Choosing a favourite pass-time in Stanford is surely impossible because you are spoiled for choice with all the world-class attractions right on our doorstep.
However, one of my favourites is to indulge in retail therapy – with a difference! Simply taking a walk through Stanford village in search of delightful and interesting antique shops, galleries and gift stores where you can browse and buy. And then it’s so true…
“We don’t mind if antiques is old and chippy, we don’t care if it is faded, rusty or worn, we simply love the story behind it, the history within it and the patina on it!”
And whilst browsing, I always ask myself…is it Vintage, Antique, Retro…or is it just out of style? When you buy something how do you know if it’s vintage? Or just someone’s old clothes that went out of style, like the chunky square toed heels your mom used to wear in the 90’s? What is the difference?
Some shop-owner even told me once that cars only need to be 25 years old to be considered antiques – I was stunned because according to that definition I am already an antique!
The words antique, retro, and vintage still leave collectors in open combat as their meanings and their proper use. Our language is ever changing, and we continue to redefine words and use them in different ways.
As per a resident Stanfordian, modern conversation has attributed these definitions to the following words:
Antique. Something that is really old, dusty, possibly made of carved wood… maybe it came from your grandma’s parents attic or basement. My niece equates antique with old and ugly, i.e. “That dress is practically an antique!”…but vintage is old and totally adorable…or “totes amazeballs.”
Vintage. Old but cute enough to charge double the price for it. Usually nostalgic in some way or could be useful as a movie prop.
Retro. Either something that is in the style of something from the past and its brand new or it’s something that is outdated and coming back into style.
As you can see the above definitions is totally inconclusive. Easily interchangeable in common conversation their true meanings have been lost except when we look in the dictionary.
But although antique or vintage or retro…if you love it and you like the excitement of taking something old and giving it a new life – then look forward to happy hunting days in Stanford village.
A few useful tips for Antique & Collectibles Hunting
Trust your gut
If something calls out to you, don’t ignore it. Often if you decide to wait on purchasing an item, someone will beat you to it. Don’t risk the chance of letting something you really love slip away from you. If you’re not entirely sure, write down the booth number and come back to it later.
Value the structure over the colour
When looking at things like chairs or tables, remember that they can be reupholstered or repainted. The shape, engravings, and style are more important than the colour. Try to imagine the chair you’re looking at with a fresh coat of paint and new fabric. Sometimes an ugly chair just needs a little work to be perfect.
Picture the piece in your home
Sometimes it’s hard to visualize what a furniture item will look like when it’s not surrounded by an odd assortment of flea market goods. When looking at your potential new chair or armoire, try to imagine it sitting in your living room. The piece of furniture’s potential might be hidden when it’s surrounded by rusty buttons and old baseball cards.
Browsing or buying in Stanford – you will love all the vintage and antique things that spark nostalgia. Several collectors of decades and promoters of antiques is on offer in Stanford village. They are time travellers, hunters of history and builders of memories. Come see for yourself and happy hunting folks!
Shops to visit in Stanford: *Stanford Trading Store *Stanford Upcycle *TAT Antiques & Vintage Décor*De Kleine Rivers Valey House *The New Junk Shop