Many Chicago residents head online when decorating a new pad or sprucing up their places. You can find some of the best deals on homewares and furnishings at brick-and-mortar stores around the Illinois capital. The next time you’re looking to save money on home furnishings and decor, make sure you hit up some of the following five hidden gems for home shopping.
Randolph Street Market: Year-Round Vintage Market
Between Washington and Randolph streets
Randolph Street is one of Chicago’s most desirable addresses, with hip restaurants and live music venues to ensure you’re never bored.
You can find furnishings for Chicago apartments like yours located near this famous foodie strip, so look no farther than the monthly Randolph Street Market. You’ll find vintage furnishings and homewares as well as clothing, accessories, and collectibles all on show. Discover bargains as well as high-end items for those times where you want to splurge. Live bands play, and food vendors sell bites and beverages when you get peckish.
The markets run year-round, with stalls outside from May to September, although the vendors move inside during the cooler months. Visit the Randolph Street Market website for the full market schedule. You can also buy your ticket online to save a few dollars. While the entry fee is unusual for flea markets, the ticket cost helps keep booth rentals down so that vendors can charge less for their wares.
The Brown Elephant: Buy Second Hand for a Good Cause
3020 N. Lincoln Ave. and 5404 N. Clark St.
Saving money isn’t the only reason to feel good about shopping at one of two local Brown Elephant thrift stores. These stores raise money for the Howard Brown Health Center, which provides health and wellness programs to the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
Google users rave about The Brown Elephant stores, commenting that they stock high quality items and deliver excellent customer service. The inventory also changes regularly, so visit often. To save money, visit on Make a Deal Monday, when employees will consider any reasonable offers on existing stock.
Coyle & Herr: Quality Consignment Store
3031 N. Rockwell St.
The Coyle & Herr store began in 2011, when Dorothy Coyle and Mary Beth Herr opened a consignment warehouse in the Bridgeport neighborhood to offer luxurious furniture and home decor at affordable prices. With the business thriving, two years later, the pair relocated to their current premises in the Avondale neighborhood.
You’ll find quirky stuff packing this consignment store, including dining room tables, loveseats, buffets and hutches, and artwork. Look for the sale tickets to save on the already reasonable prices. Visit Coyle & Herr’s Avondale showroom Monday to Wednesday or shop at any time online.
Furniture Outlet Chicago: Low Prices at Furniture Warehouse
2337 N. Elston Ave.
The building might look a little run-down structure from the outside, but don’t let appearances turn you off to this treasure. Many satisfied shoppers say Furniture Outlet Chicago has one of the widest ranges of affordable furniture in the city.
Traditional and contemporary pieces for residential rooms and offices occupy the warehouse. Each one has been carefully selected for its quality, craftsmanship, style, and value for money. Furniture Outlet Chicago’s employees are knowledgeable and won’t pressure you to make a sale, perhaps because they know their goods are hard to resist.
Praha: Quirky European-Style Outlet
2201 W. Belmont Ave.
Praha founder Todd Nyenhuis modeled his hip homewares outlet on his favorite Amsterdam emporium, according to TimeOut Chicago. The hip shop floor overflows with retro furniture, antique signs, rustic window frames, and other items. In fact, the place is so cool that it doesn’t have a website, so you’ll need to make your way to Roscoe Village to check it out. You can usually pick up a piece of furniture at Praha for less than $100, although devotees insist the store could be charging much more for its high quality items.
Remember, when you shop local, your money stays in Chicago. When you can save money and support your community, why wouldn’t you get out and discover all of Chicago’s great retail gems?