Category Archives: Chicago

Design Inspiration: Gnome Home

Somebody set this up in the parkway down the street from me and it’s so freakin’ FANTASTIC I had to share it…

Gnome House | Chicago ReDesignGnome House | Chicago ReDesign Gnome House | Chicago ReDesignThis absolutely made my day when I came across it… there is such a sense of magic and wonder to the whole thing. I think this would be a really fun and special DIY project to do with my daughter (and husband) so I’m definitely keeping it in the “To Do” file for when she gets older.

Don’t you just love it!!


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Build a Room: My Own Outdoor Oasis

side deckHave you heard the phrase “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes”? Well, in my case I often feel like “the designer’s house has no design”. Let me explain… we bought our condo two years ago, and I got pregnant 6 days after we moved in. I worked full time up until I was 9 months along, and then I decided to give it a go with my own business. So on top of being a stay-at-home mom, I was also trying to launch Chicago ReDesign. Needless to say, there was never much time (or money) for decorating my own house, so many areas still remain neglected as I (very) slowly finish each room.

One of the many spaces in our condo in need of a little decorator TLC is our side deck. Although this space isn’t huge, we spend a lot of time here during the precious summer months, relaxing and entertaining friends, so it’s become a priority in my mind.

Now it’s time to get inspired and start thinking about transforming this boring deck into an outdoor room I can be proud of.  A few caveats: Because this is a condo building, I can’t do anything to the exterior walls. And as always, I’m on a budget, which means the sort-of-too-big-for-the-space table will have to stay.

Dreamboard #1

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

Garland Rectangular Patio Rug – Green/Sand Floral | Norcal Pottery 10.5in Blush Terra Cotta Ribbed Egg Pot | Norcal Pottery 7 3/4in Terra Cotta Deco Pot | World Market Green Battery-Operated Lanterns | Ikea HYLLIS Shelving Unit

I like the idea of bringing fresh greens into the space to play off of the cedar-color deck and the light putty gray split-face brick. I would add two Ikea shelving units (only $14.99 a piece!) against the back wall and stack them full of inexpensive, but interesting clay pots. And to fill those pots, I was thinking hardy petunias in pink and yellow, as well as the incredibly prolific mint herb. Not only is the mint fragrant, but it’s great to be able to step off onto the deck and grab some leaves for Moroccan mint tea or even mint juleps.

Dreamboard #2

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

World Market Carved Wood String Lights | Ikea OSTLIG Plant Pots | Mali Geometric Patio Rug | Ikea SOCKER Hanging Planter

I also like the idea of incorporating into the space a quatrefoil pattern and the color blue, both of which are favorites of mine, and both of which happen to be trending right now. The blue and white palette is accented nicely by the earthy elements of the wood string lights and dark bronze-colored clay pots. And again, I would plant petunias, this time in blue, in the hanging and clay pots.

Both boards would cost right around $200 to implement, and I really like both for different reasons. What do you think? Which dreamboard do you prefer? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Top Ten Budget-Friendly Home Décor Resources in Chicago

There are great furniture and decor stores throughout Chicago, but when you are looking for value and quality, a few places stand out from the crowd. The following list is my Top 10 favorite budget-friendly shopping spots in Chicago (in no particular order).

1. Nadeau

4433 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Nadeau, furniture, chicago, redesign, interior design, budget, decorating, global

Shop for: Unique hand-crafted, solid wood furniture with a global vibe

I just can’t say enough good things about this place. The furniture is unique, never mass-produced, already assembled and at prices that are surprisingly affordable. On top of all that, the staff at the store is extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable without being pushy.

Tips: Check out their comprehensive photo inventory on Photobucket. If it’s in the store, it’s online. Call to get prices and dimensions and then purchase over the phone or run (seriously, don’t walk) to the store to buy in-person. Inventory moves fast here so if you see something you like, don’t hesitate. If you need items delivered, Nadeau uses a 3rd party delivery service that will deliver up to 5 pieces for $65 flat rate. I would also recommend signing up for their newsletter so you can be notified when new containers arrive.

2. Textile Discount Outlet

 2121 W 21st St, Chicago, IL 60608
Pilsen fabric store, upholstery fabrics, chicago, interior design, budget decorating, redesign

Shop for: Upholstery and craft fabrics (as well as notions, etc)

Tips: A trip to the warehouse can be very overwhelming, I won’t lie. You’ll need to get mentally prepared to deal with clutter (that is putting it VERY lightly), dust, dirt, and a bit of claustrophobia. But it’s worth it. So grab a bottle of water and a snack and get ready for an adventure. Before you go though, check the store’s hours – they are closed on Saturdays, and Friday times are seasonal. There is a small parking lot but I’ve also never had trouble finding street parking. When you get in grab a shopping cart – you’ll carry around the bolts of fabric you want until you are ready to check out and someone measures the yardage you need. And when you need to go up or down a level grab one of the friendly staff to operate the elevator for you.  Also, some bolts are stained or dirty – pull enough material out to get a good look at it.  If you are a student bring your ID to get a discount. Also, there have been Groupon deals in the past so watch out for those.

3. Target

Multiple locations

Shop for: uummmmm, everything (seriously, what can’t you get at Target?)

With featured brand shops like Boho Boutique, Nate Berkus, Threshold (featured in this month’s issue of Lonny Magazine btw), TOO by Blu Dot, and Thomas O’Brien Target is a great place to find affordable, chic furniture and accessories.

Tips: If possible check on-line reviews for major purchases like furniture, before you shop. And if you are struggling with pulling a room together, Target is a great place to find coordinated separates that will complete a room, but don’t look too matchy-matchy.

4. Found Vintage Living

1551 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Found Vintage Living, chicago, interior design, redesign, budget decorating, vintage furniture

Shop for: affordable vintage pieces and authentic home décor from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

There are tons of vintage shops in Chicago, but in my opinion this is one of the best. With a great selection of barware, decorative accessories, and top quality furniture you’ll want to return again and again.

Tips: Most of their inventory is listed on Facebook, so check out what they have before going in.

5. 1730 Outlet Company

1730 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Shop for: Discount linens, serving ware, holiday themed décor, furniture

1730 is the place to go if you are really into decorating for the holidays! They have great seasonal decor and a fairly large selection of contemporary furniture at affordable prices.

Tips: Beware the return policy, which is basically – there are no returns. Also, the parking situation is a bit tricky and the entrance is in what appears to be a loading dock area. So yes, you are in the right place.

6. Praha

2201 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Praha, chicago, interior design, redesign, budget decorating, antiques, furniture

Shop for: A mix of antiques and salvaged goods, and new pieces made in and around Prague (Praha is Czech for Prague).

Praha has been featured on Apartment Therapy’s blog and is a favorite among Yelpers.With consistently good reviews (and a brand new, larger location to house even more goodies) it’s definitely worth checking out!

Tips: Head on over to their Facebook page to see photos and prices of available pieces.


Multiple Locations

Shop for: Home improvement and remodeling furnishings (cabinetry, countertops, tile, plumbing fixtures, etc)

Unfortunately the store located in Chicago closed, but if you are doing any sort of remodeling its worth a drive to the ‘burbs to check this place out.

Tips: Check out their weekly flyers for sales and specials

8. HomeGoods

Multiple Locations

Shop for: Furniture, artwork, lighting, home decor accessories, linens, dining and entertainment items, seasonal and holiday decor, outdoor furnishings (so, everything)

HomeGoods is a great place to shop for gifts – you can find something for everyone, and for just about any occasion (birthdays, holidays, hostess gifts, etc). It’s also great for redecorating your own place with fabulous, affordable, on-trend pieces.

Tips: Check out their Pinterest page and blog for great tips, ideas, and plenty of decorating inspiration!

9. Brown Elephant

3651 N. Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60613
5404 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Brown Elephant, resale shops, chicago, interior design, redesign, budget decorating, furniture, home decorShop for: Dishes, furniture, artwork, home decor accessories

If you like to multitask and want to do some shopping while helping others at the same time, this resale shop is the way to go! The revenue generated by donations and purchases at the Brown Elephant Shops help fund services for the more than 50% of Howard Brown Health Center clients who are under or uninsured.  They also have a new focus on quality rather than quantity, so you get the best of the best without having to dig. Because let’s face it, one man’s trash might be another man’s treasure, but usually it’s just trash.

Tips: They give a 25% off coupon to anyone who donates, and you can easily fill out a tax form while you’re there. Also, check out their Facebook page for some ideas on what’s available (and a good laugh as well)

10. World Market

Multiple Locations

Shop for: furniture, home decor accessories, dining and entertainment items

World Market is another great source for unique, authentic gifts as well as affordable furnishings for yourself. For those that want to look well-traveled without ever leaving your home, this is the place for you!

Tips: If possible check on-line reviews for major purchases like furniture, before you shop. Check out their Pinterest page for gift ideas and inspiration.

What are your favorite home decor spots in Chicago?  Do you know of any hidden gems you’d like to share?


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