I first learned about this cute and cozy concept while watching Gilmore Girls ages ago. An antique is any piece of furniture or decorative object created or produced in a former period (at least 100 years ago), but available on the market. Thus, antiquing consequently means to shop and collect antiques. I used to think that the tradition of antiquing was only a New England/East Coast pastime. However, in recent times, I have discovered that places like California also boasts antique shops. I did a little research online for antique shops in the Bay Area and discovered that most of the highly rated shops were centered in Walnut Creek. Now, those who have been my readers for some time know that I usually spend a weekend with my aunt and uncle in Walnut Creek every month. So this was a happy coincidence.
So last weekend, I planned a weekend of antiquing. Unfortunately, Walnut Creek was scorching in 101 degree weather and none of us had the stamina or the will to beat the heat and go antiquing. But, fret not readers. I have come up with a list of highly rated shops in Walnut Creek where you can spend a weekend hunting for a great find (reference to Phoebe Buffay here). Although, I personally didn’t visit these shops, they all boast a diverse and varied selection for any taste. Do note that in antiquing the inventory is constantly changing, so if you don’t find something to your liking on your first visit, you may be surprised the next time.
So here goes:
1. Sundance Antiques: Established in 1978, the Walnut Creek store has been open since 1988. They buy and sell all styles of American and European antique furniture from the 1850’s to 1930’s. They even restore, refinish and repair furniture for you. The place also boasts a vast selection of vintage and antique lamps, hundreds of pieces of porcelain, glassware, stained glass windows, mirrors, vintage luggage, purses, and furniture.
2. Quail Country Antiques: This charming shop offers selections from the East Coast with particular emphasis on form and condition. Their inventory includes quilts, rugs, textiles, stoneware, pottery, folk art, toys, paintings, vintage game boards and some furniture. This place doesn’t seem big on large furniture.
3. Shabby Creek on Main: At Shabby Creek you will find many styles of re-purposed, antique, vintage, cottage, rustic, garden, Victorian, shabby-chic, and unique home furnishings. Browse through all vendors to find items that have been designed with love. Vintage living is the design look of the moment-think Victorian. It’s perfect for any home and can be achieved with a few select pieces or a whole collection. They have items for all areas of your life, including the garden.
4. Room with a Past: This is my favorite vintage shop of all. I love the name because it reminds me of Virginia Wolfe’s “Room of One’s Own”, which I loved reading in college. So I was not surprised to see that the place sells a lot of New England furniture pieces. You will find an eclectic mix of vintage, European, farmhouse, cottage, industrial, mid-Century and garden styles here. You have to plan to visit this shop because it opens only four days a month, but it looks like a gem of a place. Owner and Interior Designer, Elaine Doran, brings 25 years of design experience to Room With A Past. She has worked at Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, and also as a professional stager. Elaine helped many clients integrate new and vintage pieces into their homes with items they already have and love, creating a cohesive decor. Elaine offers classes so that you can do it on your own, or you can request her for your personal consultation.
So if you are from the Bay Area or are visiting, do try to incorporate a little antiquing in your schedule. You won’t regret it. Happy Traveling!