On a rainy day, there's nothing I love more than plodding out to a local antiques store to peruse crowded booths and cluttered stalls, hoping to score a diamond in the rough. It's satisfying to leave with the kilim rug that's been rolled up in a forgotten corner or scoop up the set of scientific fish illustrations that nobody else has deemed worthy yet. Shopping in these places feels simultaneously like a treasure hunt and a rescue mission. It often takes creativity to eliminate the visual clutter surrounding an object and imagine how it might work well in your own home, and that's part of the fun.
There's a practical reason to embrace shopping old right now too: With global supply chain and shipping issues, a new sofa or coffee table can take weeks, if not months, to arrive. Vintage and antique pieces, on the other hand, are readily available… hello, instant gratification!
Laurey W. Glenn To find coffee tables of the right size and scale, Phoebe used a decorator's secret: She started with antique dining tables and had the legs cut down to make them the ideal height.
Even so, mining for gems takes time and effort (two things I don't always want to give up) and that's why I also love shopping for vintage home goods and furnishings on Instagram. Here are the best Southern Instagram accounts to shop when you don't feel like digging through the estate sale or trekking to the antiques mall. (P.s. All of them ship.)
If you've paid any mind to the decorating trends of the past couple years, you've likely heard of "grandmillennial" style. It's the product of millennials (mid-twenties to late-thirty-somethings) borrowing from the visual vocabulary of the familiar past (i.e., their grandparents' homes): Think blue-and-white ginger jars, chintz fabrics, and needlepoint pillows. On Instagram and in her booth at Westside Market in Atlanta, Nicole Letts curates a playful mix of all those things that belong to the style, from tole vases and Herend bells to strawberry-embroidered luncheon napkins and beloved Junior League cookbooks. She hosts themed sales every Friday at 9 a.m. Eastern on Instagram.
Gryphon Estate Silver
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more impressive collection of estate silver than this one sourced by Beth Walker and her master silversmith husband, Dan, which includes the expected sterling (hand-engraved goblets and teaspoons) and the delightfully unusual (toast caddies and asparagus tongs). While their Instagram is always inspiring, they sell directly from their website, where you can also create a wedding or gift registry.
Birmingham, AL, and South FL
Seventh-generation Floridian Elizabeth Peelen Hutchinson now calls Alabama home, but she's brought the state's sunny style with her. She scours the coast to nab classically Florida finds, like Henry Link bamboo desks and Dixie wicker-weave campaign chests, and offers a high-gloss lacquer service to customize pieces in clients' chosen hues. She'll even color-match your fabric swatch! Make an appointment to shop her Birmingham studio in person.
Mary and Wilma
Named for her grandmothers, Beth Hubrich's shop is a thoughtful mix of offbeat finds (think wooden swans) and classic treasures (like caned etageres). In addition to posting video tutorials with helpful styling tips and tricks, she also hosts themed Instagram sales every Monday night at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Birmingham locals can also shop by appointment or during her scheduled open studio days.
One of a Find
Indecisive shoppers beware: nearly everything Courtney posts sells in minutes, so if you see something you like, claim it! You never know what you'll find on her feed (sometimes it's floral-print swivel chairs, other days it's a frog-shaped wicker lamp), but you can always expect good vintage condition. She also offers custom lacquer for the furniture she sells, like Drexel twin headboards or Thomasville highboys.