The Baker Knapp & Tubbs showroom at the Mart is an established fave of local designers, who count on it for basics-classic, casual, or contemporary-that will stand the test of time for their clients. The rest of us, meanwhile, have been able to shop for Baker-manufactured furniture at department stores and other venues. But with the recent opening of Baker’s freestanding, open-to-the-public location on Chicago Avenue, discerning commoners have the option of choosing from the company’s 20 different collections, just like the pros do. The 12,600-square-foot store displays about a fifth of what the company offers, including the Stately Homes Collection-reproductions of pieces found at European estates-and exclusive lines from the Barbara Barry Collection, Thomas Pheasant, and Bill Sofield. Also find a selection of 350 lighting fixtures all in one place, so you can easily compare their many virtues, and a workshop area featuring 1,500 choices of upholstery material. Baker Chicago, 825 W. Chicago Ave., 312-733-0353;


Photograph: Katrina Wittkamp