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What is Vintage?

Is it antique? Vintage? Retro? When trying to nail down the correct title, age often determines value, as does the current trend and what’s in fashion at the moment.

Is it antique? Vintage? Retro? When trying to nail down the correct title, age often determines value, as does the current trend and what’s in fashion at the moment.

So, is it vintage or antique? Antique is typically defined as something that is 100 years or older. In the ‘80s and ‘90s vintage was used to describe anything that was not yet classified as antique. So it may be old but it’s not yet 100 years old. Vintage items are usually mid century modern style or related to a bygone pop culture.

But what about retro? Retro is used to describe items that are outdated and out of style. The Merriam Webster dictionary describes retro as anything that is “relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past: fashionably nostalgic or old fashioned.” So, can something be considered retro AND vintage? For sure!

Vintage can describe anything that is older and within a specific style. For example, if you’re at the local thrift store and find a retro 1950s barstool - that’s vintage.


There are so many advantages to buying vintage furniture or accents. Also, shopping for them is fun!

Vintage is Unique

For those of you that don’t want your home interior looking just like everyone else's on the block, make a statement with vintage accents, art, and furniture! You can find some really great pieces to complement the style that you already have going on in your home if you look really carefully. Here is some really great inspiration.

Vintage is Affordable

If you commit to your shopping, and do it in the right places (see our suggestions below), you can find great deals on vintage finds. Flea markets, thrift stores, hand-me-downs from family members are all great paths to finding inexpensive, fun, and unique vintage items for your home. See a list of some of the best flea markets here[1] .

Vintage is Eco-Friendly

It’s good for the planet. Buying used is always a good choice for eco-minded people. New items leave a hefty footprint on our environment.


Flea Markets

Look online for a local flea market or read our article[2] on which flea markets we think are the best. What we love about flea markets is that dealers come from all over to lay out their most recent items. You’ll find pieces at a flea market that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, you’ll find some screaming deals.

Thrift Stores

Thrift store items are donated and it’s hit or miss on whether you’ll find something that you like. You may have to visit a few times before you find what you are looking for. Insider tip - find out when your favorite thrift store puts out their new items. Mine does it on the first of the month. This is where you find all the good stuff. Grab it before someone else does!

Consignment Furniture Stores

Consignment shops are usually a bit more expensive than the thrift store because the previous owners get a cut of the sale. You’ll also find better quality items at the consignment shop. Again, you might have to visit often before you find that perfectly unique item, but it’s fun to keep checking to find out what they have! If you become friends with the salespeople, give them your number and a description of what you are looking for. They’ll give you a call when something comes in that might be of interest to you.

Garage Sales

You might find something at a garage sale, but that’s very rare. Look for neighborhood yard sales, when entire communities have garage sales over the course of one weekend. Then you won’t have to spend every weekend riding around in your car looking for that perfect item.

Online Retailers and Auctions

A great place to find vintage items if you are looking for something really specific is online. Plus, you get more of a selection as you’ll find items from all over the country.

Shopping for vintage, retro, and unique items for your interior design project may seem overwhelming at first.

Let us help you! We can offer consultations or do the shopping for you. Get in touch with us so we can help you with your next design project.



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