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Tereasa Surratt’s Guide to Vintage Shopping In and Around Chicago

David Hernandez and Tereasa Surratt
David Hernandez and Tereasa Surratt Photo Gallery »

When she’s not installed in her office as a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, tending to her new baby daughter, renovating vacation cabins, and writing books, Tereasa Surratt is shopping for the little-known, the underappreciated, and the ripe-for-new-life. The superstar hostess buys almost nothing new or mainstream, preferring instead to scour Chicago-area vintage and thrift stores for finds that are unique and inexpensive. The next time you’re throwing a party, try Surratt’s suggested spots for unexpected decorations, glassware, serving pieces and more.

Thrift housewares and furniture:

  1. Salvation Army on Grand Avenue. “This is the distribution center, the mothership of Salvation Armies in Chicago.” 509 N. Union Ave. (at Grand), 312-421-0136
  2. Salvation Army in the less trendy neighborhoods, i.e. locations on the far West and South Sides
  3. Ark Thrift Shop. 1302 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-862-5011
  4. White Elephant Resale Shop. 2380 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-883-6184


Worth the 90-minute drive:

  1. Inspiration Ministries, Walworth, Wisc. “Resale, cheap, continual stock of midcentury modern from folks who don’t know what they have.”
  2. Goodwill, Delevan, Wisc. “Far enough away from Chicago (85 miles) that it’s not picked over. Good stock rotation.”


Vintage furniture and home décor:

  1. Post 27. “Affordable, chic, and inspiring.” 1819 W. Grand Ave.
  2. Brimfield. “You know I am addicted, right? Pre-selected and fab.” 5644 N. Clark St.
  3. Roost. “Great for digging; prices are good.”


Antique Stores:

  1. Stop! Look! Oddments. “A full-on Dumpster-diver paradise, tiny hole-in-the-wall off California. Not for the weak. Wear gloves. Beyond cheap; I always emerge with junk treasures.” 1305 N. Western Ave.
  2. Penn Dutchman Antiques. “A well-kept secret. Hodge-podge of everything imaginable; be prepared to spend a lot of time.”  4912 N. Western Ave.
  3. Jans Antiques. “Good standby for architectural salvage. Prices can be high, but huge inventory.” 225 N. Racine Ave.


Other Haunts for Randomness:

  1. Fort Pitt Furniture Liquidators. “Hit or miss, but worth stopping by often to see if some great end tables pop up from a recent liquidated hotel.” 1400 W. 37th St.
  2. Textile Discount Outlet. “The motherload of all fabrics and textiles.” 2121 W. 21st St.





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