About 14 years ago, when I moved to Chicago, I bought a futon (long gone) and two steel desk lamps (still have them!) from Affordable Portables. I have not been to the shop since, but I remember it being packed with 20somethings, their parents, and lots of counter-height stools that looked like alien creatures with tall legs. How I wish two things—that I had better taste back then and that Nest Furniture, which opened not too long ago just north of Affordable Portables on Clark Street, was around back then. Nest has grown-up, stylish furniture, ranging from sofas to big wooden consoles, at good price points (not futon-cheap, certainly, but you can get a great solid-wood dining table that seats four for about $400). Some pieces resemble those you might find at Restoration Hardware or even Jayson Home. Many items are designed by the owners of the store and manufactured in China, India, Thailand, and other countries in the region; other pieces are one-of-a-kinds with an Asian flare.
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