There aren’t many places you can buy a velvet-trimmed armchair and a 1905 German Bible. Or admire the reflection of a tiger painting in a Gothic candelabra mirror. But count Warehouse 55 among them. The new West Town shop is a collection of vintage vendors who source from around the country and aren’t afraid to present the unexpected. Each corner of the 9,000-square-foot space showcases statement decorative pieces and furniture, arranged in living-room-like vignettes.
Just don’t call it an antiques shop. “It’s an experience unlike anything else,” says owner Mark Allen, a self-taught interior designer. “There are no display cases. Everything is open to touch, see, and feel.”
On Grand Avenue near the like-minded Redefined Décor and Salvage One, Warehouse 55 is an extension of Allen’s already popular Aurora shop of the same name. Everything must be vintage or repurposed. Traditional pieces, especially, are making a comeback. “People want what they can’t find anywhere. We have big chests and massive mahogany furniture. All the ‘grandma chic stuff’ … it’s back in style.”
With vendors restaging and restocking merch all the time, you’ll never see the same store twice. But you will get plenty of inspiration. Next year, Allen hopes to form an in-house team offering design services. He also has plans to partner with Salvage One for a flea market.
But the holiday season comes first. Allen is encouraging his vendors to pull out all the stops. “We’ll go crazy at Christmas,” he says. 1819 W. Grand Ave., West Town, warehouse55.shop