As I’ve been showing little snap shots of our new home, I get asked a lot how to find good vintage pieces and antiques. I’ve learned a lot these past few years…and here are my top 5 tips!
1. Shop estate sales. Every state, no matter where you live, have companies that puts on estate sales. What this means is that either people have died, foreclosed, or are down sizing and want to get rid of everything. You can buy things from amazing furniture to toilet paper…it’s the best! BE CAREFUL though, because there are some estate liquidators that charge way too much for things. My mom owns an amazing company called House of Hamblin in Phoenix. They are the most well-priced company I’ve ever found (and I’m not just saying that…it’s what they are known for) To find estate sales in your area, go to estatesales.net. You can choose your state and city and go from there!
2. Search locally for well-priced vintage stores- I emphasize the word well-priced! Don’t get robbed by paying too much for something that isn’t worth a lot. At one of my favorite antique shops, I paid only $34 for the most amazing dresser. I will not pay more than $150 for a really nice vintage dresser (and if I’m going to pay that much for it, it better have gold on it 😉 ) My maximum for a huge, nice desk is about $250, and my max for a nice vintage kitchen table is about $200… so you can use that as a guide.
3. Look for unique pieces- I love things that are completely unique, and pairing them together. Pay attention to how the store has paired the items that you like. A lot of times, antique stores do an amazing job at staging their merchandise, and it can give you inspiration on how to place it in your own home. Look for small trinkets that will look great on a bookshelf you already own. If you find a mirror you really like the shape of but don’t like the color, repaint it.
4. Refinish items- Most of the time, if something needs a new paint job it will be sold for cheaper. Don’t be afraid of repainting old furniture. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube if you are afraid of doing it. My mom is giving me her old baby grand piano, but I hate the wood because it’s really old. I’m reviving it by painting it a classic white color. It’s going to look amazing just from a new coat of paint. Look past what something is at the moment, and think of what it could be with new color or design on it.
5. Add modern furniture and decorations- In my home, my kitchen table and couches are my main large items. Because I don’t want my house to look like it came straight out of the 1940s, I have bought my main furniture brand new. The furniture is updated and fits in with current mainstream trends. Because of this, the vintage furniture and decor I have don’t seem like “too much.” It creates the perfect blend of old and new.
For you Arizona locals, here are my FAVORITE vintage and antique shops!
-House of Hamblin Estate Sales
-Vinnias at Melrose
-Sweet Salvage (Held every third thursday, friday, and saturday of each month)
-Mesa Thrift Store
-Merchant Square on Arizona Ave
-7th Ave in Phoenix between Indian School and Camelback is lined with a TON of vintage and antique shops… some are too pricey though, so be careful!