Set in Downtown Chicago, the building that houses The Publishing House is rather unassuming. But similar to entering the land of Narnia through a wooden wardrobe, the property’s big blue door transports you to a new world, one which takes the shape of a charming bed and breakfast that’s a haven of quirky décor, patterned wallpaper and two perfectly behaved pugs, Angus and Louie. Save the enchantment and mythical beasts, The Publishing House offers a magical atmosphere, coupled with hospitality fit for the kings and queens of Narnia.
The hotel’s 11 en-suite rooms have each been adorned with an eclectic style that is inspired by the co-owner’s worldly travels. In the Meno Room you will find subtle mustache-patterned wallpaper in a charming alcove, while in the Sinclair Room you can’t miss the impressive Randy the Ram head suspended on the wall.
As for the hospitality, co-owners and husband-wife duo Kimberly Lowery and Shawn Uldridge couldn’t be a better match for this boutique bed and breakfast. They offer their guests daily homemade breakfast, delicious freshly baked muffins, coffee and tea. “We go through so many French Presses of coffee a day,” Shawn says when I ask about how they find the energy to make it through a day. The couple also provides each guest’s bathroom with Malin and Goetz products, fluffy robes and a smart TV: you feel as though you’re at home, but better.
While I tour the property that is covered in vintage books, colorful lamps and whimsical furniture, Shawn tells me how they actually have a lot of locals staying at the moment. “A woman was getting her floors redone in her home in Chicago, so she needed a place to stay locally,” he says. “She loved it so much she ended up extending her staycation for an extra few days!”
Below, Shawn Uldridge lets us in on the West Loop hotel’s history, his preferred room in the building and his favorite piece of furniture in Chicago’s perfectly accessorized Publishing House.
What’s the most requested room?
The Everleigh Suite
What makes it so special?
Like all rooms, the Everleigh Suite is furnished with vintage finds from all over the United States. For this room, we found a 1960’s corner couch in a thrift store in Massachusetts and refurbished it locally in gorgeous teal velour that just screams, “sit on me!” People love to stay in Everleigh because it has a strong style yet is soft and feminine. Also, the claw foot tub and steam shower don’t hurt matters, either!
What is the rate?
$299 – $399 +tax, depending on the time of year.
What room is your personal favorite?
The Carmen is our favorite room. It has developed a natural Texan feel to it all on its own, with desert-dust red oak panels, cow skin floor rugs and a Texas Longhorn adorning the wall. Carmen has great city views of Chicago, too.
Any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?
The building has a long history dating back to 1909–for thirty years the largest hologram Museum and lab in North America operated here. We’re also privy to the fact that one of the finest casket showrooms in the mid-west had its caskets built in the basement in the 1950’s!