Antique, Vintage, Retro or Just Plain Old?

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Since I started curating items for my new shop I have often been asked, “What is the difference between Antique and Vintage?”   These terms get thrown around a lot today and can be not only confusing but also misleading. Considering that we often assign value to something given its classification or label, such as antique, it is important to understand the nuances so that you can be an educated consumer.

Antique – According to Merriam Webster, this describes a piece that is “belonging to earlier period, style or fashion.” Most authorities agree that it is at least 100 years of age or older and this must be verifiable.

Vintage – Defined by Merriam Webster as, “A period in which something is made or begun, such as a 1967 corvette or a 70’s pair of jeans.

Ruby Lane, an online antique and vintage market provides this explanation.

An item described as ‘vintage’ should speak of the era in which it was produced. Vintage can mean an item is of a certain period of time, as in “vintage 1950’s” but it can also mean (and probably always should) that the item exhibits the best of a certain quality, or qualities, associated with or belonging to that specific era. In other words, for the term vintage to accurately apply to it, an item should be somewhat representational and recognizable as belonging to the era in which it was made.” Ruby Lane also suggests that ‘vintage’ should not be used in reference to objects less than 20 years old.

Retro – Merriam Webster defines it as “looking like or relating to styles from the past.” Retro pieces such as furniture or clothing are not actually old but reference styles of the recent past. For example, bell-bottom jeans have recently come back into fashion. This of course is a nod to the bell-bottom style of the 70’s. However, a pair of jeans from the 70’s would not be considered retro, they would be considered vintage.

I thought it was important to put together a little tutorial that may be helpful as you’re out searching for that special treasure. Be careful not to fall in to the trap of being seduced by the label. The fact is, most sellers aren’t deliberately trying to mislead you. They just have a misunderstanding of the terminology.  So take the time to educate yourself and happy hunting.

Looking Past the Obvious

It’s no secret that the Kindel dresser is one of my favorite finds.  It just screams elegance and timelessness, so I started thinking about where it might fit in my home.  Our master bedroom seemed like the most obvious place, but I just love using beautiful pieces in more unexpected ways.  I find it truly gives my home the more eclectic feel I’m going for.  So thanks to my very strong and very patient husband, I had him move the dresser around the house for me.

First we moved it to our foyer.

kindel in entry                kindel in entry2

I think it looks beautiful there. What a perfect piece to create a dramatic entrance and be useful as well.  Just drop your keys in the little bowl and they will never get lost and store your gloves in one of the drawers.  Every morning, it;s just grab and go.

The next stop was our master bathroom.

kindel in bath

I just fell in love with it here.  Imagine seeing this every morning as you go in to the a shower.  Place your favorite bath sals and waves on the top and fill the drawers with some fluffy towels.  Keeps everything looking put together and  stylish.

Fun Ideas for Old Things

While I was out scouring for new and exciting pieces, I came across this very cool dry sink.  It is in beautiful condition and has such pretty inlaid tile.  While I know there is not necessarily the need for dry sinks any more, I got to thinking about the other possibilities for this piece.

dry sink 1   dry sink 2

Of course you could use it as a display piece or even as storage, but I was thinking this would make a really cool coffee station.  If your on Pinterest all the time like me, you have seen that these are all the rage.

To illustrate my idea, I bought a bunch of fun items to style it so that customers would be able to see beyond just the basic piece, but also one of it’s many possibilities.

dry sink 3   dry sink 4

Here are some other images of coffee stations to inspire you.

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Taking the First Step

I finally did it.  I took the first step into a new venture that has been a dream of mine for years.  I am opening my own little store and I couldn’t be more excited.  And nervous!

I have always wanted a store of my own.  A place I can nurture and grow.  A place where I can express my creativity and personal style.  So when the manager of a local antique market called and said a space was open I jumped at the chance. Now, the strange and wonderful part of the call is that it came at a  time when I had been feeling a little lost.  My son is in school all day and usually stays late for spots and clubs. My husband has a job that he loves and keeps him busy.  He also serves on a couple of boards which take him away a few nights a month.  As for me, I spend most of my days caring for our home, doing errands and trying to take care of my two men, probably more than they need me too.

Well, now it’s time for a new adventure just for me.

I saw a cute sign the other day.  It read, “She believed she could, so she did.”  That’s a great first step.

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Getting My Keys

When I finally received the keys to my new store I couldn’t have been more excited. I immediately rushed over to the space and began taking pictures and measurements. My mind started filling with ideas and thoughts about how I would layout the space, how I would decorate, where I would place the pieces I already have…

Then my husband, the practical man that he is, reminded me of all the work we had to complete first… licencing insurance, cable, electrical work… What a buzz kill. But he was right. First things first. So for a while I’ll just have to wait on all those ideas.

Here are some pics before I got my hands on it…

.Nest Interior 1

When you first walk in there are these ugly old staines white curtains covering the mechanicals.  Those definitely need to be replaced.  Above the curtains is a really nice wide shelf that will be great for displaying items.

nest interior 2

I really do love this safe door that connects to the next room.  In fact the back room was the safe at this old mill.  I should be well protected in there.

nest interior 3

This is the inside of the safe. Not pretty, but a nice clean palette for me to work with.