Umbrella holder, wire basket, and antler are all vintage finds
Our solid oak kitchen table I found last year summer in Michigan
The old adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” is SO true! I like our home to feel like an eclectic mix, and love that each unique piece I find has a history of its own. On a deeper level, antiquing connects me to the past generations and the ‘simpler’ way they lived.
Antiquing (or vintage shipping) is an experience. It’s a pleasant reminder of simpler times, when things were made and done by hand and life moved at a slower pace. One of my fondest antiquing trips my Dad and I took my Grandma when she was alive. It was pretty spectacular to walk around the antique mall with my 90-year-old grandmother pointing out the treasures from her childhood. Another bonus? The amazing people you meet. It’s a gift to learn their stories and what connects them to the vintage finds they lovingly find, buy, share and sell.
When you think vintage you might think old. People often want new. New is fresh, popular, clean, and easy. If you don’t like something just get rid of it and buy something new, right? It’s so easy and that’s how we often live. It’s a whole heck of a lot easier to walk into Target and buy accessories from the latest Nate Berkus line for Threshold. But know you can do that AND still definitely incorporate vintage finds into your home.
Here are a few key pieces I look for when shopping. Use this as a cheat sheet. Then this weekend if you see an estate sale stop on by, or Google your local antique/vintage stores and shop there this weekend. If you go into the experience with an open heart and mind I promise you’ll have fun!
Vintage cloche from Antiques of Winfield in Winfield, IL filled with driftwood from our honeymoon in Maui
Glass Don’t these moonstone hobnail dishes look like they are from Anthro? I bought these in Michigan over Memorial Day weekend. I love looking for vintage glassware especially depression glass. You can find the most amazing glasses including bar ware and cocktail gimlets.
Another glass item to look for is small glass display pieces like this vintage glass cloche from Antiques of Winfield. Local friends: from fine old furniture and glowing glassware, to rare finds and classic toys, Antiques of Winfield has a little bit of everything. Originally founded by Nancy Schauer, this 6,000+ sq. ft., three floor space, accommodates over fifty antique dealers and their extensive collection of cool collectibles. Now lovingly run by her daughter Dawn, Antiques of Winfield is one the best antique stores in our area and was voted Best Antique Shops by The Daily Herald Readers, 2nd year in a row.
Lighting Our toile pineapple light in our playroom is a vintage find on Ebay. I spray painted it bright white and it was a steal! Don’t be afraid to consider lighting, especially if you have a good electrician or a handy husband you can find really stunning one of a kind pieces at vintage stores.
Coffee table books wrapped in white linen fabric from Joann Fabrics. If you buy dark books paint the covers with leftover white house paint or chalk paint.
Books and Scrabble pieces from Gather and Collect in Glen Ellyn, IL
Books I have found the best coffee table books shopping at Gather and Collect and gravitate towards topics including Art, History, and Botanical. I also have a soft spot for vintage children’s books like the Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins (of course because of the Twins) and the classics (Robin Hood, Moby Dick, etc) . Functional and practical accessories for your children’s rooms! If you are in the area make sure you stop by Gather and Collect and say hi to the owner Julie! It offers an eclectic collection of fun, traditional and affordable furniture, clothing, jewelry, art, books and more.
Natural Curiosities Not for everyone but these are some of my favorite things to find. Antlers, horns, taxidermy fish, preserved butterflies, turtle shells, geodes, driftwood, branches…it all sounds a little bit like a weird nature museum, but these are a few things that adorn our shelves. Horns, geodes, driftwood are perfect for stacking on coffee table books. Taxidermy fish or antlers can find new life with a coat of spray paint (white or even metallic silver or gold). These kind of pieces are really interesting talking points.
Vintage jewelry box from Gather and Collect in Glen Ellyn, IL
Brass bookends and popular science books from a trip to Allen, Michigan (A Michigan town for Antique lovers)
Boxes & Brass Vintage boxes whether they are wood (carved, decorative), gold, patterned are great for shelf styling. Brass is baaaaaccccckkk! No not the super shiny 80s brass chandelier we all had. Think candlesticks, book ends, boxes, and decorative elements…they are perfect to introduce warmth into your styling. I often look for made in India like these elephant bookends. Tusk up is supposed to symbolize the showering of good luck.
I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below. What are some of your favorite vintage finds/treasures? Also if you are out shopping and find something cool snap a pic and send it to me on IG I’d love to see and promise I’ll respond.
Happy Antiquing Friends!