Tips for Collecting Vintage & Antique Decor

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Posted: 11/16/2020·

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My friends Sarah, Kyla, Susan, and I were chatting about our love of vintage decor. While each of us has our own unique personal style, we have a common thread of found and antique decor.

During our conversation we came up with the idea of sharing our very favorite found piece! It was hard for me to decide, but ultimately I landed on my Louis Phillipe mirror.

This mirror was something we found on a sourcing trip, but I passed up on it. It then continued to visit me in my dreams. For months.

The next time Justyne (Boxwood Ave. lead designer) went sourcing for antiques at one of our favorite antique malls in Sacramento, I hunted through old screenshots and texts to locate the booth name so she could see if it was still there. To my utter joy, it was! And now, it is mine.

I am not sure if or when I will ever part with her, but when I do, it will absolutely go to a well deserving project. Justyne and I joke that we should have split custody since she is the one that found it! Ha!

Today we’re sharing some of our best vintage and antique sourcing tips and tricks! I hope this is helpful if you are just beginning to collect vintage items for your home!

After you’re finished reading, head on over to my friend’s blogs to check out their favorite vintage pieces, I think you will love seeing their homes and if it’s your first time visiting their blogs, I am so excited for you to meet them!!

Room for Tuesday | House of Hipsters |House of Brinson

airy bedroom with grey walls and white rug with linen headboard and bench

If you’re new to vintage or antique decor, you might be wondering where to source fabulous pieces or how to score great deals?

Well, let’s chat – we’ve got lots of tips for you!

Tips for Collecting Vintage & Antique Decor

Know what you're looking for:

It can be a little overwhelming if you walk into a flea market or antiques warehouse without a plan. While you might find something that totally surprises you, I find it helpful to have an idea of what I am looking for. Maybe it's a great vintage rug, antique dresser, cramics or silver...whatever it is, if you know what you're searching for, you are more likely to find it rather than searching blindly and hoping to find something.

Don't be afraid to haggle: 

The list price doesn't have to be the price you pay. I always haggle a little bit, it's half the fun! Plus you can score some great deals. Many vendors will group items and offer a discount! Especially art, rugs, and serve-ware.

Google items to compare pricing before purchasing:

Speaking of pricing, it's always helpful to google an item before buying it to compare pricing. If you can find it for less on Ebay or First Dibs, you can always show the vendor to see if they'll come down. Be sure to factor in shipping costs when comparing pricing.

Look for potential:

Look at the silhouette and details of the item. If you are looking for a heirloom quality piece to refinish, do not let the current color deter you from a diamond in the rough. You can sand it down, bleach it, strip, restrain or paint!

If something is dirty, that just means you might have the opprotunity for a great deal! Will a little elbow grease uncover a treasure? I always try to see through the grime :).

FB Marketplace is your BFF: 

Some of the most amazing furniture pieces can come from FB Marketplace!! Sure you have to sort through a lot of yuck, but there are definitely some gems!

The more you tailor your Facebook searches, the more custom your results will be in the future. If you know you are going to need nightstands in the future, search now. By the time you actually need them, you will have five great options to chose from!

Facebook marketplace is a gem but don’t forget about go ol' Craigslist. Many people that sell on Craigslist tend to be older and more determined to downsize.

Check the item's quality: 

When looking at furniture, art, or rugs we like to take a look at the wear and tear. With rugs, a little wear is great! We will check the corners of frames, glass condition, and sturdiness of an overall piece. If something is wobbly, can we fix it? If so, we negotiate that into the price we're willing to pay.

Thrifting Smart

Thrift in affluent neighborhood. You will find quality pieces at low prices. You are also way more likely to find matching sets such as lamps, nightstands, sideboard and hutch etc.

shop louis philippe mirrors

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  1. Im always on the hunt for antique finds-its so fun! You mention a antique mall In Sacramento- can you please share the name? Much thanks, gina

  2. My favorite antique piece is actually an inherited piece; my Singer Sewing machine my mom’s mom had. My mom inherited when Bochie passed and now it’s mine! I love it.