Owner Julie Fernstrom describes her shop as “Ralph Lauren meets a Paris flea market.” Given that she named the place after her favorite plaid, it’s no surprise Brimfield features an entire “plaid wall,” showcasing blankets, tin boxes, picnic tables and more. Repurposed and found objects for every budget range from pipe stands to coffee cans, not to mention a surprising selection of retro-cool winter coats and cowboy boots, and mostly midcentury modern furnishings in the basement level. As if that’s not enough, Fernstrom also offers custom reupholstering.
This Andersonville shop is like your grandma’s attic—full of durable vintage items steeped in nostalgia—so bring a patient attitude and time for sifting through unsorted stacks. Offerings, which come exclusively from estate sales, include large framed mirrors, quirky coffee mugs, fuzzy pink pillbox hats and dozens of wooden canes.
It’s as if the two Lakeview outposts (one featuring custom frames, the other greeting cards and gifts) have morphed into the ultimate home-design general store. Yes, frames and greetings still make up a big chunk of the shop, but we’re all about the prints (including vintage maps and medical charts) and other cheeky art, such as reproductions of weathered flash cards.
Interior designer Lowell moved his home-decor shop (in addition to merch, he also offers his design services) from Lakeview in late 2008 because he wanted to be in a home-goods destination spot. The large storefront features a nice variety of items (including antiques and new one-of-a-kind finds by local artists and furniture makers) with a masculine-meets-nautical vibe. One of our favorites currently in stock is set of gold-tinned eggs ($62.50) displayed as 3-D art on the wall.
Less sparse than some nearby stores but equally well curated, with a strong country vibe, Roost features a hodgepodge of hanging woven basket lamps, school lockers and milk bottles, plus a second room pretty much dedicated to furniture. Take your time; cute, sometimes kitschy, vintage knickknacks are tucked in every corner.
This treasure chest of antique furniture is the granddaddy of Andersonville’s home-decor shops. In an effort to team up with other small businesses and keep corporations away from the ’hood, owner Larry Vodak is personally responsible for neighbors White Attic and Brimfield joining the block. What makes his store stand out is one-of-a-kind old-school furniture (all modular pieces with clean lines) and the lamps made out of found objects (such as a milk can and bowling ball) by local artist Ted Harris.
This perky corner store (find a second outpost in Bucktown) offers a charming mix of new and old. Repainted and refinished vintage desks, tables and chairs look great next to modern, colorful accessories such as decorative plates and delicious Voluspa candles. If you’re in the market for accent lights, make a beeline for the lamp bar where you can customize your hanging or table lamp from a vast array of fabrics and ceramic bases.