Real Love Stories, inside The Bank on Broadway

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We work incredibly hard, every single day, to create beauty.

Honestly, that’s what we’re all about.

But perhaps most importantly, authentic beauty.

Which is why we are beyond excited to share our Real Love Stories, inside The Bank on Broadway.

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Eva, our beautiful bride, married her incredible groom, Darius, a few years ago at the lovely Cuneo Mansion.

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Eva loves all things French, European, elegant, historic.

Working with them planning, styling and designing their wedding was so much fun, we were blue as can be when the big day was over and done.

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So creating their wedding all over again for a shoot was literally a dream come true and beyond.

Especially when we learned we not only got to spend the day hanging out with them again – BUT their brand new bouncing baby boy too!

The thought of a chic, stunning bride + her baby in a gorgeous gown, it’s oh so Vogue, non?

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I mean.

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This incredible circle of creating a new life together, creating a new family, creating a new life with baby Kaius, certainly calls for a magnum of champagne.

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I had 100 favorite moments at the shoot.

My first was Eva, in tears, thanking us for recreating her wedding day all over again – like she was living a dream.

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My second, was Darius, all nervous, waiting to see his beautiful bride come out from the dressing room, all over again. He couldn’t believe those emotions and  nerves were back – again!

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The third, was this cashmere covered baby – whom I snagged away at every chance I could to hold myself, bounce myself, love on myself – he is delicious.

Bravo bravo to you Eva + Darius – can’t wait to celebrate your incredible family all over again, again  soon.

photos Roots of Life Photography

wedding gowns Victoria Sdoukos Custom Couture

hair makeup Kate Johnson Artistry

florals, styling A Perfect Event

 

Our new baby…The Bank on Broadway

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We have been working, quietly, hopefully, since September on a truly amazing new project.

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The story goes like this…

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In 1920, the automobile had just been introduced, and buying a car was an incredible luxury.

The experience of shopping for a car was the ultimate lavish experience – you were to be transported into a whole new world of beauty and wealth as you entered into a “showroom”.

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In Chicago, on North Broadway, at the end of Lake Shore Drive, Automobile Row was built.

To show off it’s glorious new autos, Chrysler designed an amazing French and Italian Gothic architectural palace, composed of two massive ballrooms, carved columns and columnettes, curved wrought iron staircases, fountains, crested fireplaces, juliet balconies and more.

It’s like a mini French Chateau.

Smack dab in the middle of a beautiful, leafy, tree filled residential neighborhood.

In Chicago all I could compare this to is The Drake Hotel’s Gold Coast Room.

Simply magnificent.

Then, the stock market crashed, 1929. The Great Depression lasted ten long years, and buying a car fell by the wayside.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of the original terrazzo floors we’ve been restoring – they were covered in commercial carpet, layers and layers of glue.  It took two weeks just to remove the glue – talk about a human mouse trap – our shoes are still sticky.

 

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After Chrysler closed the dealership, this beautiful building then became a furniture store, an antique store complete with a full size carousel, an art gallery.

 

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The carved limestone and terracotta facade is incredible.

I could sit and stare at all these beautiful almost 100 year old “Putti Head” faces, Egg and Dart and Bead and Reel carvings for hours.

And, I have.

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The exterior is – literally – wait for it – rose quartz – the official Pantone color of 2016.

Gasp.

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So, here’s what happened next.

The neighborhood alderman is a genius.

As the building sat, vacant, with many national retail chains wanting to turn it into the next Walgreens or CVS, the alderman thought about how to properly bring this original 1920s Chicago gem back to life.

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And, through a stroke of pure luck, he thought of us.

Lil’ old A Perfect Event.

He called, he asked us to meet him and help him with a new neighborhood project.

That’s all we knew.

No other info.

We were intrigued.

We looked at our calendar, and thought – ugggh – do we really have time to drive ALL to the end of Lake Shore Drive to help an alderman with a pet project, not even inside our Lakeview community?

But, to know me, is to know how much I love projects.

So, we pulled up, we walked in, and we fell in love.

Our jaws dropped, even with commercial carpeting and old furniture scattered all about, blck drapes in windows.

All we saw – in our heads – was this.

 

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The beauty we could create in this building.

The architecture and grand details that we could restore, step by step, to bring this landmark back to life.

In the 70s, the building became a bank – and in fact the vaults are still intact.

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We’ll be finishing up restoration this month – and then – watch out – we’re launching this gorgeous space to share with community, Chicago, and celebrations to infinity.

Photos – Roots of Life Photography

Florals – A Perfect Event

 

Fall in Love with Apricot + Blush

View More: http://tamaragrunerphotography.pass.us/diy-decadence-event-debi-lilly

Here’s a peek at our glorious DIY Decadence party last Sunday, inside our studio.

View More: http://tamaragrunerphotography.pass.us/diy-decadence-event-debi-lilly

It was just so much fun – sharing new fall trends, linens, tabletop decor, and toasting to friends old and new.

View More: http://tamaragrunerphotography.pass.us/diy-decadence-event-debi-lilly

These silver trophy vases and mercury glass votives are my new favorite item in our store – they instantly dress up the table or mantle even when empty.

View More: http://tamaragrunerphotography.pass.us/diy-decadence-event-debi-lilly

The gold beaded chargers are new in our Debi Lilly Design for Safeway collection – and are a must for setting the table, bien sur.

French grey zebra cloth from BBJLinen.

Silverware and pink goblets, Halls Rental.

Floral cupcakes, Maddiebird Bakery.

Photos: Tamara Gruner Photography

Cheers to a fabulous fall!

 

 

Style me Pretty Wedding Feature

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Oh what fun – a beautiful feature on beloved Style me Pretty today!

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We are in love with every single beautiful detail planned for our bride and groom, Anjali and Jon, at Gallery 1028.

These Debi Lilly Design dual bud vase/glasses are still a favorite from last year’s Safeway collection…can’t get enough of them.

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And can you just guess where this pretty petit vase came from, last summer?

A Paris flea, bien sur.

 

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Wedding photography stylist secret: Did you know a little rain on the streets and sidewalks makes your photos sparkle and shine?

 

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These two.

Oh, I simply couldn’t get enough of them.

I so love it when I get to hang out with the little wedding party vips.

I wished they would never have to go home and go to bed that night…

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Just breathtaking, every single bit, non?

Read the full feature on Style me Pretty, here.

photos: AveryHouse

Florals: A Perfect Event

Linens: BBJ

Happy Mother’s Day

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Happiest Mother’s Day to you, from my family, to yours.

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Every woman I know is a mother.

Mothering, caring, loving, in so many different ways, to oh so many.

To that end, cheers to the men, the uncles, the fathers, the grandfathers, who also mother right along with us.

I was born a mother.

When I was young I was first a sister, then babysitter, cousin, auntie, devoted friend.

But I always and forever dreamed, and yearned to be a mother.

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Which makes celebrating family and friends today all the more beautiful.

I am exploding with gratitude.

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Whomever you mother, however you spend your day, may it be filled with love and laughter.

And so much happily ever after.

Cheers to mothers, around the world, caring and tending every minute of every day.

photos: Bethany Fritz, Maypole Studios, Paris 2013

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