It’s no secret that we love us some vintage. ModEmployees have snagged an array of awesome vintage furniture and decor, and now, we’re sharing our fave finds and secret shopping tips with you!
Favorite Piece: Vintage stereo
I always loved my dad’s Benjamin Miracord turntable growing up, and have been hounding him for years to give it to me. He refuses to let it go, so I’ve been slowly building my own vintage stereo, because I love old, well-built electronics. I bought the Bose Series II speakers from an old roommate, scored the Technics receiver when a pal moved across the country, the Technics M5 cassette deck from a local thrift store, and finally got my own ELAC Miracord turntable from the local electronics repair shop. I was also lucky enough to pick up one of my finest finds, a set of white Pioneer SE-50 headphones (with case!), at another local thrift store.
Shopping Tip: Befriend people with similar vintage interests! They can keep and eye out for you, or contact you first when they’re getting rid of something. Oh, and be patient. The right items will reveal themselves to you soon enough!
Danielle, Photo Director
Favorite Piece: Vintage dresser
I’ve always loved the bare patina on this piece. My dad got it for $20, and he gave it to me when I bought my first house! It’s also super versatile and can work in almost any room. While it’s currently used in our dining room storing candles, placemats, and more, I can easily see it storing toiletries in the hallway near a bathroom, holding boardgames in the living room, or of course in a more traditional way in the bedroom!
Shopping Tip: My best advice is to find a few places near you, and check in often. We recently moved into a neighborhood with a great store two blocks away! Not only do I check back often, but I have befriended the shop owner, which is a great for when I have something specific in mind. I tell him what I’m looking for, and he usually has something for me within a week or two! Of course, I love a good estate sale, auction, or thrift store, but this strategy is really efficient!
Taryn, Promotions Coordinator
Favorite Piece: Antique trunk
My all-time favorite piece is this vintage steamer trunk that I found at one of my favorite antique shops. The trunk was hidden under a stack of old magazines, but upon closer inspection, I knew I had to have it. After a few repairs to the locks and a good cleaning, the trunk was ready to move into our family room and function as a side table. This is my favorite piece, not only because it was one of the first items I bought with my husband for our new home, but also because I love imagining the journey the trunk has been on: who owned it before, where they took it, how it ended up at the antique store down the street from my house. I think that’s what I love most about vintage furniture — you never know what life it had before you found it, and its time in my house with my little family is just one small part of its journey.
Shopping Tip: Always see beyond what’s in front of you! Pieces that might not look like much in the store, can be transformed with a little cleaning, restoration, and love. Some of my favorite pieces are the ones that I spent a lot of time repairing when I brought them home.
Aire, Senior Fashion Press Specialist
Favorite Pieces: Vintage luggage and retro lamp
This luggage set was given to me by one of my best friends, Sara, and it belonged to her grandmother. It’s been part of my decor since my first college apartment! And that beautiful lamp was plucked from the garbage by me and my friend Kelley when we were in high school. I brought it home, sanded it, and painted it this amazing metallic silver. It’s still a favorite of mine after all these years.
Shopping Tip: Keep an open mind! You have to see past the color or finish and really look at the shape of a piece. A little bit of elbow grease can really make something ordinary extraordinary, and in the end save you money.
Natalie, Head of Writing & Social
Favorite Piece: Ceramic art vase/sculpture (I’m not sure what it is!)
When I first saw this vase at an auction preview, it was sitting on a table with several other cream-colored ceramic pieces. It just looked like an unassuming, simple piece…until I peeked inside! The interior is filled with tiny ceramic anemones and other aquatic creatures. It’s like a gorgeous little glimpse into an undersea world! I can’t help but imagine the hours and hours of painstaking work that went into making this. Staring into it is like being transported to another world. This little piece is magical to me! And, can you believe I wound up winning the bid for $10?
Shopping Tip: Always take a second look. I try to walk through antique stores, flea markets, and auction previews twice, because they’re usually so packed with stuff that you’ll miss lots of interesting items your first time through! Also — don’t ignore local auctions. Use auctionzip.com to find auctions near you. Many even have photo previews of what’s up for bidding, so you get an online preview. If you’re able to go at a time many folks are likely occupied (e.g. 4 p.m. on a Tuesday), you can often score stuff for crazy-cheap prices!
+What’s your best vintage furniture shopping tip?