When it comes to shopping in Chicago, the Magnificent Mile often gets all the attention. And sure, it’s a great place to browse for pretty much everything. But if you’re looking to branch out from the major chains for your holiday shopping this year, you may want to look elsewhere. The Windy City has countless neighborhoods, each with its own personality and businesses that make it unique. The latter includes a wealth of local Chicago home goods stores, all of which provide their own special shopping experience and plenty of perfect-for-gifting pieces.
In fact, there are so many that even the most avid shoppers may have trouble deciding where to start. It’s not always easy to scope out small boutiques if you’re new to an area, but in Chicago’s case, a quick Google search of where to go produces overwhelming results. While it can be fun to dig through those, there’s a likely chance that you’re currently short on time (the holidays are here, after all), which is why TZR has compiled a list of some of the best decor stores in the area.
Below, you’ll find everything from a plant shop (with a surprising twist) to a European-style concept store that brings to mind some of Paris’ hippest spots. The one thing they have in common? They make holiday shopping easy — and even fun. Here, nine boutiques in Chicago you can’t miss.
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Where It’s Located: 685 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60642
While collecting vintage pieces originally began as a hobby for Beth Berke, it eventually turned into a full-time job when she founded South Loop Loft in 2014. She’s still going strong, now spending her time filling the store’s two-story showroom in Chicago’s River West neighborhood with an eclectic mix of furniture, rugs, decor, local artwork, and more.
Where It’s Located: 1935 W North Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60622 and 309 N Morgan St. Chicago, Illinois 60607
Elizabeth Cronin founded Asrai Garden in 1999, opening up its original location in Chicago’s Wicker Park. Its mix of beautiful floral arrangements, fine jewelry, homewares, and more was such a hit that she eventually opened another, which is connected to Ace Hotel in the West Loop. Expect to be wowed at either; its shops are truly magical, and you’ll have a hard time leaving without buying anything.
Where It’s Located: 1909 W Division St. Chicago, Illinois 60622 and 4710 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60625
If you’re shopping for someone who truly cares about where their gifts come from, look no further than Neighborly’s two outposts. The store’s owner, Jenny Beorkrem, launched the store as a way to support independent makers and ethically made goods, and believes that its shoppers deserve to know of its products “that no one or nothing was harmed in the process, nor that it's going to harm you!” Its mid-century modern-inspired home decor, artwork, and more are also on the more affordable end, so you don’t have to break the bank to shop there.
Where It’s Located: 1045 N. California Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60622
Humboldt House was founded by Claire Tibbs to be a “feminist shop filled with beautiful goods to elevate self care and home rituals.” The store features a thoughtful collection of locally found furniture and goods, along with creations from ceramic artists, jewelry designers, and apothecary makers. The space is bright, colorful, and just generally fun, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a gift that’ll put a smile on someone’s face.
Where It’s Located: 957 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60622
Plant Salon is not your average plant store. While it features greenery and accessories, its founder, Nika Vaughan, also wanted to make it a place that focused on self-care. Thus, the shop supports indie brands that make products like natural clay masks, hand soaps, and more. “Our lush, calming boutique is the perfect place to focus on the beauty rituals we indulge in for ourselves and our plants,” says its site.
Where It’s Located: 8 W Burlington Ave. La Grange, Illinois 60525
Anecdote is situated in downtown La Grange, IL, where it offers a sleek selection of furniture, art, decor, and vintage pieces. It’s the ultimate destination to shop for any chic, trendy people on your list, and its beautifully merchandised store makes browsing easy.
Where It’s Located: 1942 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60622
Inside Home is located in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, and is an interior design showroom and retail store that sells new and vintage designer pieces. Its inventory includes furniture and accessories, along with custom upholstery, and it specializes in mid-century modern and Hollywood Regency styles.
Where It’s Located: 2029 N. Western Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60647
Eskell is the brainchild of Kelly Whitesell, who opened the original storefront in 2005 with a goal to create “an inspired and meaningful retail experience.” With a carefully edited selection of vintage, furniture, home fragrance, and more, it continues its mission to help shoppers experience the “thrill of retail discovery.”
Where It’s Located: 200 E Chestnut St. Chicago, Illinois 60611
Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood is home to the European-style concept store, SPACE 519, which opened in the city in 2010. Its owners, Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel, travel the world to get inspiration and find products that will ensure the space remains “a 'go-to' destination for savvy clients who appreciate fresh takes on the everyday.” You’ll find luxurious clothing, home decor, books, and more here — and when you’re done, you can head over its restaurant The Lunchroom to grab a bite to eat.