10 Tips for finding antiques and vintage home decor pieces
March 12, 2017
We love living an eco friendly lifestyle which also includes hunting for antiques and vintage home decor pieces in different kind of ways.
Today we want to tell you our secrets to finding the best bargains. We have quiet some antique pieces in our home that we picked up on different occasions. For most of these treasures I still know the exact place and price which always reminds me of the great hunt I had that day and how much fun it was to look for the perfect vintage home decor piece. Do you know that feeling?
Once when I was merely 18 years old I found a wonderful side table at a flea market that I just had to have. Unfortunately I had no room at that time as I was still living with my parents and my room was already full but I just had to have it. So we bought it and stored it in the attic.
It took me 5 years until I finally had the room to use that side table! And let me tell you till today it’s my favorite home decor piece in my apartment. Sure it has seen better days and looks like it has been used. But honestly I think it just adds to the charm though. (But that’s also why it was only 18€ which is about 20$. A true bargain!)
Now let me tell you about the tricks I learned while hunting for the best antiques and home decor pieces!
- Haggle when its appropriate
If you think you can still get a better price go for it. As for the side table I mentioned before I was soooo happy to find such a pretty vintage home decor piece for such a good price so I really didn´t bother haggling.
- Know where to look for the best bargains
If you have a local thrift store go there. Most of the time you find great vintage pieces for cheap. Also I found that prices on the country side are mostly up to 50 percent cheaper than in the city so try to visit smaller towns and stroll through the antique shops there. Household clearances, garage sales, flea markets and sites like craigslist offer also great ways to find cheap furniture and decoration.
- Find ways to re-purpose your finds
Sometimes you´ll find pieces that are slightly damaged but still too pretty to walk by. The easiest thing is just to find a new use for the item. For example use an old vintage crate or porcelain cup as a flower pot.
- Paint and Modification: Looks like brand new!
I once found a little vintage nightstand on the side of the road. The poor thing was pretty neglected and had tons of watermarks from standing outside. Luckily with some wood stain and polish I was able to rescue the piece and now it looks as good as new. Get creative! Some chalk paint or wood stain can really make all the difference.
- Don’t think twice!
If you hunt for some individual pieces be aware that you´re probably not the only one. If you really fall in love with a piece take it home right away as it might not be available the next time you visit.
- Think about storing
Again remember my story: I had to store the side table away for quiet a while before I was able to use it. If you have the space lucky you! If not ask your parents or friends if they have a corner somewhere where you could store your vintage treasure until you have the room to place it.
- Go in the mornings
For most activities that involve vintage decoration elements: Go early. The best vintage home decor pieces sell in the early morning hours at flea markets and most people post their sales early on Saturday mornings online.
- Have a way to transport your treasures
Especially for furniture you should have a big car available that you can borrow. It´s not like in a furniture shop or IKEA that you can just get it delivered. Often you will find your pieces at other private sales and the sellers won´t offer the luxury of transportation to your door step. It would be too bad to have to leave it behind just because you can´t transport it.
- Know the general market prices
Now that mid century modern and everything out of the 50s, 60s and 70s is all the rage people try to sell it wayyyy to expensive. Don`t let yourself get fooled and check out similar items online first and see what they go for. This gives you expertise and also a good base to haggle and most of the time you can safe a lot of money this was.
- Don’t be afraid to get dirty!
Sometimes you will find pieces on the curb or on some attic or basement. It will not always be clean. Spiderwebs for example are something you can expect a lot. But don´t be afraid as such make the most fun experiences and gives it a feel of a real treasure hunt.
We hope these tips help you finding for some awesome vintage home decor pieces. Do you have any special tricks that you use while treasure hunting?