It’s really easy these days to buy mass-produced farmhouse style decor items.
That Fixer-Upper rustic farmhouse style is still super hot-n-trendy, so it is available everywhere you turn in the home decor stores. I even featured a local farmhouse decor truck here on the blog a few months back that is like an ice-cream truck for raving farmhouse decor fans.
But even if you don’t have farmhouse deals-on-wheels in your city, you can roll down to any big box store and find a million pretty pieces to fill a home to the brim with farmhouse style. But you can bet 100% of that stuff is vintage reproductions that just arrived on a slow boat from China like, last week.
Don’t get me wrong. I love this type of decor and have TONS of it in my home. I mean, let’s face it. Most of us don’t live in actual farmhouses and raise animals and crops, right? It’s ok to fake it when you live in a suburban subdivision. We all understand.
Reproduction pieces, when done well, are just fine. Everything in this photo is a reproduction with the exception of the copper candle holder. I’m totally cool decorating with new stuff that’s made to look old.
One of my very favorite antique reproductions is this black metal bench that sits on my front porch. It was made by Park Hill Collection and you would swear it was 100 years old. But nope. It’s a fake.
But for me, there is real fun in hunting ACTUAL farmhouse treasures to decorate my home. Not mass produced stuff, but unique items that nobody else has on their mantel. I have been collecting funky old junk for my home for many years, so I’m here to share my wisdom on how to find stuff for yours.
Here are my top Four Ways to Find Unique Farmhouse-Style Decor!
Estate Sales/ Barn Sales
Yard sales are fun, but you can find so many awesome treasures if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and hunt for treasures at an Estate Sale. I once scored an old blue lantern, a fishing creel and a bunch of FREE turkey feathers at a backwoods Alabama Estate Sale.
There are lots of great resources online to find estate sales in your area. Just type “how to find estate sales near me” in the Google search bar and start clicking. If you need a starting point, I like EstateSales.Net.
Just know that there are folks who are professional pickers and they will have scoured these sales within 5 minutes of the doors opening, so be ready to compete with those early birds if you’re serious about getting a good deal.
There is nothing more fun than grabbing a group of girlfriends and going picking for junk at the flea market. If you can stand the heat, you’ll get the best deals in the middle of the summer when crowds are lower and vendors are more eager to sell their wares.
I found these gothic chalkboards at the Nashville Flea Market on a girl’s trip with a bunch of blog friends, and I’ve used them for many years in my decor.
Combined with a bundle of wheat and those free turkey feathers I was talking about earlier, it makes for an amazing farmhouse fall mantel vignette.
Architectural Salvage and Antique Stores
Over the years I have perused many an antique store in search of farmhouse treasures.
My favorite antique store find is my blue apothecary cabinet from Scarlet Scales Antiques in Franklin, TN. I loved it from the minute I saw it and still do. It sits in my foyer and it’s the first thing people see when they walk through my door.
But I also adore using old architectural salvage pieces in my home. Give me an old tin ceiling tile and a pair of chippy corbels and I’m a happy camper.
BY FAR, my two favorite architectural salvage stores are Southern Accents Architectural in Cullman, Alabama and Charles Phillips Antiques in Theodore (outside of Mobile).
I could (and have) spent HOURS perusing these stores and drooling over all the vintage goodness. If you happen to take a trip to either place, be sure to tell them I sent you! I’m friendly with both owners and they are both extremely nice guys.
Both stores have craftsmen on site who build unique pieces as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and see if they can build it!
Antique stores abound in my area, and I’ve listed out my favorite antique stores in the Birmingham area in this post. If you’re anywhere near Pennsylvania, Miss Mustard Seed shared her favorite Antique Stores in the Gettysburg area. If you’re a blogger, I’d love to hear about your favorite honey-holes!
You never know what you might find when you peruse an antique store if you visit ones with a high turnover rate. Just use your imagination and try to picture how you might use something in a unique way, like this vintage baby crib spring that I turned into a ribbon flag.
Fairs and Festivals
The Country Living Fair is probably the best one I’ve been to for unique farmhouse treasures. There are some vintage replications in the booths, but there are also tons of super unique items as well. I’ve talked about my love of the Country Living Fair over the years, but here are a few of my favorite treasures that I’ve bought.
The handmade pottery in the shape of an old beehive skep is definitely at the top of my list of favorite CL Fair finds. I’ve used it over and over through the years in different rooms of my house. The dough bowl is a staple in my decor, especially as a table centerpiece. And those three birch logs have been ALL OVER my house in some form or fashion. All of these were Country Living Fair finds, and I love them so much.
I found this old church attendance sign at the City Farmhouse Pop-up Fair in Franklin, TN. It’s a huge hit in my house.
Here are a few of the must-see antique festivals around the country:
- Country Living Fairs, Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; Rhinebeck, NY; Columbus, OH
- Scotts Antique Markets- Atlanta, GA
- Brimfield Flea Market- Brimfield, MA
- Round Top Antique Week, Round Top, TX
- City Farmhouse Pop-up Fairs in Franklin, TN
- Vintage Market Days (nationwide)
- Main Street Market Rockford, IL.
- Others? I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments.
If you’re headed to big vendor event soon, be sure to check out my advice about How to Shop like a Pro at Fairs and Festivals before you go!
So, there you go! Four ways to find unique farmhouse decor for your home. Where are your favorite places to shop? Share with us in the comments so we can all flock to your honey-holes and get all the good stuff first. 😉
There have been many times when I see something at Hobby Lobby one day and turn around to find it on the shelves of my local “antique” stores the next. Lots of people who have vendor booths are filling their spaces with vintage reproduction or replicated items.
Like I said before, it’s totally cool to buy something if you really love it but don’t be fooled into overpaying for something just because they claim it’s a vintage piece when it actually came over on a slow boat from China last week.
Mary Riviera says
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