California’s eco-conscious shoppers turning to vintage

Reprinted with permission from the The Press Tribune of Roseville, Calif.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – They say that everything old is new again. With the vintage trend sweeping fashion, home décor and everything in between, the eco-conscious and penny-savvy are turning to their grandmothers’ pastime: antiquing.

“Flip open the catalogs for Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel and they’re all turning to this vintage, rustic look,” said Sandy Bryan, owner of The Tattered House in Roseville, Calif. “We have the same or similar styles, but they’re authentic and one of a kind.”

Rather than shopping at big box retail stores some are turning to antique stores for the kind of quality that only yesteryear can provide.

“These pieces have stood the test of time,” Bryan said. “They’ve transcended styles as they’ve come and gone and no matter what, they look great and are always ‘in.’”

Antique Trove shopper and Lincoln resident, Mindy Kruse says her home is decorated in relics from eras past because she craves the history and sentimentality of antiques.

“Everything has a story and you wonder where they’ve been,” Kruse said. “I like the older style and the quality of the craftsmanship you just can’t find at a reasonable price anymore.”

Depending on the age and condition, some antiques can be found at a bargain. Items like antiques house wares, some clothing, toys and small furnishings are often as much as 25 percent cheaper than retail stores boasting similar items said Antique Trove General Manager Gary Dean.

And it’s ‘green’ too.

Often called the ultimate in recycling, those who turn to antiquing not only find the unique and obscure, but also greatly reduce their carbon footprint.

“The resources have already been used to make (antique pieces),” said Deborah Candlish customer service representative at Roseville’s Antique Trove. “So you’re really being ‘green’ and saving resources when you shop antiques.”

According to a Carbon Footprint Analysis by Carbon Footprint Ltd. it takes 1,000 times more Carbon Dioxide to manufacture a new piece of furniture as opposed to reusing an older piece.

“Why would I buy something new when I can get the same look and reduce my impact,” Kruse said.

Those in the know have already seen the vintage styles in glossy magazines in the form of designer clothes or high-end furniture, but real antiquers know that there’s no topping the real-deal.


“Vintage and antique furniture is really what we’re seeing as hot items,” Candlish said. “There’s so many different styles to choose from and they’re made to last.”

Housewares, like mixing bowls and kitchen utensils are also popular because they can be used in home décor and are still usable after so many years. A unique collection of primitive house wares like rug beaters and kerosene lamps can be found at Auburn antique store Those Were the Days.

“They are really beautiful to look at and because they aren’t used anymore they are really unique antiques to have,” said sales associate Diane Pingree.

From Shabby chic to American rustic or European, it’s all been done before just choose a decade.

The Tattered House boasts a large selection of vintage living items and has become a monthly antiquing destination for self-described antique addict Konnie Danley who makes the trek from Folsom to stock up.

Bryan says customers can’t get enough of her vintage mirrors, chandeliers and hutches that are also the rave at big box retailers.

“No one wants their house to look cookie cutter,” Bryan said. “So vintage furniture is the way to go for that unique, individual look.”

Clothing and Jewelry

Playing dress-up is not just for kids anymore.

“I’ve seen the young kids come in just for the clothes,” Candlish said. “The styles have come back and the younger people know they can find them here.”

Old pillbox hats lined in satin, beaded clutches and rhinestone costume jewelry are just a few examples of treasures that can be found on an antique adventure. On rare occasions, Candlish said, vintage designer items will pop up while the norm is the smaller, boutique brands modeled after the high-end styles of the era.

“The pieces have been worn and there’s a sentimentality to owning antique jewelry,” Candlish said. “And the craftsmanship is still so beautiful after all these years.”


Collectors know that the only way to find the “piece de resistance” of their collection is the hunt.

Whether it’s a stamp, coin or military decoration collection a collector finds it’s often hit or miss with some antique and thrift stores, collectors are seeking out specialty antique stores to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Tin Soldier owner Ken Zimmer knows that his inventory of military items are not what most antique shoppers are looking for, but collectors beat a path to his door.

“It’s a specialty and those who collect (these antiques) know just where to go,” Zimmer said. “They come to me when they know what they’re looking for.”

Megan Wood is a staff writer for the The Press Tribune of Roseville, Calif.