Midwest Living Review
Having made their mark on the Chicago style scene some years ago, designing couple Beau Kimball, a managing partner at Salvage One, and Nancy Bean, tastemaker for Polo Ralph Lauren and auctioneer Leslie Hindman, chose 10 years ago to reconnect with their rural Illinois roots. They bought a 10-acre Civil War homestead in rural Woodstock, 60 miles northwest of Chicago, converting the barn into a premier garden-antiques and ornamental-architecture showroom called Kimball and Bean. Merchandise comes from markets and small-town shops throughout the Midwest, up to Maine, down to Tennessee and within 100 miles of their McHenry County farm. The white barn's rustic walls serve as dramatic backdrops for beautiful vignettes displaying garden fountains, iron gates, mansion fireplace mantles, chandeliers, massive urns ($650), a 19th-century roof finial ($1,800), plus antique dining room and patio furniture from Europe and North America. "Everything must be real, preserved, handmade, antique or vintage, and have story that started before us," Beau says. Though large, pedigreed pieces are pricey, the creative inspiration the showroom expresses is free and the home accents affordable. Silver serving pieces, blankets, linens, glassware ($10 a glass), handmade Christmas ornaments ($2) and vintage linens can help you achieve the elegant yet comfortable Kimball and Bean look at home. To be sure, the showroom is a year-round design destination (although the showroom is by-appointment-only part of the year), but the annual Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving weekend sales event draws up to 1,000 customers seeking one-of-a-kind, handcrafted seasonal decor. Check the website for store hours or to shop online.