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Thrifting for a Vintage Aesthetic

Looking for ways to decorate your home and garden on a dime? Shopping at the local thrift stores, flea markets, and antique malls is a great way to save money and decorate with a unique vintage aesthetic. Wait until you see what I found thrifting this month!

Thrifting is one of the best ways to find unique items for your home and garden.

You may be surprised by cool things you can find at thrift stores.

Whether you thrift for your closet or your garden and home, it’s an excellent way to find cool pieces that fit into your personal style.

Not to mention, it’s a great way to save money!

With my new home and garden, Chris and I are looking for ways to decorate with a vintage aesthetic on a dime.

Our new-to-us 1850 farmhouse has a rustic elegant feel to it that is slightly different from my former home.

There are more spaces to decorate both inside and out.

So we hit the local thrift store almost every week looking for larger antique furniture pieces and decor.

But now that the outdoor flea market is open again in Vermont?

We are doing a lot of shopping there too.

Because they seriously have the coolest stuff in New England.

Wait until you see what I found for my home and gardens!

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What Does it Mean to Go Thrifting?

In general, going thrifting means shopping for discounts on gently used items at a thrift store, flea market, or garage sale.

Where and how you thrift largely depends on the opportunities available where you live.

Because I have found the pickins are much different in various locations around the country.

We have a home in Vermont, so I thrift in New England often.

And let me tell you, the pieces found there are drastically different than what you will find in New Jersey.

old oil lanterns at the antique flea market on wood shelves

What is the Difference Between Antique & Vintage?

Before we head out to the outdoor antique flea market, we should briefly cover the difference between what is antique and what is considered vintage.

In general, items must be at least 100 years old and in original condition to be considered antiques.

Whereas vintage items are at least 20 years old but not more than 100.

Simply put, vintage by definition, means old or of age.

When I’m thrifting around for vintage or antique pieces, I’m not really concerned about the age of a piece per se.

But am looking more at the character and whether or not it would add interest to my home and garden.

And the more budget-friendly the piece, the better!

Sign outside the Wilmington, Vermont Antique & Flea Market -Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas
Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas

Thrifting for a Vintage Aesthetic in Vermont and New Jersey

With all the bargain shopping I’m doing lately, I’m finding lots of cool and unique items for my home and garden.

Wait until you see what I found!

Vintage Aesthetic Finds at the Outdoor Antique Flea Market in Vermont

Whenever we visit Vermont, we make it a point to shop the outdoor antique flea market in Wilmington, Vermont.

A wide range of items are sold at the market.

From vintage pieces to jams and tee-shirts, there’s something at the flea market for everyone.

Sometimes they have more vendors than others. And how many show up also depends on the weather.

The holiday weekends are typically much larger than other weekends, but it really just depends.

We found some cool vintage pieces that I bought for the garden.

Cause you know I never pass up pretty vintage garden treasures.

old trunks found at the outdoor flea market in vermont with a vintage aesthetic

While walking around I found these gorgeous trunks. You can use them for so many different things like storage, coffee tables, and even as a planter.

I considered bringing one home, but wasn’t really feeling it this time, so we kept walking on.

But take a look at these gorgeous vintage galvanized cans!

old gavanized buckets sold at the outdoor antique market that have a vintage aesthetic

They make the perfect planter.

But are also beautiful vessels for fresh cut flowers.

I LOVE the really big ones too, don’t you?

They make a great cottage garden accent piece if you plant it up in a garden.

The aged galvanized metal would add visual interest and break up the flowers to create more character.

Since I’m still working on my gardens, I opted for a smaller galvanized bucket instead to hold some cut flowers instead.

At one time someone painted it, but you can see the paint is wearing off.

I love the look and it would be so pretty filled with flowers on my pretty bistro table.

porcelain pots for plants sold at the outdoor antique mall that has a vintage aesthetic

While walking around my husband and I found these gorgeous porcelain pots.

Aren’t they so cool?

The vendor wanted $100 for each, so I said no thanks.

As cool as they are, I didn’t want to spend the money on them today.

old wood bird cage found at outdoor antique flea market in vermont and has a vintage aesthetic.

But then I found this cool wooden birdcage.

The vendor was trying to sell me on it as a birdcage.

You know what I’m doing with it, don’t you?

I’m going to flip it into a cool planter and maybe bleach that wood because I’m not a fan of the orange glow.

vintage dinnerware sold at the outdoor antique flea market in Vermont

Looking back I should have bought this old china set.

That pattern is beautiful.

But you know when you’re shopping around and not really feeling like buying a lot so you don’t?

The vendor wanted like $130 for it.

I already snagged the birdcage and bucket so I wasn’t spending on the money on this set at the time.

Plus, I already have two sets of china at home. So Chris talked me out of it.

I can’t take him with me. LOL!

vintage milk crates and butter churn at outdoor antique mall

Thrifting for a Vintage Aesthetic at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in New Jersey

If you happen to have a Habitat for Humanity Restore but haven’t shopped at it yet, you are missing out!

Not only do they have great deals on lots of antique furniture and other cool household items, but the money you pay is given to a worthy cause.

I’m telling you they have some great stuff!

And I love the one in Manville, New Jersey.

furniture section at the thrift shop - old wood cabinet with hutch has vintage aesthetic

I’m looking for something I can use as a front entry hall table, so I immediately hit the furniture section of the Restore.

They get some really interesting pieces there.

I found this vintage gingerbread mold for $50 and thought it would look great as wall decor.

close up of vintage gingerbread mold found at thrift shop

But I also found this gorgeous green chandelier!!!

Oh my goodness, isn’t it glorious?

I couldn’t justify spending the money on it today when we don’t really need it but now that I’m gone?

I really want it. So if it’s still there when we go back, it is meant to be and I’m totally buying it.

Maybe I could hang it in the sunroom to add a little pop of color?

thrift shop find - gorgeous green glass chandelier has a boho and vintage aesthetic.

And how about this pretty old lamp I found.

I love the lines, crystals and pretty floral design on it.

If I was little further along with my decorating inside my home, I would have bought it.

But I’m not totally sure where I’d use it, so I didn’t buy it.

old lamp with a vintage aesthetic found at the thrift shop with crystals on a wood table
Vintage Silver tea pot and coffee pot on silver tray at the thrift store

And how gorgeous are these vintage silver tea and coffee pots on the platter?

They caught my eye pretty early during this thrift store trip.

Have a few silver coffee pots already that are similar to these, so I didn’t buy it but gosh are they beautiful.

And they make unique vessels for fresh flowers too!

white punch bowl found at thrift shop

I also found this gorgeous punch bowl with mugs that I considered using as a centerpiece vessel.

It was $40 and honestly, if it was $20 I would have bought it.

I don’t need the mugs and this piece was not worth the price to me.

As we were heading out, I noticed this old wood bassinet.

Do you see what I see?

A planter.

Wouldn’t that be so cute all potted up on a porch or corner of a room?

I already have that vintage stroller all potted up, so I don’t want to go overboard on the concept, but it would be so adorable as a planter.

row of dishes, bowls and mugs sold at the thrift store

Wait Until You See What My Friend Found Thrifting This Month Too!

My good friend Jennifer from Cottage on Bunker Hill in New Hampshire shared ways to add whimsy to the garden with vintage finds.

Isn’t her garden adorable?

I love the vintage aesthetic she used with kiddie shoes, old shovel and coat to make a scarecrow.

Oh and my good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells in Washington State shared some vintage finds that she discovered during her travels abroad in Greece and Italy.

I need to make this trip – it looks like she had the best time!

And the color of those vintage doors is so pretty.

close up of gray blue vintage doors in Europe with aged building

And my good friend Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home in Kansas shared her favorite thrift shop finds for the garden.

Amber has such a beautiful garden too.

Wait until you see how she blends her vintage finds with pretty plants and flowers.

vintate cottage garden birdbath with thrift store finds, hydrangeas and flowers showing a vintage aesthetic

Want to See More Thrifting Adventures

If you enjoy thrifting as much as I do, wait until you come along for some of the adventures.

Come see what I found while thrifting around for the garden!

old wood crates I found while thrifting at the vintage market

Do You Love a Pretty Flower Garden Too?

There is nothing quite like mixing vintage pieces with a pretty flower garden.

They add a lot of character and interest. Not to mention, garden decor gives the eye a place to rest and break up the blooms.

Want to learn ways to grow a gorgeous flower garden that where you can mix your thrift store finds?

Here are more cottage garden tips, tricks, and inspiration.

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close up of old lamp with flowers and crystals on it on wood table with a vintage aesthetic
close up of vintage silver teapot and silver coffee pot on serving platter at thrift shop and has a vintage aesthetic
close up of old silver teapot and silver coffee pot on a silver serving platter with vintage details

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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8 Comments

  1. Yes to the birdcage…great find!! The planters were way too much…I’m sure he will be sitting on them the next time you go to that flea market. The green chandelier was pretty cool…hanging in the sunroom? I can’t remember the ceiling in there. My ReStore is just plain sad compared to yours!!!

    1. That vendor is a little overpriced and he gives a whole backstory on why it’s so expensive with every piece. That green chandelier was so cool- if it wasn’t so expensive I wouldnt’ have thought twice but if its there when I go back I will get it – it’s just too cool!

  2. Wow! I wish we had an outdoor flea market like you do Stacy. I can’t believe the collections they offer! I especially love the vintage pieces you’ve used in the garden.

    1. You would love it there – it’s not huge but they have some cool stuff. I can’t wait to do something with the birdcage – that is on my list for next week!

  3. That flea market in Vermont looks like such fun! Vintage/antique shopping in New England really is the best!

    1. I agree – coming from NJ we don’t have the same goodies as New England. When I went to Roundtop, Tx they had incredible finds too, but I’m partial to NE. I’d love to get to Brimfield one of these days!

  4. This post makes me want to hit the junkin’ trail RIGHT NOW! So many great tips, especially for those who are new to thrifting vintage and antiques. I would love to thrift where you are! I love those little painted pots and I would probably lose sleep passing over that green chandy, since I green is my fave!

    Such a great post! Thank you so much for including me in the thrifting blog fun!

    1. Thank you so much! For a small flea market they have a lot of great stuff and hard to choose what to get! I love the birdcage though and can’t wait to fix it up with some plants!!!