Illustration by Nik Neves
A long, windowed gallery full of pristine furnishings from the 1940s through the '70s, many of them European. It's hard to resist a sexy black-velvet sofa by Italian architect Ico Parisi or an alluringly angled Esko Pajamies chair in three shades of Knoll fabric. There's also a sizable selection of modern abstract works by Chicago painters. 509 W. Diversey Pkwy., 773-661-2038, .
All things for the well-traveled home. Expect artisanal details such as sofas with hand-tied springs, stately armoires faced with distressed mirror, and tables made from recycled, hand-pounded copper. 1980 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-248-3071, .
A beloved boutique with hot-pink walls that reflect its outside-the-box vibe. Owl bookends and monogrammed tumblers shelf space with decorative handcrafted ribbons and vintage charts. 934 W. Armitage Ave., 773-929-3600, .
A go-to for contemporary style and the neighborhood's apartment dwellers—sofas and chairs are chosen for how well they can fit through narrow doorways and up tight staircases. Floor-sample items, frequently for sale, are a steal. 2717 N. Clark St., 773-360-1826, .
Fair-trade and eco-friendly goods often mean a look that's heavily tribal, but not at this nonprofit shop. Roughly half the inventory is devoted to vibrant housewares sourced from artists and craftsmen around the world: chevron-pattern cutting boards, intricate steel Haitian wall hangings, striped Ecuadoran alpaca throws. 1714 N. Wells St., 312-264-1625, .
The two-level store is layered with visually rich vignettes, such as an antique iron table accented with a rope-frame mirror and porcupine quill lamps. Most of the treasures are exclusive designs, while many others are vintage. Beautiful bouquets are in the floral department, and in warm weather, a spectacular nursery opens outside. 1885 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-248-8180, .
Nancy Krause Floral Design & Garden Antiques
The containers at Nancy Krause's shop are as noteworthy as her gorgeous, textural bouquets. She scours estate sales for milk glass and vintage stone planters and also sells bigger items, such as iron outdoor tables and stunning faux-bois birdbaths. 1101 W. Webster Ave., 773-248-1516, .
The owners roam the Asian countryside — India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand—searching for distinctive pieces to restore and architectural salvage to craft into one-of-a-kind designs in their on-site workshop. 2707 N. Clark St., 773-525-0530, .
The only U.S. store where you'll find Paola Navone's Taste porcelainserving pieces and dinnerware for Reichenbach. Other exquisite items from this source for striking tabletop include coffee spoons made by a Parisian jeweler and hand-forged brass serving pieces from Japan. 1015 W. Armitage Ave., 773-525-3500, .
And Don't Miss:
CRATE & BARREL 850 W. North Ave., 312-573-9800, .
MITCHELL GOLD + BOB WILLIAMS 1555 N. Halsted St., 312-397-3135, .