Chicago furniture stores carry styles for every taste and pocketbook. But most of the customers who peruse their wares do not realize that many items carried in these stores are designed and manufactured right there in Chicago. Craftsmen and artists work in design shops and studios—even in home garages—around the city and its suburbs to create pieces of furniture that are stylish as well as functional. Local furniture makers then take those designs from drawing tables and prototypes to the living rooms of Illinois.
As well it should. Furniture design and manufacturing contributed to the growth of Chicago from its early days and into the twentieth century. Furniture remains a strong industry in the area even today as innovative design and marketing continue to contribute to Chicago’s reputation as an important center for furniture.
But Chicago furniture does not stop at the Illinois border. The Chicago Furniture Designers Association promotes the art of many of these creative local furniture designers and builders through periodic showcases that extend their influence outside the state. Members of this organization work together to share with each other information on new design and manufacturing techniques. They network and promote each others’ work. From there, Chicago furniture is often selected for shops, homes, and offices around America and even the world.
Tables made of burnished stainless steel, chairs molded out of colorful plastic, or headboards carved from the finest exotic woods—anything can spring from the minds of these local designers. Self-taught or university-trained, Chicago furniture makers provide the pieces that turn houses into homes. They supply sophisticated office suites to corporate conference rooms as well as simple utilitarian styling for home offices.
From solid traditional design to the most contemporary sustainable plan, furniture that was created in Chicago is appreciated in living rooms and conference rooms from one end of the planet to the other.
But nothing feels as good as seeing one’s creation on exhibit in the display windows of the furniture stores in Chicago…the furniture stores of home.
Furniture in Chicago, whether it is exhibited in a fancy showroom or a discount warehouse, should be a source of pride for the city’s citizens. Created by local sons and daughters, these pieces furnish the world. Whether they are inspired by mid-century masters of furniture making, the small designer under whom they apprentice, or their own imaginations, today’s Chicago furniture designers will serve as inspiration to tomorrow’s.
Yang Anderson writes extensive on furniture and Chicago furniture.
Link back to this post Chicago furniture.