Antiquing: Tactical Planning!

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Ya all know what time of year it is? It’s antiquing and vintage shopping time, and let’s not forget the yard sales. I’m crazy about this! And I mean crazy! I seriously love antique shopping, so much so, I’d consider it a hobby. But let me tell you, I don’t mess around. I’m a serious antique lover and shopper. I love having a mix of old and new in my home so finding the right pieces are important to me. I’ll share with you my tactical plan and how I get my head screwed on straight when surrounded by so many beautiful things. When you’re shopping, it is SO easy to get distracted. Remember me, sitting on your shoulder saying STAY FOCUSED!!! I promise, you’ll love me later.

Above Image: Our entry way with antique sectary. I believe this piece from the 1800s. The accessories are from my personal collection, similar can be found here: Skull, Cloche, Painting and Figurine.

Frame of Mind

Are you a targeted shopper or a browser? Know why you’re shopping so you can stay focused. We all go through different phases in our life, for instance, we have a new house. I have to shop for very specific things, so I’m a targeted shopper. Before we moved and our loft was stuffed to the gills, I was a casual shopper. You know, just looking for something amazing that caught my eye. Nothing wrong with either, but I will say, I tell myself no casual shopping if I have specific things I need. If you don’t say focused it blows your budget and you have nothing you came for. I will place the exception on what I call the ‘heart swell’ pieces. Those are the finds that you know you’d love everyday, but you don’t know exactly what to do with them.

Tool Kit!

Keeping organized is your BFF when you are standing in the middle of a cow field thinking, “IDK, maybe this will fit in that corner.” We’ve all been there. Don’t do that to yourself. Ever. Here’s how you prevent that from happening.

Carry Kit

  • Smart Phone, so you can look at Pinterest and your notes app.
  • Check Book, cause I can’t believe people still take checks. Go with the flow.
  • Notebook and Pen, put your color swatches in your notebook and a pen for taking notes or writing checks. Remember to take dealers cards you like and put them in your notebook.
  • Measuring tape, cause this is serious business.
  • Measure your car interior, you’ll hug me later when you think: can I fit that?
  • Hand sanitizer, I’ll dig through the oldest, dirtiest pile of junk with you. Promise. Then we’ll sanitize in sync.

Car Kit

  • Furniture blanket, you can buy them at most hardware stores, or old blankets work too.
  • Rope or bungee cords
  • Roof rack straps
  • Pool Noodle or Foam Pipe Sleeve, if you want to use your roof rack. This is a good way to pad so you don’t damage the piece or your car.


Evernote: I use this program for my LIFE. I keep a list of what I need, then take pictures of key areas of my house, and include the measurements with Skitch. I put a screenshot above. This will change your life, seriously. Take a weekend morning and do your whole house. I also make a separate list of what I need with rough sizes and information. I have a note with my car measurements as well.

Pinterest: I have a secret board in Pinterest with some of my favorite vintage designers. I love a good designer piece, so I’ll pin the designers’ work, and look up some quick baseline prices. This especially works if you like big ticket items. I’m going to use an extreme example, so here goes. I get weak in the knees for chairs by designer Pierre Paulin. He makes these leather chairs and formed fabric chairs that I kinda die over. The fabric chairs are extremely expensive, rightfully so. I pinned two chairs in grey blue fabric, for $11,500, because I know (!!!!) that if I saw those same chairs someone else for less it would be the deal of a lifetime. A lady can have a wish list, so I use Pinterest to keep track of mine. If you’re a splurger from time to time, it helps keep a level head over a good splurge vs a regret splurge.


  • If you’re out in the country like me, don’t dress like a NYer and go to barn sales. Dress it down people. Also, leave your Vuitton handbag at home.
  • Bargin, especially if you’re getting multiple things. If you’re in a store where people buy space, this is not likely to happen so use your judgement.
  • If you want it, but it, now. Don’t dilly dally and ‘come back later’. That’s death in antique shopping. If you are unsure, you risk it not being there.

We’re getting ready to head to Brimfield in a few weeks. We’ll be meeting up with the team at Wayfair to chat about the design industry after a long day of shopping.  I hope you have fun getting out this spring and summer to yard sales, antique stores, garage sale, stoop sales and thrift stores.

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