Skip to content

Chicago Botanic Garden Annual Antiques & Garden Fair

~By Susan Rayner, Design Editor ~

I trekked up to Chicago’s North Shore last weekend to visit one of my favorite places – the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Although I am a gardener and can’t wait until my tulips bloom (any second now!), this time I was there primarily to visit the annual Antiques Fair.  Which was a good thing because it was cold and rainy.  Even so it’s still such a beautiful place.



And, of course, they had flowers galore.  Even if they were mainly indoors.




As usual, there were some good finds.  Take a look see –


Pair of French Art Deco Wrought Iron Lounge Chairs from Ralph Spano Antiques & Fine Art in Milwaukee


Love these beautiful outdoor chairs with string backs and seat.  Just be careful not to sit on them in shorts – you don’t want waffle thighs!






Glass tabletop held by three brass deer, c. 1930 from At Home Antiques, New York, NY


This darling art deco-ish table would look good inside or out.  Animals supporting table tops was a bit of a theme at this booth, as evidenced by the crane table below, also in brass. (Sorry it’s fuzzy – taking pictures through glass is a challenge for this amateur photographer.)




I just love collections and was really taken with these wood architectural and molding elements.  A perfect example of how something can take on a museum-like quality when properly displayed.  I especially like the ones in gold leaf.  Makes me wonder what I have laying around my house that would like nice on display.  Especially after a layer of gold leaf!


18th - 19th c. French Gilt Fragments

18th – 19th c. French Gilt Fragments


Even the lowly tomato pin cushion becomes decorative when collected and displayed in a cute basket or urn.





Vintage Sports Equipment/J. Harris Antiques from Kansas City, MO had multiple pages from a vintage astronomy textbook framed for hanging.  These would look especially good in a boy’s room.




There were also artists and artisans displaying their wares. Meg Seier hand paints silk fabric and turns it into scarves and pillows.  (At This large silk panel would beautify any room hanging in a frame or just as is.



And since we were at The Botanic Garden they had plants and seeds, of course.  Seed packets from Hudson Valley Seed Library are so beautiful they’re suitable for framing.

Hudson Valley Seed Library Brochure

Hudson Valley Seed Library Brochure


Courtesy of

Courtesy of


Plenty of options at the Fair to freshen up any winter-weary room!


About the Author

Susan RaynerOwner of Susan Rayner Interiors, Susan’s aesthetic is clean and classic, whether the style is modern, traditional or somewhere in between. She is passionate about creating positive change for her clients while allowing them to control their costs. Susan has a friendly, collaborative approach that allows her clients to enjoy the design process. This ensures they will love the end result – a house they enjoy coming home to!

Visit Susan at


Want more tips from Susan?  Catch her on this episode of our Power Up Living radio show.

About the author, Kelly

Kelly Galea is a creative, multi-passionate entrepreneur and luminary blessed with a unique combination of wit, grit, intellect and intuition. She helps you navigate the work-life maze of ever-shifting priorities and transform your life through holistic self-discovery techniques and immersive, fun and magical mini-quests. Working with Kelly will inspire you to unveil, express and celebrate your vital personality and lifestyle preferences to create a more harmonious life.

Leave a Comment