Nestled away in Andersonville (home base of everything Swedish in Chicago) lies one of the coziest stores you'll ever enter. Also, one of the manliest.
Brimfield is the love project of Jeff and Julie Fernstrom. Its namesake comes from Julie's favorite plaid and was started in the UK as a store focused on Welsh blankets. For five years, Brimfield has called Chicago home and features refurbished and reclaimed wool blankets, men's bar-wear, smoking paraphernalia, and objects straight from the '50s and '60s. Ralph Lauren on Michigan Avenue, Haberdash on State Street, and The Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park have sourced many of their interior decorations from Brimfield.
The first floor is the log cabin/summer cottage (depending on the season) you never had. The focus is on the buffalo plaid wall surrounded by an inviting fireplace opposite a wall of reclaimed wool blankets in every plaid color scheme imaginable. You can bring in your own furniture and the Fernstroms will happily reupholster it with the reclaimed wool of your choice. The main attraction is kept in the very back -- a completely renovated AirStream from 1971 fit for a family of four perfect for the quintessential American road trip.
Down a staircase lined with vintage wool coats, you enter the Man Cave which houses barbershop furniture, tabletop games, and bar-wear. The second floor entrance is located just outside which takes you up to the Men's Club - an homage to Julie's great-uncle who was part of the Yale rowing team. This expansive space takes you back to the days of Mad Men and features plenty of deer head mounts, vintage lounges, and a bar perfect for hosting private events.
Brimfield brings a piece of the East Coast (think Nantucket or Cape Cod) to the Windy City with a lot of pride and warmth. The Fernstroms' joy in collecting vintage pieces is evident as you peruse the thoughtfully arranged relics that cover every inch of the store.
Take a trip to Andersonville and support local Chicago establishments this weekend. Gave brunch at Ann Sather's and then go a few doors down the street to enjoy the treasures in Brimfield!