LAKEVIEW — A new Chicago-based furniture website, Waveland & Clark, will launch this fall with furniture pieces inspired by different Chicago neighborhood's style and sensibility — all named after well-known streets.
Southport Corridor, known for its families and young professionals, lends its name to the "Southport Rocker," a rocking chair with tuft leather and stainless steel bottom. Rocking chairs may be traditional, but the styling and steel bring a contemporary look to them, said Ryan Scarpelli, co-founder of Waveland & Clark.
Like Southport, the chairs are traditional, yet modern and urban.
"Nowadays, buyers are looking for a certain [type of] place to live, no matter what neighborhood" they end up in, Scarpelli said. "They're looking to have a unique item, too."
Scarpelli, 31, and co-founder Chris Min, 33, have both worked in the furniture industry and decided to start a venture that cut out the middleman between the designer and the customer. The online-only store aims to offer high-end products for a better price.
A $2,000 sofa at Waveland & Clark, for example, might cost $3,000 in a retail store, Min said.
"Everybody likes that high-quality furniture, that Crate & Barrel look, that Restoration Hardware look," Scarpelli said. "It's hard for people to afford that stuff."
And along with that original goal, the two wanted to draw from their love of Chicago. Min, who lives in Lakeview, and Scarpelli, of Roscoe Village, met in high school in suburban Arlington Heights.
Beyond Southport, a dark gray sofa with sleek fabric named "Fairbanks" is intended to evoke the "Downtown, urban feel" of Streeterville. A wood base and storage in the back is intended to add warmth to the piece, Min said.
"We got skyscrapers; that's why that cool dark gray color finish on the fabric gives it that look," he said. "But the wood encasement brings the warmth and culture of Chicago."
There's the Madison chair, a functional leather chair to match Downtown; the Sheffield buffett table, a long wooden farm table for the three-flats and condos of Sheffield in Lincoln Park and Lakeview; and the Taylor sofa, a classic white sofa meant to look like a "cloud" in a small space on the Near West Side.
When the site launches, it will offer about 100 pieces. Additional pieces will be tested by the owners before they're added to the site.
"We wanted to offer a great selection of product that has a story that people can uniquely identify with," Min said.