype. }

{ soaking up the last of patio season with brunch at The Winchester with my friend Stephanie and exploring one of my favorite neighborhoods, East Village/Wicker Park }