Creating a Vintage Look for Less

It seems these days many households are turning to vintage design for their home furnishings. The latest trends towards 40’s, 50’s and 60’s inspired design have caused quite the frenzy in the vintage shopping scene. They have even spawned an onslaught of second hand stores, used furniture shops and even on-line vintage boutiques. Not too long ago antiquing was all the rage. But with it came steep prices, long periods of foraging and sometimes heated battles at local auctions. “Vintaging” seems to be the new antiquing and no matter where you live, there is a shop, an estate sale or too cute for words boutique filled with second hand treasures.

In the beginning, most people turned to vintage shopping for not only the vintage look, but also the cheap price tag. One could pick up a 1940s style buffet for as little as 40 dollars. Add to that the craftsmanship and quality, which highly exceeded that of furniture made today, and you’ve acquired quite the bargain piece. At one time you could find couches for under $100, arm chairs for $20 and end tables for around 15 bucks. Sadly those days are gone.

The popularity of second hand décor has now created such a buzz that vintage stores are jacking up their prices to meet current demands. A vintage retailer can forage estate sales and find primo pieces for little money. Once back at the store they cost those pieces 70-150 percent above actual cost. And yes, people will pay for it. And some will even try to outbid another buyer for it.

So what to do if you still want that vintage quality and appeal, but don’t have the income to pay the exceedingly high prices for it? A great place to start is, where else -the Internet. Here are a few of the online vintage retail stores that can help you make the most of your vintage bartering and shopping.

Two Jakes – Located in Brooklyn, this little gem specializes in furniture for your home and office, and their online store,, is easy to navigate. They have great photos of all things vintage on sale, and their prices are still well within the affordable range.

Century Modern – as the name implies, this shop specializes in more of the modern aesthetic from the 50’s. Their website,, features everything from bookcases and bedroom sets, to kitchen design and collectable accessories. – if you haven’t heard of Etsy yet, you need to. This online store is a selling platform for artists and designers all over the world, and some of them are selling their pieces at a fraction of the cost of local retailers. You can find furniture handmade now with a vintage aesthetic or the real deal by a collector. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Deciding to decorate your home in vintage fashion can be costly, but can be a better alternative than buying new. Seeing how sustainability is all the rage, and rightfully so, buying used or recycled anything is doing a great service to the environment. You can take comfort thinking of all those trees you are saving by not buying a bookshelf made from particle board.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Ernest Thompson, a Aloha dentist.

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