32 Philly-Area Stores Where You Can Score Antique and Vintage Furnishings
Now that we spend more time than ever at home, there’s a renewed fervor for making our personal spaces feel truly personal — and that kind of soul can’t be bought at Target. Thankfully, the Philly area is full of ridiculously wonderful antiques dealers and under-the-radar vintage spots that’ll fill your home with character. (And that’s even before you get out to Lancaster and Lambertville.) Here, our favorite resale resources for scoring interior design finds right now — and a few of the Philadelphians who devote their days to picking through the refuse so you don’t have to. Happy hunting!
The pros do the finding for you at these stylish spots.
Brewerytown’s best-kept vintage shopping secret is this weekend-only marketplace, where Tawfeeq Gaines brings together an ever-evolving roster of clothing, furniture, art and home-decor vendors who specialize in bold, poppy twists on mid-century and Americana styles. 3101 West Glenwood Avenue, Brewerytown.
At Laura Weiszer’s 4,000- square-foot warehouse, quirky finds from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s are arranged into playful vignettes that would look right at home in an Urban Outfitters catalog (which makes sense, considering the brand has rented her stuff for photo shoots). Shop online, or book a private appointment to visit IRL. 3232 Collins Street, Port Richmond.
The bad news: All four locations of this Philly chainlet, beloved for its reasonable prices and eclectic assortments, are currently closed to indoor shopping. (Thanks, COVID.) The good news: Merch is posted almost hourly on the store’s Instagram (@jinxedstore), where you can also get updates on sporadic socially distant sidewalk sales. Jinxedphiladelphia.com.
The Modern Republic
Pre-pandemic, Kenya Abdul-Hadi and Steve Brown mostly sold at the Brooklyn Flea in New York. Now, they’re the primary furniture vendor at Search+Rescue, where Philadelphians turn up for their classic-meets-cool collection of mid-century finds popped with period-appropriate hues (like avocado green and burnt orange). Themodernrepublic.etsy.com.
Joseph Donahue’s Manayunk shop is primarily consignment, and it has a substantial furniture selection — sofas, desks, sideboards — that’s refreshed about once a week. 4313 Main Street, Manayunk.
From vintage wine racks to leather poufs and vinyl dining chairs, Restrospect’s Etsy page serves up a well-curated collection of home goods with a retro ’60s and ’70s vibe. (Furniture can be picked up from the store or delivered to the warehouse in Bellmawr.) Get a sneak peek at what’s coming to the brick-and-mortar — and be first to call dibs — by following them on Instagram @retrospectvintage. 508 South Street, Queen Village.
Weavers Way Mercantile
Located across from the grocery co-op chain’s Mount Airy outpost, this “general store” specializes in vintage furnishings with a side of locally made goods. Come for the great prices (under-$800 mid-century modern couches; suede Italian cantilever chairs for $300), then stay for the shelves of handcrafted soaps, pottery and candles. 542 Carpenter Lane, Mount Airy.
Showrooms at 2220
One of the first tenants at this exciting new 100,000-square-foot antiques center in Port Richmond — which will eventually include a cafe and an in-house upholsterer — was Robert Aibel’s Moderne Gallery, which decamped here after a 35-year stint in Old City and brought its high-end American Craft Studio pieces (including many precious Nakashimas) along for the ride. 2220 East Allegheny Avenue, Port Richmond.
Uniques and Antiques
Rather than comb through estate sales themselves, Philly’s top interior designers turn to Kent Jackson and Timothy Aikens’s Aston-based online auction house for cream-of-the-crop finds that are always tailored to what’s currently trending. (These days, that means lots of abstract and graffiti-style art and unique MCM furnishings.) Uniquesandantiques.com.
Maggpie Market by Maggpie Co.
When COVID quashed the events biz, Maggie Farrell and Jason Hoak, owners of Philly-famous furniture-rental company Maggpie, opened a store on their Boyertown farm and filled it with found goods in their signature country-meets-Cali mix of textured neutrals. Book your time slot via Calendly or visit on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until spring, when, pandemic willing, Farrell and Hoak plan to set even more hours and host food trucks, so you can picnic post-visit. @maggpiemarket for appointments.
The Velvet Shoestring
House Beautiful editor Emma Bazilian is largely credited with pin-spotting the “grandmillennial” design trend (hallmarks of which include needlepoint, skirted tables, and the return of all things Laura Ashley). When she’s back home in Villanova, her favorite place to indulge in the look is this nine-year-old consignment shop, which helpfully notes on each product how the price will drop the longer the item sits in the store. 155 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne.
Life’s Patina Co.
You used to only be able to peruse Meg Veno’s collection of European-countryside-inspired wares (think: weathered dining hutches; ornate corbels and pillars) at her quarterly barn sales. During the pandemic, she added an online store, so now you can shop 24/7. Shoplifespatina.com.
Though designers in L.A. and NYC have him on speed-dial for über-stylish accent chairs and clean-lined wooden dressers and media consoles, Chris Covatta has seen his MCM-heavy showroom in North Philly fly relatively under the radar in his hometown — until now. 5424 Lena Street, North Philly.
Classic Antiques PHL
In business since 1992, this Antique Row staple pretty much is your mother’s antiques shop — but that’s not a bad thing when you’re looking for traditional French imports and Art Deco pieces. (They’ve got popular Scandinavian and American mid-century finds, too.) 922 Pine Street, Washington Square West.
North 3rd Street in Old City
Mode Moderne and More Than Old are two staples with large showrooms that are conveniently located across the street from one another here. The first is known for design-y mid-century pieces (such as Eames and Vladimir Kagan chairs), while the second boasts vintage furnishings from across the decades as well as an extensive barware selection. 159 North 3rd Street and 144 North 3rd Street, Old City.
Owners Reed and Megan Orem not only source some of the finest mid-century pieces in the region; they provide custom upholstery as well, so you can pick a fabric to match your space. Also on offer: an excellent selection of live-edge wood slabs, ready to be turned into your next DIY table. New items are added to the shop’s Instagram and Facebook pages first — and often sell before they hit the website. Follow along at @icandigthis so you don’t miss anything. 717 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood.
Digging is half the fun at these antiques halls, warehouses and estate sales
The former church that houses Thunderbird was supposed to become apartments in 2018, before George Mathes stepped in. Now, you can shop there for just about anything you’d need — kitchenware, clothes, couches — plus an entire room full of oddities you don’t (like taxidermied animals and Ouija boards). Watch the online calendar for monthly outdoor markets. 2441 Frankford Avenue, Kensington.
Briggs Auction, Inc.
Rumor has it that more than one vendor on this list sources from this four-generation-family-owned Garnet Valley auctioneer, where bidding for lots in the biweekly online sales (items are predominately pulled from Main Line and Delaware Valley estates) start at $1. Briggsauction.com.
Inside this 1955 log building — a historic artifact in its own right — you’ll find three floors featuring more than 50 vendors selling antique, vintage and handmade goods at prices to feel good about. Add the pop-up markets to your calendar for even more artisans and rare finds. 118 Creek Road, Mount Laurel.
Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles
There are two important things to know about this 4,000-square-foot secondhand store: 1) All profits benefit the African People’s Education and Defense Fund, a nonprofit that champions economic empowerment in Black communities; and 2) They get in new stuff every few hours, so there’s always reason to support the cause. You can also shop their NZO line, which includes furniture that’s hand-painted and upholstered with African designs. 832 North Broad Street, Fairmount.
Sales By Helen
John Romani (Helen is his mother) and his team liquidate roughly 150 Philly-area estates each year. Their in-person estate sales are divided into two categories: Sales By Helen handles the luxury listings (furniture, rugs and artwork from palatial Main Line manses), while sub-brand Blue Route Sales tackles the houses where even the last bottle of weedkiller is up for grabs. They also sell some inventory online. Salesbyhelen.com.
This 60,000-square-foot maze of antiques, furniture, art and rugs sources from around the globe. (You’ll find an especially large supply of Eastern wares.) They also host online auctions. 4700 Wissahickon Avenue, North Philly.
Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse and Discount Mid-Century Modern
The main difference between these similar but unrelated mid-century modern warehouses? Everything at the former has been repaired and restored to top quality, whereas at the latter, you can scoop up some goods as-is at lower rates. 3650 Richmond Street, Port Richmond, and 960 East Mermaid Lane, number 13A, Wyndmoor.
Etsy shops and IG accounts that bring the local flavor
By day, the ultra-stylish Sydney Grims does business development for restaurants. (Ever hear of Louie Louie?) At night, she and photog Casey Robinson prep for their Wednesday Insta Stories vintage drops, which have a new theme every week. Free shipping on purchases over $100. @vintage_addicts_.
In With the Old Goods
Skippack’s Steph Harkins has been spotlighted in Country Living and Flea Market Décor magazines for her down-home collections of decoratives. (Old-fashioned holiday decor is an especially big draw.) @inwiththeoldgoods.
Dial V for Vintage
David Seidman and Celeste Giuliano’s collectibles and housewares from the ’40s through ’70s (old-fashioned cameras, owl figurines, and lots of old books) come in good condition and are totally shelfie-ready. @dialvforvintage.
Eleventh Street Vintage
Two Free People corporate employees share a side gig of running this dreamy vintage Insta account where the waterfall tables and shell-back sofa chairs come in shades of millennial pink, peach and purple. @eleventhstvintage.
Willow Road Interiors
Grandmillennials will flip for the “Chinoiserie chic” style of Willow Road, whose specialties include blue-and-white china, Staffordshire dogs and leopard artwork. Shop on Etsy, or via Instagram every Wednesday at 8 p.m. @willowroadinteriors.
The Main Line Find
Even if she didn’t offer a great selection of organic-leaning earthenware and other ephemera, Bryn Mawr-based Aly McBride would be a must-follow for the estate-sale shopping tips, cleaning tricks, and unbelievable Facebook Marketplace listings she regularly posts to Instagram Stories. @themainlinefind.
Because there’s a lot of jargon in the secondhand world
Anything 100 years old or older. (You might also see “heirloom” and “period piece.”)
Building components beyond furniture — doors, windows, mantels, etc. — saved from demolition.
These shops act as conduits between buyers and sellers and take a cut of each purchase.
Gently used items 20 years old and under, often — but not always — donated and then sold for charity.
Anything approximately 20 years or older. (Brace yourself: The ’80s and ’90s more than qualify.)
Published as “Treasure Hunting” in the January/February 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.