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3757 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-755-3900; 800 W. North Ave., 312-787-8329
SAVE Sure, Target has more models. But they’re not always cheaper than the ones here, and they seldom escape that unmistakable dorm-room quality. CB2’s nicely edited selection allows budget furnishers to upgrade a living room’s aesthetic without having to make the leap to a floor lamp that is also in the permanent collection of a modern-art museum. The Phantom lamp ($99.95)—with its large-scale see-through glass body—has a great shade-to-base ratio. And, true to the design focus of CB2’s parent company, the lamps here often display clever functionality. For example, the Blush table lamp (on sale for $39.95) can be lit any of three ways: the bulb, the iridescent base, or both together.
Source of Light
229 N. Damen Ave.; 312-421-5841
SPLURGE Even folks with money to burn covet a true deal. This favorite wholesale destination for the design trade also extends its across-the-board discounted prices to regular people. You’ll see the manufacturers’ list prices on the show room floor, but ask Kevin Baldwin, the store’s owner, for the real deal, which he says averages 20 percent off. (The Tolomeo “mini” table lamp is a steal; a $270 Room and Board staple, it’s just $200, with free shipping, through the Web site—sourceoflight.net.) The high-quality designs start around $150 for sconces and peak at $12,000 for the 33-inch Artichoke lamp, the iconic modernist chandelier by Poul Henningsen. Located in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, Source of Light is a bit off the beaten path but, on the upside, surrounded by ample street parking.