Since several of you were asking me about the blue cabinet in my master bedroom (in pic below), and were wanting to know more about it, and where do I find my fun antique pieces, I thought I'd share some of my "wisdom" for getting your own "fun finds"!
Here are my "Rules For Finding and Using Antique/Vintage Pieces":
You can find them almost anywhere! From flea markets, to fun little shops, to a relative's attic, to a garage sale, to a thrift store, to the curb next to the trash can! If you are interested in adding some character to your home, and are drawn to antiques or a fun flea look, then have fun & shop around!!
The more you get lookin' & shoppin' the better off you'll be because you'll know:
What to look for. You'll start knowing when things are priced about right, too high, or when you're getting a great deal! (Thrift stores & garage/estate sales often have the lowest prices. Antiques stores & shops are often highest, I think. But know your stuff! Sometimes these shops can yield more unique items & sometimes for a great price!!)
If getting the "real deal" vs. a reproduction is important to you, you'll also start to recognize the difference, and the quality of items as well.
Don't be too quick to judge! A piece that most people might pass by could end up with a fabulous new life in your home! We bloggers all know what a good can of spray paint can do! If you're drawn to an item, see what you could do with it! Maybe you won't use it for it's original purpose at all, but it could look great and function well for you given a new role! I have lots of pieces that I've "re-purposed" and given a new job in my home.
Everyone loves the small little things that you can find when junking: old doorknobs, silverware, books, transferware, and even tinier bits & baubles! And they are certainly fun to add to your decor (and often inexpensive enough for most of use to buy!). But to make more of an impact, I would encourage you to:
Choose Statement Pieces! A statement piece is a larger piece that really becomes a focal point of a room or a wall or maybe just a vignette. These items are NOTICED and can really "make" a room!! (Like the giant chalkboard in an antique frame in my kitchen--pic down below) (or the blue cabinet in my bedroom)
These are pieces that you LOVE, and I guarantee you'll gain a bigger and better impact for your space with a statement piece than you will with lots of cluttery tiny things.
Think about where it could go in your home. You don't have to have a specific decision right there at the garage sale :), but the truly best pieces are ones: that look great alone or in groupings, & can work in various rooms of your home in various ways!
(For example: a great old dresser could be an entry table, a dining room buffet, or actually be used in a bedroom as intended!)
Choose items based on what YOU LOVE, not what is "in". Just because everyone is going gaga for a certain item in all of the blogs and shelter magazines doesn't mean that you have to love it too!
Think about YOUR style, what works for YOUR family, and what YOU LOVE and go with that! In addition, don't be worried about what anyone else will think of an item if YOU love it!
Around 8 years ago or so, I bought a really cool bench made from an old door. I LOVED it!!! It was going out of my decorating comfort zone at the time, with all of the chippy deep faded pink and cream paint, but I had to have it! I placed it in my home's entry, and every one of my friends wanted to know "when are you going to paint it?"!! They were shocked when I said I was leaving it as is, but NOW they all love it and want to know where I've placed that piece every time we move!! :)
Actually use and love your fun finds!! The best way to enjoy your new find is to use it! Give it a fun new purpose and enjoy (like my Pepsi crate turned garden magazine holder!)! And then take a picture and blog about it so the rest of us can see too :)!!
ps-- I got the blue cabinet at a local antiques store. I don't think that the paint is original, it's been painted over several times. The glass in the door does look old with it's bubbles! I can use it in lots of ways in lots of rooms, and I LOVE it! :)