From groovy MCM light fixtures and abstract oil paintings to French provincial cabinets and pine chests, there’s a rebirth of cool happening around antiques—and we’re here for it.
By Elise Hofer Shaw
Whether the trend is being fueled by shipping delays, a desire to reverse global warming or a surge in good taste (wink, wink), antiques are hot once more—and we couldn’t be happier about it. “I’ve always loved a layered interior—the mixing of new and old, polished and distressed; the weaving of history into a homeowner’s new design chapter,” says Marshall Erb, principal and lead designer at Marshall Erb Design in Chicago. “And now, thanks to a more mainstream awareness around the negative impact of fast furniture and the carbon footprint it leaves behind, the masses are giving antiques a second look—and embracing the possibilities for more eclectic interiors.”
And, according to Erb, the hunt is half the fun. Here, Marshall Erb Design shares some of its favorite shops about town for sourcing antique furniture and decorative items. Happy shopping!
From modern statement pieces to timeless classics, South Loop Loft offers an unparalleled collection of 20th century furnishings and decor. It’s a highly curated mix that’s hand-selected by owner Beth Berke during her frequent sourcing trips to France, Italy and beyond. An East German glass dandelion chandelier? An Italian loveseat in the style of Gio Ponti upholstered in gray mohair? A trio of amber glass sconces by Miguel Mila, perhaps? You never know what goodies you’re gonna find on any given day at South Loop Loft. However, keep in mind that things can move in and out fast due to a loyal following of interior designers. Bonus: South Loop Loft handles all restoration and reupholstery before its furniture hits the floor. 685 N. Milwaukee Ave., 312.291.8479
If you believe that the natural patina on a Mastercraft brass table can only come with age, or the prospect of getting your hands on a Vintage 1960s Kinkeldey crystal chandelier quickens your pulse, then a trip to Curated by SG for beautiful vintage and postmodern finds is a must. From seating and tables to caseloads, decor and lighting, it’s all here—and organized into themed vignettes for inspiration. Expect a focus on Mid-century and Asian vintage because owner Debra Phillips has a honed eye, but there’s plenty of rustic and old European furniture, too. Tip: If you ask nicely, you might just get a peek behind the curtain into SG’s workshop where all of the reupholstering, re-staining and restoring magic happens. 1822 W. Grand Ave., 312.975.6160
OK, this one requires a little road trip—and the advance scheduling of a visit appointment—but it’s soooooo worth it, mostly because only about half of their merch actually makes it online. Located in Countryside, Ill. (that’s about a 30-minute hike southwest of Chicago), Modern Hill Furniture houses Chicagoland’s largest collection of Mid-century modern furniture, art and decor. From everyday brands to designer collectibles (a chartreuse Adrian Pearsall lounge chair, anyone?), this warehouse is a treasure trove for credenzas, club chairs, dining sets, dressers, nightstands, sofas, shelves and much more. Bonus: Free restoration is included for every piece you buy! 5410 Dansher Rd., Countryside, Ill., 708.497.9111
IYKYK. Since 1997, Jayson Home has been Chicago’s chicest resource for an ever-evolving collection of new and vintage furniture from around the world. In addition to fabulous furniture, you’ll also find tableware, rugs, pillows, desk accessories and decor, plus a swatch library filled with hundreds of fabric samples to choose from. There’s also a garden center and a flower shop for custom arrangements, and a finely edited selection of apothecary goods. It’s all highly edited for refined tastes thanks to veteran merchandisers Caroline Scheeler and Devin Kirk who circle the globe for cool artisans and covetable antiques. Tip: Early birds, rejoice! Jayson Home’s holiday shop is already online and in store, complete with curated gift guides for every designophile on your list. 1885 N. Clybourn Ave., 773.248.8180
A set of 12 signed and numbered zodiac lithographs. A polished bronze sculpture by Alfred Burlini. A pair of silver leaf spindle lamps. An Italian hand-printed portrait on a saucer. Horns propped up just so on Lucite stands… Redefined Décor has a reputation for curating an eclectic mix of antiques, mid 20th-century and vintage furnishings, accessories with personality, and original art for its West Town showroom. Best for artwork and decorative touches, owners and antique experts Martha Peck, Bonnie Stern and Mindy Baschnagel go out of their way to unearth an ever-changing array of intriguing inventory for outfitting the collected home. Because you just never know when a green bubble paperweight could make or break a room. 1819 W. Grand Ave., 312.226.8557
Also located in Chicago’s beloved Design District along Grand Avenue, Warehouse 55 offers up an eclectic collection of vintage finds, repurposed furnishings and an assortment of one-of-a-kind accessories. So what does that translate to, exactly? Glad you asked. Our latest trip netted an Italian marble and gilt pedestal table, a silver Leonard Champagne bucket, and a super-fine handmade rug with a tiger on it—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s truly something here for every aesthetic, from MCM and modern contemporary to rustic farmhouse and cottage chic. Tip: Want more? Take a trip out to Warehouse 55’s Aurora location for an even wider selection of art, antiques, tabletop goods and more. 1819 W. Grand Ave., 331.702.1573
Many of Chicago’s top interior designers credit The Golden Triangle with having the best Asian and European antiques, furniture and contemporary art in the city. But don’t take their word for it. Instead, block off an afternoon and get lost in TGT’s refurbished warehouse on Grand Avenue, a new location for the antiques stalwart that had been in River North for nearly three decades. You see, owners Douglas Van Tress and Chauwarin Tuntisak have been hand-selecting art and antiques for more than 30 years—and are undeniably Chicago’s OGs of antiques. From red-lacquered Chinese cabinets made from reclaimed pine wood with nailless joinery to framed French copperplate engravings from the early 19th century, make no mistake… These are serious pieces with serious price tags for serious collectors. 2035 W Grand Ave., 312.755.1266