Decorating & Design

July 23, 2013

Antiquing In Nova Scotia

The countdown is on to my vacay on Prince Edward Island. Last time we visited, the journey took us on a mini road trip to and from our flights from Halifax. On the return journey we took a detour thanks to a tip from our Charlottetown friends Christopher and Craig. (Check out their blog The Ottoman Empire.) They advised us to take a turn off the Trans-Canada highway for a visit to Great Village, N.S. It’s definitely our kind of town.

This is the kind of vintage vignette you’ll see all over the many shops in Great Village: nautical antiques mixed with simple painted country furniture — just beautiful and so me. The main street is lined with antiques shops as well as a multi-dealer co-op. When we visited we were on our way to catch a plane so we couldn’t really take the plunge on purchasing. But we treated it as a reconnaissance mission, scouting what might be available when we return with a larger vehicle. That time may come in a week or so if our vacay offers up a suitable rainy day for a road trip. Here are some of my favourites spotted last time.

As a stylist, I’m naturally drawn to baskets. They have so many uses in any room of the house and bring a warm, earthy texture to interiors. I usually prefer vintage ones because of their patina and workmanship. Many of the baskets on the left are examples of Mi’kmaq basket weaving. The indigenous peoples of our East Coast have been making these for centuries. I’m thinking of starting a collection. To the right are fishing creels and a large picnic basket chest. I also love the natural aged grey tone of that shelf and the oars. Big furniture companies all over the world are trying to replicate that look these days. Nothing beats authenticity.

I love this fine example of coloured glass. I’m seriously hoping this one is still there when we go back. Must have.

Mint condition and ready for a Royal wedding or an excellent dress up party, this top hat was very tempting! I like the idea of elevating something like this to art status by mounting it on a base or displaying it in a Lucite box.

Wedding gifts and souvenirs from so many trips to Ireland, vintage damask linen is always available on the antiquing trail. Most of these were less than $40.

It’s a bit covered up, but try to get a good look at that simple green work table. The colour is total perfection. I could see this piece loaded up with all the supplies for a cottage bar or used as a desk paired with an ultra mod chair.

What’s not to love about a solid workhorse of a table made of gloriously beat up old reclaimed wood? This one was a great size and a steal at $395. Compare that price to a new piece made of particleboard and laminate.

You’re bound to run into Lucy Maud Montgomery’s ginger heroine at any East Coast antiques shop. I thought these volumes were remarkable for their dust jacket design and colours. To the right was my sole purchase of the visit — for the sum of $3. It’s a compendium of the most bizarre and politically incorrect toasts from 1918. I think it will be lots of fun to have around the cottage as a conversation piece.

For more East Coast gems, read Sally Armstrong’s blog post about antiquing in Maine.

Photo credits:
1-8. Margot Austin