When I go to an antique fair, I sometimes go incognito, then I photograph all of the things I love, or the things that inspire me.
What I truly love about outdoor antique fairs is the exposure to other people’s conversations. I’m not eavesdropping on purpose. But one can’t help overhearing the most interesting observations with so many persons milling about inspecting, inquiring, and always commentating. I find it fascinating. I find people fascinating, with all of their different tastes.
I have perused several of the the larger local antique fairs in the past month, and I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve found inspirational. Some can be recreated right at home.
Take a tour with me.
I spotted this mirrored coat rack made from architectural salvage. It reminds me of the coat rack I made with an old headboard. You can see that project right here.
Look at these beautiful conch shells that someone has carefully embellished with pearl string. They’ve been mounted on secondary clam shells and they make quite a pair. They were very large shells, about 8 inches tall, and so very pretty up close.
How about these hand painted nightstands? Look what some bun feet, appliqués, and a distressed and hand painted surface can do to enhance a simple piece.
Do you love copper teakettles as much as me? Like the song, “…bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.” They are one of my favorite things too.
This copper chest adds just the right amount of traditional style with modern glitz.
I’m like a moth to a flame with beautiful silver. Oh, to have an entire collection and a hutch to display it in.
This was a clever idea. Broken china applied in a mosaic on silver platters. Great DIY project.
I’d love to have one of these around my house. I appreciate anything that can multitask. This handy cart can hold craft supplies one day and serve cocktails the next. Someday I’ll find one for myself.
Look at what you can make with a door, a cabinet, and some hooks. You could find a 30” wide door and 30” wide cabinet at a home improvement store, attach them, trim them with baseboard, then prime and paint them both. The mirror and cushioned seat are an added bonus. What a marvelous hall tree for a foyer or narrow wall space. This is another fabulous DIY project.
Aren’t these so pretty? These plant stands can go anywhere. They’re so perfect for a covered porch or a sunroom. They’re surface is just big enough to sit next to a gorgeous chair and hold a beverage and your favorite read.
I liked this chalkboard shadow box hung with checkered ribbon on a brightly painted French door.
Here’s a shadowbox end table – a great conversation piece for whatever is displayed inside.
Some colorful collections of starfish and spools of ribbon.
A painted window is always a nice way to welcome guests. All you need is a salvaged widow and some paint designed for glass (available at craft stores) and you’re in business. Stamps would make it easier to perfect the letters, like I used for these monogrammed plates. Imagine this hanging from a porch or positioned in an entry, or on top of a hutch. Charming !
Here’s another pair of nightstands that I adored. Look how they’ve been painted a cream color, then given a coffee glaze over the edges and in the detail.
How about these chairs? A little old fashioned without the paint, but all of a sudden with this turquoise shade, they are so darling. Add some fabulous fabric cushions and they make for a lovely dining space. Put some blue decorative glass on your tabletop, and pop! Perfect.
Speaking of paint, this is my new favorite treatment. When I saw this today, I just knew I was so right to paint my brother’s nightstand and dresser in these tones. It’s a mushroom taupe shade, then it’s been given a subtle metallic glaze on the deco panels. This is my absolute favorite look from today.
These are all the rage right now, and I liked this golden version of a giant fork and spoon. They would be so fun in a dining space, or in a restaurant.
I nearly handed over my credit card when I saw these. I love them. Don’t know where I’d ever put them. But I love them. Don’t ask me why. I just love them.
I’ve been looking for one of these sunburst style mirrors, but this one was just too small. I’m still on the hunt.
I’m such a sucker for seltzer (or is it spritzer?) bottles. Look at these colors. I liked the lavender one best – it was so unusual. Almost like mercury glass. But it was $120 dollars. So I put it down. Fast. But not too fast.
This retro outdoor set just screams “I Love Lucy”. And since I love Lucy, I sure love these too. They were vinyl. They were hysterical. C’mon, something inside of you likes them too.
One vendor who makes all of his wares out of salvaged goods. This was his latest creation: slatted wood coffee table trimmed with iron decorative grills. Very cool cottage style.
Another stunning bench made out of a headboard. My favorite is the scalloped detail.
Look at this old wooden carousel horse, displayed in a frame constructed from a salvaged fence. It was huge. And it was quite a piece of art.
Then there was this bust that reminded me of a Degas sculpture.
Of course, I had to drool over the Bakelite Lady’s impressive collection.
Here are some bulletin boards made out of coffee sacks.
A butcher block table made from an old desk. Great for a kitchen island.
These are planter boxes formed out of decorative fence posts.
And these antique carved panels would add big impact to any space.
That’s just a glimpse of some of the great pieces on display. I hope you found one or two inspiring. Did you have a favorite? Do tell.