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Shopping

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Shopping

To do justice to Naperville shopping, ignore the national chains. You already know what lurks behind the doors of Chico’s and Restoration Hardware. Instead, visit an inspired selection of specialty stores, including the best shop for accessories for pets in the Chicago area; a fragrant shop that vies with The Spice House for variety; a home decorations shop that will not only rock your vibe in French but lead you down a subterranean passageway to a deliciously cluttered antiques mall; and a store/classroom that will help you make sense of your most recent digital purchases.

It’s relatively easy to park northwest of the action on Webster Street, in front of Kasie’s Beads (116 S. Webster; 630-357-8931), a do-it-yourself bead store stocked with polished semiprecious stones, Czech glass beads, and the colorful ribbon or leather thongs from which to hang them. Next door is Papier Girl (118 S. Webster; 630-579-1844), where charming greeting cards—including a normally hard-to-find selection from Vera Wang—are engraved with whimsical icons, or stitched with silky thread. This is the place to order custom cards from a selection of creamy papers, or to have a colorful invitation designed. Once the invitations are ordered, head to Bee Entertaining (124 S. Webster; 630-527-7030) for shiny silver serving tongs, rustic crinkled place mats, gorgeous tabletop goodies, an impressive selection of cocktail napkins, and a host of hostess gifts, including Bella Cucina’s lemon pesto artichoke spread.

Photography: Kate Roth
 
Anderson's Bookshop

Hang a left on Jefferson Avenue and the pickings become even juicier. At Anderson’s Bookshop (123 W. Jefferson; 630-355-2665), there is a well-stocked selection of books, maps, and periodicals for adults—and the offerings for kids, tweens, and teens goes deep, too. Half of the store is given over to kid stuff, with educational toys from Brio and Playmobil, and a hefty puzzle section, too. The Antiques on Jefferson Mall (34 W. Jefferson; 630-717-8899) showcases items from more than 60 dealers who offer everything from vintage furs to festively colored Fiestaware. The basement walkway leads to Pour la Maison (630-778-5180), a destination for Francophiles and lovers of Provençal table linens, earthy Appolia casserole dishes, charming fringed tuffets, and bubble-textured, mouth-blown glassware from Biot.

 

Photography: Kate Roth
The colorful array of offerings at Pour La Maison will deslight Francophiles

Tasting deVine Cellars (21 W. Jefferson; 630-420-9463) opens up the world of Lynfred wines, from Illinois’ foremost winery. (Before you scoff, consider that Charlie Trotter’s sommelier recently hand-carried several bottles of the vineyard’s 1994 cabernet sauvignon to a Napa Valley tasting and wowed the California critics.) Here you can taste from 14 monthly selections ($5 per flight), or choose from a variety of wine and cheese paraphernalia. Just walking through the front door of Naper Nuts & Sweets (10 W. Jefferson; 630-355-5330) can kick-start a sugar buzz, given that it is stocked floor-to-ceiling with penny candy, caramel and cheese corn, and other treats. The virtuoso photographer Marian Krause displays work by local and national artists—including mixed media by Cindy Fields and paintings by the 19-year-old artist James Cackovic—at L’Artiste2 (24 W. Jefferson; 630-717-8969), where patrons often practice yoga among the canvases and photographs.

Cross Washington Street and you will see a grand, pillared white building housing a tearoom, clothing shop, and the spa/salon Looks, Ltd (43 E. Jefferson; 630-778-8299), where the former model Loretta Wilger-Asmus hosts bridal parties and girl get-togethers, while also providing personal pampering in a bright, well-equipped salon. BAS Gallery (4 E. Jefferson; 630-548-4003) highlights the fine art of glass in a variety of forms, from a Chihuly-like fixture to hang from your ceiling to an artsy glass necklace to hang around your neck.

Photography: Kate Roth
 
Eye on Design

Separating east from west, Washington (not Main) is the town’s central street, and it is home to a number of shops, some hidden down seductive little alleys. Eye on Design (232 S. Washington; 630-357-1546) offers African beads, wooden sculptures, and rare Naga textiles alongside more modern merchandise, including sleek Skagen watches. At One Magnificent Moment (236 S. Washington; 630-527-8370), women’s bridal and special occasion dresses keep company with a frothy grouping of prom dresses. Inside Two Bostons (232 S. Washington; 630-357-7621), shoppers are greeted by a bakery case of doggy treats and a large wall displaying a selection of dog collars and leashes so colorful and varied it puts larger pet stores to shame.

 

Photography: Kate Roth
Cookies for canines from Two Bostons

Shoppers queue up to choose from among hundreds of fragrant choices at Penzeys Spices (235 S. Washington; 630-355-7677), where plenty of peppers, curries, and Mexican herbs pack a potent punch. Studio D, at the southwest corner of Washington and Van Buren Avenue (103 S. Washington; 630-369-1167), is dedicated to the art of digital living, with iPods and related gear, up-to-the-moment models of digital cameras, and a wide assortment of laptops. To ensure that customers get the most out of their new purchases, the store frequently offers beginner and advanced computer classes.
–Stacy Wallace-Albert


 

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