Once known as a predominantly Swedish neighborhood, Andersonville has morphed into a quaint stretch of furniture shops and restaurants. Located on Clark Street on Chicago's north side, Andersonville is bounded by Foster on the south end and Bryn Mawr on the north. With a small town feel in the middle of a thriving metropolis, it's no surprise that Andersonville has become nesting central.
Our tour starts on the north end of the neighborhood.
• Roost — Located slightly north of Andersonville's unofficial boundary, Roost is nonetheless worth the extra legwork. The space is jam packed with odds and ends like vintage Ball jars and vintage restaurant dishware, as well as larger furniture pieces.
• Haymaker — If you're in the market for handcrafted and local housewares, this new addition to the 'hood is your spot. Owner Arrin Williams' intent is to bring the best local artists to the masses.
• Room Service — Partners Jim and Paul bring a combined 35 years of retail experience to their store. As they say, you should live with the things you love – consider them a matchmaking service for lonely housewares and the people who love them.
• Brown Elephant — Like any thrift store, Brown Elephant can be hit or miss. Although their prices tend to be on the higher side (they always have a keen eye for collectibles and designer pieces, so you're unlikely to score any real "find"), proceeds from the store benefit Howard Brown Health Center, which provides health care and wellness programs for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
• Brownstone Antiques — Not for the neatniks and obsessive-compulsives among us, you never know what you're going to find in this crowded little shop. The inventory is constantly changing as new pieces are delivered throughout the week.
• White Attic — Owner Terry Ledford finds mid-century pieces with lovely bones and gives them fresh, colorful makeovers using low-VOC paints and varnishes. Also notable is the shop's mix and match lamp bar.
• Scout — Owner Larry Vodak calls Scout "an urban antique shop," stocking it with pieces that lean toward the industrial. Pieces tend to feel masculine and edgy, with a lot of dark wood and patinated metal.
• Brimfield — If you're a fan of tartan wool, you'll feel right at home in Brimfield. Many of the vintage furniture pieces have been recovered in vintage wool blankets, creating a funky-modern look.
• George Lowell — Sitting just south of Foster, George Lowell's eponymous shop sets itself apart from the pack by offering something other than vintage furniture. As an interior designer, Lowell has a great eye for quality furniture and art.
Image: Jason Loper