Be forewarned - I have a little bit of a vent in this post. If you don't want to hear me complaining, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the post and answer the question I'm posing.
I understand that proper antiques are expensive. They should be! They were prized pieces to begin with that have been lovingly tended to for decades and remain in pristine condition. So you'll hear no argument from me when I walk into a fine antiques boutique and do a double take on the prices.
But there is another kind of object that isn't really an antique by my definition. Those are the kind of pieces that have grown dusty in grandma's attic or gotten beaten about in the garage for the past 50 years. They aren't in great condition and require a good deal of work before they can be presentable again. They started their life as distinctly not fancy and are now just a couple of steps from junk. So lets call these "junktiques".
These junktiques are the kinds of things I go searching for. I don't care a wit about pedigree. In fact, the idea of having a expensive heirloom in my possession is positively off putting! I just want something with a little bit of character that I can put my own decorative stamp on and prolong its useful years. Ive spent the better part of a year keeping my eyes open for just these kinds of pieces. Specifically, Ive been on the look out for furniture that I could use in my bedroom but keeping an open mind on other things too. And what do I have for my efforts? Nothing!
Its not for lack of looking, its for complete outrage at the price of some of these junktiques. No matter how disgusting the store, how poorly displayed, how lackluster the piece, I am always shocked at the price. Case in point, I visited a complete mess of a store not far from my house. Furniture stacked up on top of each other all the way to the ceiling. Friendly shop keeper staked out in front with a black and white television and portable heater. No posh customer service, no pretty displays , no heat, florescent lighting, etc. The scene was set for good deals as far as I was concerned. I found a great set of nightstands that needed to be painted and restored a bit but I was willing to put in the effort. Oh shopkeeper - how much are these two? $3600!!! WHAT???? These two tables here that aren't finished are $3600??? Yep. Clearly, I had picked the one set that was fancier than the rest. So I kept looking around finally finding something in the basement that was dinged up pretty badly. Surely these would be the bargain basement finds I was looking for. The price? $1100!! WHAT????
Similar scenes have played out all year long at other junk shops and flea market spread across the tri-state area. Perhaps I'm just really cheap but I just can't bring myself to spend thousands of dollars on pieces that need at least a few hours of serious elbow grease and have no inherent value.
Maybe I am looking in the wrong place? I don't believe its just bad luck on my part - the kind of place Im looking for HAS to be out there.
Do you have a favorite juntique shop that you can recommend? Preferably within driving distance and with enough selection to make the trip worthwhile. Did you score a great deal on something you love?