If you’ve been to a wedding, flea market or Pinterest in the last year, you’ve likely noticed it. Chalkboards replacing dry erase boards, painted wooden furniture with stripped back finish and copper mugs for those oh-so-trendy Moscow mules.
Vintage wares are not only romantic, they’re also utilitarian – we’ve seen mason jars used as everything from vases to indoor gardens to weekly meal planning. Here, we outline some easy ways to search for, and incorporate, vintage design trends into your home.
If you’re looking for ready-to-use items or high-end furniture, head to Stillwater. The charming river town is the perfect day trip, and Main Street has a plethora of antiques shops to choose from. Midtown Antique Mall, a 30,000 square foot antiques giant, is a great place to start. The rest of the stores on Main Street offer a smaller scale approach, specializing in everything from books and kitchen wares to artwork and lighting fixtures.
2. Rummage and restoration
That old saying about one man’s trash took on new meaning when Do It Yourself (known now as DIY) hit the mainstream a few years ago. Provided a piece of furniture is standing upright, DIY-ers can bring new life to it using just sand paper, paint and some fancy drawer pulls. Try it yourself – all you have to lose is a day or two’s work and around $20.
Find pieces to restore at garage sales (which will soon wrap up for the year), estate sales, Craigslist or stores like Savers and Goodwill. Plus, here’s a great list of salvage shops from Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine.
Next, we’ll show two of our favorite DIY “hacks.”
Beginner level DIY project: Refinish an old window to create a weekly planner chalkboard for your kitchen or office. Find the quick and easy tutorial here.
Moderate level DIY project: Take an old dresser with good shape and freshen it up with gorgeous paint, some aging wax and fabulous new hardware. Plan for a full day for this refinishing job – the tutorial is here.
3. Buy it new, or refinished (shhhhh!)
The vintage craze is so mainstream that many retailers are selling new furniture and decorative items that have an aged look. Nadeau sells inexpensive painted furniture in its small, packed showroom on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown. Guild Collective in St. Louis Park has a small collection of vintage (and vintage-inspired) items and clothing, and the staff loves to chat about their goods. World Market also has tons of faux-vintage items that will fit into homes with more mainstream flair.
Whether you’ve always loved vintage, or you’re eager to jump on the trend, you’ll find plenty of fantastic vintage shopping and restoration options around Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Spend a weekend curating your own collection of goods and share them with us on our Facebook page.