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Affordable Portables
2608 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-935-6160
924 Davis St., Evanston, 847-866-8124
 

This locally owned shop has been keeping apartment dwellers and college kids in futons since 1977. Particularly kid and tween-friendly are the futons, lamps, and bookcases.

 
Anthropologie
108 N. State St., Chicago, 312-255-899-0969
111 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 312-255-1848
3532 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, 773-935-2693
Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-571-4402
Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-673-0721
Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 847-619-0918
1780 Green Bay Rd., Highland Park, 847-681-0200
Geneva Commons, 122 Commons Dr., Geneva, 630-845-0437
 

Anthropologie’s furniture and décor mimics the feminine, upscale boho vibe that characterizes the brand’s women’s apparel. Although all Anthropologie stores have a selection of home accents, the location on Chicago Avenue houses the Decorator Concept Shop, which has a more extensive selection of décor including wallpaper, lighting, curtains, rugs, hardware, and other accents. (Upholstery and wallpaper swatches available.)


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Beautiful Beginnings
4472 Lawn Ave., Western Springs, 708-246-1212
*Gift registry
*Free gift wrap
 

Fancy, gifty, and all-around charming, this local chain owned by two sisters brings together practical furniture and gorgeous heirloom gifts. Gifts run from hooded bath towels and chenille baby blankets ($72) to silver brush and comb sets. Also find christening and bris gowns and rompers ($100 to $496) and customized wall crosses for baptism gifts. The furniture selection encompasses traditional and modern styles for nurseries and kid rooms (belly up to the counter to check out the catalogs). Stand outs are old fashioned cradles and bassinets (most around $1,000), hand-painted furniture from Art For Kids, and crystal chandeliers. In-home consultations and design advice available.

 

C

CB2
800 W. North Ave., Chicago, 312-787-8329
 

Crate and Barrel’s answer to apartment living, this affordable home store stocks small-scale furniture and modern, cheerful accessories. Shop lighting, rugs, pillows, linens, bath items, and chairs for kid-appropriate inspiration. 

Cribs to College Bedrooms
404 S. Route 59, Naperville, 630-579-4932
 

A family-owned furniture showroom devoted exclusively to babies, kids, and teens. Vignettes display full furniture sets, and show a wide array of beds from cribs to bunk beds to more sophisticated loft/desk combinations. The top floor houses the nursery furniture, baby gifts, and a clearance center that carries discounted headboards, dressers, and other furniture.


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Design Within Reach
10 E. Ohio St., Chicago, 312-280-4787
1574 N. Kingsbury, Chicago, 312-482-8661
1710 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-424-0881
 

Admittedly the prices here make the “within reach” claim somewhat dubious, but fans of mid-century modern design will find much to love. DWR discontinued its children’s line years ago, but rugs, clocks, mirrors, and lighting can add a touch of mod to any kid room. The Eames elephant ($290) and famous design chairs such as the Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll ($4,000) are available in kid sizes. Parking is easiest at the Kingsbury location, but Ohio Street is the largest. Each location has an inventory of discounted floor samples.


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Flor
1873 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-325-0201 

Modular carpet tiles, available in many colors and textures, that can be arranged to create custom rugs. Mix and match for a nursery or playroom with the added benefit that if one tile gets ruined, it can easily be popped out and replaced.

 
FortPitt Furniture
4920 S. Central Ave., Chicago, 708-546-0450
 

This hotel furniture liquidator tucked away on the South Side is a hidden gem for furniture bargains. Fort Pitt stocks a frequently changing inventory of hotel decor from the likes of Trump International, Drake Chicago, Ritz Carlton Chicago, and the Palmer House, as they redecorate and update guest rooms. The furnishings, which include chairs, beds, dressers, rugs, lamps, and mirrors, are sold at wholesale prices and are a great place to find items for kids rooms, some in excellent condition, some waiting for a little imagination and DIY.

 
Foursided/Twosided
5061 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-506-8300
2939 N. Broadway, Chicago, 773-248-1960
2958 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-244-6431
 

A custom framing and gift shop (note that Twosided on Clark Street in Lakeview has cards and gifts, but not framing supplies), with the philosophy that anything is suitable for framing. This is a good place to visit for unexpected kid room art, or inspiration for a personal shadowbox project. There is a wagon full of blocks, flashcards (alphabet, math, French, Latin, sign language, etc.), old Viewmaster reels, and letter tiles in all shapes, colors, and sizes sold by the pound. Also find imaginative custom frames, budget-friendly dry mount options, and frame kits.


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Galt Toy + Galt Baby
The 900 Shops, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-440-9550
1915 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-327-9980
Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-329-7712
*Gift registry
*Free gift wrap
*Delivery service available
 

Furniture, strollers, and baby gear with a more modern bent than typical baby stores. Mod cribs and bassinets are stocked from Oeuf ($590 to $940), Stokke, and Nurseryworks; strollers from BOB, Bugaboo, and Orbit Baby; car seats from Britax and Graco; and activity centers, baby carriers, baby swings, and high chairs. The product expertise in-store is unparalleled. The toy assortment ranges from classic (arts and crafts, blocks, doll houses, train sets) to the truly inspired, like the Little Nest Giddy UP chair ($695), a replica of the 1973 Pony chair by Eero Aarnio. Check out the online outlet for deals.

 
Garden Ridge
1325 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, 847-466-1920
 

This warehouse store dedicated entirely to home goods is an excellent place to stock up on inexpensive accents such as rugs, picture frames, storage, and mirrors. Furniture selection is spotty, but look for deals on dressers and twin beds.


H

Hoohobbers
1657 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, 773-342-0004
*Monogramming available
 

A locally-owned and operated children’s line of bedding, gear, and toys that holds more than 75 design patents. The retail store is attached to the Chicago factory, so most products can be personalized for same-day pickup. All of the products are available in the same design collections (40 to choose from), so you can decorate across one theme or mix and match to customize bedding (crib size to king bed), drapery, lampshades, and ottomans. Hoohobbers is known for its junior director’s chair and an easel that adjusts to grow with your child. The gift baskets are deluxe, such as one that comes with a baby rocker, diaper bag, growth chart, and bib, customized in the same fabric and embroidered with a name ($146 to $293).


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IKEA
1800 E. McConnnor Pkwy., Schaumburg, 847-969-9700
750 E. Boughton Rd., Bolingbrook, 630-972-9205
 

The ubiquitous purveyor of sensible Swedish home furnishings needs no introduction. You know the drill: Reasonable prices, much assembly required, lasts five years if you’re lucky. Most furniture is kid-friendly (especially because it’s cheap enough that you won’t care when they destroy it), and the toy storage, lighting, bookcases, miniature tables and chairs, and kid’s textiles (curtains, rugs, and bedding) are stylish and budget-friendly. A perk is the supervised play areas. Many parents come here during the winter to drop the kids off for an hour, wander around the modular goods, and end the day with a Swedish meatball. Feeding and changing facilities available.


Jonathan Adler Junior
676 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, 312-274-9920
 

Jonathan Adler’s “groovy” design aesthetic seems tailor-made for a graphic kid’s room, if not for the accompanying high price tag. But if you don’t mind splurging on a few accents, the porcelain lions, elephants, and giraffes, whale bookends, and initial needlepoint pillows ($98) are nursery perfect. The “Design Your Own” application on the Web site allows you to design pillows, rugs, and throws—choose a pattern, colors, and go to town. It’s pricey but fun to play with, if only to dream.


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The Land of Nod
900 W. North Ave., Chicago, 312-475-9903
Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-368-9990
*Gift registry
*Monogramming available
 

This Northbrook-based baby and kid shop carries traditional furniture (cribs, beds, dressers) and whimsical accents like bedding, curtains, and lighting. The playroom furniture and toy storage are particularly great, such as tables with adjustable legs and optional paper rollers to grow with young artists.The toy selection includes dollhouses, puzzles, kits, plush toys, art supplies, play kitchens, instruments, and books. (See also, The Land of Nod Outlet.)

 
Lazar’s Juvenile Furniture
6557 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, 847-679-6146
*Gift registry
*Delivery available
*Design consultations
 

Family owned since 1917, Lazar’s is the local alternative to big box baby stores with all the furniture and gear necessary to outfit a nursery. The 9,000 sq. ft. showroom carries a wide array of hardwood, quality baby furniture, car seats (Britax and Peg Perego), strollers (Baby Jogger, BOB, Graco, Teutonia), high chairs, bedding, and diaper bags. Nursery design consultations are available. Conveniently, the showroom offers private nursing rooms and changing tables.

  
Li’l Deb n Heir
540 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, 630-717-8100
 

This showroom, family-owned for 50 years, displays furniture in fully decorated vignettes. Furniture lines include the eco-friendly Kidz Decoeur, the highly rated, non-toxic line Romina, which has anti-tilt hardware on its dressers and other tall furniture, and Best, a line of comfortable, customizable recliners and gliders. Changing tables, bunk beds, trundles, toy chests, desks, and rocking horses, as well as crib bedding from Dwell Baby, are also carried here. Be sure to check out the clearance center, which has headboards for $100 and other discounts.

 
Little Peach
303 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-7585
 

Little Peach is the junior extension of Peachtree Place. Much of the store carries gift-appropriate selections like layette, silver gifts, and luxurious soft blankets, but the real draw is the kid home décor. The Le Club chair from Little Nest brings mid-century mod to the junior set, and the unique lamps are dramatic enough to plan a whole room around. Schulling kid pianos, Mamaroo bouncy chairs, mobiles, and toys are well chosen.


M 

The Marimekko Shop at Crate and Barrel
850 W. North Ave., Chicago, 312-573-9800
 

Finnish textile company Marimekko, renowned for its vibrant, bold prints, opened a store-in-store within the Lincoln Park Crate and Barrel. Bedding, bath products, ceramics, glassware, pillows, and other home accents are available in the typical poppy colors. Customers can also special order Crate and Barrel furniture in Marimekko prints, or order fabric by the yard ($60 to $80 per yard).


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Our Baby
3420 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, 773-588-5120
 

Expert assistance is on hand at this baby furniture boutique, with numerous choices for cribs, gliders, dressers, and crib bedding. Also find Moses baskets, Uppababy strollers, layette, blankets, rockers, toy chests, and essentials such as breastfeeding accessories, bottles, and baby tubs.


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The Painted Lady
1819 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, 312-226-0115
 

Owner Beth Brace scours the Midwest for antique and vintage furniture that she revitalizes with paint (mostly white) or distresses with shabby chic techniques. The white dressers, beds, and chairs make perfect nursery choices. Brace also offers custom painting of customer furniture upon request.

 
PB Teen
2111 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-525-8349
Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-368-0435
*Monogramming available
 

One of the first chains to capitalize on the dual phenomenon of the abundance of teens and the democratization of home décor, PB Teen is ideal for a kid who has taken an interest in decorating his or her own room. Beds, dressers, and bookcases are reminiscent of the parent brand, but made for smaller spaces. Bedding is adorned with polka dots and flowers for girls, plaids and stripes for boys. Seating (bean bags, video game chairs, and loungers) is well-designed, and the brightly colored rugs, patterned curtains, and graphic bath items make for punchy accents. Poke around online to play with the design features, including the design your own lighting tool (most choices total less than $100), and the online-only pbdorm.com collection, aimed toward a college audience.

 
P.O.S.H.
613 N. State St., Chicago, 312-280-1602
 

This tabletop and home shop specializes in restaurant china and hotel silver, but there is a small selection of gifts for the continental tot, like soft plush toys and animal rattles from Denmark, plates and silverware from France, alphabet cards, and items adorned with the French cartoon Tintin. Some of the one-of-a-kind items sourced from European antique markets are also kid-room worthy.

 
Pottery Barn Kids
2111 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-525-8349
Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-572-2241
Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-673-8713
20530 N. Rand Rd., Deer Park, 847-438-4433
*Gift registry
*Monogramming available
 

The upscale furniture brand reinterpreted for babies and kids—it keeps the same sensibility, but trades out neutral tones for pastels. Furniture includes basics like cribs, bunk beds, dressers, changing tables, miniature tables, chairs, and bean bags. A nifty online nursery space planning tool (which incorporates their Benjamin Moore paint colors, natch) allow parents to create a dream baby room. Also find bedding (think gingham for babies, vibrant colors for kids). Favorites here are rugs, curtains, lamps, storage, and monogrammed baby gifts. Prices are commensurate to the parent brand.


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Room and Board
55 E. Ohio St., Chicago, 312-222-0970
2525 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, 630-571-7801
10071 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-2655
*Assembly available
 

This proudly American line (more than 90 percent of the goods are made in the USA) carries furniture that fits into five design styles: Shaker, Asian-inspired, mid-century modern, Danish modern, and Arts and Crafts. The baby and kid selection veers toward sophisticated, like the twin leather headboard ($1,899), lacquered bunk bed ($1,699), and Eames molded rocker ($479). Much of the furniture—like dressers and bookcases—are available in customizable colors and sizes. Venture outside the kid section for lighting and rugs to vamp up any room. 

Roomz 4 Kidz & Teenz
1302 N. Rand Rd, Arlington Heights, 847-259-5200
 

Find every permutation of bunk bed imaginable, as well as trundles, storage beds, and cribs. In addition to beds and bedding, shop recliners, gliders, tiny tables and chairs, rugs, and decorative knobs. Locally and family owned since 1980.


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Sprout Home
745 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, 312-226-5950
 

This urban garden center brings a modern, design-conscious bent to its entire product mix, from planters to home accents. The small selection of kid products includes whimsical kitchenware and fun merch like puzzles, books, and a Build Your Own Kaleidoscope kit. Even the mainstream selection offers quirky home accents to make any space kid-friendly—mobiles, glass terrariums, fun lighting, and photo frames.

  
The Sweden Shop
3304 W. Foster Ave., 773-478-0327
 

This self-proclaimed “Scandinavian department store” celebrates the best design from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Marimekko home goods are the shop standout (with an honorable mention for the graphic Amy Butler fabrics), and the children’s area carries Haba wooden toys, Zzzoolight lamps ($83), and small felt crafts.


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Twinkle Twinkle Little One
2007 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, 773-472-3000
*Gift registry
 

Owner Rachel Glasson is as friendly as they come, and she has curated a selection of modern baby décor and gifts that (refreshingly) goes light on the cutesy. Most furniture grows with the child, such as the changing tables that convert to dressers ($1,222), and the overstuffed Best chair (not editorializing—that’s really what it’s called) which comes in custom sizes, fabrics, and colors (prices start at $680). The American-made cribs are built to last through all the family’s offspring. In the rear of the store, find linens, drawer pulls, and adorable artwork. For gift givers who can’t resist a little cute, the shop offers plush baby blankets, mobiles, rockers, toys, hooded towels, and beautiful custom frames. The customer service consistently gets rave reviews for the one-on-one attention from registry and beyond.


Unison
2000 W. Fulton St., Studio F-109, Chicago, 877-492-7960

The Chicago-based line of linens and home accents opened its studio to shoppers so you can browse the collection in person. Unison’s baby and kid bedding skews simple and modern (available in crib, twin, and full sizes), mostly simple stripes or florals in bright, happy fabrics. Shop for duvets, sheets, pillows, changing table covers, impossibly soft blankets, nursery art, and felt storage bins.

 

Urban Outfitters
20 S. State Street, Chicago, 312-269-9919
934 N. Rush Street, Chicago, 312-640-1919
1521 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, 772-772-8550 
651 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, 773-868-3019
2532 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-549-1711
921 Chuirch St., Evanston, 847-492-8542
Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-586-9611
Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 847) 517-3362
 

The hipster kid brother of Anthropologie carries dorm-y accents such as bedding, curtains, posters, and ironic ephemera, as well as well-priced furniture with a mid-century sensibility. The bath accents are particularly kid-appropriate.

 
Urban Source
1429 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 312-455-0505
*Design services available
 

Create an accent in a kid’s room or play room with boldly patterned wallpaper from this design outpost, known for its vibrant prints and 300 pattern choices in paper and vinyl wallcoverings. Samples are hung on the wall in pieces rather than displayed in books so shoppers can see at a glance which they like and mix and match among patterns. (Interior designers are available for those who need guidance.) Urban Source also provides window treatments, upholstery fabrics, and design consultations.


West Elm
1000 W. North Ave., Chicago, 312-867-1770
2155 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, 630-368-3591
 

Clean lines meet global influences at this moderately priced sister store to Pottery Barn. Furniture, bedding, curtains, and rugs are perfect for sophisticated kids or teens, as is the idiosyncratic collection of lighting, art, and accents.