Today is fun because I’m sharing a beginners guide for antiquing!
Going to antique stores has become quite an exciting hobby for me over the years. I want to share some knowledge that I’ve learned along the way with you today. If you are new to this antiquing thing and are wondering how to get into the antiquing world, this beginners guide for antiquing is going to be so helpful for you. For those of you that already love antiquing, my hope is that these tips will still be beneficial to you and maybe you will learn something new to try!
Why Shop At Antique Stores?
Shopping at antique stores may seem like a daunting task, but it is just the opposite! Read about my first experience shopping in an antique store for some encouragement.
Antique stores are big treasure chests full of beauty and goodness. When you shop at antique stores for home decor items, you are truly choosing a special way of creating a home that is all your own. You are sourcing items for your home that have a story. They contain character, patina, and are one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has. It really is an exclusive kind of shopping because not many people choose to take that much time to design a home in such a thoughtful manner.
Tips For Beginning Antiquing
Have an idea of what you are drawn to.
Many times antiquing can feel overwhelming if you don’t have any idea what you are looking for. Whenever I go into an antique store, I usually always have pieces in the back of my mind that I’m always looking for, whether that be copper, enamelware, or vintage linens. Before you leave the house, I suggest taking a walk through and looking at spaces in your home that are in need of some character. From there, get a vision in your head of what colors or textures might work well there. Maybe vintage books in olive green or navy blue would work well. Look at adding some wood elements such as old corbels or wooden spoons. It’s a balance of keeping an open mind but also narrowing in on what you are drawn to.
Start out going with an experienced antique shopper.
When I first started antique shopping, my husband’s family had been in the hobby for years. They knew all the in’s and out’s such as what things actually were, fair pricing, and where to go to find good deals. It is so helpful to have someone along who knows their stuff when it comes to antique stores.
Get creative on how else you could use something.
There might be a time when you will find an item that you love but don’t know where you would use it in your home. This is a time to think outside the box and notice if this piece could be used in a different way. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Could I hang this on a wall as wall decor? Would it work well for storage? Maybe it could be used as a vase? How could this piece be incorporated into decor that I already have?
Let’s use pretty vintage books as an example. Instead of just putting them on a bookshelf, they can be used for adding height to displays, such as underneath lamps or smaller decor like pottery or bowls. It’s so fun to be creative and design a meaningful space.
Don’t forget to look up!
Antiques stores are always packed with goodies. Sometimes I find myself hurrying through just to see what’s around the next corner. Nothing is going anywhere so remember to take your time and look all around you in the booth that you are in. That includes getting down towards the floor to see what’s underneath other things as well as looking up. You don’t know how many times I’ve missed a pretty thing because I forgot to look to see what was up there!
It’s okay to ask for a lower price.
When it comes to pricing, don’t be afraid to be a little picky. It all comes down to if the item that you are looking at is worth that price to you. If you feel like the price is too high, go up to the counter and make an offer. For reference, I don’t usually ask for more than $5 off the asking price. My husband recently found a really pretty vintage lamp at an antique store that was priced for $27. I told him to offer $23 and they accepted it! So, be fair about it but also understand it’s worth to you. If you really cant’t leave an item behind then it’s probably worth paying what is listed…you are after all supporting a small business!
Look in every booth.
Even if a booth doesn’t seem to be your style, it’s important to go into every one and at least take a quick scan. Sometimes the booth that seems to be least ‘you’ turns out to have a beautiful treasure for your home. Also, by looking in each area, you might find a collectable that you love such as vintage glass, which will start off a new collection of decor for your home.
There you have it! I’ve said it before but antiquing is extremely special and exciting. Each time you go you never know what you are going to find. Sometimes you come across a piece that you didn’t even know you existed or didn’t know you needed until just then.
You will understand the amazement and satisfaction after you go for the first time. Be persistent, be patient, and let joy lead you. I hope those tips for a beginners guide to antiquing encourage you to take a leap of faith and try something new.
Let me know in the comments below if you are a beginner or a novice. I would love to hear other tips that you have!
Find more inspiration for your home!
[…] Old linens and textiles can range from under $5 to over $100. You can expect to pay $1.00 for vintage napkins at the thrift store whereas a handmade coverlet for a queen bed can cost $250 at an antique store. […]
All great tips! There’s nothing like antiquing:) Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen
Thanks Kathleen!! You’re right…nothing better!!