As someone who has been been visiting antique and vintage stores since I was a kid, I've learned how to shop them successfully! Here are my top 5 tips on how to shop for vintage or antique home decor and make those treasure hunting trips worth your while!
1. Make a list and come prepared If you have a piece in mind for your home, bring measurement requirements or that of allowable space. It’s also a great idea to have some images of rooms on your phone to show your dealer. They’ve curated the items in the shop and many have a great eye for design. Ask for their input-you may get suggestion for alternative pieces or even out of the box ideas. 2. Ask Questions & Foster Relationships Never be afraid to ask questions. A good shopkeep will be excited to talk about their pieces and will share what information that they have. By forming a relationship with the dealer, you might gain early access to new arrivals, especially if you share that you are in the market for or are a collector of a particular item. 3. Do Some Digging and Look at Everything This doesn’t mean pick it up or study it, but let your eyes rest on every item as you pass it by. Don’t be in such a hurry that you miss hidden treasures. Be sure to also make a second or third trip around the store. You may find your favorite piece on the second go ‘round. 4. Visit Often Most antique and vintage shops bring in new pieces weekly, if not daily. Ask if there’s an email list or social media channel that they showcase new arrivals on, and be sure to follow it. And even if you’re not in the market for anything in particular, stop in every now and then to see what’s new.
5. If you Love it, Buy it When you purchase what you love, you will always find home for it. Period. And there’s a reason you may see this sign posted in some antique stores: “The item you saw today and want to think about tonight, will be sold later today to the people who saw it yesterday and thought about it last night” Grab it while you can!
Ready for more? Check out my tips for shopping estate sales, too!