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Modern Dreams at Public Office Woodlawn

public office woodlawn

Are you ever drawn in by the siren song of pale wood and natural light that appears so often in Dwell Magazine? It’s lovely to look at, of course, but sometimes you also want to visit. And possibly get a style souvenir. You can now do both at the Public Office in Woodlawn.

Another project of Armand Margjeka, Public Office extends his artistic eye from Open Shop to a neighboring corner. It also offers an unlikely mix of skincare, candles, camping mugs, and cutting-edge coffee brewing. It is, in a word, unique. In a way we can’t help but love.

There’s something about this little corner of Woodlawn that’s like shopping or eating in someone’s very stylish home. In a way we’d almost expect to go with the loft-y atmosphere and creative minds downtown. Instead, it’s in Woodlawn that folks like Margjeka and the Johnsons of Club Duquette have carved out public homes to purvey some of their personal favorites.

It’s a new take on specialty shop, defined, as we’ve mentioned before, as much by personality as product mission. And it works in part because of Woodlawn’s location adjacent to arts-minded communities in Avondale and Crestwood.

Visiting Public Office, though, feels like a design moment. As though you should take notes for your next home project. And maybe you should. (We might have.) It’s an exercise in modern character, not just scarcity, like the European approach to overhauling an older building.

Instead of reclaimed and industrial, it’s natural and bright. It feels finished, which is a different sort of complement to older architectural styles and a nice alternative to rustic reclaimed trends. We’ve rarely met walls of shelving we didn’t love, and Public Office’s are no exception.

There’s a movement afoot in Woodlawn. One less rooted in reclaiming a grand past and more in imagining a small-batch future. Not an either/or proposition, mind, but a well-crafted addition.


This is part III of our weekend in Woodlawn series. Check out Monday’s post on Woodlawn Cycle Cafe brunch, and Wednesday’s post on Open Shop

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