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A few weekends ago, Ken and I took a break from decorating the new dining room to explore a few of our favorite local antique stores. There are still plenty of empty areas we’d love to fill in our home, and rather than buy new, we’re always fans of purchasing something with a bit of history.

Although we ultimately came home empty-handed, there were quite a few stunners we stumbled upon:

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

I may not know how to sew, but I can dream, yes?

Art is always a need in our home, and I’m continually switching out new pieces that rest on our art shelf. I fell hard for these vintage ads for dress patterns and sleeve detailing.

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

Oh, I would love to name each of these folks. I see a Harry and an Evelyn!

Along the same vein, antiqued photographs make for a really interesting collection in any space. I’ve always loved the idea of displaying photos of people I’ve never met. Call me crazy, but it’s a small reminder that even though our world is big, we’re sort of all connected in some small way.

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

Game time!

On a more functional note, antique games always make me smile. In this case, a wooden croquet set caught our eye not only for the perfectly aged condition of the game, but also for the rustic wooden box it came in. Two cool finds in one!

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

I feel like I need a child just so I can justify purchasing this toy.

Vintage typewriters are everywhere, but I’ve never seen a kid’s tin version in such a vibrant color as this one. Wouldn’t it be a lovely addition to a children’s room?

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

Ken is the chef in our home. What do you say, dear?

I’m no chef, but I’m always hearing they don’t make cast-iron pans quite like they used to. Regardless of the quality, we both loved the idea of displaying a large collection of vintage pans on a bare kitchen wall. The differing shapes and sizes make for such a fun statement.

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

Feel like clearing your head? Oh, I love a good pun.

This one’s a bit nutty, but I fell hard for this clear glass head. I’m a sucker for all sorts of busts, and I love the idea of displaying glass baubles inside this one during the holidays. Even Ken (being the Christmas elf he is) had a hard time leaving it behind.

Antique Shopping- Erin Loechner

Still regretting not snagging this pretty pillow.

And, of course, the one that got away: a re-purposed cushion from an old rice sack. I kept envisioning the pattern in our master suite, but the $50 price tag steered us away. Perhaps a textile DIY is in our future?

So there we go — a trip through our favorite antique stores!

What fun finds have you scored lately? Or is there a gem you’re still regretting leaving behind?

Tell me in the comments below.


36 Responses

  1. HGTV_Kelley says:

    I regret not bidding at auction on a set of antique walnut splat back dining chairs with the original needlepoint seats, something like these. They wound up going for $20 apiece. That was about 15 years ago and obviously I can't forget them. ;) Then, I would have put them with a table of similar style; now I'd put them with a zinc-topped modern farm table.

  2. Lori says:

    The mark up from thrift store to antique store doesn't usually fit my budget. The convenience of not having to sift through a bunch of junk is a plus, though.
    I'm a sucker for antique art and prints. My biggest 'I can't believe I didn't buy that' item was an ornate oval frame. It didn't fit our decor, but it was long gone when I thought to use it as a seasonal frame for a Halloween print I have.

  3. erin loechner says:

    OMG your finds sound wonderful! Here's hoping we stumble upon something even better… someday! :)

  4. [...] Design for Mankind: Let’s Go Antiquing! HGTV Design Happens Wed, October 12, 2011 3:15 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share this story (function(){var [...]

  5. Marika says:

    Oh…we just threw out one of those glass heads! The old owners of our new house left it behind and although I wanted to keep it, it creeped my husband out a bit too much. We found it in a secret room (a hidden wine cellar) that we didnt even know was there when we bought the place. We opened it up and there was this head, sitting on its own on the floor, in amongst the empty wine racks. Come to think of it, that is kind of creepy.

    A great recent find was a series of crystal decanters that a friend was collecting to use as centrepieces for her wedding. Wandered into our local antique store and found a whole shelf of them for $5 each! Bargain!

  6. elizabeth traub says:

    I was at a wedding this past summer and her colors were aqua and white. She had an old aqua typewriter, stunning, at her sign in table for guests. The color was PERFECT. I love going into older neighborhoods garage sale for great inexpensive finds. The antique stores have recognized that collectors are no longer looking for just vintage, but design accents, so I noticed over the years prices have increased. I love the cute little blue boots on the shelf below the croquet set. Great finds.

  7. [...] Design for Mankind: Let’s Go Antiquing! [...]

  8. erin loechner says:

    Oh wow! @Marika – so jealous, but yes – I totally don't blame your husband for thinking it was creepy. (It is. Ha.)

    @Elizabeth – I love typewriters as sign-in stations! Great idea! :)

  9. Richard Bowers says:

    I would guess that a Heritage camel-back sofa for $40.00 and a Bernhart break front for $200.00 would be some of my better finds. I have a 3' x 8' circa1700 piece of stained glass (three distinct pictures) I found for a couple of hundred dollars and a matching pair of Thomasville lounge chairs for $32.00 (pair)

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