These Are The Vintage Pieces You Should Be Collecting Right Now
Summer antique fairs and flea markets are a rich hunting ground for one-of-a-kind finds, whether you’re an avid collector or somebody who just loves to explore and find a bargain. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these sought-after collectibles that only grow more charming — and covetable — with time.
Framed maps are a design staple for not only their classic good looks, but also their sentimental pull of depicting a treasured locale. For an updated display, this large map of cottage country was broken up into six smaller frames. To make the art, cut a matboard to size and affix it to the back of your map with spray adhesive. Cut the map sections with a utility knife and press them firmly to the back of the frames. We used canvas floater frames with a 1-inch lip.
Bamboo is a chic and sustainable material that has been a perennial favorite for designers and homeowners alike. If a piece of vintage bamboo furniture is water-stained or sun-bleached, like this table was, a fresh coat of paint in a playful hue will bring it back to life, while still showcasing its distinctive shape.
Humble wooden spoons become sculptural objets on a kitchen wall — just look for a variety of shapes and sizes at flea markets and antique malls. The beauty of displaying a collection like this is that you can add new finds over time. Lay out the spoons on the floor (with some pointing upward for a more casual look), then snap reference shots to recreate their placement on the wall. Use finishing nails to hang spoons from existing handle holes or create brackets for upright spoons.
This stack of blankets art director Carmen Dunjko’s home is from a local camp, Camp Quin-Mo-Lac. To make sure you’re getting a good buy, examine blankets for moth holes and launder after buying.
A grouping of themed art results in a highly personal display that reveals your interests and passions, and it’s the perfect way to kick off an art collection. Find a subject that speaks to you (sailboats, dogs, cottage landscapes, horses — you name it) and keep your eyes peeled while hitting the antique fairs. Hang the art close together for dramatic impact.
Old tart tins and jelly moulds create an inexpensive vignette on a kitchen’s open shelves, or they can be repurposed as DIY candleholders — just make sure the bottom is flat, for safety. Candle-making supplies are readily available at craft stores: these versions are made with a lovely citronella scent to ward off mosquitoes.
Designed to be used in bedrooms in the mid-1900s, these mirrors can be found for a song at flea markets and junk shops. Playful shapes and bevelled edges make them a pretty way to add sparkle when grouped together on a wall.
Using a beautiful tray or set of tongs makes everyday dining feel a little extra special. It’s possible to pick up a fancy silver serving piece for a great bargain at thrift stores, online auctions and antique malls.
Many thrift stores, church rummage sales or antique malls keep a section of dedicated holiday items, and summer is a great time to scoop up overlooked seasonal fare. Highly collectible, Shiny Brite ornaments rose to prominence in the 1940s and ’50s. Their space-age shapes and candy colors make them stand out from contemporary offerings.
Transferware pieces can be picked up for a few dollars, and some veteran collectors purchase these unique finds by colorway (blue and white is the most common color combination). This brown and white vignette mixes heirlooms with inexpensive flea market finds, while the pattern helps disguise items that have some chips and wear.
When summer antiquing, think ahead to fall (sorry!). The timeworn patina of pewter chargers, mugs and pitchers add a natural, harvest touch to tables. Its hefty good looks make pewter a perfect partner for rustic linen tablecloths and transferware dishes.
Bakelite was invented in 1909 by a Belgian-born New York chemist and was initially used for mechanical and electrical parts. Popular in the kitchens of the ’30s and ’40s, cheerful Bakelite flatware comes in hundreds of colors, perfect for perking up a summer table at the cottage. Tip: Authentic pieces need to be handwashed.
It may not feel like Christmas when you’re antiquing in July, but it’s a great time for collectors to pick up holiday items. There’s been a revival of aluminum Christmas trees, which were popular in the mid-1960s (and even make guest appearances in the 1965 classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas). A small table-top tinsel tree will add a glittery, festive note to a holiday buffet or console.
The beauty of leather-bound books stamped with gilded embellishments add richness to any space. They are truly artistic objets in their own right (not to mention the literature inside).
Traditionally used to store spices in China, these pretty blue and white ceramic vessels still have lots of allure today. The large ones are beautiful with a clutch of white flowers placed inside, while smaller jars as pretty catchalls for bathroom essentials.