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Randolph Street Market! Finally!

A few weekends ago, the Missus and I finally took a trip to the famous Randolph Street Market. Billed as one of the top 3 national urban antique markets (did ya catch all that?), friends had been telling us for years that it would blow our minds. And they were so, so right. The second we walked through the front gate (on a friend’s complimentary pass, no less!) and saw this, our heads nearly exploded from the awesomeness that lay before us:

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This photo alone is literally the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as every time we rounded a corner thinking we’d seen it all, there was another section awaiting our perusal, just as large as the last. The fest pops up the last weekend of each month throughout the summer, and the remainder of the 2011 schedule can be found here. There was a LOT to see, photograph, and lust after, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Here goes!

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Kim has a serious addiction to found vintage photos, so the second we walked in and saw a half dozen tins waiting to be shuffled through, it wasn’t a question of whether or not she’d be buying any, but how many will Scott let me bring home? The answer: 3.

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As many of you know, I’m like a kid in a candy store the second I spot even a tiny crate of old LP’s, so I bee-lined it over to this booth until I was lovingly pried away. Sadly, I was unable to track down a high-quality copy of one of my “Holy Grail” records, but there were certainly some gems to be had.

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As many of you also know, Kim’s love of ornate vintage picture frames nearly rivals my love of vintage vinyl. This one was a bit on the pricey side, since the artwork was included, but we did find success later in the day. You’ll just have to check back to see what we found…

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The Street Fest was abound with tiny critters like these baby barnyard animals. Perfect for that terrarium you’ve been thinking about, no?

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In addition to all the tiny critters, There were plenty of full-size animals hanging out as well. This bunny and Boston Terrier were intended as doorstops, but were certainly large enough to work as standalone decorations anywhere.

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The same does not apply to this bunny doorstop. He’s just a doorstop. Or a paper weight.

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I was mildly obsessed with the idea of adding some nice stainless castors to the bottom of this chair for the office, but with all of our pets being fully-clawed, it was in too-perfect condition for us to justify its destruction. This bad boy was tagged at a mere $35! Seriously, get down there!

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Kim has grand dreams of these Victorian chairs at the heads of a huge old farmhouse table, but we obviously lack the necessary space for that to happen any time soon. Of course, the quilted headboards weren’t too shabby either. The condition of everything at this booth (along with almost every other) was amazing.

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Chairs, chairs and more awesome chairs. Just please don’t sit on the merchandise. (Kidding.)

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… Speaking earlier of terrariums, there was a booth set up that was almost completely dedicated to them. They were fully stocked with awesome pieces of grapevine in every size and shape.

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… and even had vessels, rocks and plants so gorgeous they’d stop your heart.

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Even carnivorous ones!

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The color scheme on this stacking ottoman set immediately reminded us of our good friends Ross and Patti. They’d look perfect in their amazing Mid-Century home.

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These tiny ottomans were promptly pried out of Kim’s hands. The condition of each was perfect in every way, but the kitties in all their paw-stretching, clawing glory would likely have punctured them both after a cat nap or two. And! We already have one.

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We’d never seen a globe stand quite like this one. The base was super cool, and allowed it to be viewed from any angle. It was like looking at Earth from space! Sort of.

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This Stanley level blew. My. Mind. The brass was perfect and the hardwood had never been touched. Unfortunately, our shelving is getting crowded as it is, and if I was gonna plunk down the ten bucks for this guy, I was certainly going to have a place to show it off.

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Vintage vessels were everywhere, in every size, and at every price point!

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We snagged this handy old school recipe box to organize our business cards. Bargain price? Three bones! With an unopened pack of dividers, no less. Sorry that I forgot to shave.

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I’m shocked that I was able to convince Kim that we didn’t need yet another Ball Jar. Although, admittedly, that blue glass is really awesome.

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And the books! Dust jackets, be damned! The fonts, texture, and colors on the actual covers are much, much nicer to look at. These would have been a nifty decorating tool when it came time to style the media wall.

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Kim has big plans for industrial wire storage bins in her future home office/studio space. (Yes, we like to day dream about our next “someday” home!) These big boxes could neatly store all of her paints, papers and canvases while looking pretty sweet, too.

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Another recurring trend of our desire was all of the amazing industrial lighting. How great would any of these look in a sleek modern space to bring in a touch of vintage charm?

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V is for Victory! Or, you know, another word that starts with V(argo).

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These amazing plaid beauties reminded us of a sleek hunting lodge. Or Scotland. Or clear tape. And we wanted one.

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Olde Good Things is located in New York and Los Angeles (and warehoused in Scranton!). They travel far and wide to sell vintage wares at festivals just like this one. These vendors are not just from Chicago, folks. Randolph Street pulls in goods from all over the great ol’ U.S. of A. Many of said vendors bring with them awesome mirrors. See?

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This old workshop bench would make a fantastic kitchen island. Throw your knives in the drawer and slap on a piece of salvage sheet metal for a handy shelf across the bottom. Your kitchen will be the envy of all of your neighbors. Again, in the someday home.

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The second I saw these salvaged fence panels, I envisioned them mounted vertically on a wall with a planter underneath, growing ivy or another creeping plant up through the grates. Some simple screws and clips from the hardware store could have these mounted up in no time! Maybe that’s a project for our deck next summer?

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These rusty old bins could also use some greenery, huh? These guys could be mounted with an anchor indoors, with a tiny vessel or two along the bottom lip. Or you could use air plants if pots aren’t your thing!

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The possibilities for these salvaged industrial pails are endless… Planters? Storage? Gigantic dog food bowls? Yes to all.

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And this had built-in brackets for hanging. It was huge. Can you imagine the abundance of plants you could get away with?

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And last but not least, I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the coup de grace: A salvaged industrial work bench, sandblasted, primed and powder coated a perfect sky blue. Mark my words, folks. I will own a similar work bench one day. It will be in a spotless garage. And it will be spectacular.

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So if we haven’t convinced you to trek to the Randolph Street Market yet, I’d happily accept an excuse to return this month, take more photos and report back. But seriously, how many more times can I say awesome and vintage? You should probably just go. Can anyone else personally attest to the Market’s awesomeness? Here’s your chance to sound off!

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  • Heather7.6.11 - 9:07 AM

    I’m so beyond jealous! What an awesome market. We don’t have anything like that in St. Louis. Maybe a trip to Chicago is in order…ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d7.6.11 - 10:41 AM

    Oh, I’m totally jealous of so many things! You guys must have a strong will because I would have been so tempted to walk home with more than you did. If I’m planning a trip to Chicago, you can bet I’ll plan it around this market! And perhaps give you an excuse to go to show me around?!? Ha.ReplyCancel

  • Kim7.6.11 - 10:58 AM

    Amanda, we’d have lots to show you! Come to Chicago!ReplyCancel

  • Miss B.7.6.11 - 11:07 AM

    WOW! I AM SO ENVIOUS! Yes, I shouted that, would love to go to that market one day it looks amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Jen7.6.11 - 11:56 AM

    Wow! Can you say “mother-load?” You guys hit the jackpot!! I miss good sales like this. They don’t have’em in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. Not like this anyway!ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra7.6.11 - 3:01 PM

    I am almost about to hop in my truck and drive to Chicago just to come to this market with you. We have nothing like this down in DC!!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House7.6.11 - 3:17 PM

    WOW! I’m so jealous!ReplyCancel

  • chrystie7.6.11 - 11:35 PM

    that looks awesome!! we have something like that the first Sunday of every month in the SF bay area. It’s called the Antiques by the bay in Alameda, or Alameda flea market for short.
    so much fun!!!

    xoxo
    chrystieReplyCancel

    • Kim7.7.11 - 11:25 AM

      Chrystie, too bad we didn’t know about that while we were visiting San Fran last November! That sounds like a great time to us.ReplyCancel

  • Two Pitties in the City7.7.11 - 10:41 AM

    Hmm…should I be embarrassed that even though we live in Chicago, and this market is even across the street from my gym, I have never been? How are most of the prices? I was always under the impression it was a bit expensive? I know they do have the entry fee. And do they allow dogs, so we can meander over from Daily Walk?ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.7.11 - 11:29 AM

      Two Pitties – yup, they allow pups. We saw many there! The prices are extremely reasonable for most items. However, you can also find real Eames chairs and the like (no knock-offs!), and of course those are several hundred if not more. We left with a huge photo frame, that recipe bin, 3 old photographs, and an old letter press block for less than $30. We kept saying it was like the “best of the best” of flea markets, with all price ranges mixed in.

      Ooh, and they have food and beverage vendors and a few tables to pause and stop for a break, too!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly7.7.11 - 10:06 PM

    Oh man so jealous!! Haven’t had to the chance to get out to any flea markets here yet this summer. Must get on that ASAP!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa7.8.11 - 10:05 AM

    Holy moley! How far of a drive is it from Charlotte to Chicago? This place is magical…ReplyCancel

  • Brittany7.8.11 - 7:44 PM

    Do you have any recommendations for someone without a car/license and doesn’t know anyone with a car? I’m not sure what I would do if I found something large I love but doesn’t fit on the bus.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.8.11 - 11:10 PM

      Hi Brittany, good question! You could always rent a Zip car – or depending on the size of the furniture, a U-Haul. We noticed that they had a furniture pick up where it looked like they would hold paid items until they could be picked up (and I would assume pick up would need to be the same day). Although, without a license, I do think that things would get pretty tricky. Maybe co-workers with cars could be of service? A cup of fro-yo or slice of pizza can go a long way as pay back!ReplyCancel

  • Scott7.10.11 - 9:23 PM

    Brittany-
    Just saw question! In addition to Kim’s great advice, I have some good news for you and the other car-free folks out there! The market now offers complimentary delivery to downtown Chicago!! There is an incremental charge the farther outside the loop you are, but nothing too steep. Here’s a link to a PDF with more info:

    http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/downloads/AlwaysDeliveryFlyer.pdf

    Hope this helps! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove7.11.11 - 10:35 AM

    I wish we had a market like this! It looks like there were a ton of great things. The closest I get to a market is the one by my Aunt & Uncle in PA (although it’s a bit of a hike!).ReplyCancel

  • justine @ you're so martha7.11.11 - 2:10 PM

    o.m.g. how have i not heard of this??? i will be at the next one, for sure! thanks for the gigantic heads up! (p.s. i went to the maxwell street market a couple weeks ago, and while it was good, it doesn’t seem like it lives up to this one — furniture and decorating wise!)ReplyCancel

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