Updated: Sep 3, 2021
There’s something very charming about vintage. Rummaging through vintage markets and estate sales searching for treasures has become a favourite activity for me. The vintage trend continues to grow in popularity - it’s getting downright competitive to scoop up cool vintage goods. Just what is it about vintage goods that is so appealing? I am a big fan of retro design and often find inspiration from vintage things when I am creating my artwork, so this is a question I have recently been asking myself. These are my top 5 reasons for being drawn to vintage.
1. Nostalgia. Vintage pieces remind me of the “good old days” when I was a kid. When I am in a vintage shop, I often see things that we had in our home or that were in my grandparents’ homes when I was young. I love the warm fuzzy feeling of seeing things that transport me back to familiar places and fond memories.
2. It’s environmentally responsible. Because there is a market for buying and selling vintage furniture and items, it gives old things new life and saves them from a permanent end in the landfill. Many vintage goods I find still have a “Made in Canada” stamp or label reminding me that they helped sustain local industry and create opportunities for Canadians. I endeavour to support local businesses and makers who create handmade, small batch goods. Buying close to home saves on transportation and shipping which is a good thing.
3. The thrill of the hunt. Shopping today is usually as easy as a click of the mouse and waiting for a delivery to arrive at the door. Convenience and guaranteed selection is great, but the reward of searching around and finding a specific, unique vintage piece is amazing. Each time I look at a piece I worked hard to find makes me appreciate the time I invested and I feel grateful that it found its way into my home.
4. Quality. It’s more than classic, timeless style that makes vintage appealing. Years ago, things were built to last, and it shows. Solid construction, quality materials and durability made goods have a long life to live. Many times , items received as wedding gifts were used for an entire lifetime. Serving trays, glasses and dishes were hand-washed and used for countless entertaining functions. Furniture was polished and cared for so it lived in a home as long as the homeowners.
5. Everything has a story. I am a big fan of stories. When I look at a vintage piece, I always wonder who owned it and what hands it has passed through. I like to think I am honouring the person who owned something before me by bringing it into my home to display, use and cherish. The unique quality of the vintage items I purchase often stir up conversations when someone visits my home. It’s an opportunity to share a story or reminisce about the past.
Links to my favourite local vintage shops in Calgary, Alberta.
Mr. Mansfield Vintage
Ella Grace Marketplace
Inside Avenue Antiques