The ABC's of Vintage Shopping

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Today I am very excited to bring you a guest post by the incredibly style savvy Sarah at 702 Park Project.  Be sure to stop by her blog and follow along as she restores her 1902 foursquare home.

Hi friends! I'm Sarah from 702 Park Project and I'm so thrilled to be a guest blogger for this beautiful, southern blog! As a fellow North Carolinian, I love Brandyn's southern style and impeccable taste. Now that spring has finally decided to roll around, lots of people will be tackling some spring cleaning. And that means that the antique, thrift, and second hand shops are going to be booming with new items! When it comes to shopping for antique or thrifted items, I've learned some lessons that I'd like to pass on to you. Here are a few tips I've learned along the way, with a few of my favorite finds lately. 1. Have a list. It always helps to know what you're looking for. It's easy to walk into a shop (especially antique "malls" with tons of vendors) and get overwhelmed. Having a list will help keep you on track. On my list right now? A round table for our foyer and two upholstered dining chairs. IMG_1727 IMG_1729 2. Do your homework. Just because a piece is beautiful doesn't mean it's "worth it." Early on, I made the mistake of buying a settee that had great bones, but needed some work. I bought it without doing any research, and have found that having it reupholstered will make it unreasonably expensive. Also, if you are buying pieces to sell, browse a few other online shops to see what you could reasonably expect someone to pay for the item. IMG_1733 IMG_1736 3. Always look up, and down! Some of my favorite finds have been ceiling lights and rugs. Don't just look at the items in front of you. IMG_1742 IMG_1734 4. Everything is negotiable. My dad taught me this and it is so true. Whether you are shopping at an antique or thrift shop or an estate or yard sale, there is always room for negotiating. When I'm in an antique shop, I always ask if I can get a discount on items. Most of the time, they'll say yes. Just like Oprah said, "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." The same goes for shopping. Don't be afraid to play a little hard ball.
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5. Be practical. How much will it cost to repair, paint, upgrade, or reupholster the item? Do you have a way to transport it? I fell in love with a pink vintage sofa at an estate sale and it was an absolute steal, but figuring out a way to get it home was no picnic. (Let's just say the hubs was less than pleased!) These are all things to think about. IMG_1738 IMG_1767 6. Never buy new dishes. Why would you buy new dishes when you can get tons of gorgeous, vintage sets at a fraction of the cost?! Plus, they always make a great conversation starter at parties! And on that note, the same goes for jewelry. IMG_1740IMG_1732IMG_1741 If you live in NC, here are a few places I would suggest you try: 1. B&S Auction Gallery - Goldsboro 2. The Trove - Morehead City 3. Emily & Co. - Raleigh 4. Goldsboro Antique Mall - Goldsboro 5. Appalachian Antique Mall - Boone I also troll Craigslist constantly, and check in weekly with the local Habitat ReStore, Salvation Army, and Goodwill. So there you have it. This spring, get out and test your negotiating skills and support your local economy. You'll have some fun, and you might even score a few great pieces for your home!

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