Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Local Treasure Hunting

This is something I've been meaning to post for a while. Every once in a while I'm asked where I find my treasures. Its probably only going to be of interest to a few locals, but I figured I'd post it here so that I can point those who are interested to it.

In Virginia:
Treasure Trove in Springfield, VA
- Its a really small place in a shopping center - actually a consignment store rather than a thrift shop. They sell a few decent things like milk glass, crystal, china, and furniture and they're generally on the higher side of what I like to pay, but its really close to where I live so I go there due to the convenience. This is actually where I bought the china cabinet that I used for a potting bench.

Unique Thrift Store, Falls Church, VA - That place is incredible. Its HUGE, like the size of a Wal-mart huge. They have a ridiculous amount of clothes and housewares. They have a lot of weird stuff (half empty shampoo bottles/toilet seats) and junk, but if you look past that, you can find great stuff. Sometimes they have really great furniture for next to nothing. The jewelery selection there is huge too. Items often move fast here. They also have stores in Wheaton and Silver Spring, MD but I've never been there so I can't say how they are in comparison. Some of the items I've gotten there include a handcrafted lamp made in France ...

A soup tureen and a covered dish ...

.... this tiny cloche ...

... and these vintage jewelry boxes just to name a few.

AmVets Thrift Store, Alexandria, VA - This place is hit or miss. I got a really nice glass bottle for $1 that I use for my dish soap. They have furniture, but the section is small. I actually found one of the white lace pillowcase in my living room there. They have jewelry too, but those items are pricy. It is a very popular place and its good if you're in the area, but I wouldn't make an effort otherwise.

The silver plated tray under this cloche was also acquire at this thrift store.

Those are places near me but Delaware is so much better. I pretty much stay away from the busy, touristy areas like Rehoboth because they're expensive especially on the main roads like Rt. 1. Its better to find the off-the-beaten-path places in smaller towns. Here is a list of places I shop in Delaware.

MLH Treasures, Harrington, DE - This is an antique store with the traditional booths for each seller. They have a lot of good stuff but it can be expensive. It depends on the booth and just plain luck. If you like good antiques rather than having to sift through thrift stores, this is a better place.

My favorite finds from MLH Treasures ... This lace edge milk glass cake plate ...

And, a set of shell dishes you can see here ...

The Clutter Box, Harrington, DE - Its a little shop in the middle of the tiny town. Very quaint. TONS of housewares and jewelry. I got all the milk glass chickens in my kitchen there. They have great stuff like old bottles, tins, etc. very reasonably priced.

God's Way Thrift Store, Milford, DE - This place is a little treasure. Its a thrift store, but they have so many vintage items. Lots of milk glass and crystal. They have a lot of dishes from the 50s. The linen apron on the dress form in my dining room, was an aquisition for $3.50. I also got some beautiful silver plated serving pieces for $2 each. Their furniture selection is limited but I actually got this great, huge, old chair with beautiful carved wood details. I need to have it professionally reupholstered, but it was only $30. A few more items ...
Tea pot ($3.50 if I remember right).

Punch bowl with 12 glasses ($6).

All the milk glass bowls, mugs and the egg dish - very inexpensive.

Bean Furniture, Milford, DE - This place has a lot of furniture and a country shop on one side, but the impressive part is the second floor attic area. TONS of vintage housewares items on the second floor. I got a white pitcher and bowl made by Homer Laughlin from the early 1900s for $30 (below). I really like going to this place to look, but the stock doesn't change much. Its definitely worth a look if you've never been there though.

Canterbury Used Furniture, Felton, DE - Furniture, furniture, furniture! They have some vintage items but this place is fantastic for used furniture. The corner cabinet from my half-bath came from here and it needed a paint job, but it was only $75. I also got my mannequin and french desk (below) here. This is the place to go if you want to look at a lot of furniture.

As far as flea markets, I highly recommend the D.C. Big Flea in Chantilly, VA. Its held at the Dulles Expo Center several times a year. They have 2 huge buildings and I've been there during times when both buildings are full of vendors. The last time I went a couple of months ago, there was only 1 full building but I still got a lot of great stuff and I saw Eddie Ross there so it must be good, right? On my last visit in October, I got the old Edgar Allen Poe books and the birdcage in my living room among other things.

I also have quite a few of these crown jars from the flea.

If you live in the area, try the Eastern Shore sometime if you haven't already. Just go and have a fun day exploring the towns off the beaten path. I know everyone hates crossing the bridge, but you can probably find better deals there and you don't have to fight crowds to do it.

Happy Hunting!


  1. Hi there-
    I love you blog and check it often! I am laughing at myself right now, I have that tiny cloche as well, but it's sitting in a metal stand like a candle holder. Why I didn't think to flip it over is beyond me! Doing it rigtht now! Thanks- Krista
    ps- I gotta get me some of those crown jars...drooling.

  2. Melanie....
    love your post!
    How tall is your bird cage?
    I have one exactly like it,in dark wood, which I picked up while living abroad eons ago..
    mine is about 3 feet high!
    I had thought about spray painting it white, and probably will do so now that Ive seen yours..
    thanks again for sharing those fab locations..
    you just never know when some of us might be headed to that destination..
    warm hugs, laughing smiles..

  3. Wow, this is amazing. I had to do a double take when I saw the larger sized jewelry box that you found. I think my mother has the exact jewelry box that she received as a gift back in the 50's. Her has yellowed a little with age, but I am pretty sure it is the same one. Now, this is going to drive me crazy until I go over to her house & look at hers.


  4. Even though I probably won't make to any of those places in the near future I always love hearing reviews and what most people find in various places. Your milk glass collection is to die for!!!
    But you are soooo right, these things have to be hunted down. They are definitely not just sitting on a pretty table waiting to come home with you LOL.
    Great idea for a post~

  5. Loui,
    My birdcage is only about 18" tall. 3' must be incredible! I love the chippy look of mine, but its chipping a little too much so I may have to paint it at some point.


  6. Tracy,
    Those jewelry boxes are the greatest. They don't look very big, but they hold so much! I'm hoping I find more of them because they're fantastic.


  7. I just found your blog, and have thoroughly enjoyed looking at it. We don't make it up that way too often, but if we get a chance the places you mentioned would certainly be worth a visit. My hubby would appreciate it. He's used to my saying at the last minute, "oh that looks like a great place! Wanna turn around?"

  8. Wow, you have made the rounds! Everything is gorgeous. Your home is magazine-worthy and all of your treasures fit right in. Thanks for sharing this post. There is so much eye candy and inspiration, here.

  9. i totally love all your thrift store finds and your arrangements of ornaments is giving me idea for my own house!
    just gorgeous! definitely in love with the hutch!!


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