Sprout - great home store. Out in the 'burbs? The Kane County Flea Market - you wouldn't believe all the crazy sh*t you can find on the cheap out there. Online? The American Poster Institute links to tons of brilliant artists. Pitch: I put my passions on display. I love travelling and quality brew, so my kitchen has a giant japan-centric world map and shadowboxes displaying 600+ unique bottlecaps from beer I've had all over the globe. I admire the power of language, so my bathroom has an SAT vocab shower curtain, photos of literary idols, and a paint pen for visitors to graffiti with.
Pitch Cont'd: I love music, reading and my friends, so in my front room I built cd shelving into a window, filled three bookcases and hung on the wall a collection of b&w photographic "self-portraits" from those closest to me.
Your favorite element: The constantly rotating collection of screenprinted gig posters hanging in my hallway. I can support the bands I love, display a healthy variety of artistic styles via a unifying medium, and it's cheap enough that I switch out posters all the time. It's like a mini-gallery right in my apartment.