I’ll go ahead and own up that the odds are fairly high that I’ll write something embarrassingly wrong in this week’s column. It’s about furniture, specifically modern furniture designed by an apparently well-known old guy named Vladimir Kagan. Not exactly my forte.
I’d never heard of Kagan before, but I got to check out his latest designs at Soho Modern Furnishings, which recently reconfigured its Cantrell Road showroom to feature a number of pieces from the new Weiman/Preview line designed by Kagan.
All I can say is, if I had the room and the money, I could clear Soho out in about 20 minutes.
This is furniture you won’t find in any of Little Rock’s larger, better known stores. There’s no chintz, no oak, no overstuffed or oversized. Soho’s owner, Becca Hayley, stocks her showroom with the ultramodern — curvy, sweeping, asymmetrical shapes, unexpected combinations, eye-popping colors. I absolutely fell in love with the red sofa in the picture, and the “Louie Who?” chair, a funky-shaped but comfy-looking piece upholstered in lime green “Eurosuede.” (As with most other furniture stores, everything Soho has in its showroom can be ordered in other colors and fabrics — so you can go as neutral or as loud as you want — and she’s also got catalogs galore of pieces she simply doesn’t have space to keep in the shop.)
The Weiman/Preview couches run between $2,000 and $3,000 — unfortunately out of my personal price range, but definitely competitive with the higher-end lines of traditional furniture you’ll find at places like Rye in North Little Rock.
Hayley said she constantly fights against people’s assumptions that because her furniture is so high-style, it must be high-priced too.
“People look in the window and go ‘Oh, I can’t go in there, that’s too expensive,’ ” she said.
It’s amazing people look in the window much at all — Soho’s easy to miss, even if you’re looking for it. It’s at 7710 Cantrell Road, across from the McDonald’s between Mississippi Avenue and Foxcroft — a section that’s not exactly conducive to leisurely sightseeing. My advice: approach from the east, look for the sign for The Hop drive-in, and turn right immediately.
Even if you’re not in the market for a big piece of furniture, Soho’s worth a look. Hayley carries accessories, too — from modern lamps (as cheap as $69) to little touches like a small, round orange clock that says the time out loud if you smack the top of it, to graceful, organic mobiles that could lull you into a trance if you’re not careful.
I’m quickly running out of words here, so on to other matters:
• If stained glass is your thing, get over to Chameleon Art Glass in the Heights. Wes and Sonya just brought back three tons of glass from Chicago, and some of it’s as cheap as $4 a sheet. They’ve also got new pattern books and the Glass Eye “celestial series” paperweights.
• I mentioned a column or two ago that home decor textiles manufacturer Dreamweavers would be holding monthly sales at its outlet store. The next is 7 a.m.-1 p.m. April 2, and the store’s at 23rd and Arch streets.
• All Easter items are 50 percent off at the Design Center in the Heights. Nothing like an after-holiday sale that starts before the holiday.
• Last chance to take advantage of Dress for Success week at Barbara/Jean. Through Friday, March 25, bring in a nice, older suit and get 20 percent off a new one. The old suits go to Dress for Success, which will pass them along to low-income women who need a leg up to succeed in the mainstream workplace. Now that’s what I call a deal.
The Arkansas Leader this week shines an editorial light on legislation, to discourage sexual contact between probation and parole officers and the people they supervise. It follows some local scandals.
Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.