I love the character vintage decor adds to our home and I’m always on the lookout for hidden gems with a history.
It had been quite awhile since I’d visited any local antique or vintage shops, so recently I went to a few of my favorites to see what I could find.
Most of the older pieces in our home aren’t truly antique, because technically an item needs to be really old to be considered antique.
Finds that are around 50 to 100 years old are considered vintage and anything older than 100 is an antique.
The vintage years can vary though — a lot of people consider items more than 25 years to old enough. Which kind of blows my mind the older I get. 😉
So finding a true antique is a lot more difficult, but overall I prefer the look of vintage items more for our home anyway.
Keep in mind that at a lot of antique shops, you’ll find a mix of both older one-of-a-kind finds and a some secondhand decor pieces thrown in here and there as well. So not everything is old, even if it looks like it.
Ask the staff if you have questions about the age or value of a piece!
I’ve found that most shop owners will note on the tag if an item is vintage or antique. If it doesn’t say either, it’s a safe bet the item is newer.
My first stop was The Mix Marketplace in Noblesville, Indiana. It’s become a favorite — I always find something I love there.
These green glass goblets caught my eye:
I love the color! I have a set of clear glass goblets from Goodwill that I use for our holiday dinners. The shape makes them feel a little fancier. 🙂
It would also make a gorgeous vase! The larger size would look great with a bouquet of long hydrangea stems.
This vintage bamboo mirror was a great find, I just didn’t have a place for it:
I loved this painted box — it had glass lid inside so it could be used to display small decorative items, or as a jewelry box:
I’m always looking for items I can display in our upper kitchen cabinets. Vintage pottery like this blue and white soup tureen are a great way to add some character to your kitchen:
This huge fork and spoon set was a blast from the past!:
Years ago I found a similar set and hung them over our old pantry:
I sprayed them in a silver spray paint first. 🙂
I’ve seen similar utensils like that a Hobby Lobby in the past few years, so that’s one that may not be an actual vintage item.
And as always, the vintage finds that draw me in the most are the brass decor:
Brass is a classic and is one of my favorite ways to add some interest to a vignette or bookshelf.
This brass horse was awesome:
I need more candlesticks like a hole in my head, but I almost grabbed these copper beauties:
I loved their pretty floral shape.
This set of oval brass bowls would be perfect for small items on your desk, or remotes on the coffee table:
I carried one of these etched brass vases around for awhile, but ended up putting it back:
The colors were gorgeous! If you look close you’ll see the green peacocks in the design.
The thing is, I have to know exactly where I will put something before bringing it home.
This goes for any store, but especially secondhand and antique shops. I used to clutter up our home and garage with my lovely finds, because I knew they’d be gone if I didn’t take them home that day.
Now I don’t purchase unless I know where it will go or what I’ll do with it!
And of course, shopping antique stores always brings back sweet memories. I remember drinking out of these colorful metal cups at my aunt’s house:
The nostalgia of it all is my favorite part of wandering around these shops!
I found some great treasures on this trip! These little green soup bowls caught my eye immediately:
I love the color and the little lion heads.
I don’t think these floral hooks are super old, but I absolutely loved them!:
I hung one as a towel hook in our powder room:
And I used the other one to “hang” a mirror in my office:
Of course…I couldn’t pass up more brass!
These brass napkin rings were my favorite find:
I’ve been looking for napkin rings forever! The intricate floral design is so beautiful, I just adore them.
Look how well they turned out!:
I found this awesome brass lamp base and cleaned that up the same way:
Annnnd did I mention I didn’t need any more brass candlesticks? WELL.
I couldn’t pass these up. 🙂 They were a mess! It took a lot of elbow grease to get them cleaned up…there were layers and layers of grime and varnish on them:
But it was worth it!! Ohhhh look at them now:
I love the rounded top — these are different than the others I have. They’re so sculptural, I think they look great with or without taper candles.
If you don’t have any good antique dealers near you, check out Etsy! There are hundreds of vendors with shops you can browse online.
Do you enjoy hunting for finds at antique or vintage stores? I don’t do it often, but I always enjoy it!