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P.O.S.H: A Bit of Paris in Chicago

When I can’t get to Paris but need a French fix, my destination of choice is a charming little shop on State Street of Chicago called P.O.S.H. It’s a treasure trove of French Flea Market finds, a jumble of lovingly arranged vintage and new table top and home accessories. Makes me feel like I am hanging out in my favorite part of Paris—the Marais.

Like the French, it is shabby and elegant at the same time.

What will you find there?  Hotel china.  Absinthe gear, cheese plates, dish towels, children’s dishes, flea market jelly glasses, kitchen canisters, small notebooks, beautiful candles. Vintage silver.  Butter dishes, decanters, cookbooks and posters. Many of the items are one-of-a-kind.

Not only is it packed with French stuff, but also the buyers find hotel and tabletop treasures from England and other European countries.

I’ve enjoyed buying gifts here for Francophile friends. Not particularly useful but very special. Perfect for packrats. Knick-knacks galore.   The opposite of slick contemporary designed stuff found in nearby Dwell type shops.

The dishes emblazed with “Pancakes make people happy” are especially fun.

 

I also love the 19th century hotel mail and key box behind the cash register.  Many of these are still in use today in Europe.

Like a flea market, the merchandise is always changing so if you spot a treasure, be sure to snag it.

The name P.O.S.H. comes from the Golden Age of Travel during the mid 19th century to the 1920s.  Derived from the initials of “Port Out, Starboard Home” the reference is to the desirable side of the transatlantic ocean yachts. POSH became associated with first class journeys to far-flung, exotic locations. Fashionable.  Luxurious.  Elegant.

The shop is located in the Historic Tree Studios building.  The building was established as an artist colony in 1894 by Judge Lambert tree and his wife Ann Tree.  It was restored in 2000 and now houses a bevy of terrific shops.  I particularly like wandering around the Design Within Reach because one can get a real sense of what the original apartments and studios were like.

Another store not too far from P.O.S.H. that I really like is Golden Triangle.

P.O.S.H is located at 613 North State Street, Chicago.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

7 Comments
  1. posted by
    Barb
    Jul 13, 2010 Reply

    Three of our very favorite shops in Chicago – P.O.S.H, Golden Triangle and Design Within Reach…thanks again, Susan.

  2. posted by
    Cindy Schad`
    Jul 14, 2010 Reply

    What a wonderful shop! On my next trip to Chicago a “must stop”:)

  3. posted by
    Kathryn Chaplow
    Jul 14, 2010 Reply

    This place reminds me of Fishs Eddy in NYC…Looks just like it! Thanks for posting, Susan. I have always enjoyed Golden Triangle and will add this to our list of “regular” stops from now on.

  4. posted by
    smithsj
    Jul 14, 2010 Reply

    I can understand why you’d think about Fishs Eddy in NYC. It’s a bit like that. Lots of other kinds of merchandise though. Fabrics. notebooks. Books. Odds and ends of things. I think the display is more interesting at P.O.S.H.

  5. posted by
    Peggy DePersia
    Jul 16, 2010 Reply

    Must check it out next time we’re in Chicago! Thanks for the info. With the apparent packing crates and display, it reminds me of the ‘early days’ of Crate and Barrel when they were on north Wells St. in Chicago and wares were literally displayed in and on crates and barrel……. and look at the housewares empire that was created; the power of a new idea…….

  6. posted by
    mdaniel
    Sep 10, 2010 Reply

    Perfect timing for an upcoming Chicago visit. What other shops or neighborhoods or favorite spots do you readers have on your lists and why? Thanks.

  7. posted by
    smithsj
    Sep 10, 2010 Reply

    If you type Chicago into the Search box in upper right hand corner of DesignDestinations, you will pull up all the posts on Chicago. Enjoy!

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