The concept of outdoor furniture has evolved from an comfy old couch on the front porch and few wicker pieces on the deck to copper fire pits, chairs with hundreds of fabric options and chaises so cushy you never want to get out of them. Of course, like anything, you can spend a bundle or choose a few new items to add class and comfort to your summer living area.
5357 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Nadeen Kieren, owner of GreenSky, explains that “most everything we carry is handmade and sourced from within 300 miles of our store. Our folks are re-purposing materials destined for landfills and creating art and fun in their homes right in our neighborhood.” At GreenSky, you’ll find outdoor furniture made from milk jugs in northwest Indiana (it takes 500 milk jugs to construct a chair); pink flamingos produced in Morton Grove. IL, seven miles away; bird houses made in Illinois from reclaimed barnwood and roofing materials; Motawi ceramic tiles handmade in Michigan; outdoor sculptures made from re-purposed steel drums and many more treasures.
745 N. Damen
Chicago, IL 60622
In addition to design services, gardening classes, plants and containers, tools and accessories, Sprout Home is a sure bet if you need just a piece or two to give your patio some pop. Chairs, eye-catching plant stands, woven fabric benches, large, sturdy and lovely candles for your table-scape and more, like geometric crisscross stools that recall the old school plastic/vinyl fold out chairs from the ’70s. Sprout Home has cool stuff you won’t find at the big box home stores.
1340 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
According to main market gal, Sally Schwartz, “Oh boy, there sure is a TON of fab outdoor furniture and accessories at Randolph.” Specific vendors with outdoor furniture include: Hello Good Buys, Mr Modern, Flower Child and Mr Landchester, which will have mid century patio & garden furniture. Bleeker Street offers strong pieces for more contemporary pool houses and pool deck pieces. Shopping at Randolph Street Market is fun: count on 300 vendors, cocktails, food and entertainment. How will you get that vintage or modern chaise lounger back home? There’s onsite delivery and shipping anywhere, which includes complimentary furniture delivery within the Fulton Market area. Check the website for remaining dates this year.
515 Shawmut Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60526
If you’re keen on browsing hundreds of pieces of new designer outdoor furniture at 50-75% off retail pricing, get to the Divine Consign Warehouse. Expect to see some of the very furniture available at the Merchandise Mart, from manufacturers including Lloyd Flanders, Gensun, Woodard, Ebel Inc., Mallin Casual and North Cape. Shoppers can call the main store in Oak Park during regular hours, and the staff will tell you when to get to the warehouse.
Kane County Fairground
525 S. Randall Road
St Charles, IL 60174
Other outdoor flea markets pale in comparison to this ginormous set-up in St. Charles. It’s all there, indoors and outside, just bring a tape measure, shopping buddy and a cell phone so you can cover more ground separately and notify each other when the the perfect outdoor table, sofa or chair for your space pops up. Get there early and enjoy a country breakfast until 10 a.m. The market swings open its gates on the first Sunday of the month and the preceding Saturday monthly from March to December.
Related: Best Farmer’s Markets Near Chicago
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.