In 1908, Madison and State became the numerical zero-markers of Chicago’s new street system, making the corner where they intersected the new epicenter of city commerce. On nearby Wabash Avenue, the company jumped into the furniture game the same year, selling home furnishings built by skilled local craftsmen. More than 100 years later, the shop still buzzes with that original energy, connecting customers with the finest home furnishings from more than 50 manufacturers. The fourth-generation family business has migrated from the city center to five suburban locales, where showrooms display gleaming hardwood tables, towering entertainment centers, and elegant leather couches. Along with accent pieces and kid-centric design items, each Toms-Price location also offers special services such as furniture refinishing, reupholstering, and moving help. On-staff interior designers can also lend their eye to design projects, artfully arranging rooms and selecting the color schemes, fabrics, and wax doll heads that best bring out the inner you.
A herd of cows is the perfect way to furnish a pasture, but, despite its name, Sell a Cow focuses more on furnishing home interiors. Stocked with designs from brands including Coaster Fine Furniture and Ashley Furniture, the stores can outfit nearly any room. Bedrooms transform with sleigh beds, canopy beds, or compact bunk beds for kids. And living rooms come together around sumptuous armchairs and coffee tables. In addition to furniture, an extensive selection of accents adds stylish touches with wine cabinets, lamps, mirrors, and rugs.
Walter E. Smithe's huge showrooms contain more than 500 collections of high-quality designer furniture and home accessories, stocking brands including Drexel Heritage, Nourison, Hancock and Moore, and Bradington-Young. Fill a brass-trimmed vase ($119) with flowers, pencils, or wishes, or keep winter moisture stylishly contained in a hand-painted umbrella stand ($99). Walter E. Smithe's selection of four-legged pieces includes an Ontario end table ($299) and a Louise chair ($599). Most products come with impressive warranties, including a 10-year guarantee for every cushion on the comfy Kayla sofa ($1,749).
At Back to Bed's South Loop location, manager Kip Wilkinson puts customers at ease with a friendly attitude, helping them find a bed that fits their individual needs and budget. The experienced delivery staff also sets up new beds and removes old ones, with a variety of delivery options available. At the show room, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, and Simmons Beautyrest mattresses await rigorous testing, and the sleep-savvy employees help shoppers determine if they're more suited to a firm or soft mattress or to creamy or chunky peanut butter. Aside from a wide selection of mattress types and brands, Back to Bed also offers accessories such as ergonomic memory foam pillows.
A family-owned-and-operated outfit, Crest has been furnishing homes from Indiana to Wisconsin for more than 20 years. Its aisles brim with elegant, name-brand pieces for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and boiler rooms. At any given time, more than 120 lines rotate throughout its show room, from manufacturers such as Century, Parker House, Eagle, Robin Bruce, and DR Kincaid.
Xtreme Trampolines safely sends guests of all ages ricocheting off the floors, up the walls, and into the lower stratosphere on an expanse of springy flooring. The 45,000-square-foot indoor facility houses five giant checkerboards composed of commercial-grade trampolines ready for full-body bouncing. Angled trampolines against the walls give bouncers the opportunity to spring from fun new angles and keep anyone from crashing into something other than the arena's soft foam pit. On the dodge-ball court, players use the trampolines to add a new dimension to ball evasion, performing high-flying ducks and dodges to avoid opponents' throws. Though Xtreme Trampolines offers a unique activity, injuries are infrequent and usually minor, occurring at a much lower rate than they do during common team sports such as baseball, soccer, or rattlesnake toss.
Viking Ski Shop's educated staff calls upon expertise acquired during four decades in business to outfit powder riders with outdoor accouterments, including custom-fitted boots and body-heat-activated base-layer apparel. Patrons prevent frigid digits with Kombi waterguard gloves ($38), and technologically advanced threads from Hot Chillys ($38) band together in moisture-managing ensembles for men and women. Children stay cozy on the slopes in Spyder speed fleeces ($49), which are crafted from the coats of aerodynamic racing sheep. Killtec Namara men's fleeces ($49) also swaddle torsos in downy warmth and pair with Giro G9 helmets ($99) to protect bodies during snowman rush hour. Both shops are closed on Wednesday.