Shopping Experience


Old Temple Chicago


There’s nothing to compare it to: Chasing one-of-a-kind Oriental furniture and accessories across China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Africa, seeking out the rarest treasure, and returning the prize to Old Temple Chicago, 843 West Van Buren Street in Chicago’s West Loop.

Owning one of the directly imported, provincial pieces found only at Old Temple Chicago means truly owning one of a kind. There’s the Oriental style and then there’s Old Temple Chicago taking the concept of Oriental style to its extreme.

Owners David Cabanas and Tomas Linge embark on a handful of buying excursions to the Far East each year and personally select each custom-crafted piece, often bypassing other compelling buys in the process. Their Chinese travels alone extend to 13 regions including Tibet and Qinghai

“The quality is what we’re looking for,” explains Tomas Linge. “We need to touch, to feel, and to know the history of each piece before we’ll commit to it.”

Whether it’s antique Oriental furniture, painted cabinets, decorated chests, or Asian trunks, each comes with its own story. “We have to listen to the story and hear the history,” Linge continued. “We need to go to the village and meet the craftsman.”

Wax seal. Restored to its original greatness by a village craftsman, a decades-old Chinese furniture piece, for example, must be officially sanctioned for export by a Chinese customs official. You can actually see the wax seal yourself, the authorization for export, affixed to furnishings on the showroom floor at Old Temple Chicago. Moreover, Chinese law forbids exporting such items once they reach 250 years in age. “The oldest piece we have now is 212 years old,” Linge says.


Clients at Old Temple Chicago must be one of a kind as well.

Whether it’s a lovingly hand-crafted exotic tree-root chair, a modernistic, giant Indian Buddha graphic, a Thailand stone elephant, or Indonesian art, the home furnishings and accessories collection at Old Temple Chicago will amaze and thrill. Come, open your mind.

Items in the current collection include:

  • Cabinets
  • Coffee tables from China and Thailand
  • Hand-made lamps
  • Dining tables, unique, modern and contemporary
  • Chairs
  • Bar stools
  • A fold-out wine bar reminiscent of Genghis Khan (no kidding!)
  • Book cases
  • Console tables
  • Side tables
  • Pillows
  • Buffets
  • Accessories
  • Hand-carved soaps possibly too delicate to use – yet exquisitely beautiful
  • Room dividers
  • Fountains
  • Wine holders
  • Rice paper products
  • Living room sets
  • Dining room sets
  • Entertainment centers
  • Solid teakwood carved, mounted elephants from Thailand
  • Throw pillows
  • Solid chairs hewn from the underground roots of trees
  • Hand-drawn paintings
  • Lamps
  • Stone elephants
  • A 2,500 lb. table
  • A 200 year old bar
  • Completely usable, completely wood fountain
  • Giant wall hanging: Stone panel measuring 8 feet square
  • Restored bar with wine cabinet dating from the 1850’s
  • Paper kitchen containers, totally usable
  • Gong, 70-80 years old, must hear to believe
  • Indonesian Buddha head
  • 100 year old fold-out writing desk

A miniature stone elephant, just unpacked.

Not your ordinary furnishings store, Old Temple Chicago’s unique sale items take you on a whirlwind tour of back roads and skilled craftsmen. Seeing is believing. When a unique accessory or furniture piece goes it’s gone. Negotiating skills optional.

Visit Old Temple Chicago at 843 W. Van Buren, Chicago, IL, just steps from both Greektown and the UIC-Halsted Blue Line station. Phone 312-226-4008. Online at


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