Hello, Is Anybody Home?

Hey! We’re out here, in the workshop…

FriedClamsSorry for such a long dry spell, but we’ve been spending almost all of our time filling orders for our handcrafted planter boxes. We are heading to New England next week to make a few deliveries and to attend our last parent’s weekend at St. Paul’s School. You can look forward to fresh posts from the road about what’s really important: Our ongoing quest to find the perfect fried clam and to settle once and for all if we really need to go all the way to New Hampshire for great artisan hard cider

Oy! What a crick in the neck…

I think someone in my family has a bit of a crush on this sweet blackamoor garden seat. He keeps sneaking over to the house where I’ve found him on the patio with a drink on his head, next to the fireplace holding a candle and in our bedroom stacked with a pile of books. I have to admit, this one is pretty special – beautifully detailed from the cording around the pillow resting on his head down to the soles of his little boots, but he needs a permanent home, so I’ve taken him back to the store until a new family comes to claim him. For more info about this garden seat and everything else that’s new, Here is a link to our catalog

Sharing is Caring…

See that row of round social network icons up there to your left (or the high-lighted links below in this paragraph)? Please do us a favor and click on them to follow us on Instagram, PinterestTwitter and Facebook. Nancy has really been working hard to keep them packed with beautiful images and fun, useful information. I think you’ll particularly like Nancy’s photos on Instagram. I think you are going to want the recipe for those homemade Cheez-its…


Buckle up, here we go!

FullSizeRenderThe sun is shining, the doors are open and the crowds are streaming in! The first day of the newly re-configured Chicago Botanic Garden Antiques, Garden and Design Show is underway!

10-5 today, tomorrow and Sunday, the 17th-19th.

Great new dealers, great old dealers, a cool new design component and yes, it’s true, a fabulous Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden shop with all the plants, topiary and style you’ve come to expect from Craig and his talented team.

FullSizeRender90Be sure and stop by our new location in space 120 of the Esplanade tent. We have a beautiful selection of European wrought iron panels, the best set of English lead dogs you’ll ever see and a whole lot more. We are also especially proud of all the amazing planter boxes we made just for Craig Bergmann’s amazing display gardens at this years show. Be sure to ask us about them.FullSizeRender - CopyAntique American Wicker – Nashua, NH

FullSizeRender7 More & More New York, NYFullSizeRender8Finnegan Gallery – Chicago, ILFullSizeRender (1)Craig Bergmann Landscape Design – Lake Forest, IL

FullSizeRender (1) - CopyJudith Milne Antiques – New YorkFullSizeRender3Kip McKesson African Art

The new name says it all…

The Chicago Botanic Garden Antiques, Garden and Design Show April 17-19, 2015

Many of you seem to have the mistaken impression that Nancy and I have run the annual Chicago Botanic Garden show for years. I guess that would explain all the questions we get from dealers and visitors like “Can you get the caterer to move the bar closer to my booth on preview night?” or ” Can you ask the garden staff to carry this fountain to the Circle Garden so I can see it working before I decide to take it home?


Although our very close relationship with the garden for over fifteen years has given us an interesting perspective on the what it takes to put on such an amazing show, Nancy and I only wish we could take credit for the most beautiful kick-off to the garden and social seasons anywhere in the country.

Picture 079If you plan on attending only one charity gala event this year, make it this one. Nancy and I have made a science of rating preview nights all across the country using our special metric that includes the ratios of nutty dealers to costumed patrons, Swiss cheese cubes on toothpicks to anything involving foie gras or pork belly and champagne cocktails to light beer. Based on our study, no one puts on an opening party like the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Board – always creative food, a top-notch bar and even a little drama thrown in for good measure. Click here for preview party info.

Picture 004The very smart folks at the Chicago Botanic garden have dramatically revamped this year’s show to keep pace with the changes taking place in the antiques business. Here’s what you need to know in a nutshell: the garden antique dealers have
largely been gathered together in the main Esplanade tent, the brand new garden designer areas, plant sales and garden accessories will be in the Rose Garden tent, and other surprises will be around every corner. So, for all of you who have asked us to include more display gardens, a greater variety of dealers, more inspiration from great designers like Craig Bergmann and his team plus actual plants for sale – look, we did it, all by ourselves. 🙂

Chicago Botanic Garden 2012 (2)

Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 17-19, 2015
10-5 everyday
Preview Party Thursday evening April 16, 2015
Click here for tickets and info about the show

See you next week!

To see what we are up to more often – Follow us on Instagram @kimballandbean

Really, not a word from you since Christmas ?

butterfliesIn our defense, we have been keeping ourselves pretty busy…

Not only did we make an important trip to Nashville to eat our way around town while pretending we were there to exhibit at the Antiques and Garden Show, but we’ve built a slew of beautiful planter boxes to ship to California, Texas and South Carolina. Best of all…wait for it…we’ve finally managed to get our brand new website up and running!

Webpage thumbOur website has been having a bad hair day since 2007…

Everything deserves a make-over once in a while and our website was long overdue. As Nancy’s mom used to say, it’s time to “Make yourself useful as well as ornamental”. Now we have something that is not only more stylish, but it works the way we want it to. Better pictures, more info and less clutter. All that wonderful sold merchandise is being moved to our new photo gallery – so you can refer to it anytime without it getting in the way of what’s actually for sale. In the next few weeks we’ll also be expanding our Upcoming Events page to include all kinds of fun and useful things we think you’ll be interested in.

tool-boxNow, here’s where we need your help…

Everyone thinks their baby is the cutest, but sometimes it takes a fresh eye to notice that disturbing resemblance to your Uncle Marvin. Although we love the way our new site looks, it’s important that it actually works for you. Please take a look, poke around, and then let us know what you think we can do to make it better.

Sharing is Caring…

Gosh, is it starting to seem like we are asking a lot of you? Nancy has set up all new Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts to go along with our existing Facebook page. Now she’s working hard to keep them packed with beautiful images and fun, useful information. See that row of round social network icons up there to your left (or the high-lighted links above in this paragraph)? Please do us a favor and click on them to follow us. 🙂

What exactly is a flea market?

Wikipedia: “A flea market (or swap meet) is a type of bazaar that rents space to people who want to sell or barter merchandise. Used goods, low quality items…are commonplace.”

Not at Kimball & Bean! When you have sellers like ours, who have spent years collecting and buying for their own beautiful homes in Barrington and the north shore, you don’t find used Barbie dolls and TV tables in their flea market booths. What you do find is:

2014-12-03 16.07.52English china, antique mirrors, French designer scarves and Prada slippers. Vintage Japanese paper lanterns and French candles, antique Christmas ornaments from around the world, framed prints, planters, urns and birdbaths. Baskets and baskets of little gift items, designer soaps and designer sunglasses. Mercury glass votives and vases. Hammered aluminum tazzas, candle stands and wine buckets.2014-12-03 15.27.49 2014-12-03 15.23.43A handsome silk upholstered settee with carved mahogany arms and legs, beautiful lamps, Czech crystal and flowery chandeliers.You even get an amazing cast iron horse topped boot scraper, a sweet, vintage, stirrup, fox and saddle napkin rings, a perfect 2014-12-03 14.09.54German jumping saddle, the 2014-12-03 15.31.31most beautifully restored horse-drawn sleigh you will ever see and much, much more. Whether you’re decorating for the holiday or looking for that one special gift, you’ll find it here.

Click here for more pictures of what’s in store. We’ll be adding photos as more great stuff rolls in, so check back often!

Kimball & Bean’s Winter Flea Market
Friday December 5th and Saturday December 6th
10-5 both days

3606 S. Country Club Road, Woodstock, IL 60098, 815-444-9000

What happens when an collector, a designer, and a florist walk into a barn?

Something stylish breaks out, of course!

We’ve gathered a team of talented friends, convinced them to clear out their store rooms and organized a brand new kind of sales event.

Welcome to Kimball & Bean’s first ever December Flea Market where you’ll find Antiques, Designer Accessories, Vintage Stuff, Gifts, Table-top, Furniture, Ornaments, Holiday Decor and Much More.

Christmas Flea Market email 2014 (2)

Great Stuff, Great Guest Vendors and Great Fun!

Two Days Only
Friday and Saturday
December 5th and 6th
10 to 5 each day

For more info call

Change is Good, Really…

Especially when it creates opportunities to plan fun new events and better ways for all of us to share the kind of interesting and useful information that makes life more enjoyable. Nancy and I will be in touch next month with a preview of what’s in store at Kimball & Bean for the coming year – including our plans for seasonal flea markets, sharing more of Nancy’s delicious recipes and dinner menus, special events and our spanking new website. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you on December 5th and 6th!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Beau & Nancy

Tall and Handsome…

After spending a childhood of forced labor in my parent’s weedy garden, I left home and vowed to only procure my vegetables as mother nature intended – from the grocery store. However, times change, our strongly held opinions weaken and we all end up doing things we thought we never would – like get married, have kids and buy Volvo station wagons.


New and Improved Garden Obelisk

Once Addy was born, Nancy and I decided to toss aside the rest of our youthful aspirations and plant a garden like the rest of our elderly friends. We started out with a few potted, patio tomatoes supported by flimsy wire cages, but quickly became addicted and moved on to rows of heirloom vegetables staked to bamboo tepees. Looking to add a bit more style, we upgraded to formal raised beds anchored by cedar obelisks. Unfortunately, the first round of obelisks we made turned out to be more ornamental than useful – just like our parents feared we might turn out. They were a little too flimsy for really vigorous plants, the openings were too small for easy picking and the bottom rail was too low to cultivate under with any thing bigger than a salad fork. Every year, I’d tweak and re-hab them a little, but I couldn’t quite get them the way I wanted them. This year I quit tinkering around and designed a completely new obelisk built just for the job – tall and handsome, just like me, but for sale and happy to follow you home and happily hold your tomatoes for years to come :). Click here for info on how to buy your own cedar obelisks from Kimball & Bean or just give us a call (815-444-9000).


Speaking of tomatoes, I’ve planted a nice selection of eleven different varieties this year. It is a nice mix of some of my old favorites like “Paul Robeson” and “Green Zebra”, plus new ones I’ve never tried before like “White Queen” and “Pineapple”. Click here to see the whole list. I’ll keep you posted about how they pan out.


ginger sable

Before I forget, for all of you who stopped out over Mother’s Day and told us how much you loved those “Ginger Sable” cookies in Nancy’s goody bags, click here for the recipe.




We have lots of new items in the store this week including: a bunch of great old cast iron urns and planters (including pairs), a pair of carved stone, pine-cone form finials, a handsome boot scraper mounted with a cast iron horse (don’t worry, I can get the proper 19th century style replacement brushes from the original manufacturer in Connecticut), lots of cute, painted concrete animals, a great Salterini chaise, a big fruit and ivy leaf tole chandelier, two sweet Edwardian plant stands that could be combined to make a neat console table base, big iron gate panels that would make nice wall art or trellises and a lot more . Click here or on the image of the horse for more info about our new inventory.

Time to get back in the car and on the road, if I expect to get past Cleveland before rush hour.

All the best,

A Pink Squirrel for Mom

Pink Squirrel Cocktail PhotoPink SquirrelWhy do restaurant hosts never provide enough drinks lists for everyone at the table to read at once? Two people or ten, you always get just one. It makes it particularly annoying when thirty seconds after sitting down, the server is breathing down your neck for your order. I like to take this opportunity to illustrate why so few people like to go out for dinner with me. I carefully run my finger down the special cocktail list, as if I’m actually reading it, and declare, “I’ll have the Pink Squirrel”. A surprising number of servers actually write it down and move on to the next person before turning around and saying “Hey, that’s not on the menu”. To which I give my warmest smile, then reply, I know, it’s four pages long and none of us have had enough time to read it yet.

IMG_2630Well, this week the real pink squirrel arrived at Kimball & Bean in the form of a 9″ tall concrete figure painted a charming combination of colors that gives the very distinct overall impression that it’s pink. Is it cute or disturbing, you’ll have to be the judge.

Don’t forget, We’ll be open this Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 both days with treats for all and a little gift for the moms.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Beau & Nancy

Do I really have to make an appointment?

I have to say that our new schedule of being open by chance or appointment has really freed us up to be able to spend more quality time finding great stuff. I am a afraid that the word “appointment” might be throwing you off a little, though. A visit to Kimball & Bean does not have to require a lot of planning. You can call anytime and we’ll do our best to make sure someone will be here to show you around. If you are in the neighborhood, just take a chance and stop by. We’d always love to see you.

We just returned from a whirlwind tour of some of our favorite stomping grounds and brought back all kinds of great new things to show you – including vintage birds and animals, beautiful ironwork, benches, chairs, new sundials and much more. We have most of it up online already and are working hard to load the rest…click here to go to our catalog.

I don’t know about you, but it’s always the tiniest details that catch my heart and make me fall in love with something. I walked by this lovely French table at least twice before I noticed the dainty cloven hooves with beautifully trimmed fetlocks attached to it’s legs. The rouge marble top has a bit of a bite out of the edge, but just as in our married life, the two go together so nicely, we pay no mind to the slightly rough edges.

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Speaking of things you love, what are your plans for Mother’s Day (or fête de mères, if you are French)? We’ve decided to have a little fun on Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the 10th and 11th of May. We’ll be open 10-5 both days with treats for all and a special gift for the moms.

Seriously, just call or stop by, if you want to drop in. We’d love to see you.

All the best,

P.S  If you want to know, it was Nancy’s ever so slightly “southern” accent and habit of singing, nearly every day, that made me fall in love with her more than 25 years ago.

Tonight, tonight, the show it starts tonight….

No, it’s not the ten-thousandth revival of West Side Story at you local junior college. It’s the  midwest’s true harbinger of spring – the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antique and Garden Fair! Starring yours truly and a cast that includes beautiful garden displays and fabulous stuff to buy from many of the best antique dealers in America.

imageI’m not sure, but I think if you do it today, you can still buy discounted tickets for the weekend. If you are looking for something great to do tonight,  click here to call or go online to buy tickets to what’s always been known as the beautiful kick-off to Chicago’s social season – The Antiques and Garden Fair Preview Party. Click here for general info about the show and tickets.

The regular show hours are:

10-5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Make sure you come see us in booth 400 at the front of the Rose Garden tent. Just look for the pink and white booth guarded by the huge lions!

If you can’t make to the show at all, tune to ABC 7 news Sunday morning to see me give a quick rundown of the whole thing around 9:00 am.

Can’t wait to see you at the show!