Maison Suzanne, 484 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn; 630-469-0111
Since the mid-1980s, Suzanne Cahill has collected old European furniture, turning the upholstery fabrics into a lush pillow collection and fashioning the denuded frames into one-of-a-kind seating for a roster of customers. The pillow business remains strong, and, earlier this year, Cahill opened her Glen Ellyn storefront to sell the exuberantly upholstered vintage and antique furniture discovered by her European contacts.
Grandma’s attic-if Grandma had traveled the world with a generous budget and great taste. The small-town storefront is chock-a-block, and shoppers should wend their way between the plush chairs, towering armoires, and botanical prints to find the interior design accents with Old World pedigrees scattered throughout the store.
Cahill’s taste ranges from eccentrically feminine French fantasy armchairs-tarted up with dimpled button details and hot pink fringe ($3,400 each)-to slender, severe Gio Ponti chairs ($800 each). Large embellished pillows (from $450) are decked in antique silk, needlepoint, or Aubusson tapestry, trimmed with tassels or cherished metallic braid originally used for European priests’ chasubles. Cahill keeps up with the demand for dramatic lighting with carved wood, bronze, and crystal chandeliers ($850 to $2,800). A mohair Knoll sofa ($5,300) with its ingeniously movable back and arms, when paired with a 200-year-old Swiss fruitwood armoire ($7,800) epitomizes late-19th-century chic.
An intriguing new source for furniture that’s far from mass-produced.