In recent years, the strip of Lincoln Avenue between Addison Street and Irving Park Road has seen a boom in residential and retail development that has transformed this neighborhood of cluttered antique stores and resale shops into a real treasure trove of unique home design resources and funky shops. The parking lot shared by Trader Joe’s (3745 N. Lincoln) and CB2 (3757) is packed on weekends-avoid fender benders and hefty towing charges (if you’re shopping elsewhere) by parking on Lincoln or a side street, and start exploring. CB2, the spirited offspring of the Crate & Barrel empire, offers a post-collegiate selection of affordable furniture, rugs, and lighting as well as kicky tableware, colorful third-world tchotchkes, and furry pillows. Classic bark cloth and other vintage home-decorating fabrics, quilts, and linens abound at Turtle Creek Antiques (3817). Blond furniture seems to have more fun at intimate Brody Antiques (3823), which also has a strong showing of gutsy mid-century artwork and Art Deco pieces. A skip and a jump away is Tragara (3827), transporting clients back to the swinging ’60s with its mod stacked-Lucite lamps, shiny lacquered furniture, stainless steel and travertine marble tables, and Op Art-all presented in a fresh manner that gives them new millennial resonance. Across the street, owner Robert Zizzo at ModLife (3856) satisfies those mid-century munchies with a European flair, presenting Danish modern furniture, shelves of Scandinavian ceramics, and sexy Italian glass pieces, along with occasional classic Herman Miller and Eames furniture. For a source of a different color, visit Praha (3859) with its comfy-cottage wares for the contemporary lifestyle. Highlights include heroic antique pine Czech armoires and tables, thick patterned rugs, and lighting options galore. Treat yourself to some lotions and candles, or snacks from the Praha line of food products. Smythson Yeats Antiques (3851) is a sprawling shop filled with an eclectic collection of furniture and accessories culled from owner Dick Rosen’s worldly travels-heavy on china cabinets, knobby turned-wood eccentricities, and sleek European and American Art Deco. Inventory changes frequently, much like Lincoln Avenue itself these days, so each visit is sure to surprise and challenge.

Photography By Matthew Gilson

Acrylic tables at CB2

Sputnik-like chandelier at ModLife

Mid-century nesting tables and blue chair at Brody Antiques.

Contemporary country comfort at Praha

Art glass at Smythson Yeats Antiques

Hip tableware and free espresso, at Tragara