Takara shops adds home decor
Janet Zaleski prepares for TAKARA home's grand opening in Oak Park. | Meredith Morris~For Sun-Times Media
What’s for sale?
At TAKARA Home, shoppers can find items such as:
• Cowhide throw pillows, $108 each
• Wooden tripod floor lamp, $289
• Emperor carved letter owners representing Chinese zodiac signs, $38
• Vintage wooden skis, $189
• Indonesian batik fabric full-length wrap-around aprons, $68
• Vintage Japanese wooden grain box with hand-forged handle, $145
TAKARA home will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. In mid-November it will also add Monday hours.
Updated: November 13, 2012 10:46AM
OAK PARK — “Coffee tastes better when it’s in a pretty cup,” says Takara Beathea-Gudell, summing up the premise of her new endeavor, TAKARA home.
Located in her former Croix boutique space at 131 N. Marion St., TAKARA home is Beathea-Gudell’s first foray into home decoration, connected to her other Marion Street shops – Takara Design and Shoe Soko – by her quest for out-of-the-box self-expression.
“I’ve decided to try doing something I love, which is home dec,” Beathea-Gudell said, explaining the shop is a “pop-up store” solution to holding a lease at the empty Croix space through March.
While not defined as a trial run store, if TAKARA home succeeds, Beathea-Gudell may seek a permanent space. For now, it’s about finding beauty in unusual, often hand-made, vintage and new items.
“We need to slow down and really enjoy the environment,” Beathea-Gudell said. “I was in the car this morning and watching people go in and out of stores so quickly. We want people to come in here and experience a new shopping concept.”
The concept revolves around finding unexpected uses for everyday items, such as an antique hand-forged pitchfork used as a wineglass rack, wooden tripods used as lamp bases and a metal garden topiary transformed into a bi-level decorative table.
“It’s a matter of going through and experiencing some things that are nostalgic, too,” Beathea-Gudell said, referring to a basket of vintage rag rugs sitting next to her in the earth-toned shop, accented by corrugated cardboard and other materials hung to add texture and design. “Everyone must have had one of these in their first apartment. You put it in the wash and it comes out looking great.”
TAKARA home’s eclectic blend of items includes ribbon-tied stacks of war-time love letters, ceramics and old wooden tools. “They aren’t usable anymore, but what a great gift for a man who has everything,” Beathea-Gudell said.
The shop also features a section of new and vintage kitchen utensils and serving ware, including Indonesian batik aprons, oversized placements and napkins of Beathea-Gudell’s design.
“It feels like how my home looks,” said Beathea-Gudell, a 12-year resident of Oak Park. “I don’t like to match things in my house. It’s just a menagerie of deliciousness.”
The deliciousness is working for Janet Zaleski of Chicago.
“We’re inspiring people,” Zaleski said, referring to a pair of vintage skis for sale. “Things like this are wonderful because people will take them home, put them on the wall and start a collection. I’ve seen that in a home, and it was stunning.”
The store will help shoppers imagine creative uses for items, such as repurposing a large vase as a punch bowl, Zaleski added.
“We’re attracted to things and we don’t know why. And the vintage things have stories. You can invent things and get in your own world,” she said.
TAKARA home will regularly receive new items selected by Beathea-Gudell and her buyers.
“You have to give Takara credit. This is the third-and-half store she’s had on this street, in a recession. She knows how to pick things,” Zaleski said.