Where To Find Antiques, Vintage and Thrift Furniture, Home Décor And More
by Patricia Mae Olson, home editor
Love the character, uniqueness and quality of antiques? So do I. Call me an old soul, but one of my favorite things is to spend a day antiquing. As I child, I loved exploring my grandparents’ antique-filled house and finding its beautiful treasures. And, I loved learning about antique furniture from my dad, who had many books on the subject.
Vintage and thrift finds can also be great. What’s the difference? An antique is a piece of décor, clothing, or furniture – or an accessory or artifact – that is 100 years or older. So right now, anything from 1923 or earlier is an antique. Vintage pieces are newer, but at least 20 years old. Anything less than 20 years old is a thrifted find, as long as it is gently used and in good condition. You’ll find those in thrift stores, often donated by their owners with proceeds going to charities.
Head down Route 30 and you’ll discover some beautiful antique, vintage and thrift stores. When shopping, have an idea of what you need, but don’t be too specific. Keep in mind that you can easily change fabrics, or paint things in new colors. And don’t be afraid to get dirty! Dig through boxes, peek around corners and have fun.
So, which are the Main Line’s best antique stores? Here’s my list of great shops with great finds.
Antiquities: This Wayne shop focuses on English antiques. You’ll discover beautiful, classic furniture, decor and even framed art. Antiquities also has a great assortment of vintage accessories that make for a well-appointed bar cart. 122 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne
Antique Store in Wayne: China, silver, decor, Oriental rugs, a bit of traditional furniture and great jewelry finds will keep you browsing this store for hours. 161 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne
Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift: Clothing, furniture, glassware, China, jewelry, pictures, toys and books are packed into this store. While “thrift” is in the store’s name, it frequently features vintage and antique furniture and home décor pieces. Even better: a portion of the proceeds benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital. 804 County Line Rd, Bryn Mawr
Chairloom: Definitely more modern than antique, Chairloom specializes in reupholstering vintage furniture with high-quality fabrics that transform chairs into statement pieces. The showroom features chairs of all kinds, from sofas to dining room chairs, armchairs and settees. 41 N. Narberth Ave., Narberth
Junior League of Philadelphia Thrift Shop: Only one-quarter of this shop is dedicated to home furnishings, but you can find some great buys. Lamps, tableware, artwork and more fill the front of the store. And, there are usually great holiday decorations – for almost every holiday. 25 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
Neighborhood League Shops: One of the upper Main Line’s favorite antique shops, Neighborhood League is filled with glassware, China, silver, crystal, fine art, lighting and jewelry. Hunt through the lower level to find vintage linens, small furniture, artwork, garden items and kitchenware. Proceeds of sales benefit an array of organizations, including Wayne Senior Center, Peter’s Place, and Radnor ABC. 191 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne
Penny Wise Thrift Shop: Operated by the Women’s Board of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, this shop’s inventory leans toward vintage and thrift, but there are often great antique finds. Be sure to explore the entire store. Some of the best pieces are hidden in nooks and crannies. 57 Lancaster Ave, Ardmore
ReDecor: With an aesthetic that is more modern than antique, ReDecor has become a great store for furniture finds. Here, you’ll find furniture for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms and outdoor spaces – and artwork. Now, there are two Bryn Mawr shops to shop; the original store at 880 W Lancaster Ave, has expanded to a second location at 874 W. Lancaster Ave.
Surrey Consignment Shop: Started as a shop that helped older adults downsize their homes, Surrey became so popular that it opened this shop more than 20 years ago. Here, you’ll find jewelry, furniture, China, crystal, silver and linens. Proceeds benefit older adults in the Main Line area. 810 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn
Velvet Shoestring: From Baker to vintage Palm Beach chic bamboo to mid-century Lucite and everything in between, Velvet Shoestring is known for its amazing furniture finds. The store is also known for its rotating inventory, because everything sells quickly. So, if you see something you love, act fast. 151 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne
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