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Of All the Furniture Joints, In All the Towns, In All the World

By Joanna Miller in Miscellaneous on Jun 29, 2006 6:31PM

2006_06_29pottery.JPG 2006_06_29pottery3.jpg 2006_06_29pottery5.jpg 2006_06_29pottery2.jpg

If your modern/traditional/casual/Ikea home furnishings could use a little dose of culture, a new store in River North may have the answer.

Guerramo Gallery (441 N. LaSalle) is the first Moroccan furniture gallery in the Midwest, and it just opened earlier this month.

2006_06_29divan.JPG Owner Mohamed Guerraoui, originally from Casablanca, Morocco, has been living in the U.S. for 15 years and in Chicago for six. The store is filled with one-of-a-kind pieces handcrafted in Morocco and selected by Guerraoui on his trips back home.

He told Chicagoist he looks for pieces that will work with modern décor, and if he can’t find them, he has them custom made. He found this divan, a more traditional item, made of hand-carved cedar wood and camel bone, and had a sleeker, more modern version crafted, as well. Both are available in the store for around $2,200.

Prices range from less than $100 for some pottery items to $4,600 for large furniture pieces. Mosaic tile pieces can be custom ordered for approximately $150 per square foot. Guerraoui said the mosaic work is done by artisan Said BenAdiba, who built the Moroccan Fountain in Garfield Park.

If you visit the store, but sure to mention Chicagoist – you’ll get 20 percent off your purchase.*

2006_06_29chest.jpgCasablanca is one of Chicago’s 25 sister cities, and Guerraoui serves on the sister-city committee.

And in case you ever wondered about what that program actually does, the Chicago-Casablanca partnership’s work has included sending American basketball trainers to Morocco, professional exchanges between urban planners and doctors, Chicago opticians giving eye exams and glasses to Casablanca’s poor and seven performances by Chicago’s South Shore Drill Team for Moroccans in three cities. In fact, the Chicago-Casablanca Sister City Committee has been hailed as one of the most successful international sister-city relationships in the world.

*We do love it when you mention us, but this is no joke - it's an honest-to-goodness special offer for Chicagoist readers only.