West Town Shops
RR #1 Apothecary
814 N. Ashland Ave., West Town
Housed in what used to be a 1930s apothecary (thankfully, the original wood paneling was left untouched), RR#1 Apothecary is one of those stores that you’ll have a hard time leaving empty-handed. On offer: a dizzying array of candles, teas, and soaps, as well as kitschy prank gifts, tea towels, and novelty books. It’s pretty ideal for picking up a last minute something for the hostess, they'll even gift-wrap your selection right at the counter.
1440 W. Hubbard St., West Town
This fabled auction house’s claim to fame is organizing modern and contemporary design shows that have the power to bring seasoned collectors to their knees and inspire novices to start investing. In addition to a gallery and consignment department, the Chicago location is home to the Wright Now showroom, which houses globally-sourced décor, furniture, and fine art that can be viewed by appointment.
745 N. Damen Ave., West Town
It’s true that here you’ll find all manner of fresh flowers and gardening tools—they’ll even help black thumbs figure out how to revive dying houseplants—but it’s the custom terrariums that make the original Sprout Home a must-see (there’s a second location in Brooklyn, NY). In addition to botany-related workshops and wedding florals, professional garden-design services (there’s a mini nursery in the back) are also available.
1840 W. Hubbard St., West Town
Navigating this colossal salvaged furniture and décor warehouse is actually surprisingly easy, especially if mid-century modern is your design sweet spot. Inventory is updated pretty much daily so no two trips are alike. Conveniently, they also offer carpentry services at the on-site workshop, making this an excellent resource for decorators and designers. Plus, the lush courtyard is an easy sell as a popular special event and wedding venue.
1045 N. California Ave., West Town
Owner Claire Tibbs puts a lot of love into staging the beautiful range of vintage modern furniture, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry as a series of vignettes, making this sprawling space that much easier to navigate. It also means you get a pretty convincing preview of what, say, a retro brass bar cart or Hans Olsen leather chair might look like in your own home. On a smaller scale, the selection of local-designed jewelry, home goods, and apothecary items is as easy on the eyes as it is on the wallet.