Meet Jenny Rossignuolo: An Aussie with an eye for design.

Jenny Rossignuolo

Interior Designer Jenny Rossignuolo of Urban Source

Urban Source is a walk-in design showroom in Chicago that is open to the trade and the public. It is often referred to as “a candy store for your home”. Adults who are interested in home design and decor react with delight akin to children in Willy Wonka’s psychedelic candy factory when they enter.

Co-Founder Jenny Rossignuolo, an interior designer from Australia, relocated to her husband’s home town of Chicago in 2000. She runs the bright, sleek, inviting studio where hip, modern, high-energy wallpaper and fabric samples hang on the walls. Customers can browse and shop, mix and match palettes and patterns to their hearts’ delight. The staff is always available to answer questions or provide design assistance. 

The studio has a “chic cool” vibe. With an ever-changing collection of contemporary fabrics and wallpapers, architecturally-inspired window treatments, custom pillows and top-notch upholstery services, customers are encouraged to unleash their creativity while shopping.

At this point, you might be wondering, “So what’s the connection with Rakks?” The answer is Jenny. A few years ago she came across Rakks while thumbing through Dwell Magazine and added the page to her resource library.

Last year she was designing a client’s loft kitchen and needed to finish off an under-used but prominent part of the space. Back to her resource guide she went and came across the Rakks tear sheet. That was it; she found her solution.

Kitchen installation with Rakks M-Standards

Her design included two Rakks M-Standards with four glass shelves. When asked what drew her to Rakks, she says, ” I love the simplicity of the design, the clean aesthetic, and the high-end look. I think the product is also very well-priced, and the fast turn-around time frame for delivery was fantastic!

We consider it the highest compliment when a designer uses Rakks on a project and in their home. Jenny did just that. She designed her large appliance cabinet with M-Standards and Rakks aluminum shelves. It’s no secret that M Standards work with many shelving materials including glass, wood, and Rakks Aluminum shelves. Although Rakks does not manufacture glass and wood shelves, we can accommodate custom orders with local third party suppliers.


Jenny’s home appliance cabinet opened


Jenny’s home appliance cabinet closed


Rakks M-Standards and aluminum shelves

Are there more Rakks projects in Jenny’s future? Yes. She is currently working on a friend’s kitchen design using her go-to combination of Rakks M-Standards with aluminum shelves. “I am also toying with the Rakks poles for a room divider on a commercial project I just started working on,” says Jenny.

We’re ready and waiting to help in any way we can. Thank you, Jenny!

February 12th, 2016 | Comments Off

Glass Shelves Added to An Impressive Found Object

Found Object with Glass Shelves

A found object creation ‘Bilbao’ by Sebastian Errazuriz. 

The use of found objects in design and architecture has become a major trend amongst designers. We came across this article on Contemporist about a beautiful found object bookshelf with glass shelves.

New York-based artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz was strolling along a street in Santiago, Chile, when a massive fallen tee branch caught his eye. He hauled the branch back to his workshop and turned the found object into a beautiful bookshelf by adding glass shelves.

See more pictures of this stunning creation here!

January 13th, 2016 | Comments Off

Happy New Year!


Illustration by Keith Ente

Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!


December 31st, 2015 | Comments Off

Talk About Karma

Marcela’s Yoga Boutique - Exterior

Marcela’s Yoga Boutique – Exterior

Marcela Hughes is a Yoga Instructor, Certified Health Coach and owner of Marcela’s Yoga Boutique Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. The shop is delightfully warm and inviting. Merchandise ranges from yoga-inspired art and essentials to exotic teas that nourish the mind, body and soul. It is not surprising Marcela also believes in the power of Karma.

When Marcela undertook the renovation of her shop, she anticipated challenges due to the age of the building, and it’s location in the historic district of Old Town Alexandria, VA. She consulted the local Small Business Development Center for advice about hiring an architect. They recommended Bridget Gaddis.

Front Room


Bridget is a Licensed Architect and LEED-Certified Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. Bridget holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design. The ironic part of the story is the fact that Briget’s office is located directly – yes directly – across the street from the yoga studio. Clearly this collaboration was meant to be.

Merchandise Display

Merchandise Display

The women soon discovered they worked well together. “At the beginning of the process, Marcela had a vision that centered around the lotus flower,” says Bridget. “It is the key visual element of the studio’s logo, and I found it inspiring. I liked the fluid water element inherent in the Lotus environment,so I incorporated curved glass shelves supported by Rakks Style Shelf Support Brackets on D Style Standards as a feature in the shop. Rakks also supplied the custom glass shelves. There is a mystique attached to the idea of yoga, and one way of visually representing the calm is with open space – not so easy in a tiny shop. By merchandising mainly the walls we were able to define site lines that terminate in beautiful merchandise displays and at the same time maintain the “karma” of open space.”

Rakks Brackets and Wall Mounted Standards

Rakks Brackets and D-Style Wall Mounted Standards

The linear quality of Rakks Brackets, PC2, and PD6 pole supported shelving, and Rakks wall mounted standards create a visual rhythm in the space. In addition, to the wall mounted shelves on “D” standards, the dramatic wood shelf – with the shape of the tree still in its profile – is supported by Rakks counter support brackets.

The project took about four months to complete. The structure is old, and the exterior walls are plaster directly on furred out brick. The walls were totally out of plumb, to the extent that the contractor had to build a drywall stand out in front of the existing wall to use the wall mounted Rakks standards. An additional benefit of the Rakks poles is that they do not rely on the walls for their support.

Display Area and Studio Space

Display Area and Studio Space

Thank you to Marcela and Bridget for sharing your story with our readers and Teel Construction for their impeccable installation of Rakks.

Contact information:

Marcela’s Yoga Boutique
317 Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 571-290-5026

Bridget Gaddis, AIA, Leed AP
424 S. Washington St. Ste. 3A
Alexandria, VA 22314
Office Phone: 973-701-8800
Cell: 973-610-0238

Teel Construction
768 Walker Rd.
Great Falls, VA 22066
Phone: (703) 759-4754

December 21st, 2015 | Comments Off

Mary Gillis – Book Artist Carrying on a Tradition in Boston

Recipe Book Page – by Mary Gillis

This past July, we did a Blog post about Book Art. The subject fascinated us. Little did we know that book art was very much alive right here in Boston. In an unusual twist of fate, Rakks got the attention of a book artist looking for a shelving solution for her studio.


Artist Mary Gillis in her Boston South End studio

This story begins in Boston’s South End where artist Mary Gillis resides. Mary is a very talented lady who makes beautiful quilts and practices Book Art. Her studio, up a winding staircase in a lovingly restored brownstone, is filled with inspiration including fabrics, art, poetry and found objects. For her, the progression from creating a quilt to producing Book Art was a calling. Both art forms share her desire to tell a story through tactile materials and structural elements.


W S Merwin Poem – by Mary Gillis The box contains a scroll which can be viewed by turning the little knobs. The subject of the poem is ‘mistakes’—hence the coffee stains along with the text.

When we asked Mary how she became interested in book art, she explained, “It all started when I saw Book Art exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. a few years ago. The minute I saw the exhibit I realized Book Art was something I wanted to pursue. When I retired, I had more free time, so I took a class in Book Art at Boston University. During that class, we made 14 books in an intensive 6-week session including my ‘Moby Dick’ book that was juried into the “Call Me Melville 2012” exhibit in Pittsfield MA.”

Moby Dick - Coffin book cover by Mary Gillis

Moby Dick – Coffin book cover by Mary Gillis

Moby Dick - inside front cover by Mary Gillis

Moby Dick – inside front cover by Mary Gillis

Rakks and Mary’s paths crossed when she was looking for a shelving system for her studio. She was searching for products and came across a mention of Rakks in a design publication. When she visited the Rakks website, she said, “I was very happy to see that they were local. I still had questions, so I emailed them, and included a diagram of the configuration I designed. Within the hour, a Rakks salesperson emailed me back with very clear answers, even to my nitty-gritty questions. He made a list of what I would need and soon my project was off and running.

Finished Rakks system in Mary Gillis’s studio

I began by having Boulter Plywood in Somerville, MA (link) cut four 14” deep plywood shelves for the top of the system. Next I installed Rakks vertical standards and the top mitered pieces. Once that was done, it was back to Boulter for the desktop and lower shelves. My walls are a little uneven, and I needed more stability for the top shelves, so I screwed a cleat into the wall under the back of the desktop shelves and secured them for stability.


PC4 Pole with Mitered Tie Pole

Offset L-Bracket



Rakks Style Bracket with Universal Wire Bookend

During the process, I learned that the Door Store in Cambridge carries Rakks. It turned out that I had space for an additional shelf, so I went there and added brackets and couplers to my system. Mission accomplished!”

Thank you, Mary, for sharing your story with us. We’re looking forward to seeing your next project!



November 13th, 2015 | Comments Off

Veil and the Vault: The Broad Museum in Los Angeles

Throughout history, architecture has always been a source of inspiration. From the initial design process through the completion of a project, architecture “groupies” watch with anticipation, as an architect’s vision becomes a reality.

Read more





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