The past decade’s proliferation of online shopping options means that we live in a culture of constant newness.
Chances are, you’ve googled something as specific as “removable Scalamandré zebra wallpaper” and been able to find exactly what you were looking for (shoutout to The Inside). And while we’re all about innovation, there’s nothing like a good vintage or antique piece to make a house feel like a home.
Pre-loved pieces hold history and tell stories, and, in our opinion, there’s nothing better than a piece that feels truly one-of-a-kind. However, we’re the first to admit that shopping for vintage can be intimidating, so we’ve rounded up our top four tips below (along with a few store suggestions) for making your shopping experience as seamless and rewarding as possible.
Define your decade
To develop a manageable vintage shopping strategy, we don’t recommend walking straight into an antique store and trying to pick something out. Vintage and antique furniture represents hundreds of years of evolving styles, and one collector’s chosen decade is another’s discard. Spend some time on social media browsing through hashtags: #artdeco, #midcenturymodern, #queenannestyle, #minimalist, and #americanempirestyle are good places to start. From there, get a feel for each period’s aesthetic and decide where you want to lean in. When decorating a home with vintage pieces, leaning on a particular decade instead of drawing on multiple styles can help keep your home cohesive.
Keep an eye out for “estates”
Once you’ve nailed down the decade you’re looking to shop for, find an antique store near you (if there are none near you, don’t worry—just skip to the next tip), and work to build a relationship with the dealer. Once you’ve gotten to know each other and the dealer has gotten to know your style, ask them to keep you in the loop on estate sales. Not familiar with estate sales? When wealthy individuals pass away, they may sell furniture from their household. This means you have a chance to snap up pieces that have already lived harmoniously together in a home and include everything from larger pieces like tables and sofas to smaller goods such as glassware and china. Ask your dealer to give you a call “as soon as a new estate comes in” and you’ll get the first look at a number of valuable, beautiful pieces.
If you don’t live near an antiques dealer or don’t have the time to check in on sales, there are a number of amazing vintage and antique furniture stores that operate both in-person and online. New Yorkers love Dobbin St. Co-Op and Dream Fishing Tackle, and Londoners get their fix via accounts like Anemone Interiors, a vintage shop favored by prolific vintage decorator Pandora Sykes. These are just three of the countless incredible vintage shops online – and, whether or not they’re in your city, state, or even country – we always recommend sending a DM to see if you can work out a shipping arrangement. You’re guaranteed to uncover some gems.
Sometimes, we’ll envision a vintage piece we want, but haven’t yet found online. Instead of fretting over the fact that the “vintage 1960s orange oyster chair” in your mind doesn’t exist, set an alert for those keywords on Etsy and eBay so that you’ll be the first to know when one does land on the site.
Arm yourself with the above tips, and, if so, tag us in pictures of your favorite finds using #casadesuna on social media. You’ll develop a signature style, save money, and support sustainability in the process. There’s nothing not to love.