Are you looking to give your home some vintage charm? I’ll show you how adding antique and vintage home décor is the perfect way to create both a timeless and classic style for your home.
Vintage and antique shopping is not only a good way to find one-of-a-kind items that will add a timeless style to your home, but it can be a budget-friendly way of finding the perfect piece for any space in your home.
If you follow me on the blog regularly, you probably know that one of my favorite things to do is go shopping for vintage and antique décor. I love finding thrifted items that I can add to my vintage collections at home and in my garden.
Some of my vintage collections include:
- ironstone dishware
- galvanized buckets and tubs
- copper pieces
- vintage ornaments
- flower frogs
- vintage scales
- chippy windows
- silver platters and bowls
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Table of Contents
- What is the Difference Between Antiques and Vintage Items?
- Can You Negotiate Vintage and Antique Décor Deals?
- What is Considered Thrifting?
- What Should You Know Before You Start Vintage Shopping?
- More Vintage Ideas & Inspiration
One of the best things about finding fabulous vintage furnishings or someone’s cherished family heirlooms for me is that they will soon have a new home where they are loved and taken care of once again.
Speaking of giving a vintage treasure a new life, I actually took home this vintage copper top buffet a couple of years ago. It sits in my living room and could be my favorite find of all time.
Here it is at home. I use this cabinet/buffet for home decor storage space, especially for my faux flowers and vases.
Throughout the last few years on the blog, I’ve shared:
- the best places to go thrifting
- the latest vintage shopping sprees
- boat trip antique mall visits
- how I’ve used my antiques and vintage finds around the house and my garden.
Today I thought I’d do something a little different. I will answer some of the questions I’ve been asked regarding antique, vintage, and thrifted finds.
What is the Difference Between Antiques and Vintage Items?
Believe it or not, many people don’t know that there is a difference between antiques and vintage items.
And until I started shopping around for older pieces after we bought our 1920 cottage, I thought they were pretty much the same thing.
Both antique and vintage décor reflect different eras of history and add timeless style to any space. Much of the difference is when the old pieces were made.
Antiques are considered items over 100 years old and in original condition.
They often show signs of wear and tear but are highly sought after for a sense of history and the fact that they are usually good quality and unique items.
Antiques can also come with a much higher price tag because of this.
On the other hand, vintage items are anywhere from 20-100 years old.
Vintage décor may still be in good condition, but will generally not have the same level of craftsmanship as antique pieces do.
Collectors have more options when trying to find the perfect piece for their décor. This is because of the many styles and colors vintage pieces tend to come in.
Both vintage and antique décor will give you a sense of nostalgia from another era, but vintage pieces can sometimes feel more contemporary because they are not quite as old.
Can You Negotiate Vintage and Antique Décor Deals?
Whether you’ve found the perfect accent piece at an antique mall, a flea market, or on Facebook Marketplace, reasonable negotiating or haggling is expected for the most part.
Many antique dealers will work with you on a price because they want to see it go to a good home.
First, ask the salesperson or owner if they negotiate. Some will say they have marked their merchandise to the lowest price already.
Other stores will have several dealers who have their own booths and may not have the authority to make you a deal.
In that case, the best way to handle that situation is to have the person at the store take your information down and contact you after speaking with the booth.
What is Considered Thrifting?
Thrifting is the process of purchasing second-hand items, typically from thrift stores, estate sales, or garage sales. The goal is to find gently used and unique pieces at a discounted price.
Hunting for vintage DIY projects is a fun way to bring new life into undesirable pieces by using a little elbow grease and imagination.
What Should You Know Before You Start Vintage Shopping?
Bring a List of What You’re Looking for
When taking a shopping trip to look for vintage style décor, come prepared with a list of what type of vintage and antique items you are looking for. This will help you:
- find the best deals and rare items quickly
- stay within your budget
- focus just on your specific needs
- saves you time
Do Your Research
Some antique stores specialize in certain areas such as antique furniture, architectural salvage, or seasonal finds like holiday decorations and collectibles.
Now that you have a list of what you’re looking for, you can research which thrift stores or vintage shops carry pieces in a specific era or a certain collection you’re looking for.
Doing your research ahead of time is important when searching for vintage and antique home décor. The last thing you want to do is waste your time driving around and stopping at stores that may not have what you are specifically looking for.
Inspect Your Vintage Find Thoroughly Before Buying
Make Sure Your Find is in Good Condition
Look closely and make sure that the vintage item is in good condition before buying it. Some vintage pieces may be damaged or worn out.
Ensure Your Vintage Home Décor Finds are Authentic
Be aware that some vintage furniture or smaller pieces may not be authentic. Many vintage items are reproduced and sold as vintage when they are really just replicas of the original.
When shopping at antique shops, flea markets, and estate sales, take time to inspect each item up close.
Pay special attention to details like hardware finishes patina on wood surfaces and fabric patterns. This can indicate whether an item is truly vintage or a reproduction made recently but designed with a vintage look.
Also, ask questions about where and how the vintage find was acquired.
Vintage and antique decor shopping can be so much fun and if you do it right, you can find the most charming vintage pieces at a great price.
What collections do you have? What are some vintage items you’re currently looking for?
I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment below.
Until next time,
Happy Vintage Shopping!
More Vintage Ideas & Inspiration
My friends Stacy at Bricks ‘n Blooms & Jennifer from Cottage on Bunker Hill always find the best treasures and have so much knowledge when it comes to thrifted finds.
Each month we get together and give you a new blog post with lots of vintage ideas, tips, and inspiration.
I don’t know if it’s because they live on the east coast or what, but these ladies have the most fabulous flea markets and antique stores. I get so jealous when I see what they find every month. Be sure to visit Stacy and Jennifer’s January blog posts below.
Stacy’s sharing her vintage finds for her gorgeous foyer this month.
Jennifer | Cottage on Bunker Hill
Jennifer has 15 thrift store decor ideas for easily found items. You won’t want to miss it.
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Jennifer Howard says
That big vase in the first picture is giving me heart palpitations!!!! You have some great spots over there in the PNW!!
I know Jennifer! I would have picked that up so quickly except it was insanely expensive!
Love all of your finds and tips Kim! You have the prettiest shops near you!
Thanks, Stacy! Finding the great stuff isn’t the hard part. It’s finding things at a good price that seems so tough around here.