Your dresser is jam-packed with college sweatshirts, your car still sports the sticker of your favorite 2008 presidential candidate and three days a week, you pull out reusable totes your mom brought back from a random charity golf outing. Now it is time to display your love for the place you love most. Here are 12 ways to show your affection for Sweet Home Chicago with these essential Chicago decor pieces.
Ode to the El
Ahhh, the train. It has made you late to the job interview of your dreams, leave four hours early to get to the airport without paying for parking, stand while 10 months pregnant while a car full of young men lean back in their seats, and hold on to your Ventra card tighter than your phone. To be fair, it is also where you ran into your dreamy high school boyfriend, have listened to 477 hours of books on Audible and learned to breathe through your nausea when riding backward. Raise a glass to your favorite form of public transportation with these cheeky pint glasses and coasters. Available at Neighborly, glasses $6 each and coasters $2 each.
Ode to Dogs Done Right
Just as perfect for your first barbecue of the season as you Blackhawks front-room tailgating party in February, these folding chairs meet several important Chicago criteria: they tuck into small spaces like your miniscule basement storage space or alongside the fridge, they set the tone for ballpark eating no matter where you’re actually parking it, and there’s not a drop of ketchup on that hot dog. Available at the MCA gift shop, $85.
Ode to Kitchen Cultures
Pay tribute to your dynamic, diverse neighbors by mixing up pierogi, banh mi or injera in a bowl bearing our sanctuary city’s flag. Available along with other flag dishware at the Chicago History Museum store, $69.99.
Ode to the Wind
We know, we know. The moniker Windy City is actually a nod to our politicians. But anyone who has tried to open their own car door within a mile of lake knows full well that Mother Nature claps back at our nickname for nine months out of the year. Stay snug Chicago style inside your home with a beautiful bipartisan blanket. Craftsman throw inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s cover design for Liberty magazine in 1926-1927 available at Chicago Architecture Foundation store, $99.95. Chicago map Merino wool throw available at Neighborly, $180.
You already have memberships and resident discounts at the Shedd, Field, and Planetarium. Why not make your love of wandering the old gray ladies official with classic glass ornaments so gorgeous you won’t want to reserve them only for your holiday decor. Tuck them in on an office bookshelf or display them in your built-in hutch. Available at each Chicago museum, including this hand-painted bauble from Museum of Science and Industry gift shop, $24.99.
Ode to the W
For 108 years, only the die-hard Cubs fans flew the W on their porches and outside their three-flat windows. Since 2016’s dream-come-true World Series win, the flag is standard issue home decor. Class it up with a flagpole or stand, or frame it the Bud Light napkin you used to wipe away the happy tears in the last seconds of the big game. Available in-store or online at Dick’s Sporting Goods, $29.99.
Ode to Ol’ Comiskey
Ahhh, remember the good old baseball days when you the vendor gave you change back from your $20 bill for a couple of boxes of popcorn and the stadium wasn’t named for a corporation you’ve never heard of? Pay homage to the love that endures all time and season records with this vintage White Sox felt banner. Use it as inspiration to decorate a kid’s room or office, or frame it for the foyer so all your northsider guests know exactly where they stand when they cross your home plate. Available in-store or online at Grandstand, $19.95
Ode to the Front Tire You’ve Replaced 7 Times
A year-round construction season means that Chicago drivers whip through an obstacle course of potholes, merged lanes and excavators ripping up whole lanes every time on every commute. Cuss as much as you want in the car, but once you step foot into your home, wipe all that irritation away on your Chicago manhole doormat. The photograph-foam mat is so realistic, you might just get a good laugh watching your neighbors step over it on their way to your door. Available online at Vernakular, $52.
Ode to 99% of Us
A nod to author Nelson Algren and the people who make our city thrive every time they punch the clock, open their doors and tend to their neighbors, this limited edition signed collaborative artwork is an overlay on a Chicago map. Reserve your poster for in-store pick-up or order online at Ork Posters, $50.
Ode to the Bean
You’re no tourist and you definitely don’t need another Chicago tchotchke to hawk at a garage sale. Show your adulation for beloved Cloud Gate sculpture where you got engaged, first showed off your new home to your small-town family, or just stood in wonderment at the reflection of the skyline, all with this luxe little stainless steel bean paperweight. Sophisticated, subtle and available at Tiffany, $275.
Ode to the Blue
Bring a bit of the deep peace that swells up when you pause in front of Chagall’s America blue stained-glass panels that hang in Chicago Art Institute to the place where you sleep, bathe or ready yourself for a day downtown. A simple little nightlight from the Freedom piece may spark a night full of soothing dreams or start your day off will more calm than a Chicago Public School crossing guard in the middle of Ashland Avenue. Or drape this sumptuous silk scarf with depictions of all six glass panels over a chaise or on your meditation altar. Need more? There’s a framed replica that’ll look lovely in your study. Available at the Art Institute gift shop, nightlight $25.95 and scarf $90.
Ode to the Wright Way
The lucky among us have lingered in Chicago’s historic sites first envisioned by our city’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. And the most inspired have brought that pristine aesthetic home, decorating rooms around one little tile or lovely lamp. But some of us have a higher Craftsman calling, and so there is this heavenly floor screen that’s been laser-cut with distinctive Wright design. Use it to divide your great room, create a more private dressing space or hang it as an art piece or headboard. Available through the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, $1,440.00.