Allow me to take you on a magical carpet ride. Soaring, tumbling, free-wheeling through an endless open sky…
Great, then we’re off! Today’s adventure is taking us through the enchanted streets of Chicago to visit the city’s best home decor and furniture stores. First stop is my number one favorite store in all the land…
JAYSON HOME & GARDEN
This is my all time favorite home decor store in the city. And let me just tell you, it’s equal parts inspiring and dangerous to live AROUND THE CORNER! Legit, I have to walk by this place to get to the grocery store. I usually cut through their outdoor garden section on the way back to peruse the perennials. I even spotted Amelia from The CHICago Life Blog there and had a major #fangirl moment (no seriously, I’m pretty sure I squealed). They carry everything from custom upholstered furniture to hostess gifts, and they always have the coolest one-of-a-kind pieces (ancient hand-sculpted canoe? YES PLEASE). Plus you can always find a solid array of my favorite house plant. And don’t miss the basement where they have stacks of the coolest vintage rugs! NOTE: I never said it was affordable. In my book, Jayson’s always kills it with home decor but it comes at a pretty hefty price FYI.
WRIGHTWOOD FURNITURE COMPANY
Wrightwood Furniture Company is located in West Lakeview on Lincoln Avenue, just a hop skip and a jump from my current favorite food joint (try the Kale Mary smoothie, you’ll thank me later). The store has tons of furniture and decor items. Tom and I recently picked up one of their copper trays for our living room ottoman and we are in love with it. They have lots of cool reclaimed items and tons of Illinois/Chicago-themed goods. And be sure to check out their basement which houses tons more furniture! Now if I could just save enough pennies for this guy…
Oh Meg Piercy, when will you realize we’re destined to be friends?! Watch and you’ll see, someday I’ll be part of your world. I adore Meg’s shop, MegMade, which refinishes vintage pieces of furniture for a fraction of the typical price. This woman has got THE EYE. Seriously, all her pieces look phenomenal. She chooses killer colors to highlight cool shapes or details on each piece. They even do custom orders! You can read more about Meg’s journey here. And visit their Facebook page to see their inventory or catch up on their blog posts.
SOUTH LOOP LOFT
If you are a color lover or vintage fiend then you will feel quite at home at South Loop Loft. They tout “Modern Statement Pieces” plus “Timeless Classics.” And boy, do they deliver (I’m lookin’ at you, blue velvet tufted couch). The store carries everything from furniture pieces to lifestyle accessories. The fairy behind the magic is Beth Taylor, a well-traveled purveyor with a keen eye for color, pattern, and texture. The only downside? You have to call to schedule an appointment.
THE SAVOY FLEA
I discovered this gem originally through Kyla at House of Hipsters. Located in West Town, The Savoy Flea is where you’ll find quirky vintage pieces from all over the world. The owner, Marianne de Ley, travels to Paris a couple times per year to bring you the most Parisian findings! If you’re a Francophile then this shop is right up your alley. Their brick-and-mortar storefront is open two weekends each month or by appointment. In addition, you can find their goods online. Question: If I furnish my home with their items can I officially consider myself a French girl?
Interior Define was founded in 2014 and its primary selling platform is online. BUT they have a small storefront in Chicago (another one in my neighborhood – this is so dangerous you guys). I love love love this store/brand because they have finally created a stepping stone for the design-obsessed-but-cash-strapped individual. It’s one step above IKEA and one step below the Merchandise Mart. They have phenomenal pieces and everything can be customized (brass sofa legs? YOU HAD ME AT HELLO).
Ok so technically RH can be found in many a city, not just Chicago. BUT last year they opened a magical palace in the Historic Three Arts Club. This place is a decor-lover’s dream, complete with a cafe and coffee bar. I die. Go walk around and pretend you live there for a while. And then cry yourself to sleep remembering you probably couldn’t even afford a candlestick from there.
THE BROWN ELEPHANT
And let’s swing to the opposite side of the spectrum and talk seriously affordable. The Brown Elephant chain of thrift stores in Chicago will give you some gently-loved pieces for practically pennies. Our favorite location is the Lakeview one, right down the street from another cool coffee shop. If you’re looking for kitchy and well-worn, this is the place for you.
RANDOLPH STREET MARKET
The Randolph Street Market is a don’t miss if you’re in Chicago! They’ve got AMAZING vintage finds, as well as independent designers showcasing their cool stuff. It’s a fun daytime activity (Tom and I actually went here on one of our first dates). A general admission ticket costs $8 (but they also offer discounts, so check their website). Stop at La Colombe for a draft latte (seriously, SO GOOD) and spend the next few hours losing yourself in a magic kingdom of pattern and texture. The next one is coming up – July 30 + 31, so get your ticket today!
Admittedly, I have yet to physically visit the Praha store in Chicago, but I can get plenty of their juicy vintage before-and-after’s from their Facebook feed. Located in Roscoe Village (another great neighborhood for long Saturday walks and vintage-hunting) Praha claims to provide “great stuff at reasonable prices.” They’re open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00pm – 6:00pm. Check it out, let me know what you think!
Oh Humbolt House, you had me at your bright and colorful home page. No seriously, GIVE ME ALL THE VINTAGE RUGS. They’ve got everything – from furniture pieces to jewelry to handmade ceramic mugs (yes please). They’ve even got an HH Guide to Chicago – thank you fairy godmother! Maybe not the cheapest place in the world, but you can score smaller items for a reasonable price.
Their tagline: “Where vintage modern meets handmade.” I’ll take it. They have two locations, one in Pilsen and another in Hyde Park. InStyle magazine recently mentioned the store in their July issue and the blurb is too spot-on not to share: “If Sterling Cooper hired Jonathan Adler to decorate its offices, the result would be like this mod mecca brimming with vintage modern.” Hubba hubba, if that doesn’t paint a pretty picture I don’t know what will.
This unique store offers vintage and antique pieces, with custom upholstery and custom furniture too. Lions and tigers and bears oh my! Located in another one of my favorite neighborhoods (which is also close to another La Colombe location – coincidence? I think not) this gem of a shop will keep you coming back time and time again to see if there might be something there that wasn’t there before… Which is likely since they offer every knicknack under the sun. Oooh ooh and they also have THE coolest event space if you’re looking for that kinda thang. Does “living my life” count as an event? So I can move in then? K thanks.
If you’re wanting to up your home accessory game then look no further than Unison. This little magic bean offers something for everyone – bed linens, bath linens, kitchen gadgets, cookware, home + garden, babies + kids, and tons more accessories. Their products are classic meets modern meets California desert. Current faves include this pillow, this basket, and these bowls. It doesn’t hurt that they’re located in one of my favorite ‘hoods: Wicker Park.
“Furniture with a soul” is what they claim to offer at Nadeau Imports in Ravenswood. Part of a larger national chain, this store sells goodies like these woven side tables (squeal) and these dope mirrors. Oh and I’ll also take one blue desk please. Because they travel the world to find handmade pieces their stuff is one-of-a-kind (without the usual hefty price tag).
Another little cutie patootie of an antique store, Scout offers “timeless utility and clean lines combined with second-hand comfort and urban freshness.” Nestled in Andersonville, you’re guaranteed to lose yourself for an hour or five in this little vintage oasis. Vintage thingamabobs? I’LL TAKE TWENTY.
COYLE & HERR
THE place to go when you’re looking for consignment. They’ve got a great selection and are clearly very professional in all their consignment dealings (looking to sell? click here). Preeeeetty sure I need this and these.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper cool and suuuuuuuuuuuuuper out of my price range.
JUDY MAXWELL HOME
Last but not least, this little nugget is located in Old Town (down the street from one of our favorite places for fish tacos). This “general store” is where you’ll find all your knicknacks and oddities. Ye be warned: you may have to dig for the good stuff. But there are plenty of trinkets for everyone. A good place to pick up a last-minute birthday gift.
Alright fellow Chicagoans, what did I miss? Any good places to check out? If you’re visiting this city I definitely recommend checking out at least a few places – you won’t be disappointed!