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Amy Kartheiser


Best of Culture & Society 2018

By Tara Gardner, Laura Hine, Marjie Killeen, Jacquelyn Lumley and Alyssa Zacek

Butler’s pantry photo by Werner Straube Photography | Safari photo by | Ravinia photo by Patrick Gipson


Best of Culture & Society

With limits often comes inspiration. When designer Amy Kartheiser was given the butler’s pantry at last year’s Lake Forest Designer Showhouse, she wasn’t allowed to touch the cabinets, which make up much of the room. “I wanted my room to have some kind of punch,” Kartheiser says. “The rug and the chandelier were my aha moments because they set the tone for the room—glamorous yet inviting.” She put simple white accessories in the cabinets, added antique mirrors and marbled wallpaper, then lacquered the ceiling. “It’s a two-week process, but it makes an impression on everyone who walks in,” she says. Since the showhouse, Kartheiser has been busy with clients and opening a new studio. “I shipped a lot of stuff back from France, and we’re having a pop-up retail event, plus a first-look benefit,” says Kartheiser about the dual-purpose studio space. First Look to benefit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention May 17, tickets $50; pop-up shop May 18-20, 11am-5pm, 1804 Central St., Evanston –LH 

Lake Forest Travel Bureau

Carefully curated adventures await those who vacation with Lake Forest Travel Bureau (One Westminster Place, Ste. 300, Lake Forest). Demonstrating that the devil really is in the details—with its extensive knowledge and impeccable client service—the family-run business, owned by Monica Varri, ensures that every element is attended to and delivered with a personal touch. “When travelers are thousands of miles from home, their travel advisors delight them with surprises tailored to their tastes and interests,” shares Varri. Trending destinations include safaris in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Northern Lights viewing and glacier treks in Iceland, and around-the-world cruises. Varri adds, “These cruises are in high demand, and we chart once-in-a-lifetime luxury experiences with upscale cruise partners.” –TG 

Game changers for the consummate sports fan, Big Game Air turns the hassle of out-of-town sporting events into an all-out luxury occasion with its portfolio of private jet charters that fly out of the North Shore’s Chicago Executive Airport. BGA offers an unparalleled mix of same-day or overnight trips to Big Ten games and other key sporting events, including the PGA Masters and the Kentucky Derby, along with customizable packages and bespoke trips. “Coordinating flights and creating one-of-a-kind experiences for sports travel are what set us apart from other luxury travel companies,” says Arturo Gomez, CEO and co-founder. –TG

Ravinia Women’s Board’s annual gala

Glitz and glamour are on deck when Audra McDonald is in the house. The Ravinia Women’s Board’s annual gala (tickets $750) has been delivering elegance to the North Shore since 1967. With a black-tie cocktail party featuring passed hors d’oeuvres, bar service, dinner and showstopping performances from notable names in classical music, the gala is an evening to be remembered. This year it will be held July 15, themed Sunday in the Park with Audra as an homage to singer and actress McDonald, who will be delivering a ritzy performance with the world-class Chicago Symphony Orchestra. –AZ