Finding Vintage Furniture

Finding Vintage Furniture Mar 06, 2015 No Comments

I love the hunt!

Some of the most fun I have with Rarity Restorations is finding vintage furniture pieces at great prices.  Some pieces just “speak” to you and you can instantly see the potential beneath layers of paint and/or grime.  When I first began I thought I’d deal more with antique type furniture, but that was quickly replaced by mid-century modern pieces.  The lines, details, quality, and possibilities quickly drew me in.

I generally look for vintage and mid century furniture pieces that are made from quality wood that I can picture becoming a much treasured focal point for someone’s home.  I love the looks of a bold color that instantly draws your eye to that piece when someone walks into your home.  I specialize in quality one-of-a-kind pieces that will add character and sophistication to any home.

The search for these pieces is always fun because you really never know what you’re going to find.  Some of my favorite places to scope out are:

The Salvation Army.   Some people won’t even consider stopping into these stores and it’s really fortunate for us, I guess.  We have come across some amazing finds furniture-wise.  One of my favorite discoveries was a Kent Coffey credenza with matching night stand that I picked up as a birthday present for myself for less than $100.  It is from the Perspecta series and consists of 6 drawers in the center with doors on either end that open up to reveal 3 slide out drawers behind each one.  It’s an amazing find and I LOVE it as-is.  Another piece I kept for myself was a Mission Oak partner’s desk that I am currently using right now as I type this up.  It is gorgeous, well built, and has tons of character left from previous owners who no doubt spent plenty of time working at it.  This 1950’s Lane Liquor Cabinet was found at a Salvation Army when I didn’t even know that Lane MADE a liquor cabinet!

Finding Vintage Pieces - Lane Liquor Cabinet

Goodwill.  We just recently had a Goodwill opened in our community and they also have a great deal of marvelous finds just waiting for the right person with the inspiration to clean them up and turn them into something that will be a much loved piece in someone’s home or office.

Volunteers of America.  Again, they get some great donations that could be cleaned up or upgraded some in order to bring something simply amazing into your home.

Garage Sales/FB Group Garage Sales.  I love garage sales in the summer, but the introduction of local sale groups to Facebook has made sales a year-round possibility.  So much fun and you never know what you will end up finding!  These are all pieces originally found at garage sales or garage sale groups!

Finding Vintage Furniture - Weiman Table


Rarity Restorations Redo's

Craigslist.  There is actually a great Craigslist Pro app that I purchased for $1.99 that I absolutely LOVE.  It was the first app I ever actually bought and it has paid for itself many times over.  I have made a list of common searches that I look up and keep this handy.  I routinely search for credenzas, hutches, dressers, chests, armoires, retro, vintage, antique, etc etc.

Finding vintage furniture actually makes my heart skip a beat and I get butterflies in my stomach.  I tend to go with these gut reactions and haven’t been let down yet.  We usually give the piece a pretty good once-over to check for:

  • sturdiness
  • quality
  • the movement of drawers
  • if anything important is missing
  • any huge blemishes/problems that might not be easily fixable
  • and just the all around feel of the piece.
  • We open drawers and check for makers marks and often times use our phones to look up names we haven’t come across before.

The actual hardest part about re-doing custom furniture is having to sell them afterward!  I’m always a little bit sad to see them go but at the same time I LOVE seeing the excitement on the customers faces.

The whole process, from finding the piece to finishing the piece is a lot of fun.  Watching the transformations take place is something I very much enjoy.