Bits of history

As a decorator, it's not my job to make anyone's house look like a furniture showroom. I think that most people want a home that looks like THEM, that has pieces that are either directly tied to ones history or family, or that remind them of pieces from their past. It gives some weight to a room to have a mix of older and newer things - while I probably wouldn't do a room entirely in antiques, I love that the perfect worn in dresser, china plate wall arrangement, or painting can add authenticity to a room.

Above is my baby cup. Obviously it's not too old (from '85) and I polish it from time to time. But I kind of like the tarnished look too. Right now it's on our dresser as a makeshift earring holder (you can get the earrings from Jess LC). We don't have a ton of family heirlooms yet, but I like to think that as we buy a home and settle in for many years we'll have a chance to add more of that history.

I went antiquing on Saturday with a friend (hi, Amanda!) and we had the worst browsing luck. We went to three large shops and we just weren't finding anything. I started to think that part of my problem was that I was looking for pieces (for resale in the etsy shop) that could be easily mixed into a room, carry that weight of being an older piece, but still fit in and look like it belongs. There was some great stuff there - but without a specific room I was shopping for, I just wasn't able to picture each item as away from the booth we were in at the time.

I thought other people might have the same problem, so I thought I'd share a few quick tips for the antique/vintage shopper looking for your own home:

1. Bring measurements of any spaces you're looking to fill - top of a table, size of a wall for a new dresser, etc.

2. Bring your color palette, especially if you're looking for any textiles. If you have swatches, bring 'em!

3. List of anything you'd like to find. It's hard to remember in the moment after you've looked at shelves and shelves of STUFF for two hours.

4. Be open to reinterpretation. Just because it's a serving bowl doesn't mean it couldn't hold flowers, or driftwood, or glass ornaments at the holidays.... if you love something, you can almost always find a way to bring it into your home.

5. Whomever has the biggest car drives.

6. Set your budget for the day, but know what you would be willing to splurge on. Look up an item on ebay if you think it might be overpriced (yay smartphones! What did we do before them?)

Any other thrifting or antiquing tips to share?