Antique stores take me all the way back to early childhood. My mother loves antique shopping, and I would go with her often when I was younger. I picked out a little trinket box and I used to put random things in there that I thought were cool. Did you ever have a trinket box that? I was the kid that was obsessed with nature (still am), so mine usually had rocks and bird feathers and molts from cicadas in it. Regardless, ever since that day, I have always loved going to antique stores.
Antique shops are fun because sometimes you hit the jackpot, other times..not so much. One reason why I love thrifting is that I love the cozy English cottage style. To me, there’s nothing better than a cozy room that makes you feel right at home. When everything in there has a story and is rich in history. A room that took time to put together, and it shows. Nothing really “matches”, but is thoughtfully curated.
It’s a canvas for layering different pieces of furniture, textures, colors, fabrics. And it takes time to find quality pieces that fit perfectly in with your home. That’s why going to antique stores is fun for me, because each time I find a new piece of history to bring home and add to our space.
With that being said, I have compiled a list over the years of items to look out for at antique stores. There are different reasons why I chose each item – whether it be because the item is worth something, has sentimental value, or is high quality for a good price. In this blog post today, I am going to tell you the top 18 items I look for at antique stores.
Look for these valuable items at antique stores:
Vintage Blue Ball Mason Jars
Okay, we are starting with the most basic one…ball blue mason jars of course! They can actually be worth some money. I saw 6 large and 5 small for sale for $150. I can never have too many mason jars. I use them for everything around here. All different sizes are necessary in my kitchen.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron is one of those things that never goes bad. Even if it is completely rusted…it’s not over. Don’t throw it away. You can restore that baby and bring it back better than ever. So if you find a piece of cast iron that you love but it’s rusty, not to worry. You have yourself a little DIY project you can feel good about. That cast iron could be passed down to your grandchildren.
Old tools are fun to look out for. If you know a thing or two about tools, that helps. My husband does the tool buying around here, so he enjoys finding items like this.
Sterling Silver Silverware
Sterling silver silverware is one of the best things you can find. An old set that is still in good condition has a lot of life left to give. And let’s be honest, brand new sterling silver silverware is not a cheap purchase. Hence why it’s usually a wedding gift.
It’s always nice to have some good-quality picture frames around. It’s very convenient when you take a new picture that you want to display, and you have a frame for it already that you love.
If you’re re-doing your house and need some new light fixtures, chandeliers are my favorite fixtures to add so much character to a room. I grew up with a chandelier in my bedroom, my mom had them in all of our bedrooms and the dining area. I have always loved them and wanted to keep that going in my home. So, I’m always on the hunt for a nice chandelier for a good price.
Old Christmas Ornaments
A common theme for my family is collecting nice Christmas ornaments, like Christopher Radcliff, if you have any idea about ornaments. I love to find old vintage ones, they add a little something special to your usual tree.
Good art is hard to come by. And when I see a lovely piece I have to get it. Even if I don’t have a place for that artwork yet, I will find a place eventually.
Antique luggage works great for a display as well as a storage solution. I have seen people stack old luggage in their living rooms and store blankets, candles, family photos, etc.
Antique globes are always really interesting-looking. It adds a beautiful element to a corner of a room, possibly in the library or office. They can be worth a couple of hundred dollars, so if you see one for $60 or under, that’s a deal.
A nice lamp can set the ambiance of a room. It can act as a statement piece, and provide a warm, inviting feeling. The shade doesn’t need to be included. And if you can’t find a shade that you like, why not make your own.
Antique clocks are one of my favorite items to seek out. I find them special, and add character to a space. If it still works, well then it’s even better.
Vintage Set of Pyrex Mixing Bowls
This is one that I am ALWAYS looking for. Vintage Pyrex bowls are worth some good money, not to mention they are beautiful and durable. They can become a collector’s item.
Jadite is a jade-green-colored milk glass that started being produced in the 1930s in America. It gained popularity during WWII and continued to rise until about the 1970s. Now, it is a hot collector’s item for vintage-loving folks. Standard jadeite items tend to be affordable, but more rare pieces can be a few hundred dollars and up. Jadite was sold at five and dime stores and was often given away with purchases, in order to promote consumers to buy the full set. It was rather inexpensive back in the day to make, so it’s interesting to see how much it costs now.
Vintage butcher blocks are always fun to find. They are all so unique and different. You can use it for a couple of different purposes, an accent table or a kitchen island are the top things that come to mind.
Good-quality copper pots are always high on my list. You have to be careful though because a lot of it can be fake. I have bought fake copper a few times, so if it says “Made in China” skip it! It’s not real copper. Copper is nice to cook with, and it also feels very romantic.
Crocks for Fermenting ($500) Last but not least, the fermenting crocks! This is a new one added to the list and I’m excited about it. It is something that I will be on the hunt for every time I go to an antique store. I have seen crocks selling for close to $500 on eBay, so some are special out there.
I always love a good basket. I need and use baskets for everything. I use them in the closet, the linen closet, to hold blankets and mason jars, potatoes and onion, etc. There are endless possibilities! So when you see a good quality basket, take her home.
Last but not least, good-quality linens never go out of style. Linen napkins and tea towels are among some of my favorite finds. Pretty linens always add a cozy feel to the dinner table.
- Pillow Case Covers
When I say pillowcase, I don’t mean your sleeping pillows. I mean accent pillows! The right pillow cover can add such a great element to a room and tie everything together.
There you have it, my top 20 items to find at antique stores. I hope this list inspired you and gave you some ideas. Adding elements like this to your home creates a comfy, homey feel. Your home sets the mood for you and your family – whether you realize it or not. It takes time to decorate a space that everyone loves to be in. On each trip to the antique store, I find something new to add to the home. Whether you are an avid thrifter or just getting started, I hope you take this list with you to your next antique store.