While Phillips and Warfield do hardly any refurbishing, they sell a solid selection of already reworked, reinvented pieces, such as fire extinguishers and ice-cream parlor stools turned into lamp bases and a coffee table with a gymnast�s horse base.
Whatever you do, don’t use the word eclectic when describing the aesthetic at West Town’s new vintage furniture and housewares shop, SG Grand, to store manager Jamie Warfield. “It’s the word people use when they don’t know what their style is,” he says. But how else to encapsulate the mix of wood and metal chandeliers, hand-painted circus dog steps, German fish charts and medical cabinets filled with apothecary bottles? “You don’t have to be a midcentury person or a deco collector,” Warfield explains. “Whatever your taste is, there’s something [here] that could fit your lifestyle or home.” As for the cohesive elements, the collection dates as far back as the early 19th century, and it’s all versatile in function; in other words, items such as an old filing cabinet and glass-topped French baguette cart ($1,150) double as TV stands, and rolling industrial flats ($625) from a Geneva brewery make great low-slung coffee tables. “If we see it and like it, we buy it,” Warfield says of his and owner Debra Phillips’s shopping criteria when sourcing from flea markets, auctions and dealers around the world. Overall, the shop reflects Warfield’s general take on decorating. “What makes a house special is layering. That takes time. You could have a sisal rug and a great beat-up Oriental rug over that, and on the chest mementos from your childhood and a great potpourri in a bowl,” Warfield says. SG Grand is a good place to find those layers. Visit SG Grand at 1822 W Grand Ave (312-226-6654, sggrand.com).