travel (Doug’s Chicago visit)

It was a White Christmas at Doug's parents' house in Illinois!


Hey everyone, it’s Doug.  I hope you all had a great Christmas.  I spent Christmas at my parents’ home in Illinois.  Although my parents live on a farm in the central part of the state, I flew to Chicago for a couple of days prior to Christmas, to see some friends and to enjoy one of my very favorite cities.

My best friend from growing up, Wally, lives and works in Chicago and I talked him into taking me to see a few stores I’d wanted to visit while I was in town.  I love visiting other shops to see how they display items and what sort of things are being featured.  We started by visiting Jayson Home & Garden.  Jayson is famous for being one of Chicago’s best home stores and it did not disappoint.  It’s located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, located in an old loft-style building.

Doesn't this old bathtub look great filled with evergreen branches?



You know our Mountain Brook shop shares space with a rug shop. I thought this chair was so cool...I want to collaborate with our neighbors and do this!


What a fun take on lacquered faux bamboo furniture! This chair was vintage and had the finish stripped down to the bare wood. The seat had been reupholstered in vintage menswear fabric.


After we visited Jayson Home & Garden, we went down the block to Arhaus.  My friend Natalie, who used to work at Dungan Nequette Architects and was one of the project architects for a few houses we’ve designed the interiors for, works at Arhaus now.



I loved the bold graphic striped on these high-backed chairs at Arhaus.


After leaving Arhaus we headed to the Andersonville neighborhood to check out a few more stores.  I’ve always read about Scout but never had a chance to visit and I was not disappointed.  Scout had a really cool selection of vintage pieces mixed with a few finer antiques.


A really cool vignette at Scout. I especially liked the vintage eye chart.


Next door to Scout is a quirky shop called Brimfield.  Brimfield is kind of crazy, in a really fun way.  The store is PACKED with stuff…lots of vintage and lots of warm, fun color.  Brimfield has tons of vintage chairs, all upholstered in wool camp blankets.  There’s a lot of plaid and a lot of taxidermy.  We visited the store 3 days before Christmas so I can’t say how it looks the rest of the year, but during the holidays everything in the store looked right at home.



A vintage chair covered in a wool camp blanket at Brimfield.


Vintage taxidermy dressed for the winter weather.


The back room at Brimfield is a garage--complete with a vintage Wagoneer that's become part of the display!


We eventually headed downtown.  I don’t recall the name of the mens store where I took this next photo, but it sold nothing but gingham and plaid shirts.  A dangerous place for me to visit!

A store full of plaid shirts and vintage stuff like gauges mounted on iron pipe stands. Heaven.


I’ve always loved the amazing Ralph Lauren store on North Michigan Avenue.  The entire five story shop is detailed with paneling and wainscoting and antique light fixtures–it looks like a store placed in an old mansion.  The main staircase makes an amazing first impression.


The main staircase at the Ralph Lauren store...hung from to top to bottom with portraits.

I had such a great time in Chicago, I can’t wait to go back again.  I have great memories of visiting at Christmastime when I was growing up so it’s always fun to come back during the holidays.  Did y’all visit anywhere fun last week?

9 thoughts on “travel (Doug’s Chicago visit)

  1. I hope you peeked in White Attic also- next to Scout. Another one of my favorite stores. Happy New Year and hope to get to your store on one of my next trips south.
    Debbie from Vintage Scout in Dayton, Ohio


  2. Love this tour, thanks for sharing! Brrrrrr, it looks really cold over there! Did you pick up any plaid shirts? In my opinion you can never have too many ; )

    So funny, the staircase shot of the RL gallery wall looks identical to the RL staircase/gallery wall in Boston on Newbury Street!!! I’ll email you my pic if I can track it down.


  3. welcome home doug!
    this illinoisan adores chicago and don’t you feel like it is a secret? it is a great city to visit.
    you scored well on your shopping trip and hit all the highlight shops, especially scout!
    next time in town come to the ‘grand avenue design district’, a new corridor in a forgotten part of town. and of course a stop in ‘SG grand’ it’s a must….my shop….shameless, i know


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