By now I think you all know I love a good antiques find. Don’t get me wrong, I love retail giants like Home Goods and Target just as much as the next girl, but the items I find while out at the flea market or antiquing always tend to be the most special to me – I call them treasures. 🙂
I have always been drawn to older things that seem like they have a story to tell, but I wasn’t always comfortable shopping for these things. Places like antiques stores and flea markets can be overwhelming at first. They’re often full to the brim of haphazard piles of dirty, old stuff – and yes, sometimes it is just plain junk – but the more you go, the easier it gets to see past the dirt and grime and spot the things that will bring personality and character to your space.
I am particularly drawn to texture, so if I catch a glimpse of anything that has a worn wood look – I always stop and investigate.
Items like wood crates and wood boxes are great finds, because not only do they display the warm wood tones I love, but they double as storage pieces too.
And lately I’ve been drawn to the patina of old tin pieces like these tart tins
Or this cake tin
I just love the way the tin and wood tones work together throughout the house.
For me, the texture of the piece is often more important than the actual piece itself – I don’t usually know what I’m going to do with a find before I get it home, and sometimes it will sit tucked away in a closet for a while before I figure it out, but I know that if I love the character and finish, I will inevitably find a use for it.
I also like to look for anything that has personal significance, like this old post card of my hometown that I recently framed and displayed on the mantel.
The majority of our family and friends are back in Michigan, so I love keeping fun reminders of “home” throughout the house.
I’m not going to offer a how-to in antiquing – it’s definitely not a science – but if you’re new to “treasure hunting” (as I like to call it), the biggest tip I can offer is to have an open mind. Part of the fun in these places is that you never know what you will find, so while it’s always good to have a mental list of things to be on the lookout for, if you go searching only for things on that list two things are likely to happen:
1) You will go home empty handed and disappointed, because chances are you won’t find it (don’t ask me how I know, I just do 🙂 ),
2) You will potentially overlook a lot of great stuff because you’re too focused on searching for a particular item.
Also, pay attention to your instincts. If you’re drawn to something, don’t worry too much about what you’re going to do with it. I used to walk away from things all the time because I couldn’t think of a place for it at that exact moment – and a few of those still haunt me (i.e. a vintage notary sign, a pristine wood trunk with all the original hardware, a set of beautiful carved wood bookends…just to name a few…). You don’t usually get a second chance at this stuff. If you love it, take it home – there’s always space for things you love.
All this talk of antiques has me eager to do a little treasure hunting soon. What about you? Will you be looking for any treasures this holiday weekend?